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Cat on a Diet?

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Old 12-08-2010, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Cat on a Diet?

My Avery who is a little over a year old weighs a whopping 8 lbs. I'm pretty sure that's pudgy for a kitty, especially one who is half Siamese. He eats IAMS. I know it's not the best, but it's the best we can afford right now (at least until he stops using litter). He has two small meals a day, but he seems hungry a lot, like it's not enough. I was wondering how any of you do diets for your cats. Like, should I keep the feeding the same but make him exercise more, or what?
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:33 PM   #2
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Our cat was a whopping 24 lbs at his highest, and was having problems with asthma as a result. We kept him on Iams weight control food, but we cut his portions way, way back. Our old vet said to follow package directions for his weight, so we did, and he kept gaining. When we switched vets, she said that cats were like people - some have metabolisms that are just below average - and we needed to cut his calories until he started losing.

Right now, he gets two very small meals, equivalent to what the package says to feed an 8 lb cat (he's just over 13 now...almost lost half of himself). He does cry to be fed, but his weight is no longer putting such pressure on his lungs that his asthma is bad, and he can move more now without wheezing. Once he hits 12 lbs, we may slightly increase his food, for maintenance.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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Eight pounds doesn't seem like all that much to me, but I'm not a vet. It depends a lot on overall size. We had one cat who was lean and healthy at a whopping 16 pounds (!!!) at the same time as our smallest weighed 7 pounds. Both cats got the stamp of approval from our vet and were pronounced in the peak of health at those weights; one was just a big guy, the other a wee little girl. One was from Brobdingnag and the other from Lilliput, I guess.

Avery doesn't look fat in his pictures. Has he been to a vet to check out his overall health lately? Your vet would probably say something if he was developing a little too much chunk. This diagram might also help.

If he is getting a little chubby, more exercise is probably easier to manage (for you and for him, as he won't beg and cry for food with more play-time) than cutting his diet away. Cats love more play time a lot more than they love less meal time.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:23 PM   #4
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Before you start any diets, make sure you kitty has a full health check up and talk to your vet about what you are wanting to do.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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(from a vet) I agree that in the photo he's not visibly obese. For a small-framed male cat, 8 pounds sounds reasonable. But as said above, it's important to share your concerns with your vet during a checkup. If he's 1 year old, he should be due for boosters in about 4 months, so you might ask your vet about his weight then. The BCS (body condition score) chart that was referenced above is useful for visually checking weight, but then some of us have blinders on when it comes to our own pets!
You didn't say above - he's on Iams, but have you already transitioned him to adult food? If he's still on kitten chow, it's time to wean to adult chow.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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My cat doesn't get fed much but is gaining like a mofo. A vet told me it's probably the carbs that are in leading pet foods. In a few months I'm moving out, and he'll be the only cat and I'm switching him to a carb-free, grain-free wet food diet. I'm hoping it helps.

Cats aren't supposed to eat corn and wheat and bymeal product crap. Apparently some are more visibly sensitive to it than others. I've also considered switching him to homemade food.

Right now it's hard, cause we live with my grandmother and he is one of eight cats, so separating to feed is pretty much impossible.

The other explanation for his unexplainable weight gain is that pets are supposed to take on the characteristics of their owners, right? That must be where his backwards metabolism comes from.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:45 PM   #7
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Yes, he has been eating adult food for a while now. I'm aware that cats are supposed to eat that kind of stuff, and feel a bit bad about feeding him such a "cheap" food, but it's all we can afford until he is fully toilet trained. Then when we aren't spending money on litter, we will be able to splurge a little more on better food. Thanks for the advice. I'll check the chart out.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:59 PM   #8
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He's a cutie! Looks and sounds like a healthy weight to me.
My indoor cats tend to get overweight. I just monitor how much they are eating each day. I put a set amount in a bowl and they have 24 hours to eat it. When they start getting too fat, I cut the amount back until they are at an acceptable weight, then I up it slightly to maintain them. If they start to put on to much weight (or more typically I get to liberal with the food), I cut them back again. I only have to make adjustments every 6 -12 months. One cat spends a lot of time outdoors in the good weather, he is always a much healthier weight than the cat that rarely goes outdoors.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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IAMS is way overpriced. You can get a better kind of dry food for the same price. I have been working on getting my cat weight under control on a budget. She gets Wellness, 1/4 cup twice a day. An average cat should only be getting 250 calories a day, never look at the bag for portion sizes. Calculate the calories and that is what your kitty should be getting (less then 250 if she is trying to lose weight). This has worked miracles for my cat Tessie. Just remember that if you feed a Holistic food with less fillers, you will feed less and it will save you money in the long run.
I recommend looking at either Blue Buffalo or Wellness, both awesome foods .

Of course talk to your vet but do not let them talk you into Science Diet, it's crap crap crap!
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:33 PM   #10
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My cat is obese now, too. He is a ragdoll, so he's always been big boned (and fluffy) but since I left for college my mom gave him "all the food he meows for" in her words. Plus he sneaks in the dog food. So I gave my mom a measuring cup and told her the amount to give him. He's not happy to eat less, but it's working. Plus, we moved the dog food away to a place he can't go. I also found toys for him to play with. All cats are different, but he loves paper bags, little balls that have bells in them, laser lights and feathers. Just play with your cat and find out what he likes. Chubby or not, every cat (and human) needs exercise and it should be fun!
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:40 AM   #11
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I never put him on a diet, but I am going to change his food to Prowl soon. It's a powdered mixture of organic ingredients that you mix with water. It forms a kind of stew. If you go on their website, you can get their email and ask for a free sample. Avery absolutely loves the stuff, but it's pretty expensive in one payment, but becomes cheaper since it would last several months and equal less than IAMS.
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New Exercise Regimen:
Walk Away the Pounds Dvds: 3xs a week
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Jari Love Dvds: 3xes a week

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