- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


New Cat Food - Prescription Diet -My Cat needs help losing weight!

January 4th, 2005, 09:22 PM
Hi there!

I hope someone can help me. I have had 2 cat's that were both from the same litter. They were 3 years old last May. At their last vet appointment (10 months ago), the vet told me that they both had heart murmers. Nothing to be concerned about yet, but definitely later in life. My cats have always been big, (they are both 20 pounds). They were always on weight control food (Iams). They each each 1/3 cup in the morning and 1/3 cup in the evening, the recommended dosage on the bag. Just before christmas, one of my cats, Shrimp, was having problems with hairballs. I gave him Tonic Lax from the vet as prescribed. One day over the holidays, we came home to find that Shrimp had passed away. We immediately took Lil'Guy, my other cat, to the vet for an emergency check-up just to make sure he was ok. We had to say good-bye to our baby, Shrimp. They said it was likely his heart. As for Lil'Guy, they said he was overall in good health, good temperature, etc... They said his heart murmer was still at a 2 or maybe a 3 out of six. They recommended switching Lil'Guy to Prescription Diet - m/d to bring down his weight. They recommended 1/2 cup/day to achieve a target weight of 15lbs. It's been just over 1 week now and I've been mixing the food with the old to make the transition. He is now just on the prescription diet food. The problem is, he eats it all immediately! We give him 1/4 cup in the morning and 1/4 in the evening. He eats each serving in less then 5 minutes! Then he cries for more food. I keep lot's of fresh water beside his food dish (I change it twice a day).

I feel like he's starving. I am really concerned for his health. Does anyone have any advice for me? Is there anything else I can do? Shrimp's death was very unexpected and I am terrified of losing my second baby.

Also, he's really missing his brother (they were extremely close), is there anything I can do to ease his pain?

Toronto, Ontario

January 5th, 2005, 02:48 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. There are a variety of pet loss resources online. You should give your cat lots of TLC and help him grieve. It is only natural for him to miss his littermate and bst feline friend! Poor little guy!!

You can pay extra attention to and time with him and try to get him to think of other things - interactive play is one thing you can do.

Alas, i have never had to put a pet on a diet so cannot help you there. It is tough time to be switching food for a kitty though. He will probably get used to it over time but it won;t happen immediately - he is likely used to getting fed much more.

I would also get another opinion about the heart murmur. Jeart murmurs are really a symptom and not so much a "condtion". So you should find out what is causing it - or is it was congenital why this vet only informed you about it now.

Good luck!

January 5th, 2005, 04:47 AM
Hi Vicki, I can understand your concern. To put it in perspective, back when I used to feed kibble to my dogs, my 115lb Rottweiler ate no more than 2 cups a day of premium kibble. Any more, and he would gain weight. The 95lb one I have now would propbably gain weight if he ate more than that too! So 1/2 cup per day for a 20lb cat sounds reasonable.
Also, my dogs act as if they are starving all the time. I just ignore their pleading. :evil: It is so very unhealthy for animals (or people) to be fat, I'd rather they think I'm underfeeding them (I'm not) than get overweight.

Two thoughts. First & most important, a diet of 100% dry food is not at all good or natural for cats, particularly neutered male cats. Definitely talk to your vet about this....if your vet tells you it is OK, your vet needs some education on feline nutrition! Seriously. If the prescription food is doing the job, stay with it to get his weight down....but in the long term, it's a bad idea.

Also, think of ways you can increase Lil'Guy's exercise. He may also be missing the cameraderie & play interaction he had with Shrimp. Buy him some cat nip, throw little balls of crumpled paper (most cats love this), find some interesting cat toys like those feather wands....this may help, and will help him lose weight too.

January 5th, 2005, 08:06 AM
Two thoughts. First & most important, a diet of 100% dry food is not at all good or natural for cats, particularly neutered male cats. Definitely talk to your vet about this....if your vet tells you it is OK, your vet needs some education on feline nutrition!

