Is Your Pet Overweight? — 18 Comments

  1. This could not have come at a more opportune time! My Abby (aka “Flabby Abby” by my loving brother) was 12 pounds (US) when she was adopted 3-4 years ago. She’s a Maine Coon mix so I didn’t think much of it when she gained a bit of weight. What I did not count on was her topping out at 17 bloody pounds!!! I measure her food and don’t overindulge in snacks so I was at a loss. Granted, Maine Coons are big by nature; however, my Abby has grown wide, not long like their breed suggests. So…to much crying and wailing by said ‘kitty’ I cut her dry portions in half (from 1/4 cup to 1/8 cup twice daily and 1.5 tablespoons wet to just 1 teaspoon wet and voila! She dropped to 16.4 pounds in just inside of 2 months. I have also been remiss in active play because of my new job, but I’ve made a conscious to try harder. Due to her ample size, we now have to get her a “lion cut” at the vet’s because the back of her fur is severely matted; the vet figures it’s because she cannot reach that far back to groom herself and the comb/brush cannot touch it. This weekend, she goes to the vet again for her annual check-up and weigh-in. I’ve a feeling she’ll need special weight loss food to help the process. So folks, it’s no joke…our fur babies need us to be ever so vigilant. Sometimes we learn the hard way to the chagrin of our furry friends.

    • 17 bloody pounds!!!

      You are not alone. According to this poster there over 40 million cats like Abby in the US.

      My cat, Charlie, weights about 16.5 pounds. He is the biggest cat I have ever looked after. He is a big cat anyway so not obese but he tends to be a bit overweight because (a) he has 3 legs and that makes him less active (b) he is oldish and (c) I feel him too much! I can’t help it. Love on a plate.

      I do diet him. I just tell myself not to respond to his loud, Siamese-like cries for food. Hard though.

      • Monty is 11 pounds, so he is a little overweight. I noticed recently his belly is growing. He’s been begging for a snack at 2 or 3 each morning and I give it to him. I have to stop that, because he’s ending up with an extra meal every day that he does not need.

        I was at a cookout at Pastor’s house last weekend. His cat Jonah is about 18 pounds. I thought Jonah had died, but that was Gideon, Jonah is the survivor. He’s also as big as the Biblical Jonah’s whale. He’s just round like a barrel. I petted him for a long time and he purred. But I felt so badly for him. Pastor says he is fine at 18 pounds because he can get up on the furniture at that weight. He also claims that at less than 16 pounds Jonah gets very cranky, and he’s just a more pleasant cat at a heavier weight. I think it’s the dry food. Jonah is hooked on it like humans get hooked on processed sugar. He needs not less food, but better food. Jonah’s problem must be something his humans are doing, because Gideon was just as big. Talk to members of that family and it will come out that all their cats have been huge. This is odd because none of the humans are fat. It has to be the type of food they are giving the cats, not amounts, because usually if people don’t overeat they manage not to overfeed their cats either. Monty gets overfed when I start snacking too much. But he only gets wet food, no dry.

        • I think to say Jonah is more pleasant when he is fat is absurd. Sorry if that upsets the person. It seems that their cat is just hooked on food, and when it is refused he might get cranky. Dry cat food does create a semi-dehydrated, hypoglycemic state. To be honest I don’t like to hear people say that sort of thing. Jonah sounds as if he is very obese (“barrel” shaped).

          As for Monty, the bigger belly may partly be due to age. I notice that older cats can naturally have bigger and flabbier bellies. I forget his age, though. 11 pounds seems not bad at all but you know best. You know his optimum weight.

          Charlie is about 16 pounds but he is a big cat and as mentioned a bit overweight.

          • Monty is only four– just turned four this May. He’s just been getting too much food. The vet said the weight he is at is ok (not great) but just please don’t let him get any bigger. He could stand to lose a pound to two pounds and would still be at a healthy weight. My husband would say two pounds for sure. I think at ten pounds he would be fine. I think an ex feral who was starving in kitten hood is probably always going to be a little heavy.
            I think Pastor’s cat Jonah is hooked on high carb food. It’s like when humans eat that garbage. You feel lousy but a few hours later you crave it. Put him on a diet on that stuff and he will be miserable. If he had high quality, high protein food I think he could eat less and feel satisfied. He’s eating and eating but never getting what his body really needs. Cats catabolize protein in a way humans cannot. They can get all their energy needs met through protein. But too many carbs are more serious for them than for us. Unfortunately, some vets push high carb dry food for cats, even sell it.

