Diet – cat style, owner in therapy


I live with a mean owner that does not feed me!

There are people who don’t look in mirrors or weigh themselves. They won’t allow photos taken even though their grandchildren will have no pictures to treasure after they are gone.

I don’t know if it’s self-consciousness or denial. Or maybe something else entirely.

However, these people are humans who are the strangest beings of all.

Last fall, after prodding by the vet (but not much), I put (my cat) Hazel on a diet. If she was human she would be morbidly overweight. She was bouncing (but not very high) at 18 pounds. She’s a small stature cat who should weigh 10 pounds.

She had triple chins. Hard to see on a cat but there they were.

She loves food. I doubt if she looks in mirrors. She’s not crazy about being photographed either. She says it adds 10 pounds.

There is no Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig for cats. Owners have to be brave and stand tough. Be strong against those sad kitty eyes asking what they have done to deserve the starvation diet. There are little sad mews.

She did well. Just like a person, the first pound fell off. After that it was an ounce here and an ounce there. She lost 3-1/2 pounds. Not an easy feat for this weak, soft cat owner.

We cheered each ounce. I celebrated with pizza and a beer. Hazel celebrated by whining about going to Cat Protective Services. (I had to tell her there isn’t one and she is doomed to live with me until one of us dies! I hear she has a bet on which one of us it will be.)

We had weekly weigh-ins. I stood on the scale with her, then without her and subtracted the difference.

No matter what the final answer was, I was always positive. Cheerful even!

“Oh look, you’ve lost a half ounce! How wonderful! Yay!”

“You’ve gained a quarter pound! It could have been much worse! Good job!”

And I always followed up with a bunch of head scritches and telling her how beautiful and loved she is.

How on earth can you get upset at that? She did!

Last week she gained a half pound. I weigh her at the same time (before breakfast because that’s the only time I can catch her) once a week. We had a little conversation about “getting back on the wagon” and not “cleaning everyone’s plate.”

That’s what she does. There are no treats in this house because of her weight issues. After she cleans her plate, she also cleans up the plates of the other three unless I get there first. A tablespoon here, a tablespoon there, it all adds up (just like with people).

This week when I brought the scale down to her “dining area” she totally freaked. I couldn’t get near her for 24 hours. No scritches behind the ear or belly rubs. She refused to eat until I left the area.

It was like bringing out the pet carrier that means someone is going to the V-E-T. It will be hours before I even see a cat. (I have learned to bring that carrier out three days before the appointment so they “forget-about-it.”)

How could she “know” that the scale was connected to increased alertness to pick up the unfinished plates? She did.

It took two days to catch her and I’m pleased to say she lost that half pound. According to her she just had a little constipation and that half pound plopped out and had to be scooped!

We are still on the wagon. I need to go to meetings to learn how to deal with those sad little eyes.

Have food, will travel!

Send food…please!


64 thoughts on “Diet – cat style, owner in therapy

  1. This was a very touching post, Kate. I live with a cat… and have lived with cats all my life, and know quite a bit about their nature.of cats… and how they relate to us… how they’re influenced by us, and influence us. Sometimes they’re a better mirror than any mirror of glass. Personally, I wouldn’t worry so much about her being overweight. But then, I don’t have that problem. But I would just try to keep her happy. And there’re a lot of things that make a cat happy aside from food. You might try a little catnip. Or take walks with her (depending on the environment where you live). In any case, my best wishes to Hazel… and hoping those sad eyes go away, and that you’ll see more mischief in those eyes…


    • Cats become such an important part of your life. Hazel is very timid. She’s hard to medicate so I work to keep her healthy. The weight is about health rather than weight. She adores catnip. We have two huge bushes that I clip. She also loves cat grass. She will play with a feather on a cord but only for about 5 minutes. I’ve had her climbing the cat tower for her food to help her get exercise. Her shyness keeps her from getting a lot of rubs and scratches but when she’s ready she’ll come out and plop herself next to me on the sofa for some affection. She’s really a sweet quiet cat. Thanks for stopping by with your comments.


  2. Keep up the great work, Kate. Don’t crumble just because Hazel gives you her ‘woe-is-me I’m never fed’ look. We went thru this with out cats. They made progress on both their annual check ups. So we’re happy. 😉


    • My cats are smart and react. Somehow they can associate things like carriers and scales with things than don’t result in happiness for them. They get very excited when they see me carry in cases of cat food!


  3. I am laughing so hard at the last photo…hahahaha! It is the perfect face for a send food plea. Clearly you have uncovered a very important fact .. all females, with or without fur, fear the scale. I think you should present these findings to some sort of lab.
    Good Job to you and Hazel on your efforts!


  4. Sad eyes or no, you’re lucky in that you seem to have put your cats on a regular mealtime schedule. How would you manage if they’d all been used to free feeding? My two are grazers: a nibble here, a nibble there. There’s a-l-w-a-y-s food in their dishes, and when there isn’t, I put more in! I guess my house would be heaven for Hazel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She wants to move in with you. Can I have an address for her? Prior to this diet debacle, I had free feeding too. My other three are grazers and not really happy about this diet stuff so I had to put dry food up high so only they (as long as they stayed svelte) could reach it. I’ve cut back on the wet all around so they finish their plates (mostly) when it’s put down. Then I run around and pick them up. Seriously, it’s a full time job.


