How to put a cat on a diet

sasha.mccartney2

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Greeting fellow cat-enthusiasts!

Now it's actually been four weeks since Haku moved in with us in our comfy little apartment in Germany, after we adopted him from a rescue who picked him up from Bulgaria's streets. So far he's been doing good, slowly getting to know every corner of his new home and also more frequently demanding cuddles and pets. So after a months of living with us we payed the vet a visit, mostly for a general check up.

Vet said he's mostly fine, he has a light gum infection due to the lack of most teeth and gave me some medicine for that. They said if he's in pain I should come visit them or in 2 months the latest for another check-up.

They also noted that Haku is quite a chonky boy, bringing 6.6kg (~14,5 pounds) and adviced me to put him on a diet. I'm not quite sure thought, how to tackle this. I know Haku isn't particular active, spending most of the day sitting, laying or overall not moving much. He's not very interested in interactive toys like wands and such, he prefers playing with his little mouse toy, which he kicks around in the evening and chases after until he's tired. Attempts on turning this into a human-cat play session by flicking the mouse through the room has failed.

Food-wise he currently gets bozita wet food and sometimes some grain free dry food, I try to give him more wet food thought because he lacks almost all teeth. On some days he just refuses to eat his wet food until i sprinkle some of the pellets on. He also is not interested in any treats, nothing I tried has him interested. Of the bozita he eats half a tetra pack (full pack contains 370g i belive) a day, over the course of a day too, he eats slowly bit for bit, additionally a few bits of dry food.

I don't know if I should just reduce the amount, as it already seems a bit small to me, on the package it says a cat his size should actually eat a full tetra pack a day. I try offering him different brands of high quality wet food as well but he's a bit skittish some days, he might eat it but the bozita is the most reliable one, probably it's the closest texture-wise to what he got at the rescue (whiskas).
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi! First thing to do is look at the amount of calories he is currently eating, including the dry and wet - and find out how much that is. You need to know this as a starting point. Then, without making it a completely difficult science project, reduce the calories by no more than maybe 5%. Ideally, starting with a reduction in the dry as that is where a lot of the calories are. If it helps any smash up the dry food to help spread out its use when adding to the wet food as his enticement to eat the wet. Get a scale to weigh him - now, and then again after a week or two, to see if that has reaped any weight loss. You can gauge what the next step is depending whether or not he lost any weight.

Do you know how much the vet thinks he should weigh? That helps to know that too. The other thing to keep in mind is that he really shouldn't lose more than maybe 3 oz a week. And, the longer you have him on a diet the slower the weight loss will be (as he closes in on a more natural weight for him).

How old is he? Just curious - as my Feeby (15+ yo) is overweight but has had some loss in the past year or so. She has gone from over 17 pounds to about 14.5 now. Although, she may be still overweight some, I am not going to drive her - or myself - crazy at her age trying to get her down to 'ideal'. She is also a crummy toy player, and lounges most of the time.

Lastly, there are toys called kickers that he might enjoy. You could get one just to see. Here is an example from Amazon. com.
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sasha.mccartney2

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Vet didn't say how much he should weigh, but from my own experience and guesstimates I'd say about 4-5kg. He's a pretty big boy, but he also got a big tummy. He's currently about 4-5 years old, no exact age because he's a rescue. I'm gonna see about the kicker, maybe I can make something myself at home. He had a little pillow with catnip before he played with a little bit, but he doesn't seem too interested. I'm thinking if I should try a laser pointer to get him moving, but I'm not a big fan of those.
 

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The 'big tummy' is likely, in part, what is called a primordial pouch, most cats get them and it is a separate issue from being overweight. So, as he loses weight don't expect all of his big tummy to disappear. It is right in front of a cat’s hind legs, forming an excess of skin and fat. It is a genetic characteristic carried through the generations and generation of cats in the wild. Nowadays, it really doesn’t have much purpose in domestic cats, but it can still be useful sometimes.
  • Storing food. Given its fat content, it is a way to store energy in case the cat has to face a long period without food.
  • Facilitates movement. Since it is excess skin, the cat can stretch more easily, with a more elastic abdomen.
  • Protection. This extra layer of skin and fat serves as protection for the abdomen in case of fights with other cats or animals.
You could make a kicker from old socks, just to see if he would be interested in it. You might add some catnip, since he liked the pillow at one time (the catnip smell is gone, so that might be why he doesn't seem to care about it anymore). If your cat is like mine, the laser only lasted so long before she realized she was never going to catch it - at that point, she started to ignore it!!!
 
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sasha.mccartney2

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I'm aware about the pouch but I asked the vet and they said he really needs to get a bit lighter. I will try the kicker. Also been talking to a friend today about getting him a harness and training him to a leash to give him some outside time. We don't have a garden but a nice big lawn in front of the building which is free to use as well as a nice forest and parks nearby. Still not sure about the laser pointer, if I'd use it I'd give him a treat after play time so he at least has the feeling of a reward.
 

Spookyandsammy

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Spooky has gotten to be a chonker she feels the need to slap me in the face with her tail at 3am until I feed her how can I combat this habit and I've been trying not to feed her a lot I feed her a scoop of food sometimes I mix it with wet food is that bad
 

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Spooky has gotten to be a chonker she feels the need to slap me in the face with her tail at 3am until I feed her how can I combat this habit and I've been trying not to feed her a lot I feed her a scoop of food sometimes I mix it with wet food is that bad
Are you feeding her mostly dry? Dry is generally much higher in calories, and isn't quite a filling. You also need to know how many calories you are feeding her so you know how much she is actually eating now should you need to reduce her food intake. How often do your feed her and what time is her last meal of the evening?

I would give her more wet, less dry, and feed her the last meal of the day a little later in the evening. You can also consider getting her an automated feeder, and time it for that early morning meal she is looking for. But, if you feed her at least 3-4 times a day and use more wet and less dry, she might not bother you as much at 3am.
 

Spookyandsammy

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I feel her just a scoop of food at night And it's at like 9 pm around the time I go to bed and I only feed her 2 times a day and should I give her w
The whole can of wet food or half be use I've been giving her half when I can buy it
 

Spookyandsammy

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I feed her 2 times a day and sometimes I break down if she's bothering me to eat I give her a like a tiny bit of dry food
 

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I feel her just a scoop of food at night And it's at like 9 pm around the time I go to bed and I only feed her 2 times a day and should I give her w The whole can of wet food or half be use I've been giving her half when I can buy it...I feed her 2 times a day and sometimes I break down if she's bothering me to eat I give her a like a tiny bit of dry food
You still need to determine how much she is eating - for example: a scoop, what is a scoop? Does she eat it all? And, when you give her a can of wet food, what size is it? Anyway, once you actually know how much/how many calories you are feeding her, as I said you can reduce the overall about by no more than 5% to start with.

Although, there are many members who feed their cats just twice a day, you might have better success with her if you tried feeding her 3 times a day - and as I said before, the last meal of the day should be as late as you can make it to hopefully help her get past bugging you at 3am.
 

Spookyandsammy

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The problem is I'm gonna have to look into a timed feeder for her when we go back to work what brand do you guys recommend
 

Dearjujubebe

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The problem is I'm gonna have to look into a timed feeder for her when we go back to work what brand do you guys recommend
I recently found the iPettie Donut 6-Meal Automatic Pet Feeder with Programmable Timer. It can schedule 6 meals a day. I am very busying working daily and think this will be a good choice. There are several good reviews on Amazon. I will purchase it to have a try, and keep updating.
 
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