More Biggest Losers

These formerly chunky kitties went on supervised weight-loss programs and the results speak for themselves! Read their success stories.

Name: Jasmine, 6
Before weight: 18.5 pounds
After weight: 13.5 pounds
Lucy Aplan, State College, Pa.

Jasmine used to get free-fed since I adopted her at 4 months. She was fed Kitten Chow for three extra months until her housemate Smokey reached 1 year old. They both had toys and each other to play with, but Jasmine soon just started getting bigger and bigger….

My friends started calling her names like “Beachball” and “Tick Head” because she got so fat. Yes, fat! You could not see any discernible hips, feel any ribs, and worst of all, she had dingle berries! Her breathing was wheezy and when she did exert herself, sometimes she would breathe heavily. She could not jump up to many places. I work for a large animal hospital and when she would go in for a checkup, her weight was always mentioned….

So how did she go from 18.5 pounds to 13.5? A lot of control on my part. First, I had to find a place to put Smokey’s food so that Jasmine wasn’t able to reach it. The next step was to only feed Jasmine 1/8 cup of food two times a day. … Little by little, she lost weight. … One day, I was watching TV and all of a sudden, Jasmine JUMPED up on the dresser and was eating Smokey’s food! That was real proof her diet was working!

She does get a few Greenies as treats a couple of times a week and she still follows me around every time I move thinking she will get fed. I am very proud of her weight loss. But mostly I am proud of me as an owner to realize she needed to lose the weight and to not giving in to her demands for food. … I would like to get a couple more pounds off of her, but am very happy with the loss so far.

Name: Jabez
Before weight: 17 pounds
After weight: 13.1 pounds
Michelle Hawkins, Studio City, Calif.

Apparently, I was in denial over my cat’s weight problem, as my dad had been mentioning it to me for some time. I actually thought he was teasing. Even after a neighbor exclaimed how fat my cat was, I still didn’t get it. Then when I took my cat to the vet for a dental problem, I left with a weight management pamphlet from the doctor. And that was the smaller of my two cats. It was definitely time to take action!

Jabez began his weight-loss regime with his free-feeding taken away; he was given specific portions. He was permitted two servings a day. (The other household cat was on the diet as well, as he weighed even more!) These portions were changed to one bigger meal in the evening that was a specific portion as well. We also would make him climb the stairs repeatedly to get pieces of food, but this was only done intermittently. He usually eats dry food … that is his favorite.

The vet also changed his water to not be from the tap, so he usually drinks bottled water. He loves it when we pour the water right into the bowl … he even sticks his paw in the water to make it move. … The main reason he lost weight was because of portion control of his food.

Name: Cooper
Before weight: 23.6 pounds
After weight: 15.5 pounds
Meg Smith, Tallahassee, Fla.

I’ve had Cooper since he was about 4 weeks old. By the time Cooper was 4 years old, he weighed 20 pounds, constantly had UTIs, (which ultimately led to a blockage and a perineal urethrostomy was performed) and anal sac issues.

Hoping for a miracle weight loss, I tried a couple veterinary prescription diet dry foods, but that didn’t work. I then knew (as his weight climbed to his highest at 23.6 pounds) I had to get serious to prevent many major health issues.

What has worked for Cooper are mini-meals throughout the day of canned W/D mixed with water and exercising him with a toy feather wand every day. When he gets the occasional treat, I throw it across the room so he has to run after it.

It took a long time to lose the weight (approximately 1 pound every three to four months) but the day he was able to climb to the top of the cat condo was a great day for both of us.

Cooper turned 14 this past December and is a happy and healthy cat!

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