We quite often post reader questions to our community of cat lovers at Life With Cats, and each time we do we are flooded with helpful and informed responses from readers who have dealt with the matter themselves. I’ve learned a lot just from following those discussions.
The topic that inspires me to jump in and join the conversation more than any is that of slimming down the fat cat, and its companion topic, making sure your skinny cat in a multi cat household gets enough to eat. I have had great success and am an expert in my own mind, and I love that fact that the process is simple, easy, and does not cost money.
Several years ago my cat Dickens came back to live with me after a few years spent with my daughter. He came with my daughter’s cat, Miss M. Dickens had gotten quite fat and sluggish, and was in the habit of gobbling up both his and Miss M’s food. Worse, he’d eat hers first and save his for later. As Miss M was getting thinner to the point of looking bony, Dickens got so fat he took to climbing the latticed garden gate paw-over-paw because he could no longer jump 4 feet to the top. We became concerned for both cats’ health and well being and took action.
Two years ago this month, we adopted littermates Tuppy and Nobby. Tuppy is a big boy and loves to eat. Nobby is petite and lets herself get pushed around by her brother.
We used the same method in both cases, and here it is:
First, we do not buy special foods, and the cats eat the same food as usual.
We give several small meals a day while on the weight loss program, and we do not give the cats more than they will eat at a sitting. Giving several small meals helps keep the fat cat from feeling too deprived. If we’re going to be out most of the day, we do our best to spread out the small servings and stick to the plan.
Finally, we stand guard. It only takes a few minutes. I have sometimes felt impatient or had my mind wander, but the little bit of time spent on patrol pays off in success at getting your cats on track. With both fatties, I had to remind them with a firm tone to stay in their own bowl, and would at first have to remove them from their sisters’ bowls.
In both cases, our fatties trimmed down and then became more active. Once they’re active, cats can maintain a good weight more easily. Both of the meek and thin cats filled out nicely and regained their looks and appearance of health. Mealtime became more pleasant form them, too, when they learned that they would be allowed to eat in peace.
There you have it; a simple plan that does not cost a cent, yet gets good results.