Although Tina, who came in recently with her sister, has a small pretty face, she has a big body and is overweight. Too long being a couch potato before she came here perhaps. Both of these sisters were indoor cats and this can make the problem worse. They eat and sleep and have a fuss and then do it all again! Cats who go out chasing birds, hunting mice and eyeing up the fella next door use up a lot of energy and stay slim.
Get some exercise - We don’t like the idea of frantic playing, it can lead to personality changes. Making cats run round till they are dizzy may help them to lose weight but it can become addictive. Chasing a feather duster is fun – for a few minutes at a time. Provide toys but make sure they are natural and haven’t cost the earth (imports from the other side of the world? No way) Few cats can resist some screwed up silver paper or a cotton bobbin on a piece of string. Playtime will help but it isn’t the complete answer to feline weight loss.
What do you do if your plump pet doesn’t want to play? An overweight cat will probably just yawn. He can’t be bothered. You’ll have to make him ‘hunt’ for his food. Put a few mouthfuls of chicken on a saucer and put it at the top of the stairs or in the attic. The porch? Garage? Different locations provide interest and exercise. No more every ready meals and dishes full of factory made mosh waiting in the kitchen. It encourages him to sit down and slurp it all up. There’s a lot of sugar in pet food and the cats love it. Is it good for them though? It’s why so many cats are unwell – heart disease, diabetes, shortness of breath, allergies………..
Cut out the carbs – Small amounts of lean fresh food – chicken, lamb, beef, ham, fish, sardines, mackerel etc. all help to keep his weight down. A few teaspoonfuls for each meal. Sometimes finely chopped, other times in chunks for chewing. Only a few biscuits (if any) they are not a natural food and are full of carbs. Isn’t it a myth that biscuits are good for the teeth – does eating biscuits mean that we don’t have to go to the dentist? Cats keep their teeth in good shape by chewing chunks of meat so don’t cut it all up too fine. We put ‘Plaque Off’ on all the cats (and dogs) food – the enzymes in it stop plaque developing and help fetch it off if the teeth are already coated. (We always have it in stock – it’s invaluable). Cat biscuits are a factory made convenience food and cats have managed to thrive and stay healthy for thousands of years without them!
Dainty dishes – Change the size of his dish, no more huge plastic bowls – a dainty china saucer is best for a fat cat – it will encourage you to give him less too. So what about the actual food? Shoud you buy special weight-watchers menu even if it is more expensive? We don’t do this because it doesn’t work, it’s factory made processed convenience food and can leave cats feeling disatissfied. It’s the quality of food that counts. Cats haven’t evolved to eat dry biscuits or something out of can or pouch! Fresh food is best for them and a small, lean piece of protein is more satisfying and beneficial than a dish of moshed up carbohydrates and additives. A cat in his wild state is a carnivore, a mouse for breakfast, some flies as an aperitif, a small bird for lunch and a baby bunny for supper.
Small amounts – Lean meat or fish will help your cat to slim down, he’ll love it too. Try chicken, lamb or ham occasionally. Cooked or raw is fine so long as you don’t give too much. Feed fish as often as you like, cheap cuts, sardines and mackerel are all good for him and he won’t put on weight. Don’t forget, it’s small portions only. A cat needs three meals a day, breakfast, dinner and an evening meal. A good quality pouch of meat or fish will do if you haven’t any fresh meat in. When he’s back to a svelte shape and is feeling more energetic he could have a full pouch for every meal.
While he’s still a fatty you could hide a small dish with a sardine in a corner of the spare room – he’ll have to find it – and he will when he’s hungry enough.