When someone in your home is on a diet, it affects the entire family. The complaining, the stress, the agitation, the successes, the failures, even the begging for food at 3 a.m.
And when the person on a diet is your cat, well – then even biting is involved.
We’d always thought the cat was a bit big – she’s a Maine Coon, and that breed runs large. However since the munchkin was born we’ve given the cat less attention, and therefore less exercise. Whoops. At our most recent vet visit, the doctor said she’s overweight. She’s 15 lbs, and needs to be 14.
How does a cat lose one pound? As it turns out, not easily.
Coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal recently ran a story on overweight pets, and listed tips on how to help them slim down, thankfully, because honestly we just weren’t sure what to do.
The two tips we gleaned from the article that we’ve been trying the most are –
1 – Give her short bursts of exercise
2 – Hide her food in different places to encourage her hunting reflex
And of course, rather than just refilling her bowl when it’s empty, which is what we had been doing, we ration it.
So here is what has happened so far:
- She woke us up at 3 am bumping her little head against our foreheads and meowing
- She followed me around until I finally refilled her bowl, at which point she ate so fast that she immediately barfed on the floor
- We ‘hid’ some food pellets on the picture window, she still hasn’t found it
- We ‘hid’ some food pellets on her favorite chair – she saw it and (I guess) assumed it was a person sitting in her chair, so she went to sit somewhere else
- She followed me around and when I didn’t go refill her bowl, she bit my ankle
So far, not so good. And considering our house is going on the market soon, I’m not sure how cat food on the window sill and furniture and cat barf on the floor will go over to potential buyers.