Poor roly poly nice kitty

At the last vet appointment, they said that nice kitty needs to exercise more and eat less or she’s going to be at high risk for type 2 diabetes.  She also is so roly poly that she can no longer clean her rear end area.  She tries and she just flops over.  It’s both amusing and sad at the same time.  She also does not appreciate someone else coming after her with a warm wet paper towel to help clean her, though she doesn’t run away very quickly either.

This wasn’t really a problem when we had two (or more) cats.  But after Little Kitty died and after my sister’s cats went back home from an extended visit when my sister was traveling for a month we didn’t quite get the automatic food timer set correctly for just one cat.  And Nice Kitty was originally a street kitty (from our back yard) and doesn’t seem to be great at self-regulation if food is out.  Hard food would pile up, but it would eventually get eaten, except anything that fell to the floor because Nice Kitty is picky and wants things a certain way.

So we cut a feeding off the automatic timer.  That didn’t seem to do anything.  Hard food still piled up.  It still eventually got eaten.  Less made it to the floor.

So we cut another feeding off the automatic timer.  This one had some bite to it.  In the morning about an hour after the food is gone from the early morning feeding, she sings her songs of woe.  Can’t you see I’m wasting away, she croons.  I haven’t eaten in an hour!  She will drag DH over to the feeder and complain loudly about it being broken.  She will guide me over to the treat area to hopefully suggest that now would be a great time for treats.

A friend of ours suggested we stave off the complaining during this time with catnip.  This seemed to work– she got really into the nip.  It reminds me a bit of those late 20th century stories about Hollywood starlets on a bad path in order to be as skinny as the industry tells them to be.  “Nothing tastes as good as being able to clean yourself feels,” I tell her.  I don’t want to fat shame her, but I also think she should be able to clean her own rear end.

When the timer does go off, she gets the first exercise in (other than lazily rolling around batting at a piece of string she’s been refusing to actually chase) for a long time, racing to her food bowl.

We worry that some of this lethargy is caused by increasing her Prozac prescription after recent pee protests (peetests?) about visiting cats and DH accidentally buying scented instead of unscented litter for three of the four litterboxes.  Or not opening the patio door open wide enough in the morning for her to feel confident about using the patio potty.  We’re not quite sure what goes on in her kitty head.  Maybe it’s just uncomfortable to pee when you haven’t been able to wipe in a long while so DC1’s unfolded clean laundry pile looks like a better place than a litter box.  If the peetests stop for a long enough period, we will probably taper back down to every other day.  (If the peetests continue, we will take her back to the vet for more tests.)

We don’t want her to lose weight too quickly, of course.  And as the weather gets cooler she’ll be more willing to do exercise on her own.  I’m also thinking of getting a puzzle ball or some kind of other toy that rewards exercise with hidden treats.

How do you handle feeding your pets?

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10 Responses to “Poor roly poly nice kitty”

  1. Michael N Nitabach Says:

    We have two cats & give them only dry food, a set amount (abt one cup) twice a day. Their weight has been stable on that. So this doesn’t help you at all. My SIL has a super CHONK cat, and I will ask her what she’s been doing & if it’s helping him lose weight. Right now CHONK is with another normal weight cat & I think just steals her food TBH.

  2. gwinne Says:

    Oy. Also a problem in our household. We have a pudgy three-legged young cat (she was TEENY when we got her) and emaciated older girl with health issues. My strategy right now is to feed as much as the old one wants (wet food) and if that means the young one gets fatter because sometimes she eats the leftovers…we’ll deal with that later. I have largely stopped leaving dry food out, as it seemed recently only the pudgy one was eating it.

  3. Candi Says:

    Ugh. This is a major problem for us. We have one super chunk (22 lb Mainecoon mix, but he can still clean himself), one mini chunk and one on the verge of being too thin. Too thin has urinary problems (cystitis), is also on Prozac and is super nervous. He is an extreme grazer, whereas the other too will gorge themselves.

    I have no answers. For us, the only real solution I see is microchip feeders for each cat so we can regulate how much food each eats, which would be $450 and who knows if they’d use them. For now, we’re going with wet food in the mornings and dry at night/overnight so I can sleep. Super chunk has not lost weight.

    Wet food is good for chunks and urinary issues, more moisture and less carbs, but of course it has its own issues (stinky, can’t leave it out all day). The only thing I strongly don’t recommend is diet dry food. It’s even higher in carbs and I blame it for sending our old chunk into full on diabetes.

  4. monsterzero Says:

    Minerva and Gala get a total of 2/3 cup kibble in the morning and again in the evening, at least that’s the theory. Earlier this year we realized that we weren’t always communicating and sometimes double fed them; now we announce it when we’re giving them breakfast or dinner and they’ve lost some fat. They are now both members of the Clean Butt Club!

  5. Tinkering Theorist Says:

    Different problem than yours, but we had our cat lose weight over the last year with slow feeding bowls. Last year we got a kitten who would eat too fast and throw up, and this was also causing problems with the first cat getting enough food (though she was getting a bit fat so that wasn’t a pressing problem). We got a couple of different bowls to make the feeding more difficult–they have to work to get the food so they only do it when they are relatively hungry. It caused a lot of complaints originally but they got used to it and both are healthy weights (kitten was able to eat enough to grow while the older cat lost weight). We were not interested in having the bowl loading or cleaning be some additional complex task, so we got this one https://www.catit.com/shop/senses-2-digger/ which has some cups and also a ceramic one that has ridges/bumps. For the cup one, you put some food in each cup and they have to use a paw to get it. We started with the fairly shallow cups built in to the bowl, then put taller cups (which are also provided) in them as they got more adept at using it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ooh, we really could have used that with Big Kitty who used to gorge herself until she threw up. For a while we would do a kibble treasure hunt around the apartment to keep her from eating too much at a time, but then we had kids and that was no longer feasible (this, combined with Big Kitty’s loud early morning demands for food, is in fact why we got the feeder and have it set to frequent small feedings).

      I wonder if making it more difficult would be helpful for Nice Kitty. When she’s truly desperate, she does manage to get small amounts of food out of the feeder itself which is kind of similar…

      • Michael N Nitabach Says:

        Wait your cat busts open the feeder to get food out???

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        No, she jiggles it with her paw from underneath just so and a few pieces of kibble will escape. Little kitty was better at getting food out. Big kitty never figured it out, or maybe thought she wasn’t supposed to (which is good because little kitty wasn’t overweight and big kitty was).

  6. KMK Says:

    I second the Catit feeder – it totally worked for our cat who went from 16 to 12 pounds in a year.

  7. SP Says:

    Our food focused dog has his routines. He gets fed in the morning, and waits in his “place”, laying down super flat, until breakfast is served. He gets 2-3 Kongs with food in them per day, depending on if we are home with him or not. Then he gets his dinner nominally at 5, but will begin a campaign of asking for it starting at about 3:30 if we are home. This includes whining and trying to get us to follow him to his place, where he will sit pointedly and stare at us. He has a slow feeder bowl so he doesn’t inhale his food and choke on it. Kibble wold never just be sitting out uneaten. So far, no weight issues, but he’s still on the younger side of pets.


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