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Unread 01-10-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default diet dilemna

i have 3 cats, an aging 6 year old who is becoming overweight, a one and a half year old who always eats last, and a growing 15 week old kitten who needs more food then the others. with a multicat household i am having a hard time keeping jessie's weight in check. i cant lower food intake for all of them as jessie and gylfie eat all the food before daystar. daystar waits for them to finish and shes a petite cat as is. shes 6 1/4lbs, the kitten is close to 3 lbs, and jessie is 15+ lbs. jessie also has urinary tract infections and that needs to be monitored as well. theyre on a high quality food with no by products (for those canadians who know it, it's classy cats cat food) and they get fancy feast wet cat food frequently. how do i lower jessie's weight without making daystar or gylfie suffer? daystar recently got spayed and shes a good weight for her size but i dont want her losing weight since shes a pretty delicate cat.... im a bit confused as to how to fix it. also jessie is aging faster than normal. she sleeps all day and night, stiff when she wakes up, getting an unkempt coat, not grooming as much, and shes starting to get digestive issues (constipation and hairballs, but the hairballs are in check with a hairball lickstick that seems to really work)
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Unread 01-10-2011   #2 (permalink)
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First I recommend Jessie have a complete senior check up. Blood work to check organ function, urinalysis, and an x ray to check for arthritis and megacolon. Special attention should be focused on checking for diabetes and to make sure her heart is healthy.

If she has some underlying health problem, getting her more interested in play and exercise will not be successful until it is treated.

Cosequin for cats can help with the arthritis, and as a side benefit help keep her urinary tract problems under control.

You will have to stop free feeding the kibble and serve measured amounts on a schedule. I have four cats, two of them on special diets, but I never free fed anyway.

However the weight control is hard. One of my cats, my Jennie, is also over weight. She has issues with constipation also, and blocked anal glands. She is schedule fed and I work hard at getting her moving, but she is still over weight!
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Unread 01-10-2011   #3 (permalink)
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hm.... thanks for the advice. the main issue is that daystar never eats when the other two do. they dont really eat much during the day. gylfie and jessie eat in the evening but daystar doesnt, she eats later at night. they play and sleep during the day more. jessie has recently been checked. shes healthy other than her urinary, weight, and arthritis problems. her hearts good and everything. i just gotta get her on a better diet without making daystar go hungry cuz they eat her food too. both gylfie and jessie eat their own food then they both split daystar's share. so diet doesnt work in controlled measures cuz they still eat more. i feed them in the morning 1/2 cup each bowl and same in the evening.
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I would put Jessie on an all canned diet. Canned food is better for cats, especially cats who have UT problems and weight issues.

Schedule feeding for cats with different habits and needs is a lot of work, it's true.

Queen Eva and Tolly are both picky eaters and want to eat only a few bites at a time. They are on canned diets. I can't leave any food down for them because Mazy and Jennie would eat it.

Mazy is on prescription food for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, and Jennie is on a particular brand and flavor of grain free canned food, plus limited in how much she is allowed to have.

So meal times are a big production. I feed very small portions over a period of an hour, for breakfast and supper, plus they get a snack midday and bed time.

Sometimes I have to follow Tolly and Queen Eva around with their food. They'll eat a few bites and walk away. So I pick up the dish and follow him or her to the perch and coax them to eat some more. Hand feeding helps some too.

Jennie eats so fast she has to be put behind a screen door to keep her away from Mazy, so Mazy can eat in peace, because Mazy eats very slowly.

I have pretty much arranged my life, working and activities, around their needs. That's the way I like it.
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Unread 01-10-2011   #5 (permalink)
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i only wish i had the scheduling to do that. jessie was on the prescription fluti food but its way too expensive and i cant afford it. so i found this food. its formulated to help manage it too and its not as expensive. she hasnt had a problem with it at all. they get canned food frequently but too much of that is also pricey around here for the food they like as canned food. fancy feast (the grilled varieties) are the favoiurites. most others they turn their noses to. and fancy feast isnt cheap. so i do a mixed diet. jessie hasnt flared up actually for a few months since i have her on this classy cats cat food. her weight is becoming a problem. i can hardly pick her up and i know the weight will not help her urinary problem.
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Yes, I am very fortunate that in my work I can arrange my life around my cats.

Since the new food is controlling the FLUTD (so far?) but causing weight gain you will have to find a way to cut back on her food a little as you work on increasing her exercise level. As you say, weight control is very important in all cats, but especially in FLUTD kitties.

I can offer idea on getting her moving more, if you want.
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Unread 01-10-2011   #7 (permalink)
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sure, that'd be great. i'd appreciate it. she does like feather teaser toys but after she gets tired after 5 minutes she loses interest lol

and it was a previous food that caused weight gain (whiskas which ill never uses again) and getting spayed. then slowing down

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But six is not old. I meant to ask you early on why you called Jessie an aging 6 year old. I mean everyone's aging yes, but six is not old. It's barely middle age.

Yes, 7 is considered "senior" in cats, but that just means it's time to pay closer attention, and get some routine blood-work to make sure kitty is doing well, and for a baseline for later years.

I understand the cats who stop after five minutes of play and lie down and say "ooof that's hard work!". They are difficult to motivate. I have some little tips and tricks that sometimes work with Jennie, but I've got a finger crack on the tip of my index finger tonight and it really hurts to type.

So I'll return to this thread tomorrow.
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Unread 01-11-2011   #9 (permalink)
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alright. i say shes getting old because of the fact that she seems so much older than cats older than her. my aunt's cat is 13 and shes doing better than jessie. jessies just showing a lot of aging where shes slowing down. up until a few months ago she was pretty active and playful and not so cranky, even if shes been a semi-aggressive cat throughout her life. shes getting crankier, her coat is dull and not groomed as nice as it used to, she sleeps 90% of her day, and shes getting stiffer when she wakes up. also shes meowing out of anxiety more often now when i leave. all signs of aging. its also genetic with her. shes partially albino and the vet said it'll lower her lifespan. she got this strange white spot when she was 2 but then it kept spreading so now her whole right side of her face is white and grizzled and its been that way since she was 4. i talked to the vet about it, they checked for ringworm and stuff like that and it wasnt that. he said it was a form of albinism. shes a grey mackeral tabby, semi longhair. her eyes are also a blue-green colour in natural light. shes a really pretty cat and shes my big girl shes also easily stressed, which contributes to her uti and her aging as well. i need to find a feliway plug and see how that works.

the cat in my new avatar is jessie

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I would really take her to the vet for bloodwork because she could have a thyroid issue. Yes I free feed because when I was a cop I never knew when i would or if get home. When u give the fancy feast i would mix it with a little water. Like gail said a vet visit is the first step.....
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