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Vlad needs to go on a diet. I feel like such a bad mom

ancientgirl
January 21st, 2008, 06:03 PM
I took Vlad for his Junior Wellness exam. They drew blood and tomorrow they will call me with the results. I'll know if he's got any issues like diabetes, or any problems with his kidneys or any other disease. I also had them look at his eyes, and they sent me home with some drops for him for the next 10 days.

But what really got me is his weight. Vlad is 11 months old, and he weighs 17 pounds!!!!! In November he weighed 10 pounds, he's gained 7 pounds in 2 months!

I feel terrible. I think I'm giving him too many treats, so that's stopping NOW. I'm going to also find some good weight management food. I know Iams makes one and I've been buying Maks some of their Digestive Care food and he's been doing well.

I've got to watch closely what he eats. I don't think it's the leaving the kibble out all day. The kibble isn't really touched much. They all just nibble now and then, but I've never come home to an empty bowl.

My poor baby:sad:

allymack
January 21st, 2008, 06:48 PM
dont feel bad about it, i think we all give our kitties a few too many treat, other then cutting down/ changing his food, get him to do more exercise. go to zellers and buy a laser pointer( made espically for cats/ dogs) and have him chase it, but build it up slowly, they are only about $6. nero got one for x-mas, i think he may have dropped a pound or two( hmm maybe i should start chasing it too:p:o ) and maybe you could get all of your kkitties going after it at once, that would be something to see, but its worth a try, but just start out with no more then one minute if it is full speed chase, and he might look for it after your done, so when the time is up say something like "gone" or "over" to let him know you arent playing any more. hope this helps some :)

ancientgirl
January 21st, 2008, 06:54 PM
That's a good idea. He's gotten very lazy. The only one he chases is Oksana, and only once in a while. Oksans, Maks and Kiska are always running around. He is probably not doing the same because he's too heavy.

sugarcatmom
January 21st, 2008, 08:43 PM
I implore you to stay away from any and all "weight management" cat foods. Without exception, these are completely inappropriate diets for felines with far too much carbohydrate content. They're based on the erroneous notion that cats get chubby from fat and protein, but guess what??? they actually get fat from carbs. So feeding these "light" and "diet" foods can actually make cats fatter (not to mention result in a whole host of other medical problems). The best way to get Vlad's weight back in line is to feed him wet food. And even though you don't think free-feeding dry is the problem, it's most likely contributing. You may have already seen a link to this site (I certainly post it enough!), but it would be in all your kitties best interest to read it before rushing out to buy another dry food: http://www.catinfo.org/. Also read this section on obesity (I realize Vlad isn't obese, but it's all the same concept): http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm

krdahmer
January 21st, 2008, 10:44 PM
And isn't Iams the one that still tests on animals? Definite nono. You don't free feed do you? I though you fed them all together at one time a day...?

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 07:56 AM
I feed them in the morning, but Vlad and Oksana only have a few bites of the canned and walk away. Maks and Kiska eat almost all their food while I'm still in the kitchen, and when I am ready to get to work, it's almost all gone.

I leave them kibble to feed on while I'm at work. I guess I jut feel that they will be hungry if I'm gone all day and they don't have anything to eat.

Perhaps I'll just change the way I'm feeding them.

Give them canned, and instead of 4 small bowls of kibble, I'll leave one. They all really just munch on little bits of it during the day anyway so one small bowl should be good enough. Perhaps if I take away some of the kibble Vlad and Oksana will be more apt to eat all of their canned and not a few bites.

My worry is, since Vlad and Oksana don't eat all their food at one time, if I left it for them to eat, it would get hard and icky, unless they ate it within a few hours of my leaving. I feed them on the counter so the little ones wouldn't be able to get to it for a while, until they got bigger.

I don't know. He doesn't look fat. Maybe he's just a big kitty. But the vet said he's big, but 17 pounds isn't a good weight for him, not such a young cat. She said 12ish pounds would be a better weight for him.

want4rain
January 22nd, 2008, 08:30 AM
we were feeding our cats 2tbs of Iams weight control and they still didnt loose weight which is why we looked for other feeding alternatives.

