Newsday Tuesday – Is Your Cat Fat or Just Fluffy?

You (and your cat) may have heard it before. “Gosh she’s a fatty.” Or “I love fat cats—she’s so cute.” Or “Gads, what do you feed her?” Your veterinarian may be telling you to cut down on her food and treats and especially any salty, fatty table food. But how do you deny your sweet kitty the thing in life she most loves—food? And what about the multi-cat household—how do you put one or two cats on a diet when some of the others are actually underweight? These are good question that need answers.

As cat-moms we enjoy knowing our babies are eating well. Especially if she has been sick—had a rough patch at some point and was off her food. You probably tried every ploy to get her to eat and now you are pleased as punch when she licks her plate clean.

But when she tips the scales on the fat side and your veterinarian tells you she needs a lighter fare at meal time, it can be difficult, but vital to her health. Here’s an article that can help you save the obese cat from disease, pain, and an early death sentence:

But changing her diet isn’t the only solution. You’ll want to make sure kitty is getting a lot


of exercise. Invest in a larger cat tree. Bring in enticing new toys. Purchase and use a food ball—where the cat has to work with the ball in order to extract a kibble from it. And get active with your cat. You’ve probably already learned that a cat will be more inclined to play when you’re involved.

Here’s another site I found helpful on how to manage a weight-loss diet for a cat. It will help you to understand the dangers of putting your cat on a diet.

As for successfully putting one of your cats on a special diet, basically it’s a matter of separating the cats at feeding time. In our household, Lily gets a prescription food for renal failure, but she’d love to have the over-the-counter food that Sophie gets. Lily love, love, loves food and Sophie eats pretty much out of routine. If Sophie’s having a good nap, she may decline a meal. So we feed them at the exact same time—putting Lily’s plate down first—and in areas where the cats can’t see each other eat. Lily eats wherever I am so I can stop her when she finishes before she makes the trek to where Sophie’s eating. I beat her there in case Sophie didn’t eat or didn’t finish.

You wouldn’t think that feeding a cat would take such cunning. But many households today have more than one cat and each cat seems to come with a different need and level of interest in food. If we don’t become watchdogs at mealtime, some cats might lose out while others become obese.

Do any of you have tips for feeding more than one cat or for managing a cat’s weight?


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