Newsday Tuesday – I’m Not Fat, I’m Fluffy

Isn’t it enough that we must constantly monitor our own weight and changes in the toning and flabbing of our own bodies? But no, we must also be watchful when it comes to our cats’ weight. Are they eating enough—too much? Is their food nutritious? Should they be getting kibbles and wet food? When should I worry about their eating habits? And how do you make sure each of your cats get what they need.

In our household we always seem to have a voracious eater along with one who can take a meal or leave it. We have a bully cat and one who is submissive. I don’t know about you, but we have to monitor the feeding of the cats. It’s the only way we can be sure that each of them is eating. And sometimes that means chasing down a cat with a plate of food, closing doors to keep everyone honest and well fed and most definitely sitting by and monitoring the cats’ meals. It can be a zoo.

Sometimes both cats go to their designated feeding stations and eat just what we’ve measured out. Other times, well, it can get crazy. But I sometimes wonder what difference it makes. Despite the finickyness or the ravenousness, the skinny cat seems to stay skinny and the hefty cats seem to stay hefty.

The two indoor/outdoor cats from next door are fed about ¼ of what we feed our cats, yet they’re chunky—in fact, downright fat. Our two current cats are totally indoor cats and each actually keep a pretty good weight. Sophie is older and I’d like to see a little more meat on her bones… Olivia isn’t even a year yet and seems to be a good weight for her bone structure and all, but I sure know some fat cats. Here are some I’ve photographed recently.

So what is the answer to slimming a fat cat down? I mean, once they get in this condition, how do you take control and help them drop the weight. Experts say play with them more often, bring in more challenging climbing apparatus, less food (fewer calories), but is that always the answer? While I’ve had pleasantly plump cats, I’ve never felt that any of mine were obese–but a veterinarian may have disagreed. Hey, I kind of like cute, chubby cats

I shared a story last year, I believe, of a cat that a veterinarian adopted. She was grossly overweight, and the veterinarian managed to bring her weight down to almost normal, saving the cat’s life and making it much more pleasant for the cat by creating safe exercise challenges for her and working with her tirelessly through safe activity and diet changes. It can be done, folks. Dr. Brittany Barton worked with Skinny (yes, that was his name) even using water exercise and the cat dropped from 41 pounds to a much healthier 19 pounds. Now that was one seriously obese cat.



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