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Saturday, October 04, 2008  

Cat Diet

A couple of weeks ago, I brought Excavator in to meet Dr. M. for the first time. Dr. M. was back from her yearlong world tour, and I wanted her to get the chance to look him over and take his measure.

Unfortunately, that measure is "fat."

When we first met Exie, he was about the size of a squirrel, only black and with a bushier tail. We figured he was going to be big by the size of his paws. He didn't get as big as we thought, but now that he's a year and change, he really should probably stop growing. And he has, in certain directions. Not so much in others.

He weighed in at twelve pounds. Which Dr. M. said isn't overweight. Yet. He's got about a half a pound before he gets there. This is mostly a judgment call, and from what I could tell, a big part of it is noticing that he's got a pretty small head in comparison to his body.

This iz not mi bootifull litterbox!

But what can we do about it, really? If we limit the amount of food that goes in their bowls, he won't eat any less. He'll eat the same amount, and Phantom will turn into a dust bunny. In fact, as a former barn cat, he might even worry that his food supply is drying up and eat every meal as though it's his last. And Phantom's, too. And then he'll eat Phantom.

Dr. M.'s suggestion is to keep a close eye on his weight, and if he balloons out to twelve and a half pounds, we're going to have to start feeding them separately. That means locking Phantom in a room with her bowl for however long it takes her to eat, which, considering how contrary she generally is, will probably be about six hours. The only thing that will take longer is catching her so I can put her in there.

But it's not looking like we're going to have much of a choice. Exie's already begun to develop that first, worst sign of a truly fat cat: a stinky ass. I try to brush him, but that doesn't always fully address the problem. And then there's nothing for it but to grab the cat and a handful of tissues and start harvesting dingleberries. Except, because of the length of his fur, he doesn't so much get dingleberries as these spiky little poo bits. More like dingleburrs.

So that leaves one possibility: switching to food he hates. Alas, I'm not certain such a thing exists. He's the first cat we ever had who begs at the table. But if something isn't done, he's going to end up with diabetes or something. I did Strat's injections for four years, and it took me months to get used to not have to doing them. I don't want to have to get used to them again.

Just in case, though, I'm holding onto Strat's leftover insulin.

posted by M. Giant 6:33 PM 7 comments

7 Comments:

We dealt with this, but we had a normal-to-skinny cat and a 23 pound moster cat before we found a remotely effective way of dealing with it.

The solution was to take a plastic container and cut a small cat sized hole in it. We put the food for the small cat in there. It worked well. (Link to a picture of what I'm talking about is below.)

By Anonymous mary ann, at October 4, 2008 at 7:25 PM  

Mary Ann FTW! Good night, rest of the Internet.

By Blogger M. Giant, at October 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM  

my god that photo is brilliant

By Blogger katie, at October 4, 2008 at 7:36 PM  

Seriously - a brilliant idea. Way to go, Mary Ann!

- JeniMull

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2008 at 9:11 AM  

Totally brilliant Mary Ann. I am sending that picture to my friends who have a similar small cat/fat cat dilemma. Rock on!

By Blogger Neurotic Grad Student, at October 5, 2008 at 3:32 PM  

The best part is how Fatty is perched on top of the plastic container, giving lazer eyez to the camera. Because that lid's gonna have to come off sometime, yo.

By Blogger Kim, at October 8, 2008 at 1:13 PM  

I feed the skinny one in the bathroom and the fat one gets diet food in the kitchen. The door to the bathroom is closed when no one is in there. Since I go in and out of the bathroom pretty often, there are plenty of opportunities for skinny to come in with me and eat. And fat boy doesn't come into the bathroom at all. The only disadvantage is that skinny thinks he should have someone with him to eat. So if he's eating and you're done in the bathroom, you feel responsible to stay there until he's done.

The box idea looks good. But I envision fat boy getting stuck with his front legs and head in the hole.

By Anonymous Bo, at October 10, 2008 at 5:56 AM  

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