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Overweight kitten?

July 30th, 2005, 04:38 PM
So, I have my two kitties, Fiver (5 months) and Hazel (9 months). In the last month or so, Hazel has become quite heavy. She has a noticeable paunch hanging below her rib cage and I can't feel her ribs at all.

I'm guessing this is because she's just been eating too much food. I feed them Innova dry food and Felidae soft food--and until the last couple of weeks, the dry food was out constantly, so they could eat as much as they wanted. The shelter I adopted her from had picked her up as a stray, and apparently she was quite thin then, so I wonder if she didn't learn during her time on the streets that whenever there was food, she ought to eat as much as possible as quickly as possible.

My main question is, should I be worried about this? I've read that you shouldn't try to limit a kitten's food because they need as much as they'll eat for growing. Technically, Hazel's still a kitten.

My other question would be, any suggestions for how to handle it, if I should be concerned? I've started giving a restricted amount of hard food (based on the chart on the back of the bag), but Hazel ends up eating much more than Fiver, who needs it more, so I've had to start giving him extra food in a closed room. As far as I know, both foods are high quality. The cats don't get table scraps. Hazel's more sedintary than Fiver but she still runs around and plays quite a bit; most nights they'll spent a good half hour chasing each other up and down the hall at top speed. She isn't showing any other signs of illness--should I be taking her to the vet at this point?

Thanks for your help!


July 30th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Forgive me if you already indicated this but is Hazel spayed? Has she been vet checked? Justy wondering if the extra weight might be due to anything else since kittens should not gain that much weight so fast!! My Siamese kitten is 9 months and while she is heftier than she used to be - and loves her snacks and sometimes manages to get more than she should from grandmeomy and my assistant and others (!!!), she has no pouch. Have you felt the puch? I am just thinking if Hazel has ndt been spayed, the pouch may be more than extra kilograms.

July 30th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Nope, can't be pregnancy--we had her spayed a couple of months ago.

It's possible she's a little older than 9 months (since she was a stray, they had to estimate), but they placed her at 5 months when she first came into the shelter, and I don't think the vet would have mistaken an adult cat for a 5-month-old. So I'm about 95% certain she's still under a year old.

Lucky Rescue
July 31st, 2005, 09:26 AM
9 months old is not a kitten.:)

Yes, stray cats who starved often will overeat, since they learned to eat as much as they can when the opportunity presents itself.

Many cats can free-feed, but in this case, giving measured meals is probably the best option, since being overweight is very bad for cats.

You'll probably have to keep feeding them separately, to make sure Hazel doesn't overeat and also that your 5 month old gets enough food.

I would be giving Hazel more canned food than dry. It's more satisfying, but less fattening!:)