It Really Works!

I’m a little embarrassed to share some of this with you. It’s terrible. Seriously terrible. Why do I feel like the whole world is suddenly listening in? But at least I learned something along the way.

There’s a great debate the true secret to weight-loss. Some argue fewer calories. Others hate on carbs. Still others eschew the fat. And a few crazies are proponents of exercise to lose extra pounds. I had an opportunity recently to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Okay, here is the horrible part. I have a cat. Actually, I have three, but only one of them has this particular problem. My cat was fat. Like, seriously fat. Weighing nearly as much as Squish fat. Not just big-boned. She was a porker. See?

Yeah. For real. That’s an eight-year-old child. Still think I’m exaggerating? And this was two years and about two pounds ago.

I was looking at kitten pictures of that particular cat a couple of months ago, and I was horrified. I saw how small, and sleek and healthy she used to be. And I knew I had to do something. I saw specters of diabetes and other serious medical issues looming in her future. I needed to act, and I did.

I mentioned that we have three cats. We fed them all out of two large bowls in our family room, filling them only when they were empty. Two of the cats do just fine on this arrangement. The third cat ballooned to cartoonish proportions. She is a resource-guarder, and she would choke down as much food as she could hold just so the other cats couldn’t get it. Sounds like me. Um, forget I said that.

Anyway, we decided that enough was enough, and we took the cats off of self-feed. We have been tweaking how much she gets each day because we don’t want her to be too hungry, and we’re still working on it, but the weight is melting off of her. Here she is today, about three months into the program.

I'm meeeelting!

This photo is far less embarrassing than the first one. She looks less like she ate someone else’s cat.

So this is great. And I’ve been able to solve the mystery of weight loss. It’s not as complicated as you think. It’s all about planning.

Decide your menu for the day.  If you know ahead of time what you’re going to eat, you’re less likely to substitute something less healthy.

Divide your meals into containers. When it’s meal-time, all you have to do is grab the appropriate container.

Get support. When you start to reach for food not your own, it’s helpful if you have someone standing by to squirt you with a water bottle and stamp their foot on the floor. Also helpful? Shouting a firm “NO!” and a chasing you away with a broom.

Exercise. Three or four short sessions a day chasing a milk jug tab or fuzzy mouse does wonders. Catnip optional.

Snacking is okay. Divide one meal into smaller snacks by grazing a couple of times a day from one of your allotted meal containers. After a couple of minutes, have someone take it away. And hide it. In a cabinet you can smell but not reach.

Get plenty of rest. Four hour naps on the back of the couch or any patch of sun are encouraged.

Stay on top of personal grooming. It has nothing to do with weight-loss, but everything to do with how you feel about yourself. Bathe at least a few times a day. Clean is pretty, after all. Investing in hairball remedy is recommended.

Get a hobby. Some eating is more related to boredom than hunger, so keep yourself busy. Recommended activities include stare games, chasing laser lights, and staring condescendingly at the dog.

And there you have it. Follow my plan, and you have unlocked the key to weight-loss. Let me know how it goes for you. It’s working okay for me so far. And now, it’s time for my nap.


52 thoughts on “It Really Works!

  1. 🙂 That’s great… We also have several kitties, and did the leave-the-food out routine. One developed diabetes (go figure, it doesn’t matter how “good” or expensive that dry food is), and after twice-a-day insulin shots, we quickly adopted a twice-a-day meal plan. Far healthier animals now. Great post, love it!!

  2. It’s funny you should say that but I also think my new-won habit of taking a nap every afternoon helps me greatly… not to put on more weight than I should?

    Anyway, you forgot to mention portion size. Oh wait, was that what you tried to suggest in the broom sentence?

  3. I had to do this with one of mine as well. He tipped the scale at 19lbs. On the vet’s advice, I cut him back to twice daily feedings and began to measure his meals. He’s lost about 4lbs now. He wasn’t thrilled, and has taken to howling when it gets close to his meal times – you know, just in case I might somehow forget. Sometimes that means the he howls in my face at 5:30 in the morning, but its a small price to pay.

  4. My mother-in-law is forever coming over and filling up our dog/cat bowls, feeding the fish, turtles, and bird. I am forever telling her ENOUGH ALREADY! They don’t need to graze all day every day. Great post, and so true to my point! I think I will share your fat cat pictures with her. (I have a dog that resembles a pot bellied pig, who is the reason I don’t do the self feed thing.)

    • My mom had a dog with severe food allergies, and her neighbor would dump dog food over the fence because she thought the dog looked hungry. The dog was forever sick and fat.

  5. 🙂 the Feline Method of weight management! Our one cat was so chubby that her belly rubbed against the stairs when she walked up or down them. She looked kind of like a baby seal when she stretched out like your cat in that second pic. We managed her food her entire life, and still… clearly she was getting snacks from outside sources!

  6. You’re funny! 🙂 But congrats on the very successful weight loss plan for your formerly enormous fat cat! I’ve also heard that herding cats is an excellent kitty group exercise for weight loss, but like all weight loss and exercise programs, it can be very difficult to stay with it, or in the case of herding cats, virtually impossible to even start it. Lol

  7. I could definitely manage the nap part. I think I could also be easily cowed by someone spraying me in the face with a water bottle. I’m sold. Do you have a DVD or infomercial that I can follow?

  8. sign me up ! do i get a discount for being a follower ? I’m working on a plan based on what my stepdaughter eats but it needs abit of tweaking cuz an adult would starve……..

  9. The hiding snack trick doesn’t work for me. Whenever I travel, I will hide “important” things like my check book (I can’t even explain why). Inevitably, when I return and see it’s time to pay the bills that I don’t e-pay, I have to search for at least three days to figure out where I’ve hid the checkbook. If I try to hide, say, the Trader Joe’s Baked Cheese Curls (orange crack), I can find it on the first attempt.

  10. We go back and forth on the “self-feed” thing (except for the fact that the dog loves cat food desperately and will do anything to get to it). Self-feed = fat, but scheduled feeding = 4:00am “Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow….”

  11. Hilarious! Oh, if only I had someone living with me who could chase me away from the food with a broom or a squirt bottle! That would work! I love everyone of your tips here and can definitely apply them to my own struggles. And I’m proud of you for taking control over your cat’s weight too help ensure her a long, healthy life. Yes, she was a porker. Who needs a Rottweiler when you’ve got a two ton kitty?

  12. Great post, Cliche. The how-to’s are unbeatable. Have someone “…squirt you with a water bottle” — priceless! That’s way better than popping an Ephedra.

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