  2. One more thing to pass along. The vet was very adamant that part of the problem is the food. She loves the wet food, but the junk bought at the supermarket is just that, junk! It’s filled with byproducts and grains, stuff cats don’t need. He said that most brands are the “McDonald’s” of cat food – tastes great, but packs on the pounds. We’ll be getting the weight loss stuff at the vet and when she reaches her optimal weight, we will transition to higher-quality food. All this because I didn’t pay enough attention.

    • Good comment Gail. Good advice, I think. High quality wet is probably the best overall. There are other ways like raw or home cooked meat and premix (supplement) but cheap cat food is probably a false economy.

  3. My cats are not big but Red was although never overweight. Gigi tried to only eat dry food I think. She waits all day not eating the plenty of wet food provided and seems to survive off a small hanful of dry food I give them each evening. She would get fat if I gave them more dry food.

    • Monty licked out my ice cream bowl yesterday after I was done. I didn’t leave him much, but you could hear his rough little tongue just attacking it, getting every last molecule. Melanie was over and she gave Monty her dish when she was done, with a little more melted ice cream in the bottom of it, but still a tiny amount, and he licked that up with relish– at first he was a little cautious because he doesn’t know her as well– but I told her to say “treat” and then he dove in. I know that’s terrible for him, but it really was a tiny, tiny amount. Not like when my mom gave Mittens her own little blob of ice cream every night. It’s hard to resist sharing treats even when I know it’s bad for him. It’s bad for me too. So my cat and I are both a little fat. We get our exercise outside together, but we eat our treats together too.

  4. You are right, Marc. I think any cat will get fat from dry food, because even the best dry food is still quite high in carbs compared to a cat’s natural diet in the wild. Plus the low moisture content, which is not good for them at all. Dry food is convenient for humans and some cats find it tasty (it’s made to be ultra palatable) but it really isn’t good for cats.

  5. True confessions…Marvin is fat. Even though I have cut back his good quality food, sometimes when he comes by in the morning which is our routine, he is rounded out like he just ate three gophers. What is a friend to do? He is strong as an ox, climbs and jumps. Fights with his wool rug and usually wins. I am beside myself knowing what to do with him. This is a problem with a roaming male cat who was born feral and learned to live among humans. He is the sweetest most lovable cat to ‘his’ humans, but he is a holy terror to any other male cat who might cross his path.

    Marvin weighs in at almost 20 lbs. He is large anyway, but really. The boy could stand to drop a couple. It is a worry.

    • Are you saying he visits other places and gets fed in them all or gets wherever he asks in these other places?

      He is a bit tubby. It always surprises me that cats like Marvin like to eat until fat. You would have thought he would stop.

      I think it is a symptom of domestication. You never see true feral cats looking fat. He is a community cat.

    • Marvin seems to be saying, “Just who are you calling fat?”
      He may be overweight, but he’s also just a big cat and probably quite muscular too. He is less round than Pastor’s cat Jonah, who is barrel shaped, even though their weights are similar.

      • Maybe he is a community cat, after all. The only place I can think of that he is mooching food is from the colony at the school where he grew up. I just never see him wondering that far, and I doubt there is any food left over night. He refuses still, to sleep in the house. His meow is so loud it causes all the lights in the neighborhood to go on! Just kidding, but seriously. I’ll catch him at his loudest on video sometime. It might just blow your mind! I know he is a good hunter. I see the entrails often. I just don’t know what else to think. Yellow, who is from the same family I’m sure, keeps her girlish figure. Bigfoot is too skinny and he lives a life of luxury. Shadow, who is the shared cat, could stand to miss a meal too, but never at my house apparently. He eats here every day. I don’t mind because it keeps Yellow happy. If Shadow comes over, she will sit and stare at me through the kitchen window until I feed her boyfriend. I kid you not. She learned that it works, and now it is routine. What to do about my fat boy.

        • I know what I want to do– rub that ample belly until his purr rumbles like he has a V-8 engine in his chest. It won’t help him lose weight, but it would be fun.

        • His meow is so loud it causes all the lights in the neighborhood to go on!

          That made me laugh. he is a real character and big cat. Boss cat. Some cats do overeat and it probably stems from struggling to find food at sometime in their lives. A lot of cats visit more places than we think. Some cats who visit us may be visiting several other places. We don’t know.

      • That is right Ruth! A far as he is concerned, he is pleasantly plump. But of course it is my duty to worry about his health, so there you have it. Not that I can intervene. I think you read my post about the vet visit. Yikes!

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