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Obesity?!

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
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MiMi

1253893
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 14, '12 11:13am PST 
My youngest, MiMi, has had weight issues since we had her fixed. We took her to the vet because she had gained a lot of weight and looked bloated, we had her dewormed just in case it was worms (it wasn't) and the vet said that she might just be eating too fast.

Now... I'm living in another state for a couple months and my mother is taking care of her and my 13 year old (I was only allowed one cat in the apartment unfortunately..)I feed them blue buffalo or Wellness. The food ran out and my mom bought 32 pounds of really cheap food for $10 despite me giving her the money for the good food. My mother refills the bowl constantly. She refuses to play with her. Every time I go home she's bigger. My mother won't listen to me. I told her to only give her a certain amount, she got mad and complained about how she "follows her around" when she doesn't refill the bowl. I told her to feed her separate from the other cat and she wouldn't hear that either.

Another thing...MiMi came from a hoarder. I got her at 4 weeks old, she was one of around 16 kittens and 4 cats. She was pretty much starved because they were sharing two mothers and the owners were trying to get her on hard food ASAP (walmart brand adult food, it was way too big for her) The house didn't have a litterbox and she shared it with dogs, birds, rodents, and more.. she smelled bad for weeks. I think this might be why she overeats. I put her back on catmilk for a few weeks until she was actually ready to eat hard food.

Has anyone here had an obese cat? What can I do to make her lose some weight? It's so frustrating not being home because I can't do much for her. Does anyone know of any toys that she could play with by herself (that are battery-operated or something) since no one will play with her? Help!

Update: This issue has gotten A LOT worse. I'm moving back in a couple weeks. She's huge. She must have doubled in size since my mother has been watching her. I brought the good food for her to feed to her, she keeps feeding them friskie dry food. I bought the slow-feed bowl, she says it's too hard to keep mimi from eating everyone elses food. My mother is so lazy. I found out that she's basically wasting canned food by opening three at a time and then NOT PUTTING THEM INTO BOWLS. The cats can't fit their face in the can! It dries up! I;ve completely had it with her. Also, in the mean time, my other two cats are losing weight. Ugh!

Edited by author Mon Aug 13, '12 10:47am PST

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Monster

It's all about- me.
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 14, '12 12:45pm PST 
Ideally, Mimi should be on a canned food diet; dry food is very high in carbs and calories (as you have know); it's lower in protein and cats eat more of it in order to try to meet their protein requirements. Good info on obesity at catinfo.org. Try telling your mother that her feeding habits can put Mimi's health in jeopardy: Obese cats are at a great risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and eating only dry food contributes to problems with urinary tract inflammation and crystals. the vet who runs catinfo.org says even the cheapest canned food (i.e. 9 lives, Friskies, store brands) are better than feeding dry food.

If your mother won't switch to canned food, you could try feeding Mimi only with a treat-dispensing toy (i.e. Twist n Treat). It's a ball with a hole in it that is filled with kibble. The cat has to bat it around to get a kibble to come out. That way the portion is controlled and the cat gets some exercise. You can also try using a timed feeding dispenser - the sections are filled with measured portions, and section the lids open at programmed times, All of this takes commitment; hope your mother is willing to go along with it.
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MiMi

1253893
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 14, '12 2:00pm PST 
I've tried telling her to switch to wet too, she insists that it is "too high in protein and will cause kidney and liver problems". I thought Lulu (my 13 year old) had diabetes because her back legs weren't working right and it looked exactly like the diabetic neuropathy. We had her tested and she luckily just has arthritis and is on meds for it. I blamed it on the cheap dry food and she was screaming about how $10 a bag isn't cheap... she's hard to deal with. She never listens to anyone. When I'm home I feed them a mix of dry and wet, my Izzi doesn't really care for wet food.

The timed feeding dispenser is a good idea! I'll have to look them up. She has one of the treat toys somewhere but it doesn't work too well, I'll look for a better one.

