the incredible shrinking cat!

i noticed that i hadn’t posted about my cat in a while, and in order to maintain my crazy cat lady status, i’ll share some happy news about my little goober!

our little goopum, rohebo, i am ashamed to say, ballooned to just over 10kg after his first 1.5 years with me. he was kitten sized until about year 1, and then once i started feeding him adult cat food, his weight got out of control! i tried to portion based on the can instructions and his general size, but he always seemed hungry, always begging, i didn’t know what to do! exercising him in my tiny studio apartment was extremely tough, i tried looking for lower calorie food at the pet stores, etc. my victoria vet told me, “cat’s gain and loose weight like women.” and i asked, “how so?”. the reply: “they gain weight fast and lose it slow.” awesome. thanks. i tried feeding him smaller portions before i left for work and when i came home at night, but i didn’t seem to be seeing any results.

thankfully, the vet hospital in sechelt was a fantastic help for us! over christmas of 2009, rohe swallowed some ribbon and yacked it back up, but we were unsure as to whether there was more down there, and as we learned, ribbon can cause serious damage to a cat/animal’s digestive system, so we took him in to the sechelt animal hospital. here are his fat-padded x-rays 😦 thankfully, there was no more ribbon (yay – no surgery), but even more photographic evidence of his obesity.

just as is the case with humans, obese cats are at risk for diabetes, so the vet helped us come up with a plan and put rohe on a reducing “prescription”, available only at the vet, diet food – medical reducing for felines – being fed one portion in the morning and one at night. we brought rohe back to victoria and tried him on the diet.  his whining and begging and complaining was excruciating, (and the food is expensive) but if it was going to work and make sure he would be healthy, then we were absolutely willing to go through the early mornings and constant complaining (and the price tag, of course)!

after 4 months on the diet, we took him back in to the vet for weighing in april 2010… well… rohe had gained nearly 1.3 kg… on his diet 😦

SO the wonderful group at the sechelt animal hospital helped us portion and plan out his meals even further, so that he would receive the portions 4x a day and he would get his kibble only if he worked for it, batting around this treat ball. ryan and i worked VERY hard (ryan especially) at exercising him in my tiny studio apartment… (photo below of him squashing a bubble we made him chase)

so while i was up at my parents last in may 2011, i brought him in to the SAH again aaaaaaand…….

rohe has lots nearly 4kg! 3.19kg in just over a year of dieting and exercise! he has lost nearly a full small cat! we are SO happy and have just another 0.87kg to go for his goal weight! admittedly, it might not be easy to see that big of a distinction b/w my photos of large fat cat (above photo 2) and now svelte cat (photo below), but the proof is in the weighing! go rohe!

  1. Lindsay said:

    Nice work Rohe! Way to conquer the weight loss demon!
    That is an awesome story.

    • thanks Linds! yeah, the vet told us that lots of people give up after 3-4 months b/c they don’t see results, but it really seems to take at least a year of work! mom’s and dad’s of fat cats: don’t give up!! 🙂

  2. Karyn said:

    Hahahaha this is one of the many reasons why I love you! Does this mean I can’t feed him treats off of my head anymore? 😦

    • hehehe awww thanks karyn! instead of treats we bait him w/ his crunchies! you can still feed him crunchies off the top of your head! 🙂

  3. OMG, this is amazing! I’m not sure what makes me happier… your cat’s dramatic weight-loss, or your ‘crazy cat lady blog post’ complete with weight loss chart AND kitty x-ray! Well done, good story with a happy ending!

    • hehehe thanks alison! we looooooove our little fathead (though now that nickname might not be as appropriate) and we’re so happy he is a lot healthier!

  4. Meghan said:

    Have you looked into grain-free foods, Ally? (i.e. no corn, no wheat, nothing). Even the vet prescription foods tend to be pretty grain heavy, which, as former obligate carnivores, cats’ bodies are pretty poorly adapted to. There’s a lot of info online about grain/carb-free pet food and pet obesity, diabetes, etc. Also grain-free wet food as a much better choice than kibble, for kidney health etc. Especially with male cats. Now that Rohe’s lost some weight I bet you could maintain him easily on Innova Evo or Orijen (the best kibbles in my experience) or any grain-free wet food like Wellness, and he wouldn’t have to be quite so portion controlled–and he wouldn’t get hungry as fast either. While you’re still in Victoria, I’d recommend talking to the staff at A Pet’s Life, they are super knowledgeable. Anyway, sorry to be preachy, but “vet prescription food” always sets off warning bells for me as a former evolutionary biologist 🙂

    • not preachy at all Meghan! i appreciate the advice! i chose the “medical” b/c the dietician at the animal hospital recommended (obviously, they sell the product, so they have an interest to push it ;)), but i was happy to pay for it if it was going to give me/rohe results!
      i guess i called it “prescription”, but it is really just a diet cat food (i call it prescription b/c you can only buy it at vet clinics).
      i didn’t know about grain-free foods, i’ll definitely look into them! rohe is on a wet/crunchie mix atm, but once he loses this last bit of weight, i’m definitely going to be looking for a more lasting/affordable/realistic cat food that rohe can survive on!
      thanks for the tips!!

      • Meghan said:

        Well, grain-free evo foods are not super cheap either. Nothing is as cheap as grocery store brands, but that’s cause they’re full of cheap corn and soy and other things that our little mini-tigers did not evolve to eat. At least with grain-free they eat less because their bodies use all of the energy optimally (less litterbox scooping too, in my experience). Hills & Science Diet and the like have a lot of additives, too; evo foods tend to be more holistic. “Grain” free can even be controversial — I think it’s Wysong that’s doing “starch” free now, to most closely mimic a pre-processed-food carnivore cat’s diet. And there are plenty of raw food advocates but that’s so much work.I’ve had good success with grain-free anyway. It’s like looking at our own foods and what they contain–processed additives vs. ‘whole’ foods, informed by knowledge about carnivores & metabolism etc. Anyway. Google will tell you better than my random musings … is not the sharpest looking website but it’s informative.

  5. that’s great advice meghan, thanks! i’ll pop in to “A Pet’s Life” this week and pick the staff’s brains!

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