Has anyone put their cat on a diet?

posted 3 months ago in Pets
Post # 2
Hostess
9084 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

I have three cats and had to buy three microchipped feeders to make sure the big one didn’t eat all the food and we banned treats. If we want to give them a treat we give them a few bits of their dry food. They don’t know the difference. Maybe deduct a certain amount of grams from breakfast and dinner and use that for “treats” 

Post # 3
Member
357 posts
Helper bee

Yes. My old cat was around 25 lbs and huge. We put her on the hills md diet food and she lost at least 10 lbs , was so much more active and healthier. I would highly recommend it. We still gave her some treats but limited to a couple a day. 

Post # 4
Member
1321 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

We have two cats and my boy cat sounds very similar to yours, possible Norweigen Forest Cat and a Maincoon. Anyways, he got so big that he couldn’t clean himself, ~17lbs. Because of this he would rub his butt on the carpet and eventually broke the skin which then got infected. Needless to say I had to take him to vet and they recommended a pate/wet food only diet because it’s more protein, the gravy stuff he was eating and of course loved is just empty calories. She did say I could give him hard food (he LOVES hard food, it’s like potato chips to cats) but it had to be limited to 1/4 cup a day. He lost 7 pounds and is very healthy at 10lbs, he’s a big cat so he can’t get much smaller. Cats will get use to the new diet, you have to be strong and don’t give into treats, there’s really no benefit. I do have automatic feeders so he doesn’t wake us up in the morning to get fed, but funny enough he just wakes me up after he’s eaten to tell me that he’s eaten, or at least that’s what I assume πŸ™‚ 

Post # 5
Member
21 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2020

My sister has a cat of monumental proportions. She could in fact be a record-breaker if some sort; I didn’t even know they made plus-size collars for animals before I met this cat. She has an underlying thyroid problem that definitely contributes, but despite being a sweetheart, she’s an absolute menace about food. 

While she still has a long (LONG) way to go, the biggest things that have helped are scheduling feeding times rather than leaving food out all day and wearing her out with exercise. She’s still fairly quick despite her size and loves to play, so now she gets toys as rewards rather than treats. 

 

I apologize in advance for how big the photo is, but we love to show off the sweet little bowling ball. 

Post # 6
Member
3809 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

My cat is a big boy currently working his way through a diet. He’s 19.5 now, down from around 23. When he was younger he would steal his brother’s food once he was done eating his. Then we had to put his brother down (cancer) and I honestly think he got depressed because he just stopped playing and being active, so for a while I went totally overboard on treats to try and cheer him up and get him to play again. It eventually worked but it added a bunch of weight.

He now gets rationed amounts of wet and dry weight control food. Giving him small amounts more frequently has seemed to be the solution. So he gets breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two “snack” times, but they’re all very small servings. I think he just likes when it’s food time so he doesn’t mind if it’s only several bites worth.

Post # 7
Member
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - NH Squam Lake Elopement

We put our cat (dubbed fat man) on a diet last summer. He HATED it. He got very stressed out and started pulling out his fur and he had scabs all over him. He broke into our cabinets and ate our people food. But…it’s finally calmed down! He was about 14-15 lbs and now he’s 11 ish lbs. It’s amazing what a pound can do for a cat!

Post # 8
Member
2635 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We have had cats on diets. We have had to measure their food. We have 2 cats that eat different food for medical reasons, so that is complicated, too. It’s not healthy for the cats to be obese, so a diet can be necessary. 

Post # 10
Member
357 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
futuremrscat :  

My cat was huge (25+) and loved running water. She would try to jump onto the bathroom vanity. One time she couldn’t reach once she got really heavy and ended up falling into the trash can and getting her butt stuck in it πŸ˜‚ she never tried again after that!! 

Once she lost the weight, I remember the first time she was able to jump up to the sink, she was mewing happily. It was adorable and made me so happy to see!