Thanks for the reply and websites kitty
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Ramsey

Ramsey - The Bedroom Cat- Burglar
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 14, '12 7:34pm PST 
Ditto on the wet food recommendation. Kibble is calorie and carb dense. If the puss is allowed to free feed on kibble many of them will become obese which leads to a multitude of health issues, diabetes etc. We recommend you find the best quality wet food your budget will allow. smile
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Smithwick

Tigger is my- favorite!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jun 15, '12 5:00am PST 
This is a little more direct, but what if next time you visit, you bring the food you want them to eat with you & physically remove the other food. Tell her your vet wants them on this brand food, and you know that she wouldn't want to have to pay unnecessary vet bills for feeding them the wrong food. I know it is your mom, but MiMi is only going to get bigger, and it is really hard for them to lose. It has taken me months with Smitty for him to lose ounces, and he is "starving" all the time. They have the circle tray types toys where the kitty chases a ball around. Unfortunately until she is fed correctly, this is almost a losing battle. Good Luck. way to go
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MiMi

1253893
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 13, '12 10:50am PST 
So... I updated the OP. Things have gotten really bad. I'm at my apartment again researching how to properly feed her... I can't find any sample food plans or anything. How often and how much should I be giving her? Right now she's free feeding and god knows how much she's eating because my mom just refills the bowl when it;s empty. The internet really isn't helpful, it just says to take her to the vet who will put her on an expensive prescription diet of bi products and corn. No. I'm hoping that switching her back to the natural food will help but... ugh. Does anyone know of any websites that are like weight watchers but for cats? And how do I stop her from eating everyone elses food?
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Monster

It's all about- me.
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 13, '12 10:59am PST 
Weight loss has to be slow (rapid weight loss can lead to fatal liver disease). The vet needs to figure out how many calories per day Mimi should eat according how much she weighs and what the target weight is, and as she loses weight the calorie count will be adjusted. If you feed dry food, then you have to know how many calories are contained in a cup; you can find that at catinfo.org. Some other websites to look at are petobesityprevention.com and projectpetslimdown.com. I still strongly recommend that Mimi eat canned food. As far as keeping her from eating the other cats' food, that's the problem with leaving out bowls of kibble - there's absolutely no way to control it.
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Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 13, '12 1:23pm PST 
You'll have to feed them separately and make sure to feed them all grain free wet food only and at certain times of day. No free feeding and no dry food! Monster is right, you need to be very careful with this. Rapid weight loss can cause fatty liver which is what happened to my Alex and she's no longer with me. But you MUST get her to lose weight!
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Gumpy Sweet- Boy

Love wrapped in- fur
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 14, '12 10:16am PST 
Hi Mimi,

Catinfo.org is one of the best sites for info on obesity in cats (and other things), like Monster said. Here's a link to the obesity page by Dr. Pierson: Feline Obesity: An Epidemic of Fat Cats.

Another thing not to forget about is more movement and exercise, and also watch the portions...along with wet food.

I also want to say that it's a myth that protein causes kidney failure/disease in cats. Carnivores need more protein than dogs, people etc. And older pets really need it too. Here's another informative article: Geratric Pets Need More Protein
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Gypsy

1261919
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '12 9:41pm PST 
I have two overweight (bordering on obese) cats. I feel you're frustration. Mimi needs help & fast. I don't mean to offend you, but from what you've said, it's obvious you're mom is not a suitable caretaker for cats. I would HIGHLY recommend you re-home Mimi asap. I know you love her & I'm sure you're hoping one day you can get her back living with you, but it's in her best interest if she was re-homed with someone who is farmiliar with caring for an obese cat & well educated in feline care. Has she been tested for thyroid issues? If not, I highly recommend it. Also, everyone is right...Mimi needs to be on a high protein, preferably grain-free wet food. Since your mom refuses to stop free-feeding the cheap dry food, Mimi is just going to get heavier & be at risk for obesity related issues until you get her out of your mom's care & into a proper environment. If you're willing to do that, reach out to shelters & rescues in your area or your mom's area & explain your situation & see if there is someone available to take on a special needs cat. Or try to find another family member or friend who might be willing to adopt or foster Mimi (of course make sure they are willing to do everything needed to treat Mimi's condition). Mimi really needs someone who has time to play with her...not only for exercise but because cats really need human interaction & positive attention.

Anyway, I wish you & Mimi the best & I hope for Mimi's sake that you can find a solution to these issues. Good luck to you both!
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