  5. Teddy and I are on a diet. I have lost and gained ten pounds several times this year. Teddy has not lost an once, but he hasn’t gained any either. We feel for ya, Hazel.


    • I’m not telling her about Teddy. She would be so jealous. Her dream is to eat everything in site and not have the mean human chase after trying to get the food away. I have a friend on the same diet you are. She did good until she retired. There were parties. Lots of parties. She was the guest of honor. Had to eat!


  6. Poor Hazel. She’s so pitiful looking! Hah, I know that well because of Tiger who is always trying to eat everyone else’s food. The other day she ate a slice of my husband’s BACON. Hazel is a sweet girl I’m sorry her weight is such a struggle for her :(.


    • Bacon? Oh my! Hazel won’t steal people food, just the other cats. Jake always has to pee in the middle of dining. I have to pick it up while he goes to the potty or Hazel will eat the whole thing. Really? What about taking care of business beforehand?


  7. Boy, do I relate to Hazel! My big eyed yearnings go unnoticed around here too and though I am convinced I have lost weight, I keep sneaking a few dark chocolate covered almonds for dessert – after lunch and after dinner. I wish you were here to monitor things. 🙂 I’m sure the vet will say “Good job” though, while Hazel mutters on the scale.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve been forced to practice tough love with our three cats. The sad little eyes are hard to resist but they really are so much happier, I believe, at a healthy weight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Normally it’s in the bathroom but she won’t let me pick her up anywhere near there. Since there isn’t anything bad that happens to her when she is weighed, I’m thinking she gets the connection. Either that or she doesn’t like the smell of my body soap.


  9. I also have trouble resisting the sad kitty eyes from my cats as they often make me feel guilty for not feeding them enough(even though I have).When they don’t get their way,they try to sabotage as many things as possible. My cats aren’t obese yet but it’s only a matter of time…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel Hazel’s pain. Sounds like she’s a little more active with the weight off though. Maybe she can remember that jumping high feels better than extra lbs. 🙂 I hope she gets an occasional snack to prevent her from binging when you’re not looking.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Poor Hazel. I commiserate with her inability to stick with a diet. Perhaps she’s just a full-figured girl who needs to embrace her curvy self! Let her inner kitten gobble all the kibble. Be the chubby cat who she was meant to be. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hazel is extremely timid and won’t do well on a lease or around people. She will chase a feather for 2 minutes and we have a cat tower that she climbs. Occasionally Morgan will chase her around. When she tires of that she just lets Morgan jump over her. More exercise would be a good option. If I could only get her to the gym.


  12. Oh, hilarious. They say animals have something like a three second memory, but not Hazel. She KNOWS.

    When Boss Cat arrived, she was about 16 lbs. She’s also on a perpetual diet, and will steal ANYTHING. Tofu. Rice. Broccoli. I felt badly that we haven’t be able to get he below 12 lbs, but yesterday, when I was cleaning out a closet, I found the cat collar Boss wore when she arrived.

    It’s HUGE. It’s like a bracelet for Mr. T. Her collar now has maybe two-thirds of that circumference.

    So I tell myself that she’s only heavy because she gained muscle. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your cat has lost a lot! Some cats, like people, aren’t meant to be thin. The Boss Cat is doing wonderful. Hazel really should be a 9 lb. cat. It’ll never happen but I’d like to get her to 12 lbs. She’s at 13-1/2 right now but has been on a plateau for 3 months. She’ll eat a spider if she’s hungry!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boss Cat is quite large for a female. Probably she should be 11.5. She’s got a big belly that falls over her feet, though. And she’s SO MEAN when she wants food. Attack my fingers when I am trying to type. Throws things off the counter. Sits in front of computer screen or TV.

        Go Hazel! You can do it!


        • Morgan is a large structured cat for a female. Tall and lanky at 10 lbs of all muscle. Hazel is much small structurally with Molly a tiny 7 pounder. Boss Cat is quite a character. A bit of a diva really. Throws things off the counter? All of my cats like to obstruct my view of the computer (or Kindle or book). They like undivided attention (and service).

          Liked by 1 person

  13. This had been on ongoing concern with our dear Ray. At 75lbs, there are a number of reasons why we don’t want him any heavier. Put that together with the fact that he needed so much training and adjusting, which was all done (still being done) with treats, presents a rather obvious scenario of concern. However, having said all that, we have been both strategic and lucky! We cut back on his meals a little if he was heading into a heavy training day and generally tried to compensate for the additional food. He used to hover around 2lbs over his regular weight which was fine, but then, as he became more socialized, he was going into any dog friendly store he could find and generally getting fed large biscuits! Our solution was to use veg and/fruit as training treats! He loves rutabaga, celery, kale stems, apple, banana etc. He now gets a little less than the recommended 1-1/3 cup for each meal, and often gets fruit and veg treats when training. At his weigh-in a couple of weeks ago ……….. 74lbs. Good boy! Good dog!


    • That’s a great strategy. Unlike dogs, cats don’t eat vegetables. I did have one who ate potato chips (is that really a vegetable?) and ice cream, oh yes stole the occasional donut but didn’t eat healthy things. Fortunately my current cats do not eat people food at all except for Jake who likes rotisserie chicken.


    • She does (even though she won’t admit it). With the addition of the cat tower, she started climbing a bit but can’t jump higher than chair height in one leap. In a way, that’s good because two cats get their food on top of high furniture.


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