Sassy cats – An ominous start to Hazel’s diet

At her largest

Ever since new catkid Gracie joined the household, Hazel has bloomed (and I don’t mean personality-wise!). She has slowly hoovered up food while Gracie was busy being finicky.

Gracie refused to eat. Then only ate dry. Then ate nothing again. Then only ate wet, only certain varieties. During this, her peeps were opening cans and bags of every conceivable cat food made (cha-ching, cha-ching).

This went on for months. To some extent it still exists. Gracie says she is a gourmet. She likes a newly opened can and always clean plates. If food is out for an hour, she would prefer that you transfer it to a clean plate so she can finish it. Although we love her, she can be a douchebag about food.

Hazel, being her wonderful OCD self, cleaned up any morsel that was lying around. On plates, under chairs. She even learned to move the food plate a little to see if any had slipped underneath. She’s no dummy.

Unfortunately her activity level did not go up. Hazel’s idea of exercise is walking to a food dish or moving her paw six inches. Never her whole body.

This is from her thinner days. She’s not all jowly looking here.

She had once before blown up (no other word for it) when my old cat Jake was having food issues. It took the better part of a year to get her to lose weight. Her all-time high was close to 18 pounds. For her frame, she’s should be a 10 pound cat. If she were human, you’d call her morbidly obese.

Over the past couple of months we have started her on a diet (of sorts). Every time we were having some luck, Gracie would act up with a food issue. After many false starts, I decided that this week would be the “real” start. (Ever the optimist!)

In order for this to work, the cats have to cooperate. They have to eat their food when it’s put down and not graze. Morgan and Mollie get their food on top of furniture where Hazel can’t jump. Gracie, bless her heart, gets a “food companion” (that would be me) who guards her until she is done. If she doesn’t finish, it gets put on top of the counter until she shows interest again. (I’m weaning her off the clean plate routine too.)

Hazel, despite her thunder thighs, has learned to jump up to get at Mollie’s hard kibble. It’s a hard jump and she doesn’t do it often, maybe once a day and only when I’m trying to cut back.

Despite all of this, I feel like we made progress this week. However, a visit to the scale showed that it was all in my head. *bangs head on table*

Next week is another week. Hazel may have a few tricks up her sleeve so I will need to be vigilant. Never underestimate the power of a chubby cat.

Here she is now. Now that’s some belly!

 

62 thoughts on “Sassy cats – An ominous start to Hazel’s diet

  1. Oh Hazel. She sounds like my Sophie. I have to be careful to pick up all pieces of stray food, as she has a food allergy and can’t eat the other cats’ food. I must’ve missed something because she currently has a flare up on her chin. Ugh!

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  2. I know there’s no humor going through it, but the visions that I conjure of you trying to feed some and deny another is just too funny. I sit with Zena in the morning so that she’ll eat her breakfast. If I don’t, it sits there all day collecting flies, and she just occasionally visits the bowl and daintily eats a little. If I verbally encourage her all the way through, she eats! She eats well in the evening, so I guess she’s not a morning girl! Poor Hazel. Perhaps she just worries about waste and somehow heard that a clean plate keeps other cats from starving!

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  3. Nothing is ever easy with cats, is it? Especially when it comes to food. I really never had a problem with a finicky cat, but I did have one I found sitting in the bin of dog food just chomping away to her heart’s content. (She had lifted the lid to get in. Arrrggghhh!)

    My sympathies with the food juggling act.

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  4. As you know RC has digestive/food issues. Right now she has food she can tolerate – but it can only be dished out in small doses ’cause if it sits out – gets crusty from time she refuses to consider it “food”…”probably poison”, she says.
    The thing about very furry cats, is you can easily tell what their body shape is…for a long time RC was quite thin under it all…but now….
    We try to limit intake, and she stomps over to the dog bowl – gorges and then throws it up everywhere.
    Never underestimate the will power – and manipulation of a determined cat.

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    • For a while when she first came, Gracie was weird. She’d dumpster dive in our trash when I fed her good stuff. She would start to eat, probably too fast, and barf everything up in her food plate, floor and any feet that were too close. There is nothing as gross as food barf over good food that wasn’t eaten yet. I should look into “diet” cat food for Hazel. It would be hard to segregate her for it.

