Friday, August 30, 2013

Fat cats are fat

Eddie doesn't like the diet
At last month's vet check up, the vet mentioned that in addition to the kitties being awfully high strung and maybe next time we sedate them before bringing them in, they're all three on the chubby side and perhaps it's time to lose weight.

Well, the vet is right and I'm sure it's partly because we have no stairs for them to race up and down upon here at The Little Yellow House. Stairs made for a nice easy way to reduce kitty stress and manage kitty weight, but we live in a ranch home now.

Being the dutiful cat owners that we are, we researched good options for calorie restrictions, including a couple of Ikea cat feeder hacks (here and here). This is more difficult than it might seem, not because they whine (they've always whined for food daily anyway) but because of their individual eating patterns.

Wally and Chloe are both nibblers or grazers. They'll eat three or four pieces of kibble and then be done for an hour or so. If they were the only two cats we had, we could get by with a cat sitter every other day when we go out of town since they eat when they're hungry and stop when they're not.

But Eddie doesn't work that way. Eddie is a scarf 'n' barf kind of cat. He will eat and eat and eat, sometimes to the point of tossing his cookies er kibble immediately afterward. If we put out enough food for three days on the first day, it would be all gone at the end of the first day. Plus he'd probably barf.

So those feeding differences meant we needed to find a reduced calorie kibble and also feed less of it just a bit more frequently. Previously, I just kept the bowls topped off. Now I put 1/3 cup very high quality (also expensive) diet kibble in each of the two bowls in the morning and then again at night. Theoretically that should help them lose weight because it's fewer calories and less food.

But theory and reality aren't yet lined up with the Meoinkers. As of two weeks ago and 21 days into the calorie reduction, Wally and Chloe have maintained their weight while dramatically increasing their food whining. Eddie, on the other hand, has gained weight.

We'll have another kitty weigh in this weekend. I'll let you know what the scales say. Kitties may need to get FitBits (KitBits?) of their own and start logging 10k steps a day.

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