Our lovely nurses are happy to discuss any weight problems with you.
A lot of pets are overweight or even obese. There is no shame in having a podgy pooch, but you have to do something about it.
As we all know it is not as easy as it sounds. Everyone knows it is all about the food and the exercise, but where do you start? Let us help you.
If any of us has mentioned the weight of your pet to you, please take it seriously. We do want to help you and the best is prevention. We do not want to see osteoarthritis and diabetes. Yes we can all get it, but the risks are a lot higher when you are overweight.
It is very hard for you to notice. You see your pet every day, that is why we weigh your pet at least once a year for the annual health check.
The next step is to make an appointment with one of our nurses.
There are lots of different ways and some cases are more difficult than others.
We have to be inventive to deal with some of our more resistent ones.
Others need help e.g. Moomoo has degenerative joint disease and did not move a lot. Now she is on pain relief and has become a lot more active. Hopefully we will soon see the effect on the scales.
It is a lot easier if you have some help. Regular weigh ins are important to see any improvement or to alert us to modify the diet.
Talk to us and make an appointment
Snoop is a 8 year old, male neutered British Shorthair cat. He is a purely indoor cat and has 3 feline housemates.
2 of his friends came only a few years ago. First he thought they were his new toys, but after a while he was even more excited. He learnt if he eats his food quickly, he can run upstairs and finish their left overs. So he had more food and also entered middle age. He did what most of us do, he slowly put weight on and got less and less active. His biggest exercise was watching the young ones play. That is like us sitting down to watch tv.
Slowly he got heavier and heavier. Because it happens slowly, you are not aware of it. Well of course you notice a change, but you do not realise how bad it is.
All of the cats have some wet food and dried food. We changed the dried food to an indoor type food, for less active cats and made sure that any left overs were out of reach of Fatty. The young ones kept their weight fine, no problems there.
So the first step was a weigh in. You need awareness of the problem.
And OMG (sorry been to America) he is fat. The scale said 9.1 kg. That is a lot.
When he had a healthy weight (good body score) he was 6.5 kg, which is still bigger than your average cat, but his breed is bigger. In comparison the thin young ones are between 4.3 and 4.5 kg..
Back to Snoop, he was enormous. Finally, my husband agreed, not blaming him, but he never believed me, when I said he is too big.
So second step everyone is on board. You do not want the other half of the family sneaking little treats in, and leaving you wondering why he is not losing weight. Fortunately for us Snoop does not like treats and never had them.
Third step have a target you can measure. We had the starting point and weighing is an easy way to measure your success.
So what do most people do and us included? We cut down the food.
Next weight was even worse!
Why is this? With all the other cats around he just had more dried food.
So, change of plan. tThe proper food was ordered. It is an obesity dried food. Yes that is the name, no way around it. My cat is fat and we have to do something about it.
Fourth step get professional advice.
Next problem how much to feed? You have to work it out and weigh the food. That is the best, measuring cups are no good!
But we have another problem, the other cats. 2 are normal weight and one is slightly bigger. So we added their portion to the daily amount. The food is fine for them, it is a bit like Adkins diet. High protein and low fat and carbohydrates. After all, cats are meat eaters.
And finally we started to see some weight loss. Very slowly, which is typical for cats, but at least going down.
At the same time we tried to make him play more, which all the cat owners will know, is very hard. Some days he would play and some days he just gave you this cat look. 'Why are you throwing toys in front of me? Do you expect ME to fetch it?'
A few month later we were down to 8.5 kg, but then we got stuck. Next month the same, what is happening? A weigh in from the other cats revealed they were losing weight. So Snoop was eating their allocated portion, well no one told him not to.
What do we do? The clever diet people say, put the food up. Fat cats can not jump. Well Snoop can. Another idea is to hide the food under a card board box and cut a small hole for thin cats. Well Snoops favourite game is to destroy boxes in under 5 minutes.
So we put our thinking cap on and found a way. We have a kind of wardrobe/spare room with an old door. We got our saw out and cut a small hole into it. Now we have a place where slim ones can eat as much as they want and Snoops can get in.
The scale started going down again. Slowly. 5th step stick with it.
Now we had to be stricter with the amount we put in for the other cats. We erred on the nice side. After being on holidays and boot fit camp erred on the healthier side, we realised we were too soft.
So now he only gets his food and if the others eat it, which is what they some days do, tough. Since then he is losing 100g a month. April’s weight was 7.7 kg. The next weigh in is coming up in May. I will keep you posted.
In August Snoops reached 7.2 kg! This is a weight loss of 2 kg, more than 20%.
Well done, but he still has not reached his target weight. We keep working on it.
Is it hard work? Yes. He wakes us up every morning about 5 am, because he is hungry. Every ten minutes he checks to make sure. Every time you twitch he runs to his food bowl and looks really cute, asking for food.
Is it worth it? Definitely. He is already looking younger and he is more active. He is playing a lot more. He is now 8 years old and we would like him to live as long as possible. At least now we give him a better chance.
Snoops story is not just there to embarrass me, but to help you. Do not be afraid to ask. We can give you advice. Remember the first step is to have your pet weighed.