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  5. I know it is really serious that she is over-weight but she is still absolutely lovely. We have the same issue with our cat the Ginger Pudding. He really is a pudding (but this is mostly baby rabbits he stuffs himself with – I will never get used to the dead rabbits in the house… )

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    • Love the name! I’ve always wanted a ginger cat. I’ve had many cats since I was a kid but never a ginger one. I had two cats, Magic and Jake, who were indoor/outdoor hunting cats. They liked to dine indoors so often brought their kill in. Once a half dead mouse got away from Magic and crawled up under the refrigerator, died and decayed. I went crazy trying to find that smell. Jake was a large (not fat) cat. He’d get big rabbits too but towards the end he stayed with chipmunks and mice.

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  6. I did laugh at her sad skinny face. If Hazel doesn’t cooperate I’ll pay you to follow me around and take my food away. I swear I don’t bite or scratch.
    Hazel, stop your crap and get on board with Kate’s plan. We both know you’ll feel better.

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    • I heard Hazel last night on the high cabinet where I put food to keep her out of it. When she jumps down it’s an unmistakable sound…a lot like an earthquake. If I put it any higher Mollie won’t be able to get it. Sigh.

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  7. Oh dear. I thought Hazel might be just *big-boned* with a little extra poundage … at least that’s the delusion I keep telling myself about my own issues.

    Poor thing – being deprived when you’re trying to assert your spot as head honcho in the household over competing kitties is not easy!!

    I wish I could offer some advice, but Theo has his own weight issues (as do I). Mind you, Theo is a big boy with an ideal weight of 15-16 lbs but right now he’s a solid 20 lb-er. I’ve been completely unsuccessful at curbing his food intake – and he’s the only cat in the house.
    It appears I’m weak.

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  8. Oh, I can relate to your problems with Gracie. (Must have missed her arrival.) Our last cat is so picky about food. We try wet and dry of every variety. She likes one or the other for a time and then refuses it. Oh, well, you know what I mean. She has a special bowl for wet and one for dry. Cheers for the weekend!

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    • She is a very smart cat. She knew her name fast. She can hear a can crack open on a different floor from the other side of the house. She knows how long to wait before she can sneak someone else’s food. She also knows when someone turns into our driveway long before we hear it.

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  9. I salute you and wish you well. Based on everything I have read, we do not overfeed our cats, and yet every cat we get turns fat. Even the young ones have gone to seed, and they are very active. I give up. We apparently have food infused air and they suck calories in through their skin.

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  10. It is SO HARD to deal with food issues when you have multiple cats. No one in my house ever wants to eat their entire meal in one sitting and they all prefer different types of foods. Dog food is also at risk, as I have a couple of cats that will eat that, too, if left unattended. Yet we love our high maintenance children 🙂

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  11. Would making her work for the food (in a limited amount of course) help increase the amount of exercise? I would think hopping up to and down from a counter every time she’s hungry would lead to some weight loss. (I so love the cat posts on Fridays. Can’t wait to be somewhere where I can have a cat again…)

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  12. Lol but not really. We lost our first cat because of kidney failure since she was so fat. She was a total indoor cat. Our current cat is indoor/outdoor so she is managing to keep her weight down by the exercise she gets, although we can never be sure what she eats on the outside. Hazel is such a pretty cat!

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    • I had one other overweight cat and she was indoor/outdoor. When I cut back her food she ate more mice. Her weight didn’t budge. I was always amazed at how well she hunted despite being on the larger side. Hazel has beautiful eyes. Sometimes she’s hard to photograph but aren’t all cats?

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  13. Oh Hazel, I so feel your pain! Food is MY drug of choice. I suspect one day I will have to go into rehab. Perhaps you will be there with me. We can bemoan our plight together. Don’t you just envy people like your Mom!

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    • Hazel — Mom is a pain. She doesn’t understand a girl needs to eat. Also grandma went through the depression so I don’t believe in wasting food. Gracie plays with her food so she needs to be punished. I am just the girl to do it too! Hugs to you comrade! We need to go out to dinner together. Know anyplace they serve ‘niptinis?

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