Sassy cats — Hazel’s tenacity

Hazel snoozing on counter in porch

Last fall Hazel went on another diet. She had a few bouts with diarrhea and lost 2 pounds quicker than normal. She was also put on a limited ingredients diet (sort of).

It’s hard to put any cat on a diet especially when you three other cats. They don’t like anything that’s good for them or expensive. I spent lots of money trying to get Gracie to eat anything when she first came here.

The good thing about Hazel is she loves to eat so she will nosh things that aren’t her favorite (although she will let you know it!). We got into a truce. In the morning she gets the healthy stuff and in the evening she gets a smaller portion of something she likes.

The beloved husband made this chest to keep her out of the kibble. You can see how it worked.

I keep the other cats’ food on a counter that Hazel couldn’t jump up on (because of her size). Then she could. At first she didn’t always make it. Now she can do it easily. Still, she prefers her own food first.

Cats are crepuscular. They hunt (and are primarily active) at dawn and dusk. I am not. The cats are fed when I get up (which does not coincide with dawn) and around dinnertime which may or may not coincide with dusk. They adjust.

Hazel started to enjoy noshing on the bowl of kibble on the counter around 4 a.m. I’d wake up to find the bowl almost empty. I started putting the bowl in a cabinet over night. This was a big deal for the other three cats (and they let me know it) as they missed their 4 a.m. snack.

That worked for two nights. Then Hazel started to nosh the kibble before I went to bed (and put the kibble away). She could jump up quietly so no one knew but her trip down to the floor was a big thump.

For the most part I’m not too concerned. It’s not a lot of kibble although she shouldn’t eat dry food at all. That would be like telling me I can’t eat potato chips. Not gonna happen.

As long as she can maintain her slightly chunky weight of 14 pounds and doesn’t get the poops, I’m happy. (Especially about the poop part!) She’s happy and she tried to slam that red dot this week (her version of playing does not require movement of anything but her paw).

Hazel is a very quiet cat but she’s smart. Give her a puzzle and she’ll figure it out. Reminds me of my long-gone cat Magic. She could open door knobs and pushed out screens. She should have been named Houdini.

I am perfect the way I am!

I’m still monitoring her weight but with little expectation of seeing it go down lower. Hazel was born to be a big girl and I’d rather have her happy than skinny. The vet is ok with her weight so why shouldn’t I be ok too.

Hazel wishes you all a great weekend and suggests you treat yourself to something you love — banana split, chocolate cake, cookies — anything as long as it’s special for you. She will toast you with a mouthful of kibble when I’m not looking.

60 thoughts on “Sassy cats — Hazel’s tenacity

  1. Anyone can see Hazel is perfect.
    I think you’ve got a pretty good idea of her health and weight potential – you can just do so much – try and go against their wishes and nature, and you’re asking for it.
    RC is getting older and I do monitor her pretty close – she doesn’t get all the snack she wants or tries to beg (She can smell salmon, shrimp, and fajita from the farthest corner of the house.) Sr Staff is too soft hearted and she is so talkative and insistent …which is why this morning I had to clean up smelly puddles. YUCKY. Set diet – and no sneaking dry (expensive salmon/husky special diet) dry dog food. Stick to the plan, RC.
    Cats do quietly inch in and take over.

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  2. It’s so funny to think of Hazel strategizing how she’s going to get more food. You put it away at one time? She’ll just come for an earlier snack! I really do think that having multiple cats must be very challenging when it comes to their individual diets, but you have really put in your time. No diarrhea means all is okay–no matter what!! 🙂

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  3. We got our cat Princess fixed a few months back, and now she looks like a basketball with feet. She doesn’t seem to eat that much, but she’s basically nocturnal, so she could be gorging while we’re asleep. Skitty started to get fat shortly after we started feeding her, and she’s put on a lot more since she got fixed as well. Both could use a diet, but I have yet to think of a way to get two cats out of eight to diet.

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  4. Hazel looks great! I’m always struck by how many human body types are out there, and I assume the same is true with the animal world. Hazel will never be naturally slim but, as long as she’s not grossly overweight, she can be healthy and happy. Oh, and please tell her that I appreciate the encouragement to indulge a bit this weekend. I absolutely will!

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  5. I bet Hazel is happy about being able to jump so high even if it wasn’t fun changing eating habits to do so. Dear Husband and I can’t sleep in, EVER, because of our crepuscular cats. Crepuscular, that’s a new word for me. Had to look it up. Crepuscular, crepuscular . . . fun word!

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    • Although I was familiar with the word I had to look it up to spell it correctly. Cats are also obligate carnivores which means unlike dogs who eat and survive on most anything, cats need meat. They don’t do well with vegetables, berries, grains or anything else non-meat in cat foods that cater more to the owner than the cat.

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  6. Oh Hazel, sounds like my Sophie when it comes to food. Sophie is on a limited ingredient diet as well (allergic = pooslopsions). I have to lunge after her sometimes to catch her before she gets to the other cats’ food. She’s even snuck some dog food before!

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  7. If the vet’s good and Hazel’s good, then so should you be. She’s lovely as she is.
    Maggie is the heaviest she’s ever been at 15 kg. It’s not that she eats a lot, more that she’s not getting as much exercise as before because of her arthritis. Hubby is thinking of making her a little ramp now as she’s finding it difficult to get in the car. Good days and bad days. The weather’s changed and it’s colder (and wet) today which is not good for any of our aching bones.

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    • Hazel has arthritis issues too. She does better at this lower weight (and can jump too!). I am intent on maintaining her current weight and all is well. If I’m not alert, she can sneak the extras and gain again. It’s hard to get a cat to exercise. Haze is not cooperative at all. She’s past most playing. Once in a while she will play for 30 seconds.

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      • You’re right when you say it’s a balancing act, especially as you have three other cats to consider. When I had the two dogs, I didn’t have a problem with feeding them as they would have their food at the same time, and swap over quite amicably to make sure one wasn’t getting something better than the other. Since we’ve had Maggie, we’ve only had visiting dogs overnight or Buddy when MOH visits. Buddy will eat anything and everything though if we don’t watch him!

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  8. Have you ever stopped to consider that it’s possible that you’re being pawned by these cats? They seem to have you right where they want you. Don’t let their cute fool you, you’re a slave.

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  9. Hazel is one clever cat. If the vet is happy and she’s happy (and not having diarrhea) then there’s no problem at all!
    Now I’m off to find that Banana Split that was mentioned!

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