Likelihood of gland problem-overweight issue

EnzoLeya

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Stuart has been with us since he was 2-3 months old. He was literally dumped at my granny's farm and had a broken back. He was very food aggressive for several months and has been chubby ever since. The vet has told me multiple times that he needs to lose weight, we've tried, but it's hard when you have a fat lazy cat! The vet thinks we over feed him, but I've explained to her several times that we have an automatic feeder. Stuart and Enzo ALWAYS let the girls eat first when the feeder goes off and Stuart is the only overweight one. Stuart occasionally sticks his paw in the machine to get a few kibbles, but it's exactly that, a few kibbles.

Something weird about his "fattness" is that he's not really squishy. We call him beefy. He doesn't have the squishy paunch under his belly like cats usually get, he's just large all the way around. We've been making him exercise every night with a laser light, his favorite! He'll run until he pants! I checked his weight today to see if he's lost weight....he gained 2 pounds!!!! He's up to 14 pounds now!

I've asked the vet about health issues possibly being an issue, but like I said before, she thinks I'm over feeding him.
If it's some sort of health issue what would I be looking for? I know I've heard of gland problems like thyroid and I believe a blood test would need to be done? What are some tests that should be done on him and how much would I be looking at money wise. I like to pay the entire bill up front, I hate payment plans.

Here's some pictures of my teddy bear, Stuart. He's 2 years old.


And to think Enzo used to be our big cat!


He's just too darn cute
 

railntrailcwgrl

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Here is a decent link I found containing info on feline hypothyroidism. My dog has hypothyroidism that is currently responding very well to medications. The biggest thing you want to do is have a thyroid specific blood test done at the vets. This will look at T4, T3, and free T4. Here is an EXCELLENT canine article however I'm not sure how much transfers over to feline. Pebs hypothyroidism is controlled very well with her medication. She gets 1mg thyroxine (levothyroxine sodium) in the AM & PM and her meds are fairly in-expensive (old vet $20 for 180 pills, new vet $12.50 for 180 pills). I'm taking her in for a 6mo check up tomorrow which will include a thyroid blood test and more meds. I'll post back with a for sure answer about the price of the test. (Her first one was included with a SuperChem panel so I don't know what it runs by itself yet).
 

catnurse22

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If it were a thyroid issue he would have hypothyroidism, which is pretty rare in cats. I've worked as a tech for the last 3 years and I've seen it...twice? Maybe three times? And usually the weight issue is a HUGE problem. We're talked 20lb+ cats that's should be 12lbs for their frame. 14lbs isn't that heavy, not saying he doesn't need to lose a pound or two, but it doesn't really scream hypothyroidism. If getting a thyroid panel would ease your mind I say go for it though. You probably looking around $50 for the panel.

As far as the automatic feeder...okay, how much do you have it set for? What kind of food are you feeding? Any wet food in his diet? If he's still young and still gaining, odds are it's just going to get worse and worse. You really need to get on top of this now. There are several things you can try. Anywhere from diet change to making little food maze type things. Unfortunately cats don't understand when you tell them they need to exercise more and diet so it doesn't cause health problems. So it's on you. Even if it means nixing the automatic feeder and feeding him separately. It's a pain, but it's necessary.
 

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One health issue that can make a cat gain weight is hypothyroidism. It's a rare condition but it does exist. Very easy to test for it. (One of mine was borderline when she was young. There was no need to do anything about it.)

The other thing you want to look at is diet. High-fat canned food and, of course, dry food will easily cause unwanted weight gain, especially if a cat has a very good, healthy appetite. Or food related issues, exactly the kind of thing you describe. "He was very food aggressive for several months and has been chubby ever since. "

If I were you, I would modify the diet. Also, as long as he is eating (a lot of) dry food, perhaps mainly a dry food diet, I would keep a very close eye on his blood glucose level, testing at least twice a year, or even more often. More often would be better because the weight gain is a warning sign. It's easy to catch a blood glucose level that is starting to go up, changing course right away and, by doing that, preventing a cat from becoming diabetic and requiring treatment with insulin.
 

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Hypothyroidism as mentioned IS RARE in cats...

I would suggest a full blood panel: call it piece of mind to eliminate things like diabetes, other organ issues ... make sure the thyroid is covered...

I would personally separate him for a while to see HOW much HE is truely eating... and FIND OUT from the VET what the EXACT proper wt range is .... Many chubby cats just eat more than they need... example : the dry food I feed has 443 calories a cup... well that mean s using 20 cal per lb my 13lbers( proper wt they are
) need roughly 260 calories or 1/2 cup of dry and 1/4 of a can
 
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EnzoLeya

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Thanks for all the awesome advice!

I believe they get 3/4 cup of food 3 times a day. It's then split between the four cats, the girls eat first, and then the boys. There's almost always a little bit of food left throughout the day, unless the dog sneaks it
I guess I couldn't tell you exactly how much Stuart eats. He used to snarf it, but he's very patient now. Maybe I need to lower the serving amount.... None of them are skinny by any means, but Stuart is definitely overweight.

I did try the Nutro weight management for awhile, but that didn't seem to do anything for him other than give him lose stools. He has a VERY sensitive stomach.
 

sharky

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I would highly suggest NOT a wt management formula... most are HIGHER in carbs ...