I agree to this 100%.

I always give my cats a mix of both the dry and the canned food.And to be honest,none have ever been overwight.And with me,the dry is actually left out for free feeding.I have always done this and never had a weight issue with them.I too suggest you talk to your vet about this.Your vet should know that in neutered cats,canned food helps prevent Crystals and UTI.Heck,my guy at my pet store even knows this.A premium cat food is much better cause it doesn't have all the fillers they don't need.And the majority of the time this is what causes the weight gain in cats.Such as the Iams.My cats are on Performatrin Ultra.It's a holistc food with no fillers.All natural and also has real fruit and veggies.

I'm so very sorry about Shrimp..I also suggest you keep Lil'Guy as active as possible.

January 5th, 2005, 08:28 AM
I agree,cats especially
male neutered cats,need"wet food"it is very important,my cats get 1/3 of a can morning and night...dry food is available 24/7.I just resently switched their dry food to the"light"variety"Chicken-soup-for-the-cat-lovers-soul"since my youngest cat(Vinnie)is gaining too much weight.They also munch on Performatrin Ultra.
The more natural ingredients in a cat-food will keep them slim and trim,without starving.
I believe your cat is hungry,I have never seen my cats finish a dish all at once,most cats are nibblers,unlike dogs who gulp it down all at once.
Also,maybe down the road you can try to introduce him to another cat/kitten,he obviously misses his play-mate.
IAMS is not good food,it's loaded with fillers that will make him fat,I suggest you go to a pet-food supplier,look for good quality canned and dry food.
I am sorry for your loss of Shrimp,hopefully Lil'Guy will be ok!

Lucky Rescue
January 5th, 2005, 09:26 AM
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your cat - what a shock to come home to. :sad:

Most of the cats I know who eat IAMS are both fat and dandruffy and I would never feed this food.

As everyone said, dry food is NOT good for neutered males. I never fed anything but canned food and my MANY cats have never been overweight or had health problems. Canned food also seems to satisfy cats much more than dry.

Maybe you will get a companion for your cat, to ease his grief and help him get some exercise?

January 5th, 2005, 11:49 AM
And I consider dry food to be yje junk food of the cat world. YY still likes to eat some dry food I leave out but less and less so that is a good thing! I feed her canned food and also real meat like chicken hearts (lots of taurine!), sardines and other raw meat. She devours it!

Needless to say, exercise is also an important factor in keeping the cat's weight down. I agree with the notion of educating your vet about nutrition if that is a problem.

Once again, I am so sorry for your loss!

January 5th, 2005, 12:02 PM
Cyber, do you cook the chicken hearts?

January 5th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Hello there. Firstly, I am very sorry for the loss of your kitty. Very sad, indeed.

Now, as luck would have it, my fatcat, Oscar, has been on M/D diet for about a year. He has actually lost 2 lbs.!! A miracle!! He was over 20 lbs. Unlike your kitty, Oscar has no underlying health issues other than blatant obesity. He is still fat, will likely always be fat and enjoys being fat. He is as active as he wants to be, including jogging in the yard, (walking on the pathway about 5 feet), jogging on the spot, (he's good at this one....looks like he's lying down :eek: ), sleeping and looking amazingly like a gray bathmat while doing this, and his favourite pastime, eating!
He is up at 6 a.m. sharp! meowing his butt off until someone, (me), gets up and heads to the fridge. In fact, every time I even go near the kitchen, (where the fridge is, obviously :p ), he figures it's time to feed him. If I go to the bathroom, it's time to feed him. If I put on my boots, it's time to feed him. You get the picture. He has it in his furry little head that anytime is buffet time. I have never seen him not hungry except during "exercise" sessions or resting in betweeen them.
Stick to the guidelines on the bag. I also mix it with M/D canned food, as this is expected!! Can't get away without this one. (You guessed it, more incessant meowing). It takes alot of patience to not give in to the relentless, annoying, teethgritting, perpetual racket......but my cat did lose a few lbs in the end, so I will persevere! Yes, I do feed a little extra on occasion 'cause I'm weak and he is quite a vocalist, but I keep trying on this diet and he will get his weight down there eventally, if I have my way! Never give up!

