True Cat Obesity

parisinthe30sx

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Hi. I have a 3yr old black and white female kitty, she was a stray that had kittens in my front yard. After she was spayed she started to slowly gain weight regardless of her diet. Her kittens were adopted, and I've been updated on their progress and they too are very large. She had all kinds of blood work done, especially for thyroid dysfunction and everything came back normal, even an ultrasound. My vet thinks she might have true obesity, which apparently is genetic. I guess it's not very much studied in cats. Im wondering if anyone has any experience with it in their cats, or even dogs ? She is on a very strict diet but it doesn't make a bit of difference. It's very strange because before she was spayed she was not overweight, she looked healthy. She never lost weight from feeding her kittens unlike my Foster cat who lost a good bit of weight while nursing hers. If anyone has any experience with feline obesity I'd appreciate any advice you could give
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abyeb

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I've heard that for treating feline obesity, people give their cats wet food, mixed with water at a 1:1 ratio. The food should be grain-free, and as high protein as possible (things like corn, potatoes, are just empty calories for cats). There is a way to calculate the number of calories a cat needs every day, another poster might be able to tell you this (I just feed the amount my vet tells me, so I don't have experience here).

How much exercise does she get every day? A cat exercise wheel might help her get more into ideal body condition. The most affordable models I've found are here: Cat Exercise Wheel, but there are other brands too, or you could even make your own cat wheel!
 
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parisinthe30sx

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I feed her earthborn holistic canned food and friskies turkey giblet pate. She literally won't eat anything else. I've tried raw, homemade,tons of different brands of canned food.
 
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parisinthe30sx

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She doesn't get much exercise except for chasing my dogs around and going on her cat tree. She's very low energy, she doesn't even like to jump on things, I imagine it's because of her weight. I've tried allot of different toys and she just wants nothing to do with them. The exercise wheel is a good idea, my husband makes cat trees so a wheel should be up his alley, I've never thought of that, thanks for the tip!
 

orange&white

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She's had a complete lifestyle change, going from being an outdoor intact cat to an indoor spayed cat. Living inside is a lot less stressful, burning fewer calories in activity and pure adrenaline from the dangers of the outdoors. Spaying can also change metabolism quite dramatically.

Very simply, you will need to cut her calorie intake back about 10% every week to two weeks until she starts dropping weight. Once she slowly reaches a healthy weight, the weight maintenance calories can be a bit higher. You don't want her to lose more than 1/2 pound per month, as it is dangerous for cats to lose weight too quickly.
 

abyeb

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She doesn't get much exercise except for chasing my dogs around and going on her cat tree. She's very low energy, she doesn't even like to jump on things, I imagine it's because of her weight. I've tried allot of different toys and she just wants nothing to do with them. The exercise wheel is a good idea, my husband makes cat trees so a wheel should be up his alley, I've never thought of that, thanks for the tip!
Here's a link to online instructions for a cat wheel! :)
Stitches n' Sews: Home Made Cat Wheel
 

haleyds

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Sometimes feral born cats are different metabolically as well. It's been proven that their immune system is stronger and although I haven't read any studies on their metabolisms, it wouldn't be far fetched to say that feral born cats have slower metabolisms than domestic borns because their feeding is anything but routine out in the wild.
So maybe while a domestic kitten would burn off its daily meals without an extensive amount of exercise, a feral born would need much more physical stimulus just to work off half of that food.
If she were bred in the wild as well that would explain the same genetics showing up in the kittens. (I'm sorry I'm not much help, I was just speculating)
 

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I didn't have much faith in Tom's diet when he started. He didn't lose weight as fast as they were advertising, and it was slooooow. I think he started out around 1/5th a lb a month. We had him on a prescription diet because he was 21 lbs and I followed the program for 2 years and then took him off and moved him to a regular premium low calorie kibble. It had more calories than the prescription but the quality was better. So, while he was forced into eating less on the new bag, it wasn't full of the top five crap ingredients. Another year on the new stuff and we got him to goal. It took 3 years to lose 8 lbs. 5 small, controlled meals per day.
Now, he's been moved to raw and has lost another lb. Bam. New metabolism. I'm going to consult with the vet that created the diet before the month's out to see how we can optimize his feedings.
 

