I have to admit I’m not too original when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. I tend to focus on losing weight, getting into shape or a mixture of both. This year, I have company from the feline contingent in the house. At their annual check up, we discovered that Max and Ellie are a bit overweight and need to make some changes.
Ellie loves her food and I’ve worked hard to keep her weight down and Max’s weight stable the past several years. However, Ellie was vomiting certain types of food this past year. We discovered early that dry food didn’t trigger a reaction. So, they ate only dry food for several months as we did a gradual changeover from their regular kibble to grain free.
Before we started experimenting with what wet foods didn’t cause a reaction, we went on a three week vacation and came home to a couple of very large cats. I’m sure they convinced the cat sitters that the amount of kibble I fed them each day was inadequate. Now, it’s diet time. Here are some hints from our vet:
Go for balance – It’s usually not a good idea to only feed your cat dry food. Now that we’ve found canned food that works that she’ll eat, we’ve cut down to a minimal amount of dry food and increased the protein or wet food served each day.
Portion control – For several years, I diligently measured the amount of food I fed the cats each day. I’m now back to making sure they get the measured amount of wet and dry food. There is a free app on the market for your iPhone – Petmobi – that helps you monitor a variety of things so that you feed your pet the right amount of food for their size, age and activity level.
Watch the snacking – Ellie knows where the cat treats are hidden in my office and she could win an A-cat-emy Award for her begging. Although I do toss treats at them so they need to work a little, I give them far too many. A low calorie option is Lickety Stik for cats.
Get them moving – My cats are just seven and still really love to play. I now dedicate some time after dinner each evening and on weekends for some of their favorite games like – ‘da bird or cat teaser. Max loves to play fetch and Ellie is the queen of the laser pointer (she’ll stare at my husband until he complies). See the articles below for some of our favorite kitty toys.
Will work for food – To combine the treats and the work out, invest in treat mazes or some of the other cool interactive pet products on the market. You load these products up with treats and your pet will only be rewarded when they pop open a hatch or get a toy to flip in a certain direction. It slows down the number of treats they eat and makes them work for their goodies. A Company of Animals carries a variety of Nina Ottosson interactive games that are made for dogs but will work for cats.
Each cat in the house is shooting to lose one pound – that is equal to about 15 for a person. It’s a good idea to take the weight off gradually with cats. Your cat risks liver problems if the weight comes off too fast.