As a Crazy Cat Lady, I have a confession. Over the years, I have been guilty of judging other cat owners. Yes, it’s true. I’d see photos of really fat cats and blame their owners.
In my mind, cats don’t get fat on their own. If you feed them too much, they get fat. We are their food source, so we control their weight. Owner’s fault. Simple, right? Or so I thought.
After losing my elderly cat last summer, my world turned upside down when I adopted two 10-week-old rescue kittens, a bonded pair. Hunter, a black long hair, is sleek and lives to hunt bugs, toys, and often his brother.
Crash, a grey tabby, is … well … crazy, crashing into everything. Hear a loud bang in the middle of the night? Yep, it’s Crash running through the house, leaving destruction in his wake. When not acting like a kamikaze pilot on a suicide mission, Crash has one purpose in life … to eat.
When I walk toward the kitchen, the silver-striped terror appears out of nowhere, bellowing a high-pitched meow while walking back and forth trying to trip me. He hasn’t figured out that if the old lady who feeds him lands on her ass this soon after her hip replacement, his food source could be laid up for weeks.
God forbid you open the refrigerator. Crash leaps in, surveying the infinite food possibilities. When you close the door, he defiantly parks his body so it won’t close, refusing to move even when you give him a forceful shove.
When I first got them, I fed them wet and dry food because it’s what their foster mom used. Crash would gulp down his meal, and afterwards have such bad flatulence he could clear a room, literally. At first it was funny until he let one rip in my face while he was cuddling with me. Ewww! Off to the vet we went.
The vet suggested probiotics, which I soon discovered were outrageously expensive, costing close to $100 a month. I opted to try changing foods before sinking money into the current probiotic craze.
First I tried healthy digestive wet foods. The awful farts continued. I finally took a friend’s advice and went to dry food only. Within a few days the gas problem was abated. that is until the COVID-19 crisis caused a shortage of the Purina Indoor Cat Food I was using. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I switched brands. Big mistake. Within an hour, the smell of farts permeated the house, and Crash howled as if his stomach was in pain. I found myself foraging the internet for Purina Indoor until I finally scored.
For a while, everything was going well. Crash, who had blown up like those fat cat memes, looked less bloated but was still overweight. Then I noticed that Hunter, who just grazes his meals, was getting thinner. I never watched them eat, so I didn’t know Crash would push his brother out of his bowl and finish all of Hunter’s food.
Desperate for a solution, I moved their bowls to opposite sides of the kitchen. About half way through each feeding, Crash tenaciously sneaks over to Hunter’s bowl. Now I stand military guard while Hunter eats. And, God how s-l-o-w-l-y he eats. It’s a 15-minute circus act. Crash trying to slip by my legs, while I lunge with my bad hip to grab him and drag him back to his bowl.
Seriously folks, these are kittens, not kids. I remember food battles when my daughters were young, but never dreamed I’d be settling kitten disputes.
Because Hunter likes to graze throughout the day, I’m now performing super-secret stealth feedings, when Crash is upstairs. I have to be very quiet so Crash doesn’t hear. He always figures it out and heads straight for Hunter’s bowl with a scowl that says,”Mom! You fed him and not me?!!!!”
If you thought fighting coronavirus was a war, try battling with kittens when one is a glutton. Hunter is now back up to normal weight, but Crash still is, dare I say it, F-A-T –so fat, we’ve taken to calling him Fatty. Yes, it’s true. I’m body-shaming my cat. Don’t judge me.
He gets no human food and only a rare treat as a bribe to clip his claws. And still … he’s fat. Granted, less fat than he was, but still a chubby wubby.
So, to all my fellow cat owners out there whom I’ve judged for the size of their cats, I apologize. I’m a responsible cat owner, and yet my cat is fat.
I’ve had finicky cats, dumb cats, even crazy cats, but never a fat cat. This is new to me. If you crazy cat ladies and men out there have stories about your fat cats and any remedies you’ve tried, I’m open to suggestions. Let’s talk.