News & Advice

Bear finds her waistline

Mar 15, 2017 | Cats, Pet Health

Some of us are guilty of over feeding our companions, but never do anything about it when told by our Vet or clinic staff.

So, here is an ongoing story about one special cat whose owner has heard her Vet say those magical words “Wow, what a big girl”, and is now doing something about the excess weight.

We first met ‘Bear’ back in September 2016 as she was unwell and had a case of the squirts (diarrhea). During her consultation, she had a full check over as she was a de-sexed 12 year old female of considerable weight (10.5 kg).

Due to her size, Bear wasn’t able to groom herself fully so was also suffering from a skin issue around her tail base. Our Vet talked to Bear’s owner about her obesity, and spoke about the need for weight-loss, and then recommended the RC Feline Satiety diet to try along with regular weight check consults on Wednesdays with our Nurses.

Bear should have technically been closer to 5 kg rather than her 10.5 kg that she was carrying.

Her owner went away to think about what was said, and several days later came back and got Bear’s first bag of Feline Satiety to try.

The plan was to start her off slowly and then decrease the amount of food she normally got over several weeks. It was determined that her ideal weight was around 5.5 kg.

So, now it was up to Bear’s family to start the weight loss process at home. Their job was to measure out her biscuits at each meal, stop any other treats she might have been getting at home and to start a gentle exercise program.

Bear was brought back to the clinic after having been on her new food for 12 days, and her owners had been getting her outside walking around in the back yard and doing some soft exercises at home.

When she was put onto the scales, she weighed in at 10.14 kg, she had lost 360 grams on her first visit.

The idea of controlled weight loss is not to lose big chunks all at once, but rather small amounts over a certain period of time.

We did not get to see Bear over the next couple of months, however her owners were still coming in to collect her RC Satiety food, so they let us know how she was doing at home.

By the time we saw her again for a weigh in, a couple of months had passed. At the end of November, she was sitting on the scales at 9.4 kg. This was a further 740 grams that she had lost over 2 months.

By this stage, you still couldn’t see much difference in her body shape as she would hide in the wash tub beside the consult room table. Her owner did say though that when she was at home, she was able to see a difference in her stance.

As there had been a change in her weight and it was several weeks since starting her new food, we decreased her amount down to a maintenance level.

Bear’s next check in with us was after the Christmas break; this is normally when we see an increase in weight in some pets as owners give them treats and table scrapes that aren’t so good for them.

Once again, Bear’s family had been doing great with her at home and she weighed in at 8.86 kg; this was a further loss of 540 grams. With this weight loss, we could now start to see a difference in her body. She was starting to get a saggy belly and a slight waist was appearing. Hopefully at her next visit, she would be around the 8.3 kg mark.

Bear is now 12 years and 5 months old and has just been in for a visit to see us. Wow, she is looking amazing! Instead of going from the scales into the sink and hiding, she actually jumped off the table and took a walk around the consult room floor. By doing this, we could see her body and watch her very saggy belly sway as she walked. Her waist has also reappeared and on feeling her over, we could feel her back bone and hips.

Her owner said that due to the car being hot, she had rolled down the window. What she wasn’t expecting was for Bear to jump out of the car through the window. This was something; she couldn’t have done before her weight loss.

Currently her weight is 8.4 kg; she lost another 410 grams. With Bear we are continuing to see a drop in her weight. This is due to her family’s hard work at home controlling her food and making sure she is getting the exercise that she needs.

Sometimes, we do see some pets stop losing the weight after a while and it can be depressing for owners at home. When this happens we come up with other ways to start the weight loss process again, but it is a slow progress that can take months.

We will continue doing weight checks with Bear until she has reached her goal.

So if you have a slightly larger than normal pet, please visit your local Vet Clinic and see about having a weight check and a personalised program developed.

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