Ziggy is my social, lap-sitting, kneading, licking-and-nip cat. Isn’t she pretty?
Despite her lovely green eyes and immaculate white bib, Ziggy is a pig when it comes to food. She cruises the kitchen and will fight for crumbs with a dog who outweighs her by 80 lb. She also tends to be a little on the round side.
This is a common concern with indoor cats. They don’t have to work for their food any more, and some of them live their lives retired. Some of them have also trained their human companions to feed them on command.
Unfortunately, an overweight cat is more prone to problems like diabetes, heart disease and arthritis as she gets older.
What’s a rushed cat owner to do? It’s difficult to train them to use the treadmill, and in families where multiple people help with feeding, portions can vary widely.
I recommend setting up kitty feeding so that it’s less work for you, and more work for them.
1. Figure out how many calories kitty needs. Your veterinary clinic should be able to offer metabolic measurements or guidelines for ideal weight.
2. Figure out how many grams of food on your kitchen scale kitty gets every day.
3. Pre-measure a weeks worth of food at a time, so each day is simpler.
4. Set up a feeding toy or puzzle. There are do-it-yourself solutions, and pre-made (and actually quite attractive) cat feeders. This makes kitty work harder, and allows for some natural hunting behaviours.
If all else fails, maybe they can learn kitty yoga.