Day 1 of cat hell or fluffy is out! | For animal lovers

I'm not fat, I'm fluffy!

I’m not fat, I’m fluffy!

After looking at the photo of Hazel, our timid chubster, I realized that I have to get serious about a diet – for her, not me!


She would be considered morbidly obese if she were a human. Because of her weight she is susceptible to many chronic diseases.


Some of them require medications. Diabetes requires two injections a day. It’s best to keep her healthy for my sake.


It all comes from kitty issues when she was a baby. She was one of an outdoor semi-feral litter that nobody wanted. Based on the way she reacts when people (even me her adoring feeder) are near, I suspect she was chased or harassed or bullied as a youngster.

She was surrendered to a rescue group when she was six months old and full of parasites. Because I am a sucker for the underdog (or undercat) I adopted her despite the fact that she wasn’t the playful, adoring kitten who climbed in your lap.

She eats to medicate herself for stress or because she fears there will not be another meal (after living with me for 8 years, really?).


Those scars run deep. Perhaps a therapist would be in order but would she fit on the couch?


She fell out of a second story window under my watch when she was young. That’s how she got her last name of Wallenda. She did it with grace and did not hurt anything but her pride. Of course, I was nuts. You can read about it here.


Other than that, she has had a great life. Playmates, regular meals, catnip, toys, windows, sunny beds – what more can a cat ask for? So where is this stress coming from?



Here are Mollie (left) and Hazel shortly after Hazel was adopted.

Here are Mollie (left) and Hazel shortly after Hazel was adopted. it’s hard to tell from this picture but Mollie is a small cat weighing in here at 7 pounds. Hazel weighed around the same

I had two other cats but they liked her. What’s not to like? She is not an alpha cat. She’s not even a beta cat. According to the Greek alphabet omega is the last letter and she’s it.


Putting one cat on a diet means putting all four on restrictive eating patterns (doesn’t that sound better?). I had been cutting back on the food because Morgan (the new Miss Smarty Pants cat) doesn’t eat wet food. That was just giving another portion to Hazel.


Morgan’s dry food, which is high-powered (high calorie) for her high energy, is on top of a high boy dresser. Hazel couldn’t get up there unless she lost a lot of weight. A lot of weight!


Back to the diet – last night’s supper was the first “diet meal.” It didn’t take long before Hazel, a normally silent cat, was bellyaching sitting next to her empty (and completely licked clean) dish. We muddled through the night with some soulful looks and soft meows.


This morning she was so ready for breakfast. Unfortunately, this didn’t go as she planned either. I gave her a normal serving. By 9:30 a.m. she was fairly loud about her stomach pains. I relented a little and gave her a tablespoon full of dry. (Sure let’s teach her that looking sad gets you what you want. This is where I question my parenting skills)


Normally there is dry food available for them all to eat whenever they want. All my other cats have self-control. Hazel is the first one who will eat until the food is gone. We can’t do that anymore. I now have three cranky cats.


There is no Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem for cats. Where is Jillian Michaels when you need her? Weight Watchers for cats? It’s going to be a long summer.


Miss Smarty Pants can still eat whenever she wants.


Today we are going to start Kitty Boot Camp. For Hazel that will be 90 seconds of exercise. (We will start slow so neither one of us gets a heart attack.) Maybe we should try yoga…..cats-exercising-on-yoga-balls

48 thoughts on “Day 1 of cat hell or fluffy is out! | For animal lovers

  1. Oh my gosh, I love your big girl!! My late kitty was just like her: large and in charge! Ironically it is my skinny skinny mini that I now have who is the diabetic one! I hope your girl is doing well on her diet 😉




  2. This is so funny. Where did you get the aerobics class. Omigod…that’s great…Hazel’s history put a lump in my throat…it cleared up when you said nothing was hurt but her pride. Nothing like pairing poignancy with a good laugh. The first photo when she says she’s fluffy, not fat, is so sweet. I’m thinking Xmas card.

    Great piece Kate and should be gleaned for your cat collection coming up soon. Look at all the comments and LIKES…wow


  3. Do you take small dogs in your kitty boot camp. I am having the same awful time putting Oreo on a diet. He too is morbidly obese. He goes one better than sad soulful eyes–he trembles. That kills me. I can then hardly wait to get some food into his mouth. He wins!

    My two other dogs, also Shih Tzus, are at varying stages of weight gain or loss. The oldster, Tilly Tot, is overweight, but not obese. The middle “child” is sylph-like and needs more food than the other two. I feed them at various spots in the kitchen, and they are well trained to not tackle another guy’s dish until that “guy” has walked away from it. However, Oreo is so hungry most of the time, I have to keep an eye on him. I am a nervous wreck.


