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August 24, 2012

Pet Health: Feline Obesity

This week, I've decided to focus upon pet health. We've got a couple of issues here at home that we're trying to address, so I thought I would share them here, and maybe help other pet shepherds who may be having similar issues.

My cat is fat. Both of my cats are overweight, but my female, who should be 9 pounds, is obese. This breaks my heart because she is so pretty and so sweet. She's a Siamese/tabby mix with lilac eyes, white eye liner and Pippy Longstocking freckles where her whiskers grow. Her nose is pink like a pencil eraser and her lower lip looks like the Little Drummer Boys' from the Rankin/Bass stop action animation series from the 1960s (Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit series looks real action in comparison and makes me wish my dog was a rocket scientist too, but I digress . . . . )

So, here's where the problem begins: Our male cat, Neko, developed urinary crystals at age 3, so we had to switch him from the high quality Solid Gold kibble to a Urinary SO formula. Both cats, we were told, could eat the same food and be fine. Unfortunately, Rilo, our girl, has ballooned to her current weight. She looks like Jabba the Hut. She's like a miche loaf with a head and a tale. She has back fat.

So now, what we have to do is what we should have been doing all along. We have to give the cats timed feedings and we must separate them so that Neko doesn't eat non-prescription food (which he wants first dibs on because he's the dominant one). Of course, Rilo wants the old food, which when the ingredients are compared with the Solid Gold, is the equivalent of Cheetos (click on ingredients: corn gluten is evil and common in commercial pet foods).

We have not been getting a lot of sleep, this week because of the nagging. That is, nagging at 3:00am. And it's coming from Neko. We've tried locking him in the bathroom at night (the only closeable door in the apartment), but, after half an hour, he managed to break out and was stomping on us and picking at the covers. I would outline the importance and a good quality nights' sleep here, since this is a wellness blog, but my posts are about pets this week.

The other piece of the equation for our porcine kitties is exercise. It's difficult with indoor-only house cats for them to get enough exercise. The dog helps a little by gamely chasing Neko, but Rilo simply lays over in surrender and puts up with the harassment. The trick is to get her moving with play. Surprisingly, she does not eat as much as we thought, unless she's been raiding the dogs food (which I have seen on occasion) and which has a higher carbohydrate ratio that is not good for cats. Carbohydrates = sugar = fat, not only for animals but also for people, so we must take up the dog's food as well. Maybe she'll shed a pound or two as well.

Posted by linda at August 24, 2012 8:24 AM

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