-ash

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 08:34 AM
Yeah, for now I'm going to try just altering the way I already feed them. I'm not going to leave them so much kibble. At least when I get home I know Vlad and Oksana will be hungry and eat their canned. I think that might help. I'm giving them too many choices right now and too many open bowls of kibble. Oksana, Maks and Kiska all seem to be on track.

I'll try this. But I'm wondering if maybe it's just that he's a big cat. I'll take a full body picture of him tonight and post it, see if you guys can tell me if he looks fat to you or just like a big kitty.

Love4himies
January 22nd, 2008, 08:38 AM
My daughter was feeding her cats Iams Weight Control and it did nothing for them. She started them on Canned Wellness, grain free and some Orijen, and they both lost weight within a couple of months.

My Puddles and Sweet Pea eat Wellness canned, grain free, mixed with Go Natural canned, not so much Orijen kibble, Jasper eats some Wellness canned, grain free, but more Orijen kibble. None have weight problems, however Jasper is borderline, but has not gained any over the last year (he was that way when I adopted him). Sweet Pea has gained weight to a healty size, she was a very pregnant stray, all bones, when I first fostered her.

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 08:56 AM
My daughter was feeding her cats Iams Weight Control and it did nothing for them. She started them on Canned Wellness, grain free and some Orijen, and they both lost weight within a couple of months.

My Puddles and Sweet Pea eat Wellness canned, grain free, mixed with Go Natural canned, not so much Orijen kibble, Jasper eats some Wellness canned, grain free, but more Orijen kibble. None have weight problems, however Jasper is borderline, but has not gained any over the last year (he was that way when I adopted him). Sweet Pea has gained weight to a healty size, she was a very pregnant stray, all bones, when I first fostered her.

Unfortunately, mine don't seem to like the Wellness canned. I tried if for several weeks and they didn't like it. The only canned I find that they do like is the Fancy Feast.

How do you feed them? Morning and evening?

bendyfoot
January 22nd, 2008, 09:31 AM
I leave them kibble to feed on while I'm at work. I guess I jut feel that they will be hungry if I'm gone all day and they don't have anything to eat.


Our three cats and the dogs all get fed on the same 12hr schedule. Breakfast at 7am, dinner at 7pm. All carefully measured and controlled portions. We had one slow eater, and our rule is, if it's not eaten in about 15-20 minutes, then it gets put away. They learn quickly to eat when the food is there...
Now, I'm sure they would LOVE to have food out all day, and maybe get hungry as dinner time approaches, but having been through the "diet" and "weight management" nightmare, this method works much better for us. Oh, and we feed them all a grain-free food, which has helped TREMENDOUSLY with the kitty chubs.

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 09:41 AM
Thanks. I'll start doing that. I hate to think they'll be so hungry, but I think I need to get them on a better schedule. Oksana is at a good weight, but I'm noticing she's getting a bit of a belly too, so this will most likely work out for all of them.

The little ones are really the ones who eat a good portion of their food in one sitting. What I usually do now is feed them around 6:30, then get ready for work. I leave at about 7:30, so what's not eaten I throw away and leave the kibble.

I've got 4 bowls of kibble, one for each out now. I'm going to try just limiting it to one bowl, the one with the hairball control I buy for Oksana.

BAILEYSMUDGE
January 22nd, 2008, 11:29 AM
My boys eat both canned and dry with a dish of water on the side.... that's what I've been feeding my boys and the two cats I had before. The two I had before NEVER EVER had weight problems... my two boys now do! My problem with the grain free food is that it's not always available. It's not a good idea to keep switching foods... I've been buying the food from the vet (which I've since learned is not that good for them)... Smudge developed irritated gums which had to be cleaned :2cents::2cents: They've been eating TD Formula kibble .. his gums are fine now. Poor not-so-little guy. I put food down in the morning (the canned goes first)...then the kibble goes eventually...when I get home from work.. it's usually almost all gone. Then, before bed... another 1/4 c (measured) in the dish... so that they can let me sleep through the night... Bailey complains if I forget... he'll sit there "pounding" on the cupboard door for more food if I forget. Sheesh!! Bailey is a big boy at 17.5 lbs... but, Smudge, the runt of the litter almost weighs as much... now that's a problem....:frustrated:

phoozles
January 22nd, 2008, 11:46 AM
My guy was on Iams weight loss for over a year and didn't lose an ounce - he's been on Wellness since the end of October, and the difference is amazing - he's got his waist back and a lot more energy!