    • I hear you. Jake is diabetic and likes to eat every few hours. Now I have to stand there while he eats so Hazel doesn’t clean up. That is how she got how she is in the first place. She will clean up anyone’s dish. No questions asked. Doesn’t matter what the flavor is. She loves it all.


  4. First of all, the kitty yoga is priceless! Second, our Helen is about the same size as Hazel and I myself am of course “Rubenesque” as Mimi put it so delicately. So once you figure this out let me know, and Helen and I will enroll in your boot camp!


  5. Hazel has my heartfelt sympathy because I am suffering the same yowling food yearnings on a human “restrictive eating pattern”. Though this blog post is absolutely hilarious Kate, from my perspective (and Hazel’s) dieting is a mournful painful process. 😉


  6. Oh, my . . . you’ve got your work cut out for you, Kate. One idea (which I’ve never tried, but you can be the guinea pig) . . . offer extra food (low cal) but make her work/walk/run/jump for it.

    Here Kitty Kitty . . . good girl!
    Here’s a pellet!
    Now drop and give me 20! Alright.
    Here’s a pellet!
    OK . . . Simon Says do 6 jumping jacks! Awesome!
    Here’s a pellet!


  7. Oh, Hazel – you is just fluffy not that ugly word. (How I hate dieting cats…they are so pitiful..all that you eat in this room and you eat in this – hey, come back, you cannot eat in both rooms…I hear you. I know she ate yours, I’ll get more – but you have to eat on schedule now – no more free munching all day)
    I’ll just watch the exercising kitties so I cannot see her face. Too sad.


  8. Okay, I know Hazel’s weight issue is no laughing matter, Kate, but…that first photo…I’m dying here. She’s all sprawled, just letting it hang out, and the face, she could care less.
    Extreme Weight Loss is on tonight, perhaps you can get some helpful hints.
    The exercise balls…too funny! Thanks for the laughs this evening. 🙂


  9. Good luck with the kitty diet and exercise plan. I admire your sense of adventure as you embark upon it. I can only imagine the sharply expressed disgruntlement that you’ll encounter along the way. You do have a ready supply of Neosporin and Bandaids, right?


  10. Best wishes on the kitty diet. We have two cats. They were both overweight on their visit to the vet a year ago. Today, the vet proudly said they’d each lost 2 pounds. They now weigh about 16 pounds each.

    They eat the Iams Proweight (Indoor) dry food and Fancy Feast wet food. For us, it’s easy. They both eat the same food. So, I know you have a challenge trying to keep Hazel away from the other cats’ food. Hang in there, Hazel. You can do it. 😉


  11. Oh my…kitty diets are a challenge, but they can work. They just take a long time! It is great that you’re combining it with exercise. That will help. Good luck!!


    • Exercising with Hazel is hard. She doesn’t like moving. If you put something directly in front of her she will play with it for a minute. If you move it out of reach, whoops, time for a nap!


      • Will she play with a treat ball? That can get a food-motivated cat moving sometimes. Cut back on their food a little (more) and put treats in a ball for her to have to get out. Just an idea.


          • They make small round treat balls for cats (green and blue I think) where you can adjust the size of the opening to make it easier or harder to get food out. You can start with it being easy to teach her what’s up, and then make it more difficult as she gets addicted to it.


  12. Funny, the way you told it, but her ongoing bellyaching probably isn’t quite so funny.

    I happen to be in the process of “helping” my smaller dog trim off a few pounds, and he is acting like he’s being fed miniscule portions meant for a hamster. Rushes around sniffing for crumbs, and pastes those saucer-sized eyes on me all day long. Sorry, Ozzie, but when you have to sit sideways because your butt is too round to sit normally, then it’s pretty clear it is time for a change in your eating plan. Big brown saucer-sized eyes notwithstanding, we’re in for a few more weeks of sorrowful begging. Hopefully, he’ll thank me later, when he can run and play again? Oh, who am I kidding? All he wants is another cookie. 🙂


      • This is probably my third or fourth attempt to help Ozzie whittle his waist. Things got interrupted in February when the big dog got deathly sick … Ozzie ended up slurping up all the food the big dog wasn’t interested in eating, so his already round self got even rounder. It has taken me a while to tackle the issue again, since he looks so pitiful during the process.


  13. She is really beautiful, albeit Rubenesque…It’s so hard to put one on a diet, when there are others eating at the same time (with the same food availability right there). I literally have to keep Bogey on a leash when I feed the pups or he would scarf down everybody’s food (and they’d let him!)


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