News & Advice

Kat catnapped!

Aug 13, 2019 | Cats, Pet Health

Audra Watkins, Vet Nurse, Anexa Vets Ngaruawahia

Kat is a Grey and White Domestic Shorthaired Tabby who lives with a member of my family, in a household with five other cats. He was neutered at five months old, on the day of his surgery he weighed in at 3.3 kg (this was a bit big for his age, but otherwise okay).
After he was neutered, his owners were warned to watch his weight as cats and dogs can easily gain extra weight post neutering. Unfortunately, they did not listen and within a month he weighed in close to 4.5kg! He had an enlarged abdomen and even his tail looked chubby. This is when I catnapped him and took him home for some boot camp style weight loss.

There are two ways for a pet to shed a few extra kilos. The first is all down to the will power of the owner, as they have to put dietary restrictions in place for the pet. The other way is by feeding a special low calorie diet and doing a ‘Jenny Craig’ like weight program with the Vet nurse in your Clinic.

I opted for the first style of weight loss management. With Kat’s previous meal and feeding history, he was about to go on a crash course of not only a reduced amount of food, but also a military style feeding schedule. His old way of eating was to gobble down his biscuits and then go after the other cats’ food as they ate more slowly than he did.

He was switched over to a metabolic type diet, and was fed strictly on the clock twice a day. To stop him from eating all the other cats’ food, he was fed inside his sleeping crate and not let out till the others had completed their meal. He went from getting a whole cup of biscuits a day, plus two packets of wet food, to approximately half a cup of biscuits a day (in line with feeding guidelines for his size and weight) It has been interesting to watch his progress, when he first arrived, he was not able to jump up onto the kitchen bench. I know, gross, a cat on the kitchen bench. But hey you can’t tell a cat ‘No’, they just do as they please. After about three weeks on his reduced controlled diet, he was able to clear the bench in one go! He became much more active and mobile, as seen when he played with the other cats and used the climbing towers.

It is a little more difficult to see a waist appear in cats compared to dogs. By feeling over their body particularly the rib cage, you should be able to determine if they have lost any weight. You want to be able to feel the ribs, with a slight covering of fat, if you have to press hard to feel their ribs you need to lower their daily rations and up their exercise. A weigh in on a set of scales every two to four weeks will also help you monitor their progress.
After living with me for the last three months, Kat is now back to a normal weight of 3.3 kg and he is now eight months old and full of beans – a little too much at times, as he zooms around the house chasing the other cats non stop. As Kat is no longer carrying all this extra weight his joints will not suffer and he will have less chance of the bladder problems overweight male cats can have.

So if you have a cat or dog that looks a bit chunky, please make an appointment with one of our Anexa Vet Nurses. They can help set up a weight loss plan, or provide enrichment ideas that you can try at home with your pet, that may help your pet get beach body ready without them needing to go onto a special diet. Bookings are essential.

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