I would recommend eliminating the kibble altogether. They'll be fine not eating until you get home. I feed my guys small servings 4 times a day - but you could definitely double it to two bigger feedings if you like.

I know you said your cats don't like Wellness, but even Fancy Feast is better for them than the Iams weight loss or the kibble, so you could definitely go that route.

Jake was also 17lbs - which is really too big for a kitty - sometimes you can't tell how big they are because you see them every day. I haven't had a chance to weigh him yet, but he must have lost at least a couple pounds (he's much lighter to pick up now!), and his goal weight is 12lbs. I feed him 4/5ths of a can of Wellness a day, because of the high calorie count of the Wellness. You might need to feed more with Fancy Feast - catinfo.org has a link to a good calorie count to figure all that out.

Good luck - you'll be so happy when you see the pounds drop off - I know I am! :fingerscr

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 11:54 AM
Yeah, 17 pounds is a lot. I can see is waist, but you can tell a little more and it'll be gone.

Tonight I'll feed them their canned and take way the kibble. Then I'll see how they do in the morning with just the canned. If they don't have kibble to munch on all night, they're sure to eat all their food the following day, which should keep them satisfied until I get home.

See, I'm already starting to feel guilty. I hope they don't think I'm starving them or they've done something wrong and I'm taking away their food.:sad:

Love4himies
January 22nd, 2008, 12:05 PM
Unfortunately, mine don't seem to like the Wellness canned. I tried if for several weeks and they didn't like it. The only canned I find that they do like is the Fancy Feast.

How do you feed them? Morning and evening?

Puddles was a FF addict before I had to change her diet due to health reasons.

I started her by mixing 3/4 FF and 1/4 Wellness, feedings twice per day, kibble as a small treat (she was also a kibble addict). Couple of weeks later, changed to 1/2 and 1/2. When I got down to 1/4 FF and 3/4 Wellness, she didn't like it so I pulverized Freeze Dried Real Food Toppers, Salmon flavour (she was a fish flavour fiend) and spinkled some on her Wellness mixing it in slightly, still have to do that if she is not too hungry otherwise she will just try to bury her food. She is feed first thing in morning, as soon as I get home from work and small kibble treat before bed.

BTW, Puddles had a traumatic experience with Sweet Pea on the weekend (they are still kept seperated) and I gave her pure FF, she threw it all up. She hasn't vomited her food since changing to Wellness ;).

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 12:42 PM
Puddles was a FF addict before I had to change her diet due to health reasons.

I started her by mixing 3/4 FF and 1/4 Wellness, feedings twice per day, kibble as a small treat (she was also a kibble addict). Couple of weeks later, changed to 1/2 and 1/2. When I got down to 1/4 FF and 3/4 Wellness, she didn't like it so I pulverized Freeze Dried Real Food Toppers, Salmon flavour (she was a fish flavour fiend) and spinkled some on her Wellness mixing it in slightly, still have to do that if she is not too hungry otherwise she will just try to bury her food. She is feed first thing in morning, as soon as I get home from work and small kibble treat before bed.

BTW, Puddles had a traumatic experience with Sweet Pea on the weekend (they are still kept seperated) and I gave her pure FF, she threw it all up. She hasn't vomited her food since changing to Wellness ;).

Poor Puddles! What did Sweet Pea do to her?

I can try doing that, mixing in some wellness with the FF to see if they get used to the flavor. As it is now I have to mix 3 different flavors of the FF to get them to eat, and Maks is still getting his mixed with Kibble. Maybe if I can get them to all change to the Wellness Vlad's weight issue will be gone and Maks' sensitive tummy will get better.

Love4himies
January 22nd, 2008, 01:10 PM
Poor Puddles! What did Sweet Pea do to her?

