Cat on a diet

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melshop
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Cat on a diet

Post by melshop » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:00 pm

I got my cat from a rescue just over a year ago, and he came to me weighing 5 and a half kilos, was very big and solid muscle estimated at 7 years old, he was neutered by the rescue charity vets and I took him on. We assume he was owned at some point and then left outside to fend for himself for years.

I fed him Felix 3 pouches a day, plus about 8 grams of royal canin digestive care dry. A year on and he now weighs 7 kilos. He is also the worlds laziest cat and will play with nothing, and I really have tried everything, he just likes to sleep, get lap cuddles and eat.

I have had 3 cats In the past, none of whom had a weight problem, as they were active. I am now at a bit of a loss as to how to slim him down, I have put him on Hi Life It's Only natural pouches, which recommend 3 pouches a day for a 4 kilo cat, so I am giving him 4. Does this sound about right to slim him down. I don't want to put him on a crash diet. He has recently had extensive blood tests and all is normal there.

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Mollycat
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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by Mollycat » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:36 pm

Topic of great interest to me as I got a rescue girl 6 years ago, same as yours just kept piling it on and same as you I never had a cat with a weight problem before, mine have always been free fed. One, my first cat as an adult, weight barely 4kg and ate a whole tin daily plus treats and was trim as you like.

A crash diet is not healthy and risks a condition called hepatic lipidosis if calories drop too low. It's surprisingly quick and serious, so quite right you want a steady loss over a period of time. I wouldn't worry about his inactive lifestyle, a few minutes playtime isn't going to make the difference for burning up 21% of his current body weight which is what he is now looking to lose. It may be he can't be bothered because he is trundling around all that extra chubbiness and he might feel more playful once it starts to come off.

By the way please don't think I'm judging - my Molly went from around 4.5 and peaked at about 5.6, and before that yes I used to judge people with fat pets ... it's only when I had one myself I was put back in my place.

If he will take a reduced amount of food, great, I would just cut out one pouch. Either smaller meals or if you currently feed in 3 meals you can gradually make the second meal later and later while reducing the third meal and eventually they meet up at a suitable time as a suitable amount. Not sure why you would want to take him off the Felix in favour of the HiLife though? surely it's simpler for you to keep working with the same food to be sure you're reducing the calories, as they don't seem to give that info very willingly on packaging. Feeding guidelines seem to be geared for active cats.

It may be that his calorie needs have come down as he isn't on the streets any more and has been neutered, but his appetite is still on high and he eats when he can because having been stray he would have had to eat what he could find when he could, and old habits die hard.

My Molly had other issues and I ended up forced to put her on reduced calorie food. She was on it for 18 months and trimmed down nicely, and then she suddenly became ill. She was treated successfully and is now on normal food, Felix as it happens for the high protein content, and holding a slightly higher than ideal but perfectly acceptable weight. Every now and again one meal is gone very quickly and I give her an extra one that day but normally there is some left from every meal for the dog to clear up. She weighs around 4.7kg, is indoor so not very active, and gets 2 pouches plus a little bit of dry which she rarely touches, plus little bits of fresh meat while I'm preparing our meals.

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by melshop » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:13 pm

Thanks for the reply. He is like an old boxer, I think he had a rough time of it before I got him and got into plenty of scrapes, so he probably is just trying to get food whenever he can.

I was worried the Felix was poor quality an maybe he would do better on a grain free food. He loves the new food and seems to be very happy with it, 3 pouches a day just sounded too little when the feeding instructions said that was for a 4 kilo cat, but I suppose that would be an active 4 kilo cat and mine barely moves

As soon as I took him in, he was lazy, even though he was very fit and pure muscle, it's as if he has done his time outside, and now wants a relaxing lazy retirement, I think I may just have to accept that's the type of cat he is. I think I will just try 3 pouches a day with no dry, as the hi life is a smaller portion and see how he is in a couple of weeks.

