Fat Kitty Needs a Diet


Fat Kitty needs to lose some weight.

He’s always been a big kitty, but with every year he gets a little chubbier.

Fat Kitty

The story of Fat Kitty is sort of sad but with a happy ending. About 8 years ago, I decided I wanted a cat (my first pet ever!). I was single, living in an apartment by myself and looked in the newspaper for free kittens. The first two people I called didn’t answer the phone. Person #3 answered and was available! I made a date to come check out her kitty.

He was about 5 months old and homeless. She had rescued him from some neighborhood kids who were abusing him and hitting him with sticks!! As soon as she said that, I was hooked. He was adorable and tiny! Who could abuse such a cute creature?!

I took him home with me. I didn’t have a pet carrier, litter box or food. He ran around the inside of my car the whole drive home. I stopped at Target and bought the essentials and we went home.

First Night Together

Our first night together was strange. He was scared and had an accident on the carpet but after that he was the perfect kitty and the perfect companion.

Except he started destroying my apartment!

I’d come home from work to books on the floor, plants over turned, plants EATEN, kitty vomit and just general chaos. I realized quickly he needed a playmate.

A coworker’s cat had kittens so I adopted one from her. She was the runt and totally tiny. I named her Maya.

Maya

It took 2 weeks of them fighting before they finally adjusted and loved each other. They started grooming each other and they sleep together. It’s pretty adorable.

Since I had Maya–a tiny kitten–I bought her Kitten Food. High fat food. Fat Kitty went from being a long, lean kitten of 1 year old to being a FATTY cat! He was eating all her kitten food instead of HIS food!

I had to stop buying the kitten food. He lost some weight after that.

Fast forward 7 years…Fat Kitty weighs 17 pounds. He’s very long and muscular but he also has a bit of chub. I know that part of Fat Kitty’s problem is that he’s always afraid there won’t be enough food. I’m guess that’s from being homeless as a kitten. That kind of imprinting is hard to shake.

Back in the Old Days

Fat Kitty is my soul mate. 🙂 I love him dearly and he’s the coolest cat ever. He has the personality of a dog. He follows me around the house, comes to me when I call his name. He’s playful and goofy and the most affectionate cat I’ve ever met.

My Babies

My dilemma?

1. I can’t just feel them once a day because Maya is shy and won’t eat unless no one is in the house (she’s weird and skittish). If I didn’t leave the bowl out all day, she’d never eat.

2. What kind of food do I get? I currently use the Costco cat food. Yes cost is a factor but I also want them to be healthy.

3. When I tried (several times) to feed them only once a day and take away the dish, Fat Kitty cried and scratched everything. 😦 What can I say? I gave in…

I don’t know what to do! I want my cats to be happy and healthy and live a VERY long time. Other than the few extra pounds, both cats are very healthy and have no medical issues.

Any suggestions? What do you feed your cat? Does it have a weight problem?

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12 responses to “Fat Kitty Needs a Diet

  1. I had 2 cats for about a year, but they were separated. It was a good thing because they both had different food issues. One cat was elderly and she was free choice to keep her weight up.
    The other was young and had a tendency towards chub. I had to measure and portion one kitties food and keep the free choice one separate.

    You are likely going to have to do something like this to to keep them separated for meal times, like keeping Maya in a separate room where she can have a bowl all day.

    You can divide the food up into twice a day feedings. I have Pixie (she is the only cat now) on a twice a day feeding schedule of 1/4 cup – one in the morning and one in the evening. She gets 1/4 can of wet food (kitty crack) in the morning. That is all she gets, which is actually weight loss portions, but she stays big. She has a slow metabolism like her mother…..

    I feed them Iams. It’s good stuff.

  2. I have a similar problem – two cats, one a piggy and the other one a pushover, therefore piggy gets his food and whatever the other hasn’t eaten by the time he’s finished. The vet told me this was fairly normal, as even in pairs cats establish a heirarchy but that it can lead to one cat being overweight.

    Like the above commenter said, the only way you can guarantee it not happening is to separate them for meals or to supervise their eating very closely.

    I feed mine twice a day – they get just under the recommended amount of complete dry food (I use Royal Canin) because I mix it up with wet food. It’s probably me applying human feelings to the kitties, but I just don’t think dry food alone looks appetising!!

    The only other thing I could suggest – which is something I do with my chubby boy – is maybe spend a bit of extra time playing with him – mine has a dangly fish-on-a-string type toy which he will chase and jump for hours – so we play with him for 20 minutes or so in the evening to help him burn some calories!!

  3. My parents had a cat when I was in my 20’s – my dad would actually cut up what they had for dinner and feed that to the cat!

    Sorry I don’t have any tips – we have a huge black lab.

  4. I had a similar problem. I have two cats, but when I got the second one, a kitten, the kitten ate all of the food for both cats! What I started doing was separating them to feed them 2 meals a day. Ask a vet how much they should be eating, divide it by two. It will be a difficult transition, but giving them only 30 minutes to eat their food will help get them on a schedule. Take away the food after that time until the second feeding. They will get used to it once they get hungry enough. This really worked for us, and now they’ve gotten to where they can eat together. Also, we feed them Evo pet food:

    http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1500

    I really like it because it’s full of protein and generally just a good quality food. It’s more expensive than Costco (we used to get that too!) but it’s worth it. The cats love it and they are healthier than ever!

    Good luck!

  5. I don’t have any specific advice re the food – but I just wanted to say how adorable your kitties are. I have 2 cats too and they are such an important part of our little family 🙂

  6. My bf rescued my cat as a stray and she was really skinny and sick and flea covered. That was about four years ago and now she is about 18lbs. She is normally the only cat in the house, so she gets a measured portion of weight control food twice each day. She’s probably gained about 1 or 2 lbs in the last few months, and I suspect she is sneaking some of the dog’s food. Plus, she is lazy. I feel bad that she is such a chunkster only because I worry about her health. The vet says she is healthy, even though she is big, so I guess some cats are like people–they have a hard time losing weight too.

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