overweight

Weighing Cats

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Pet scaleHaving lost a beloved cat recently, I have learned how important it is to monitor their weight on a regular basis. Cats don’t often show signs of illness until it is rather serious. However, all three of the cats we’ve lost over the years had lost a significant amount of weight since their last vet visit. It was a slow process and one that we didn’t notice.

We have two cats now. Wayne is a big cat, both in structure and in weight. He’s clocking in at 19 pounds currently. He’s up 1 lb from a few years ago, but should be a few pounds lighter. Liv is underweight at 8 pounds, which is 2 pounds lighter than her healthy weight. Now that we only have two, we’re focusing on getting Liv’s weight up and Wayne’s weight down.

I am now weighing the cats weekly and keeping a spreadsheet with their weights. Monthly is probably a fine interval. There are a couple of ways to weigh your cat.

  1. Use your bathroom scale
    This is the easiest method. Step on the scale holding your cat and record the combined weight. Set your cat down and weigh yourself. Subtract your weight and you will have your cat’s weight.
  2. Get a pet or baby scale
    I bought an infant/toddler scale and now weigh the cats on it. It’s similar to what they use at the vet’s office and the cats tolerate it well. It has a tray to hold the baby and also is a safe area for the cat to sit. They will try to walk off, but both have settled in and now sit while I record their weight.

If your cat needs to lose or gain weight, this will help you monitor the progress. If your cat is a healthy weight, this will help you if he or she starts losing weight unintentionally. You can schedule a vet visit sooner to get ahead of any health problems.

If you are trying to help your cat lose weight, work with your veterinarian. It can be dangerous for cats to lose too much weight too quickly.

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Feeding Fatty, Part 2

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In a previous post, I wrote about ways to feed cats in a multi-cat household. Inevitably, it seems one cat always eats more than his/her fair share. We’ve been struggling with this issue for as long as we’ve had more than one cat.

Feeding Station
Liv (Left), Wayne (Middle) and Lucian (Right)

Our latest attempt at feeding seems to be working so far. It’s a bit unconventional and requires some handy-man/crafter skills. The basic premise is to create narrow feeding corrals so that the cats are guided into areas where they will ignore the other cats and just eat their own food. This is the prototype using soymilk cartons from Costco lined with contact paper and taped together.

Liv took to it immediately. We had already been feeding her in something similar, so it was familiar. Wayne hates it! He will eat, but only if he’s really hungry. He tends to leave as soon as he’s satiated instead of hoovering up whatever the other’s have left behind. Lucian eats well and is less apt to go smack Liv to get her out-of-the-way so he can finish hers. Read the rest of this entry »