My Five eat roughly 2 cups a day...

Does your bag have a calorie level on it?
 
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EnzoLeya

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Originally Posted by sharky

I would highly suggest NOT a wt management formula... most are HIGHER in carbs ...


My Five eat roughly 2 cups a day...

Does your bag have a calorie level on it?
Oh shoot! Maybe I am over feeding them!
That would make some sense. Stuart is the only one who doesn't run around or jump because of his back issues and he's the only one who is overweight. His back is healed, but I think it hurts him to jump and run, it hurts him if you hold him funny. The vet says it's fine now, but when he's older he'll probably have issues with it. You can feel the bump where his spine must have fused


I'll check the bag.
 
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EnzoLeya

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Maybe I'm blind but I can't find calories. It's the adult Nutro for indoor cats. 2/3-1 cup a day for a 10-15 lb cat.
 

sharky

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As example I will use the bag recommendations for the dry I feed


5-10 lbs 1/4 to 1/2 cup
10-15 lbs 1/2 to 2/3 cup
15-20 lbs 2/3 to 1 cup

at 443 calories per cup
5-10 lb cats get 111 to 221
10-15 221to 292
15-20 292 to 443

5 lb kitty at 20 calories per lb 100 calories a day
10 lb kitty at 20 cal per lb 200 calories a day
15 lb kitty at 20 cal per lb 300 calories
20lb at 20 cal 400 cal

you can see a 20 cat could gain on 1 cup of food at the calorie level of the food I feed ... and that is feeding the guidelines high end for its ideal wt

always feed to the IDEAL wt not the actual wt

Zoey and Dalhia eat about 2/3 cup a day together
... Zoey is 8-9 lbs and Dahlia is about 12 ... they also get roughly 3 oz of wet a day

my boys
Pj is 13.5 lbs
Punky is 14.5 lbs
Sylvie is 12.5 to 13 lbs
they share 9-12 oz canned and roughly 1-1.5 cups dry a day
 

sharky

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off the binky chart .. should be close to yours

http://binkyspage.tripod.com/dryfood.html

Nutro:
Natural Choice Kitten \t30 \t38 \t31 \t0.4 \t267 \t397

\tNatural Choice Cat Adult \t29 \t37 \t34 \t0.2 \t193 \t378

\tNatural Choice Hairball Mgmt. \t30 \t35 \t35 \t0.7 \t286 \t367

so if we plug the common needs vs the guidelines


10 lb kitty needs approx 200 calories - 15lb cat needs 300 calories

1 cup is 367 calories I would minus 10% for the indoor... so say your food has 330

2/3 cup would have roughly 217 cal or about the ideal amount for an 11 lb cat
3/4 cup would have 247 or ave amount for a 12 lb cat ( you are feeding 3 12 lb IDEAL weight cats
) not figureing in any wet or treats
 
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EnzoLeya

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Originally Posted by sharky

off the binky chart .. should be close to yours

http://binkyspage.tripod.com/dryfood.html

Nutro:
Natural Choice Kitten \t30 \t38 \t31 \t0.4 \t267 \t397

\tNatural Choice Cat Adult \t29 \t37 \t34 \t0.2 \t193 \t378

\tNatural Choice Hairball Mgmt. \t30 \t35 \t35 \t0.7 \t286 \t367

so if we plug the common needs vs the guidelines


10 lb kitty needs approx 200 calories - 15lb cat needs 300 calories

1 cup is 367 calories I would minus 10% for the indoor... so say your food has 330

2/3 cup would have roughly 217 cal or about the ideal amount for an 11 lb cat
3/4 cup would have 247 or ave amount for a 12 lb cat ( you are feeding 3 12 lb IDEAL weight cats
) not figureing in any wet or treats
Wow thank you very much! I'll have to do some calculating!

My weights are:
Luna 5 pounds
Leya 9 pounds
Enzo 11 pounds
Stuart 14 pounds

I never even thought about feeding for the ideal weight, now I feel dumb....

Stuart's going to think I'm starving him!!!
 

sharky

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Originally Posted by EnzoLeya

Wow thank you very much! I'll have to do some calculating!

My weights are:
Luna 5 pounds- at 20 she needs 100 a day
Leya 9 pounds- at 20 she needs 180
Enzo 11 pounds- at 20 he? needs 220
Stuart 14 pounds- at 20 he would get 280 but adjust to what HE should be.. so I am figuring on a ideal of 12 lbs would be 240

I never even thought about feeding for the ideal weight, now I feel dumb....

Stuart's going to think I'm starving him!!!
Do NOT feel Dumb ...


so you have a over all rough calorie need of 740 calories so if your food has 330 calories roughly that is 2 and 1/4 cups which is 3/4 times 3 so my guess is Stuart likely should have fewer calories but YOU know to Discuss this with vet
 
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EnzoLeya

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Originally Posted by sharky

Do NOT feel Dumb ...


so you have a over all rough calorie need of 740 calories so if your food has 330 calories roughly that is 2 and 1/4 cups which is 3/4 times 3 so my guess is Stuart likely should have fewer calories but YOU know to Discuss this with vet
Thank you so much!
 
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