Yes, today we’re on food again, and the answer to this one is easily seen in your cat!
There will be instructions on the food packaging that state how much to feed a cat of 3kg, 4kg etc, so you can just follow that as a general guide. But cats are as prone to temptation as we are so there might come a time when you’re thinking that a little light portion control is on the plan in the near future!
Now bear in mind that two of my cats have silhouettes which largely mirror my own...their waist is not immediately visible, you’ll struggle to count their ribs, and their tummy is not as tight as it could be! (Cat skirt!); so I know how tricky it can be to keep a cat that likes his dinner in his natural trim state!
I’m also very conscious that I’m doing them no favours, as just like us they can suffer from reduced mobility and joint problems, diabetes, urinary problems, pancreatitis, and increased risk of cancer.
If you’ve got a single cat household then the answer is fairly simple, either put them on a reduced calorie food, or reduce their portion sizes, very gradually, with a view to getting them back to a normal weight within a year.
You can go out and get a light food yourself from most stores now and just follow the portion size instructions on the packaging; however if you want to keep them on their normal food and reduce those portion sizes, I’d make a quick call to the vet to just check the exact weights to put out to make sure you’re getting the right amount.
If you’ve got a multi-cat household then things get a little trickier! I’ve tried feeding them in different rooms but they caught onto this one quite quickly! I’ve tried the £70 microchip feeders that only open for that cat whose chip you’ve have matched it with...but he just didn’t like the noise it made, so that’s sat gathering dust! I’ve tried putting them all on light food, but quite predictably, the tubby ones just ate more, and the skinny ones got skinner – I stopped that after two packets.
And I’ve just spotted an idea with cardboard boxes that I’m going to try this week! It looks genius! And cheap! So I’m going to be putting 4 cardboard boxes over the food bowls of the healthy weight cats with holes in that my chubby cats can’t fit through, so they can only eat what’s in their own bowls. I’ll let you know how I get on!
It would be remiss of me not to mention that, again, just like us, cats may be eating because they are greedy, but they may be eating through stress, so do make sure you take stock of the situation and try to eliminate any stressors to bring their eating habits in line naturally.
This would include things like making sure that their food is in a calm quiet place so they aren’t stressed when eating; that they aren’t eating right next to another cat so feeling like they have to compete for food; and that they haven’t suddenly become super huge eaters when normally they are fine, as this could be a sign of a health problem that you’ll want to get check with the vet.
On a lighter note, don’t forget exercise...which to a cat just means play, play and more play! You could use a dry cat food feeder gadget, get them running around after feathers or lights, or just encourage them to play outside more, win-win for your fur-baby!
As always, I’d love to hear your stories so do share!
Catch up soon,