I can try doing that, mixing in some wellness with the FF to see if they get used to the flavor. As it is now I have to mix 3 different flavors of the FF to get them to eat, and Maks is still getting his mixed with Kibble. Maybe if I can get them to all change to the Wellness Vlad's weight issue will be gone and Maks' sensitive tummy will get better.

Good luck, the trick with changing a cat's food is patience and persistance.

Sweet Pea is not too sweet to Puddles. Puddles would hiss and growl at Sweet Pea's kittens all the time, and so Sweet Pea HATES Puddles. Sweet Pea being a former stray, she is super strong, and a fighter. On Sunday, I thought Puddles was locked up in our room, but I must have left the door open, went out to town and came back to find Puddles cornered in the dining room growling at Sweet Pea. Sweet Pea did not hurt Puddles, but scared her (Puddles is extremely timid). Precious Jasper was watching the whole affair, very stressed, from outside the dining room. I am just beside myself because it has been 6 months and can't leave them alone for a moment. I am walking Sweet Pea with a leash and harness while in the same room as Puddles trying to get them used to each other.

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 01:32 PM
Good luck, the trick with changing a cat's food is patience and persistance.

Sweet Pea is not too sweet to Puddles. Puddles would hiss and growl at Sweet Pea's kittens all the time, and so Sweet Pea HATES Puddles. Sweet Pea being a former stray, she is super strong, and a fighter. On Sunday, I thought Puddles was locked up in our room, but I must have left the door open, went out to town and came back to find Puddles cornered in the dining room growling at Sweet Pea. Sweet Pea did not hurt Puddles, but scared her (Puddles is extremely timid). Precious Jasper was watching the whole affair, very stressed, from outside the dining room. I am just beside myself because it has been 6 months and can't leave them alone for a moment. I am walking Sweet Pea with a leash and harness while in the same room as Puddles trying to get them used to each other.

Oh jeez. Poor Puddles, but I guess that's what she gets for being hissy to Sweet Pea's kittens. It's good that nobody got hurt, but it stinks that Puddles feels so scared.

I guess Jasper didn't feel like refereeing that confrontation. Vlad does that now and then. Maks wants to get all big kitty on Oksana and she starts to meow and they fight, so Vlad comes to break things up.

bendyfoot
January 22nd, 2008, 02:53 PM
See, I'm already starting to feel guilty. I hope they don't think I'm starving them or they've done something wrong and I'm taking away their food.:sad:

This is how most pets get overweight...we "kill them with kindness" and give them extra food, treats, etc. because we feel bad for them or because they look so sad when they try to mooch and they "make" us feel guilty... DON'T FALL FOR IT!!! Remember that you're prolonging their lives and bettering their overall health by keeping them lean...once they get used the the new feeding schedule, they'll be fine...

so no more guilt trips for yourself, ok!:D

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 03:03 PM
DON'T FALL FOR IT!!! Remember that you're prolonging their lives and bettering their overall health by keeping them lean...once they get used the the new feeding schedule, they'll be fine...

so no more guilt trips for yourself, ok!:D

Thanks. You're right! It won't do any of them any good getting diabetes because of a weight problem or have any joint pain because they're over weight.

I have to look at it that way, I'm prolonging their life and keeping them healthy.

phoozles
January 22nd, 2008, 03:51 PM
It's true, and honestly, once you get them on a routine, they'll know when breakfast/dinner time is and be ready for it.
Jake's always been a food harasser - if he had it his way, I'd feed him every half an hour! :rolleyes: I just look at his weight loss and know I'm doing the right thing. :thumbs up
He's also figured out how to eat quickly - if he doesn't, Alley's in there to eat his food. It's amazing how quickly they adapt!

ancientgirl
January 22nd, 2008, 05:59 PM
I already started tonight. What they didn't finish within an hour was tossed. The little ones don't leave much behind anyway, they eat about 75% of their food in one sitting. This way it will get them used to eating everything in one sitting and not leave anything.

Love4himies
January 23rd, 2008, 08:44 AM
Vlad does that now and then. Maks wants to get all big kitty on Oksana and she starts to meow and they fight, so Vlad comes to break things up.

