Friday, August 19, 2011

Elaboration on the Previous Post

Since there have been a couple of questions, I thought I'd give a rundown of the kitties' diet. I have tried feeding them separate portions, but since they end up trading bowls anyway, they now just share a dish. They eat mostly canned food, and I keep a few different types on rotation (all grain-free): Wellness chicken paté, EVO chicken paté, Nature's Variety Instinct duck paté, and Nature's Variety Instinct rabbit paté. I usually mix two different kinds together, which the cats prefer, and which keeps them from getting bored. The cats share about 1.75 ounces of their canned food mixture in the morning and in the evening (the measurement isn’t precise – I just portion out the big cans as accurately as I can). The cats also have a bowl of the grain-free Nature’s Variety dry food (chicken, I think) that is refilled in the morning and left out all day. I do measure that pretty precisely: they get 1/3 cup every day, although they rarely eat more than 1/4 cup. Any excess is measured back in with the next day’s food. As much as I would like to feed the cats canned food only, my schedule isn’t always very regular and I need to be able to leave some food out. I have fiddled with the portions of canned vs. dry, but the cats refuse to eat more than 1.75 ounces; any excess is left in the dish until it’s dry, at which point it is ignored.

I have looked into the recommended portions of the various foods, and used to feed the cats exactly that amount. However, that resulted in an alarming weight gain, so I slowly decreased the portions and am now feeding them considerably less. This is working well for Scarlett, obviously, as she has lost over a pound in the last three months. She is also a lot more active and plays more with her toys than I’ve ever seen her do before. I doubt I can get Scarlett down to nine pounds again since she was a young outdoor cat the last time she was that slim, but it’s something to aim for.

As for Melly, she’s been a lot less active lately, which could either be a function or a result of her weight gain. I think that engaging her in play to bring her activity level back up will be really helpful. She is a bigger cat than Scarlett is, so I think 10.5 pounds is an appropriate goal weight for her, although at this point, I’d be thrilled if I could get her to lose any weight. I think it’s time to finally get that big digital kitchen scale I’ve been eyeing so I can monitor this!

And also, camelama, that video is hilarious.


Ted said...

video link is broken- you have a BR tag embedded in the URL.

We weigh our kitties by putting them on the bathroom scale with us, then subtracting their weight from ours. Better than having a specialized scale and trying to keep them from wriggling on it.

Natalie said...

@Ted: Thanks for catching the broken link - it should be fixed now. As for the scale, I have an extremely imprecise non-digital bathroom scale whose readings depend upon where in the room it is placed. I like it for exactly this reason, but the scale's lack of accuracy makes it basically useless for figuring out the cats' weights. Also, the kitchen scale I'm looking at is big enough that I could contain the cats in boxes to weigh them.

Ted said...

yeah, we have a digital scale that gives repeatable measurements, so it works better. I figure it's accurate within a pound, which is close enough. (I want to know if a boy is 12lbs or 14lbs, not 12.2 vs 12.5)

But yeah, if they can go in a box, better yet! They like being in boxes already :-)

Link is better.

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

Binga and Boodie get WAY less than anything that is ever recommended on the cat food labels - they get a 3-oz can of grain-free split between the two of them in the morning, and a 6-oz can split between them for dinner. Plus VERY occasional treats - and Binga has held steady for months at just under 10 lbs. and Boodie at around 11! They would be HUGE if they ate the "recommended" amounts. Me? I eat as much of anything I want 'cause I just nibble, no matter what. And I am just under 6 lbs.

=^..^= said...

Yes, we too get fed less than the recommended and already the vet wanted us to lose some weight at our last check-up. How can that be? We are so starved already!!!

~Slash & Bronzy

Karen said...

Roxie and Kasey also get fed way less than the recommended amount. Also if they are eating a better quality food or a higher protein % food they will not need as much either.

We have been on vacation off and on over the summer and ours have put on a little weight with the extra food left out and our neighbour (pet sitter) being extra extra special with the treats on her daily visits when we are away! It is going to be back to regular portions and more excercise now :)