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by Mollycat » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:21 pm

He sounds absolutely lovely. I took in a stray tom and had him neutered ... to be more accurate a tom from a noisy house down the street decided he was mving into our quiet house and we had him fixed after the other people gave him their blessing to go live with us if that's what he wanted to do. He settled a lot and put on a lot of weight after neutering. Because the only 2 boys I have had were both late neutered and shared a common sweet gentlemanly specialness, I have it in my head that this is what a late neutered tom character is like. Of course that's not true, but I still have a soft spot for that kind of boy, totally irrational. I don't know what Henry's weight was, I don't remember him seeing a vet between neutering at 3 years old and euthanasia at 14, but I know he went from lean muscular to saggy belly and podge rolls in a year or two, though seen from the top he had a waist and actually wasn't fat. My other boy Bobby never put any on, in fact I think he lost a little, but then he was always a delicate eater.

He may not come back down to his original weight, mind, there are some body changes as well as character changes with neutering.

Edit to add, I had a look on another forum I used to be a member of for comments on HiLife as you can be sure to find snooty judgemental opinionated people there with views ... they seem to think HiLife has different ranges and the one you have is pretty good and that Felix is rubbish, but that some HiLife products are even worse rubbish. Food is such a contentious issue. For sure cats don't eat grains in the wild but most foods that are grain free have some potato or other starch filler. I think do your best within reason and budget.

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by Kay » Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:32 pm

I've often wondered about the grain thing, as in the wild cats would eat mice and birds, and mice and most birds would have grain in their stomachs, wouldn't they?

I've got a litte tub rescue cat, who will not eat any wet food - I suspect treats may be her problem, as I think a lot of them are quite high in fat, to make them irresistable

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by Mollycat » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:08 pm

Kay wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:32 pm
I've often wondered about the grain thing, as in the wild cats would eat mice and birds, and mice and most birds would have grain in their stomachs, wouldn't they?

I've got a litte tub rescue cat, who will not eat any wet food - I suspect treats may be her problem, as I think a lot of them are quite high in fat, to make them irresistable
I think it's the amount in cheap cat foods that's the problem. But I don't think they use the whole grain, not like feeding the cat Shreddies or something. As far as I'm aware it's processed extracts of certain nutrients, but I don't know.

Interesting, a tub that won't eat wet. I normally put Molly's food in a split dish, dry one side and pouch the other, and she rarely touches the dry. But if I sprinkle the dry on the wet it's all gone - and she puts on weight rapidly.

Our treats are either a game of chase-the-dreamies, or fresh meat.

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by booktigger » Mon Oct 21, 2019 7:36 pm

I would double check the hilife, not all their range is complete and I wouldn't feed their fish ones as an only diet. I also have an overweight lazy cat, who barely loses any weight on her tiny amount of food and if I reduce it any more, she scavenges! I use a great ball for part of her dry food. She also isn't keen on wet, she never finishes breakfast till after tea, but it's easier for them to gain weight on dry as the correct amount looks too small. I would reduce to 2 pouches, feeding guidelines are high to get us to buy more!

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by melshop » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:04 pm

I think he will be back on the Felix from tomorrow and 2 and a half pouches to start, I think he will go mad on 2.

Mine also scavenges if there is not enough, he even turned his food bowl upside down tonight to see if there was any food underneath it, he got so desperate I gave in and gave him a little bit, but from tomorrow i will be strict, I will still give him 3 meals a day though.

He has definitely changed since the neutering, he still has his tom cat face, but has lost a lot of the muscle tone, I had never seen a cat like him when I got him, he was like a bodybuilder cat. He is happy though, and a big softy.

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by booktigger » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:10 pm

Lucy has 3 proper meals, 2 wet and one dry, with 2g in a treat ball as I leave for work. She prefers the 50g pouches, might be worth trying some to reduce to 2.5 pouches. Unfortunately her scavenging is human food, she will take cake out of my handbag if I forget!

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Re: Cat on a diet

Post by Mollycat » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:49 am

melshop wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:04 pm
Mine also scavenges if there is not enough, he even turned his food bowl upside down tonight to see if there was any food underneath it, he got so desperate I gave in and gave him a little bit, but from tomorrow i will be strict, I will still give him 3 meals a day though.
That was my problem I couldn't be strict because M takes everything as a punishment, the first time I said no to her firmly she shot under the bed and I didn't see her for the rest of the day. I have to say no as gently as you would to a person and she stops. She became even more nervous of me and also aggressive towards the other cat, she couldn't understand why he still had food and she didn't. The reduced calorie food was expensive and not the nicest but in desperation at least it worked and took her off the high risk list. She was able to have her treats too,

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