I, in no way, take your cats' health problems lightly and I hope that you do not find my reply in any way offensive. I just take my cat lightly, 'cause that is the only way he will ever be considered "light". What a blob.....If anything, I hope that I could make you smile a little in this very sad time. :sorry:

January 5th, 2005, 01:15 PM
Oscar sounds VERY much like my Lil'Guy! I'm glad to hear that he's not alone at him end of the weight scale! Thanks everyone for your advice! I was completely unware of the dry food .vs. wet food for male cats. I will talk with my vet again and see what they say. He's now been on Prescription Diet m/d for 1.5 weeks.
I've been trying to get Lil'Guy some exercise. I made him a catnip toy and hung it by elastic cord over my living room entrance way. I was very amused as he played with it for 2 hours last night!! Is the a limit as to how much he plays with catnip toys??? It really seems to get him active!
Thanks again! I appreciate all the response. I think this board is an excellent forum! I'm glad I signed up!

January 5th, 2005, 02:53 PM
Re: Cyber, do you cook the chicken hearts?

No, I serve them to her raw. There are recipes that involve cooking but she likes them raw and that is what was first recomemnded to me. I do cut them up since she does not have her full compliment of teeth yet and she gobbles them down. :)

I found that my gocery store packages chicken hearts. She lives chicken of any kind mind you.

Got some reason, she dislikes shrimp. (But she's fine with lobster, a true Maritime kitty, lol)

January 5th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Concernedmom, get a cheap dollar store laser pointer. They are amazing animal toys. I recently went to pick up some friends who have cats. I can't stay longer than 10 minutes due to allergies, but they gave me the laser pointer to play with while they were getting ready.

Just point the red dot at the floor and watch your cat go nuts trying to catch it!! It was so fun!! Just be careful not to point in the cats eye at all, as it is a laser! I was making my friends cats go in circles! the best was when the pounce on it, you turn it off, and they think they caught it, so they slowly lift their paws and realise nothing is there! It was hilarious to watch.

January 5th, 2005, 03:23 PM
Good idea! I will pick him up one tonight. The vet just called. When I had my other baby, Shrimp, cremated last week I had them make a clay paw print for me. I will put it beside his picture and his favourite toy mouse.
I miss him so!!

January 5th, 2005, 04:38 PM
In over 30 years of owning cats, I've never had an overweight one either.

Cyber, Egg gets hearts too. I feed my dogs all raw, so she gets a bit of whatever they are eating in the evening - she's had pork, venison, turkey & chicken hearts, meat & gizzards, and green tripe. :) She also gets canned...I'm mixing up the canned - Wysong, Nutro, Felidae. A little canned fish (sardines, mackerel, not much though) because the dogs get that too.
I also have a little Felidae kibble available for her to free feed, though she doesn't seem that interested. are so lucky to have a cat who like catnip! You can grow it used to grow wild (it can be a tenacious weed) when I lived in Colorado, all along the side of the house. I had two cats back couldn't care less, the other loved it. I don't think there's a limit. Just don't let him catnip and drive. :D

January 5th, 2005, 04:49 PM
My not so little kitty is over wieght as well. I was feeding her iams, never had a problem with dandruff but i have a feeling that she is over wieght from the iams. I switched her over to a perscription brand and now she is losing some wieght. not a lot but some. it's strange she doesn't care about catnip at all and refuses to eat wet food, i'v tried lots of kinds but she just won't eat it. Hopefully changing your kitties diet will help over time. I know what you mean about the meowing for food, Jasmine does this non stop as well as attacking your feet if you won't feed her.

