Big Bongo!

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Hi, this is my cat Bongo. He is a 20 pounds and about 3 years old. I have no clue what the average weight is for this type of cat and i am trying to get him to lose weight but every thing ive tried hasn’t worked. Any avice?


I’ll give you my short answer and then refer to some page on PoC 😉

Bongo – great name by the way and it suits him – needs to eat less and exercise more! That sounds a bit patronising or silly but it is the solution.

No criticism intended but Bongo would be described as “obese” by a veterinarian. He should be nearer 10 pounds if he is a standard sized cat. He looks like a fairly large cat, actually, so 12-15 pounds might be acceptable.

There are diet cat foods on the market. However, some of them are dry cat foods and I think dry cat  foods can make cats fat because they encourage eating.

I’d fed a high quality wet cat food and regulate intake. The change should be gentle but the program should be tough. “Cruel to be Kind” is the motto. And much less in the way of treats such as human food, which I presume he gets some of.

The problem of Bongo being obese is really about you and not him. You dictate what he eats and how much he eats. You’ll have to try and be more disciplined. Bongo will moan and ask for more but when you don’t give it to him he won’t hold a grudge or hate you for it. He’ll just lose weight and be healthier.

Diets and change of food should be a gentle process so he can adjust. If he goes out make sure he is not time sharing at other places and eating food put down for other cats.

Here are some pages on the subject:

Cat Obesity – lots of links to stuff of various kinds.

Why is it hard to slim an overweight cat?  – this page may be helpful.

16 thoughts on “Big Bongo!”

  1. Maybe my efforts at helping Monty lose weight haven’t been going so well. He asked to go out on the front porch so I let him out but quickly slipped his harness on him. He complained loudly about that but soon forgot he was even wearing it. But I had a little trouble getting it around his belly. He hasn’t worn it in a long time, since we fenced the entire back yard for him. But it hasn’t been all that long and last time it went easily around his belly. So we have a ways to go. He’s not as big as Bongo, but my husband is right– Monty is too big.

    I just love Bongo! He is such a cool cat.

    • Monty has a very similar waistline to Charlie. Actually Charles is a bit fatter (bad – and I am the problem). I have put Charles on a diet. This means saying No when I want to say yes.

  2. I realize everyone is well meaning, but then there is reality. My four cats are all so different. I’ll bring up the oldest, probably 15 years old, Bigfoot. I have cajoled, bought everything short of caviar for this skinny little guy. He probably weighs a little over nine pounds. Which is considered average. The vets are not alarmed at all. This little guy refuses anything wet. ANYTHING! He is usually healthy, but once he had to be in the pet hospital for two nights, and they tried to feed him the so called finest wet food…he didn’t eat for two days, so what is a girl to do?

    He gets dried up old kibble, and the feral cats get the premium wet food. Marvin gets both, but the dry food I give him is grain free. He could stand to skip a meal that one, but he is very active and needs his grits! Good luck.

    Long and short of it is, every cat is different. It is a constant study.

    • Totally agree. You can’t be sure that a cat will eat the best wet cat food or perfectly prepared raw food or even human treats. It may that cats that are raised on dry food stick to it because they are used to it.

    • I think the problem becomes very, very difficult when you have multiple cats. I never have. What if I had a cat who was finicky and picked at his food all day and a cat like Monty who will “hoover” everything in sight living in the same house? I don’t know how you manage something like that, but I know lots of people with that situation.

      Dr. Gaskin told me the EVO duck cat food is one of the best wet foods on the market. Monty hates it. It must be the only food that little hoover won’t eat. If I leave it and don’t bring him anything else he will reluctantly have a little of it, but then he is mad at me.

    • You are so right Dorothy, every cat is different and we can only do our best to keep them healthy and a little bit extra weight isn’t the end of the world. The only way to have a cat lose weight (or gain it if neccesary) is by doing it very gradually so as not to make their mealtimes have no quality in them.

  3. No more dry food except a small handful no more than once a day, if even that and the problem will take care of itself almost.

  4. No dry cat food of any kind and I think you’ll see a change. The cheapest wet food is better than the most expensive dry. There are just way too many carbs in dry food and cats need very few carbs. He needs protein from animal, not plant, sources. My boy Monty has lost some weight just from my eliminating dry food entirely. Outside time does the rest. He is more active when he is outside. But safety first– I don’t let him out without supervision. So we go out together and both get some exercise.
    Bongo is a beautiful cat. At least you realize he’s too big and are committed to doing something about it. He does look similar to Ruth’s cat Walter.

    • Yes good advice Ruth, we tried eliminating biscuits from our boyz diet as they would eat their wet food then go to eat biscuits on top. They just have a few in a saucer as a treat now as it seemed too much to take them away completely all at once and our vet actually recommended they had some, especially Jo with his sensitive tummy.

      • Monty can’t have biscuits for another reason as well. He doesn’t chew them. He was starving when he came to me and still today he approaches every meal as if he is still dying of starvation. My husband calls him “Hoover” because of the way he inhales his food so fast. Unchewed biscuits don’t sit well on a cat’s tummy, so he was barfing them all over my rugs. After I cut them out completely he actually slimmed down a bit. Some of them must have been getting digested and not barfed, though you couldn’t tell it from the state of my rugs. He doesn’t seem to miss the dry food at all.

        • Bless him, even though he must know you’d never let him be starving again, cats never forget do they!
          Our Jo is only half feral but he buries his uneaten food as if to say he might need it later.
          Cats have such deep instincts.

    • You have the classic solution: less food and more exercise. No one can avoid that solution. That is why I think Monty looks so good. He has a good life. About as good as a domestic cat can have.

  5. Bongo is a gorgeous boy, I love his face!
    Micheal has given you good advice and I can’t add much more but I do sympathise as our Walter was told by our vet he had to lose a few pounds and he does love his food and his afternoon bed rest.
    However by doing it very gradually and making sure he exercises more by us playing more with him little and often, we are getting there.
    Good luck.


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