My Fat Cat Won’t Leave My Other Cat’s Food Alone!

Sep 28, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

Isn’t it frustrating to be on a diet and go out with your friends and everyone is pigging out on French fries and pizza except for you? There you are with a salad, dressing on the side of course.  It’s completely human to swipe a fry, mooch a slice, and then feel bad afterwards.

But the dieting cat….they really don’t care what they look like, and lack even an ounce of self control.  If you have two or three cats, and one is battling the bulge but his pals are lean and sleek, it can be frustrating to find a way to limit portions or prevent the big guy from crowding the other cats out of the communal bowl.

How do you help a weight-challenged feline but still make sure the rest of the gang is staying happy and getting the food they need?

This is where it helps to be creative.  Most of our bigger cats are less than athletic—they simply can’t jump as high as their more slender housemates.  Some of these heavy cats can weigh more than twice as much as their fashion-model friends.  Putting food bowls for the lighter cats up high where the big guy can’t reach is an easy way to limit his access to the forbidden calories.

Another trick that can work is to build a box with an entrance hole that is only big enough to allow the smaller cats to get inside.  This gives those cats a place where they can eat peacefully without getting their food devoured by their big brother.  I’ve also seen some ingenious cat owners devise systems with gates that will keep out any cat who is not wearing a special electronic activating collar that allows access into the dining room.

Of course, you can always feed each cat individually by locking them into separate rooms during feeding times.  With this system, though, food cannot be left out for nibbles.

One cautionary tale:  Tank’s owners used the high counter approach to whittle off nearly 10 pounds from their chunky boy.  Unfortunately, as all failed dieters know, it is easy to gain the wait back.  Tank lost enough weight that he was able to jump up to those counters (and the forbidden food) and he just didn’t have the self control to limit his calories.  Happily, the electronic collar/door system solved this dilemma!

Dr Cathy Lund

Cathy Lund, DVM, owns and operates City Kitty Veterinary Care for Cats, a cat practice located in Providence, RI. She is also the board president and founder of the Companion Animal Foundation, a statewide, veterinary-based nonprofit organization that helps low-income pet owners afford essential veterinary care. She lives in Providence, and serves on several architectural and preservation commissions in the city, and is on the board of directors of WRNI, RI’s own NPR station. But her favorite activity is to promote the countless virtues of the “purr-fect” pet, the cat!

City Kitty
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Providence, RI 02903-4642

Phone: (401) 831-6369
Email: email@city-kitty.com

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