January 5th, 2005, 05:15 PM
Awwww, a pawprint sounds like a nice idea. I kept locks of my bunny's hair. We buried him on a woodlot I own not too far away. There are wild bunnies who roam back there so he won;t feel lonely and we go there often in the spring and summer. I don;t think you ever get over the loss - you just learn to live with it and how the lessons learned from that life can enrich the one you have and help others.

February 9th, 2005, 04:52 AM
Ok not sure if this food is available where you are but its the best diet food for cats I know its called Hills Feline r/d and you feed them the recommended amount and give them nothing more than water. When following the feeding guidelines you measure out the amount of food for the weight the animal should be NOT the weight they are now!

As soon as they hit the targart weight if you are afraid of them putting it back on you could put them on Hill Feline w/d which helps keep them at the weight they are.

The way both these diets work are they are both very high on fibre (r/d more than the w/d) so they 'fill' the cat up. Down side to the diets are the fact its so high in fibre your cat might 'smell' a bit more than normal ie (fart) :)

vet tech girl
February 11th, 2005, 11:44 PM
just so you know, canned cat food is 3/4 water, if you worry that your kitty is still hungry after eating hard food could you imagine how hungry he'd be after eating a can of water!

Lucky Rescue
February 12th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Well, obviously you have to feed more canned than you do dry! This is why feeding canned only to a big dog would break the bank.

Cats have been eating meat long before dry food was invented and the bodies of their prey are also mostly water.

This is good, because cats don't drink enough on their own. Eating dry food in addition makes urine very concentrated and crystals and stones form. It's extremely rare to see a cat who eats canned food have these crystals or stones.

I have never fed anything but canned to my cats. They have never been fat, and have never had urinary problems.

February 12th, 2005, 09:41 AM
Lucky,I agree 1000%,cats are generally nibblers(like me!)and the canned food I feed mine twice a day is their main meals,for nibbling,good quailty dry food is available for them 24/7 together with fresh cool water,but I don't have a dog who would chomp it up in 2 seconds.
I would never feed them only dry food,it would be the same as if I would have to eat liver every day(yuck!!),my cats always have a varied diet and they are not fat.

December 14th, 2005, 10:09 PM
Hi all I am new to your boards, but enjoy reading all the helpful advise.

After a recent visit to the vet, and as we all knew at home, kitty needs to lose weight! She is about 8 KG, humm maybe 17 lbs. We actually went to fix her "dragging her butt on the cement floor problem, and my DH was ready to toss her out" turned out to be her anal glands, but anyway with more vet visits to come and some kind of program they have to decide which diet to put her on, the vet gave us the m/d wet food. What is the difference in the r/d? I really don't know anything about all of this, but for my cats sake I will go along with all of this. Any helpful advise will be grateful, I just don't want to be "taken" at the vets as they are good to tell you everything, but yet nothing, and sell you the store too!.

December 15th, 2005, 07:34 AM
My former vet ( we moved) has two cats of his own and he had this toy that had holes in it, and when the cat played with it, it would release some food. That is how they ate. He said it replicated a wild cat who would have to hunt for their food. According to him the cat had to work for their food( which kept them thin)...I must say his cats were in good shape...but I couldn't do that with my cats. I'd be afraid they would lose the toy and never find it again. He said that somedays it would take them half a day to find the toy before they could eat. Anyway that is how they ate their dry food and once a day he fed them wet food. If you are worried about their exercise...this could be a good way to keep them in shape.

December 15th, 2005, 07:59 AM
Welcome sharq00

Just a couple of questions.

How old is your cat?
How much is she being fed and what is she being fed?
How active is she?

December 15th, 2005, 10:14 AM
Hi, my cat is about 12 years old, she gets about 2 cans aday, she was getting cheap off the shelf stuff (all she would eat) but has since been on the Hills perscription diet m/d stuff, she seems to like it I just don't know how much I am suppose to be giving her of this stuff. She is not active at all, which is why they said they put her on the m/d variety. Thanks