That is how Snowball was with Puddles. He was 5 yrs when we got Puddles as a kitten and he always protected her from cats, even if Puddles and Snowball were inside and cat came on our deck to look in the window. If it hissed at Puddles, Snowball would get in front of Puddles and start clawing and hissing at the window. When they were in our back yard, if a cat came in and went after Puddles, Snowball would run over and tear the stray cat apart. He would even catch prey and bring it back to her:lovestruck:. Guess that is how Sweet Pea felt about Puddles getting angry at her kittens:sad:.

Love4himies
January 23rd, 2008, 08:47 AM
It's true, and honestly, once you get them on a routine, they'll know when breakfast/dinner time is and be ready for it.
Jake's always been a food harasser - if he had it his way, I'd feed him every half an hour! :rolleyes: I just look at his weight loss and know I'm doing the right thing. :thumbs up
He's also figured out how to eat quickly - if he doesn't, Alley's in there to eat his food. It's amazing how quickly they adapt!


Yes, routine feedings are very important to cats, they don't free feed and they know when their next meal is. It is like nursing an infant, regular, consistant feedings.

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 12:14 PM
That is how Snowball was with Puddles. He was 5 yrs when we got Puddles as a kitten and he always protected her from cats, even if Puddles and Snowball were inside and cat came on our deck to look in the window. If it hissed at Puddles, Snowball would get in front of Puddles and start clawing and hissing at the window. When they were in our back yard, if a cat came in and went after Puddles, Snowball would run over and tear the stray cat apart. He would even catch prey and bring it back to her:lovestruck:. Guess that is how Sweet Pea felt about Puddles getting angry at her kittens:sad:.

Snowball sounded like a doll. But yes, I'm guessing that's how Sweet Pea felt about Puddles hissing at her kitties.

zztopp
January 23rd, 2008, 01:13 PM
Our three cats and the dogs all get fed on the same 12hr schedule. Breakfast at 7am, dinner at 7pm. All carefully measured and controlled portions. We had one slow eater, and our rule is, if it's not eaten in about 15-20 minutes, then it gets put away. They learn quickly to eat when the food is there...

Agreed!!

Our dogs, horses and barn cats are fed on the same schedule -- (Fill in mealtime) is now, come eat or wait till your next mealtime. If food isn't touched within 5 or 10 mins, then food is put away. Period! So far, no one has starved ;)

Now, the housecats (both Siamese!) are always on the lean side, so they're always free-fed ...

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM
I've begun a new schedule for them. They eat in the morning when I wake up and if it's not done by the time I leave I throw it away and wash their plates. then I feed them again after I get home and have taken a shower.

I think they'll be okay. Vlad and Oksana are the ones that will find it hardest, because they're the ones that have a few bites and walk away.

Jim Hall
January 23rd, 2008, 06:32 PM
ANd get vlad to exercise somehow lazer tags are the most wonderfull pet toy since , well pets actually

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 06:52 PM
I'm trying. I used the laser yesterday and the only ones chasing was Oksana, Kiska and Maks. Vlad only swatted when it got close to him LOL. But he did get into it for a few seconds.

I was home today and after i got back from the doctor, I played the chasing game with him. Where he chases me and I chase him. But I'm so out of shape, and afraid of getting short of breath we didn't do it for long.

But I'm going to do that with him a little bit every day.

Winston
January 23rd, 2008, 07:10 PM
Mine love to chase a long string! or sometimes I use a long belt! They go nuts chasing it! they love the lazer though! Try using it with Maks each time you get it out and eventually he will play like the rest...once he finds it fun he will join in.. The change in the food regime is good and they will get used to it. I free feed and always have for 11 years so I cant change now..and mine have always been only 6 and 8 lbs....

Cindy

ancientgirl
January 23rd, 2008, 07:12 PM
I think my biggest problem with free feeding has been that Vlad feels the need to taste what's in everyone's bowl, even though it's the same food. So he's got 4 bowls to eat from.

I will feel more comfortable getting him down a few pounds and then keeping him there. I just don't want to take chances with diabetes.