Dieting cat style – an update on Hazel | For Animal Lovers

Hazel on top of cat tower

Hazel on top of cat tower

Today it’s all about cats — actually just Hazel.

I am so proud of myself her. At her last vet visit in October she weighed just under 18 pounds. She’s not a big cat, structure wise. If she were a person she would have been considered morbidly obese.

Hazel at her largest

Hazel at her largest

That was then. Now she weighs 15 pounds. Woo hoo!

We came home and had the hard conversation. Slowly, ever so slowly, we started to cut back. She lost a half pound in a week. That’s a lot for a cat.

She wasn’t happy. She was hungry. *Insert big pouty eyes here*

She is the master of cleaning up all the food in the house. When you have four cats, it’s hard to regulate who eats what.

If one cat doesn’t finish because they have to pee or powder their whiskers, you pick up the dish and put it out of reach or Hazel will take care of it.

If a crumb falls off a plate, Hazel takes care of it.

If someone doesn’t like the flavor they got, Hazel takes care of it.

She even checks under the dining table to be sure there are no “human” crumbs.

There isn’t anything edible that Hazel doesn’t like and it showed. I don’t want her to end up diabetic or with other weight-related illnesses. This time I meant business. (The real question is would I be strong enough…)

It’s so hard to deny a pet anything. They have those big pleading eyes. I am a softie but this time I was firm.

When she was hungry, I would distract her. She’s not much for playing but she will bat her feather around as long as she doesn’t have to move her body. (I can relate to that kind of exercise!) We called it paw exercise.

Sometimes I give her extra attention and comb her which she both loves and hates at the same time. (Hey, she’s a cat. Don’t even try to figure it out!)

After losing a pound or so, her gait changed. She started to climb the cat tower. She can’t jump up onto the highboy dresser where we keep the dry food for two of the cats but she can climb the cat tower. She gets kibble for that.

Aren't I gorgeous? The modeling agencies are after me. I could be the next Morris!

Aren’t I gorgeous? The modeling agencies are after me. I could be the next Morris!

Kibble….ummm….yum!

Climbing was slow. At first it was only the first or second tier. Now she can climb to the top and gives Morgan a run for queen of the tower.

Since the end of October she has lost 2.8 pounds. It’s very slow now and her plateaus can last a month but as long as she’s not gaining, I’m happy.

As for Hazel, I don’t know. She would prefer to eat as much as she wants but her life is different. She is much more active. She chases Morgan; climbs most places; and feels better. At least I think so.

Here she is today. She’s still large but she can model for the chubby cat catalog. Plus sizes! I’ve sent her photo to Drs. Foster and Smith and Petco. A new career!

74 thoughts on “Dieting cat style – an update on Hazel | For Animal Lovers

  1. Cat diets are the worst. Well done, Hazel/ Kate! Our current rescue — Bossy Cat — has been on a diet since we got her at age two. She hates it. She sits in front of the TV. If you don’t feed her, she throws the remotes off the entertainment center. Then the speakers. Next up, the sideboard. Oh, cool, a vase of flowers. Ever so much prettier on the floor. Look out for the broken glass.

    Still no food? Bossy Cat hides under the legs of the dog. When you open the door for the dog, she shoots outside. Not far, mind you. Just out of reach, lashing her tail, narrowing her eyes and waiting for you to break out the food and lure her inside. Try and catch her and she’s up a tree.

    Give it up. Break out the food and rattle it in the bowl under the tree. But it’s diet food. She climbs a little higher. This cat isn’t coming down for anything less than bacon.

    Bacon it is. Better a bacon entree for her than a Bossy Cat entree for coyotes.

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    • I believe her sister lives here but it’s not Hazel. Her antics are more like Morgan who doesn’t have a weight problem (fortunately because there is no way she would tolerate a diet). You have to love how resourceful they are. Bacon….hmmm…that opium for cats and dogs.

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  2. I’m about to embark on a “less food” diet for our cat as he is getting far too heavy. So far, I’m cutting portions of his regular food and trying to ignore his sitting in front of the refrigerator when I’m in the kitchen. He knows a turkey slice treat is in there with his name on it. I’m determined, so maybe there will be a result in less poundage. Thanks for the encouraging post.

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  3. Hazel is gorgeous. She would be a cool candidate for modeling – and not for Plus sizes. Kudos to you for not weakening when she flashes those big, hungry green eyes at you. 😉

    Our two cats know how to use their pleading eyes to their best advantage and nag us with their meows. But they did lose some weight and we’re delighted for the same reason. We didn’t want unhealthy, diabetic cats.

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    • She is still chubby. She is shaped like a fireplug. It’s hard to see in the photo. Mostly she lost all her extra chins. She is 15 lbs. but should be closer to 10. Not gonna happen! I’m happy though. It’s a compromise. I want her to enjoy life even while dieting.