Post # 11
Member
2977 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

View original reply
futuremrscat :  see what your vet says. One of my cats is a little piggy and was a bit overweight. We had to cut down on his food and keep him separate from the others at meal time, which he doesn’t like, but he did lose a couple pounds. 

Post # 12
Member
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

You need to keep in mind that the breeds she’s mixed with are LARGE by nature. She honestly doesn’t sound that big at 14 lbs given that. I have a ragdoll who is 13lbs and the vets constantly tell me that she is overweight. She is not! They are uneducated on her breed and she falls right in the middle of a healthy weight for her breed. I do however keep her on a strict diet becauSe I don’t want her to have issues. FH tends to give her more without me knowing and that’s when she gains weight. At those times, I scale back her food. 

you really don’t have to change their intake much to see a difference. Follow the feeding guidelines based on the package of food and make sure what you feed her is not super high in carbs. It takes some research, but is worth it! As far as the treats thing go, try feeding her a single kibble of dry food instead? I would guess that’s less dense in calories. 

Post # 13
Member
7980 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

We have a very large cat. He has a very big bone structure, in addition to being a fatty. Most of his adult life he was 20+ pounds, his highest weight being 25lbs. Last summer he developed pancreatitis and pre-diabetes. So he had to go on a limited amount of prescription food to slim down. Now he is a (vet approved ) 17 pounds. Still a large boy, but so much healthier. Here are before and after diet pictures 

Post # 14
Member
3811 posts
Honey bee

Putting my cat on a diet was the most miserable experience of my life.

good luck

Post # 15
Member
20 posts
Newbee

I have a large cat as well. I free fed when he was younger because that is what my family had always done with cats. When he started gaining weight at 2 years old, I decided to put my cat on a diet. I tried just decreasing his food, but he was driving me crazy with how insistent he was being. Especially with food motivated cats, its important that they don’t associate you with the food. We got an automatic feeder, and we scheduled it to feed him at times when we would not be near it and also at times that are advantageous for us. Ours is set to feed him at 4am, just before we wake up (this way he was just fed when we get up and not bugging us to wake up), and at 4pm just before we get home from work. Now that I am working from home, I realize that about an hour and a half before the feeder actually feeds him, he goes and sits by it, swats it, meows at it and generally is annoying (all the things he used to do to us!). But he leaves us alone, because the magic feeder feeds him by itself lol. It is important to get the right feeder though, a lot of them have a minimum feed of a quarter cup per feeding, which can be alot for a cat, depending on the food. We cut out all treats, and only play with him as a reward. Over a year and a half he went from 19.5 lbs to 12 lbs where he has stayed at for the last 8 years. 

I think alot of people think that their overweight cats (and other animals) are funny, but it is really our responsibility to help them be the right weight. As predators, they have instincts that tell them to eat when things are plenty, because scarce times could be just around the corner. Since the scarce times never come for pets, they chronically overeat. Cats are naturally inquisitive and playful, even as they age. I had thought that my kitten was just growing up and slowing down, but in reality, he was overweight and it was hard for him to play. Also he was so well fed that his instincts to be active and play were dampened, since those instincts come from the need to hunt. Once he returned to a healthy weight, he was just as playful as when he was young, and is still quite the handful at 11. 

So my recommendation is to cut the treats completely, and deal with the adjustment period of a few days. I would also invest in an auto feeder that has set times and does not require you to be near it to feed her. If she is still bothering you after a few days, it is likely that she needs some type of stimulation. We have a “catio” for our cat that removed a ton of the behaviors that used to drive us nuts, because he gets outdoor stimulation. If your cat is the agreeable type, you could try a leash and taking her for a walk. Another cat I had used to scream at me constantly, but stopped once I gave him a 9 ft perch in the corner that he could survey his kingdom with. Most people don’t like to hear it, but most annoying cats are bored and missing enrichment, and we just need to figure out what they need in the environment to be happy. 

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