1CatOverTheLine

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Of course, these two both directly mention it but I cannot find a scholarly article of sorts. It's something I've always been taught at our wildlife sanctuary at school, forgive me if I'm wrong.
Medicating Feral Cats and Kittens
Feral Cats
It's your sources ("an anonymous internet blog said this...") which are wrong. This is a case of actual logic prevailing; feral cats typically live less than one year for every six years in 'domestic cats' - their immune systems are so severely compromised in most cases owed to less than optimally diversified genetics that they succumb in their third Winter in climate zones between the fortieth and fiftieth parallels of latitude. I'd suggest a quick read through any of the numerous immunological articles in The Journal of Wildlife Disease or in The Journal of Conservation Biology on feral cats; JSTOR's index site will list them under their Simple Search using, "feral," "cat," and "immune," or under the search, "mammalogy," and "humoral immunity" and, "cell-mediated immunity," for a better overview.
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I feed her earthborn holistic canned food and friskies turkey giblet pate. She literally won't eat anything else. I've tried raw, homemade,tons of different brands of canned food.
How much are you feeding of the canned food and are you giving kibble also? I would do timed feedings no more than 2.5 to 3 oz canned twice a day, cut all kibble out. Buy toy da bird and get her moving or a secure cat harness for walks outside, if no change in weight after a month or two, cut back portion size, it's that easy
 
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parisinthe30sx

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Thank you all for your input, it's very helpful. I feed her a whole can a day. Half in the morning then half at night, it's a 5.5 oz can. No kibble which she is very unhappy about. She was on orijin regional red kibble but my vet said not to give it anymore. I do walk her on a harness with my dogs every morning. I've been worried about her getting diabetes,I know that can happen sometimes, if a cat gains too much weight. Maybe with her diet and walking she'll start losing weight, but it's been about 3 months and she hasn't lost a bit. Its just strange because her kittens(about 6 months old) are almost as big as she is, little round butterballs
 
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parisinthe30sx

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If you don't mind my asking, which raw diet do you feed? I'd like to give it a go again, but I'd like to make it myself. I'm just confused on what minerals to add, Im afraid I'll do something wrong
 

lalagimp

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Many people pick up RadCat at the local pet store. I know Petco sells Nature's Variety raw medallions in chicken or rabbit. I make my own with the recipe from www.catinfo.org using rabbit and turkey but I think there is also www.feline-nutrition.org (or someone correct me) and you can also order it on autoship from Darwin's Pet.
Answers will also vary depending on what country you're in.
If you don't feel comfortable jumping into raw you can also try freeze dried like Stella and Chewy's.
 

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If she hasn't lost any weight in 3 months eating a 5.5 oz can of food per day, cut her back to 5 oz per day for a couple weeks, and drop another .5 oz if the first decrease doesn't move her weight down. .5 ounce is a pain to measure, but if you smear 2 cans into 11 sockets of an ice cube tray, you would have 11 - 1 oz portions.

I feed home made raw and make mixes with 80% boneless meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other organ, plus add the supplements listed at feline-nutrition.org (Vitamins B-complex, E, Lite Salt, egg yolks and extra Taurine).
 

foxden

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0.5 ounces might be a pain to measure, but you could try dividing the can in quarters and cut a quarter in half -- then don't feed 1/8th of the can. That takes out a little more than 0.5 ounces, but it seems reproducible and will be easier to measure. Again, I would not take food away too quickly. I'm not sure how quickly vet nutritionists reduce calories in a diet.

You can mix some water into her canned food to help fill her stomach. This can help fool her into thinking she is eating the same amount.
 
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