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  4. Had to run back by to leave a note. You have done such a great job with Hazel. Now I’m feeling really guilty using food to soothe RC. All this cold dark winter is getting on both her nerves. The blinds are all closed to keep the house warm, so no sun bathing (there’s no sun anyway), her grass in a pot is limp and pale so grazing is a trial, no lizard staring, no bird watching. Nothing. RC has become very very loud and vocal. We can hear her yowling all the way on the other side of the house. If we ignore her, she stomps in complaining. She’s picking fights with the dog. They are racing around the wood floors 9 RC corners much better than Molly) and down the hall. So I throw food at her – vanilla ice cream, milk, greenies. It’s true. She’s getting a bit plump. You’re right. Must stop now. You’re motivating. Once the sun comes back – and it warms up so we can open windows so she can sniff the breeze, she’ll be happier. Grumpy city right now…mousies are even getting ignored.

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    • Ignoring mousies? Oh my! We have a screened in porch where the cats love to roam. No heat so the tiles are freezing but they still like to go out there. When they come back in they holler loudly (I think they are complaining because we are not heating it). Too cold, too long. We are all sick of winter and I’m feeling much like RC although I don’t do corners so well either. Thanks for adding your Texas spirit.

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  5. My bet is that Hazel is definitely a happy cat. How I envy her all that climbing and jumping ability. I’m coming back as a slender cat like Hazel.. Congratulations on being her dedicated mentor/personal trainer. I could use one of you too, even if you only provided distraction. 🙂

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  6. I’m afraid my brofur Caspurr is rather like that and our little brofur Shimshi is heading the same way. I, Queen Trixie, have too much dignity to forage for effurry extra scrap so I manage to keep my svelte figure.

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  7. I have a Hazel. Her name is Lillian. She is obese and finishes whatever the other cats leave behind. My husband is the softie. He won’t cut back. I am going to show him this and tell him it is time to do something.

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  8. Hazel is stunning and you are so strong Kate. Congrats to both of you! The eyes get me every single time…it’s crushing. It was a little sad how much I can relate to Hazel’s before photo. That is just how I feel when I’m not active. We really are not very different from animals, except animals are so much nicer.
    As for Hazel….she is indeed the Cat’s Meow! (I couldn’t resist)

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    • My fear of another cat with a chronic illness what the driving force. You are right about animals not being different. Her personality has undergone a change too. Animals have self esteem too. She doesn’t let anyone smack her around now. Woohoo!

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  9. Hooray for Hazel! I know it’s hard to put any restrictions on our favorite furry family members, but I always try to remember that it really is about keeping them with us a lot longer! And she does look so much healthier!

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    • Yes and try telling them that! I know if I put the hard kibble back on the floor she would plump up in no time. I worry about the day that Mollie can’t climb up on the dresser for her kibble. I’ll solve that problem then.

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    • I guess you could if you got rid of your refrigerator and got those diet meals from a service. I doubt if that would be a viable answer for anyone. Yes, I am definitely the one who felt badly when SHE found something and went off the diet.

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  10. Congratulations to both Kate and Hazel! That is an amazing accomplishment. Hazel is a beauty. I love how you put that about leaving the meal to go pee or powder whiskers. She sounds so much like my Tiger. She is always all over everyone’s remains, every bowl, every crumb, any dirty dish, etc. Actually she drives me crazy, rushing around taking things away from her. And she is so persistent. You’re so right that I don’t want her to get diabetes. Here is something so annoying about trying to keep a cat like Tiger on a diet? Any human comes over and this is what I hear: “Oh, look at her big eyes. Oh, she’s so hungry. Oh, she can’t understand why she doesn’t get more. Oh, all she wants is a little more.” Stop!!!!

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  11. Hazel you are my inspiration – perhaps “tomorrow” might just be “today” for the search to begin for my “summer figure” – and well done Kate – it can’t have been easy initially to NOT succumb to the sad eyes at meal times but it’s obviously been more than worth it! 🙂

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  12. Hazel looks great!! Her cousins, Hobble and Harry would like to know if you are taking applications for your “fat farm?” Their human Mommy seems to be able to help them maintain their weight, but as for losing some…well it’s a “lost” cause!

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    • Not sure Hobble and Harry are as big as Hazel was. (What’s with overweight cats that start with H?) It’s so hard. Much harder for me than her. Especially with Jake, I am picking up unfinished dishes and then putting them back down hoping Hazel didn’t nosh. She slinks around corners and can melt into the woodwork when she’s sneaking around stealing food.

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  13. She’s very pretty! I’ll go finish my coffee in my really cool kitty mug that I found yesterday when I cleaned my sewing room. Don’t know why I was keeping pencils in it. I’ve had my share of chubby pets. Soon as this nasty cold spell breaks old fat dog and I will take longer walks.

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  14. If someone isn’t an animal lover they will quickly become one after reading Ode to Hazel, I LOVED ‘powdering their whiskers’ the sweetest image, as if they’re about to stroll into town. And I know all about those pleading eyes since Carmela’s resemble Ann Frank’s.

    That before picture of her makes her look like the Jackie Gleason of kitty cats. No wonder you put her on a diet. Years ago I knew a photographer who had a very large cat he named Football because, yes…that’s what he looked like.

    I hope the days of Hazel being the four-legged Hoover are behind her. I do know, once a girl gets svelte and sees how great she looks, she ceases pickin up those crumbs.

    Atta girl Hazel, keep it up, cause you look beautiful.

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