2/1/2009: The beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, this was Disco's first 'Diet' post:
Disco's doing good with his rehab and diet! Teri moved him from the stud room to the library room about 2 weeks ago and so far, no spraying. (note: after Mike died, Disco began spraying, urinating on clothes, countertops if anything was on them--like mail, so he became Sammy's companion). His all canned food diet is working! He's lost 12 ounces. He got very fat living in the stud room because he wasn't getting any exercise and went from 10.5# to 13.75#. That can be dangerous, because fat cats can get diabetes. It's also hard on their joints. But getting them to lose weight slowly is important too, so they don't get Hepatic Liver Disease (Fatty Liver Disease).
5/25/09: Disco continues to "Behave" and while he did spray once (right next to Teri while she was sitting on the couch, talkin' on the phone) otherwise he is much improved over his previous behavior. He is on anxiety medication, Buspirone, and he seems quite content. Well, not really...cuz he had to start his diet (so that means just cuz he's tubby, we all have to suffer!).
When he was a showcat, he weighed about 11# and being confined due to his spraying, he ballooned up to over 13#. Teri got him down to 12# feeding him only canned food (The Catkins Diet) but hoped that once he had free run of the house again and 3 levels to exercise in, that he could go back to eating dry food free choice again. Nope! He became very carb-intolerant and got up to 14#, so now he gets canned food twice a day and a few kibbles of dry a couple of times a day. And in a week he has lost 8 ounces so the diet's working!
8/03/10: Exciting mews! (note: yes, 18 months went by with not much effort in real dieting). Disco is about to get 'A New Leash on Life'...what? Yep, he is one of 12 pets that are participating in the 90 day campaign of a new, healthy line of food from Nulo (that stands for Nutrition Meets Love).
Disco has dieted before, but always put the pounds (yes, not ounces!) right back on, and Teri has been looking for a healthy yet tasty alternative to what foods she has fed the cats before. She says it's been a little like 'juggling cats' to make sure everyone got the portions that kept them at a proper weight while getting Disco to lose weight!
She always worried that with restriction that maybe they weren't getting all the nutrients they needed either, especially for the momcats. Tuesday night, she got to talk to the CEO of Nulo and then she signed Disco up for the program and Monday the food arrives. And then...by Thanksgiving, Disco should be down to 12# if he meets his goal!
He was 10.5# at his 'competition weight' when he was a show cat. As you can see in the photos above, he was muscular and strong but ummm, not blubbery as in Photo #1 But he gradually 'ballooned' up to 16# this past year. Teri is really concerned about his health and joints and quality of life as he is so heavy now.
NOTICE THE 'LOVE HANDLES'
DISCO'S WAISTLINE HAS VANISHED!
And if he does well on this food (and of course, an exercise routine along with it) then this may be the 'Food of Choice' for the whole Furrydance family. With all the food recalls and spending hours online searching for a good quality food, Nulo has thoroughly impressed Teri...and that's hard to do!! Her therapist even told her 'the cats are your 'calling' and you see it's difficult for you to find people with the same high standards!
Their website is amazing, chock full of excellent information, fun but thought provoking videos and lots of encouragement along the way in the form of 'social networking' on it's blog, facebook, twitter and youtube, and lots of input from veterinary sources she respects!
And while Disco joined in to lose weight, their nutrition program is called 'Simply Fit' so if your cat is 'Fit' now, their program and food will help it stay fit. Kind of like 'NutriSystem' for pets!
So, here Disco is today--15# 10 ounces...(Biggify photos at your own risk, hahameow)
We will be tracking his progress weekly and if he 'stays the distance' in this campaign...look what we get (besides having a happier, healthier cat!): a $500 Nulo food voucher, $250 donated to a pet-related non-profit organization of our choosing, and we get to be entered in a drawing to have a chance to win $1000 for our favorite organization, after the 90 day campaign.
So, let the 'battle of the bulge' begin!! Let Disco become the cat he was meant to be...Fit and Trim!
Disclosure: Nulo has generously provided free product and other benefits in exchange for our participation in the Nu Campaign to fight pet obesity. We are happy to be a part of this awareness campaign, however, all of the opinions about the product are mine and not dictated in any way by the company.
8/10/10: ...And Disco...well he is only 2 days into his diet, and somehow I haven't made the time for exercising him! Bad mewmmie! But then, that's why I'm stuck where I am on my diet...not enough exercise!
He is happy he can have Nulo kibble and is always ready and waiting for his 0.2 cups (a scant 1/4 measuring cup) in the morning and evening. He gets canned Nulo, too, 3.6 ounces twice a day, but he's not super excited about it (I think he is holding out for Fancy Feast, but that ain't on the menu anymore), but I will keep offering it and if after a week or so (or if he seems to be losing weight too fast) I will recalculate his feeding and maybe try him on just dry Nulo. The salmon canned isn't to his liking, but the chicken is tasty, he said...licking his lips! He seems satisfied, and we will see what he weighs in at after a week on the new food.
On other foods I have tried, I never could get him to lose weight feeding dry only, even when I portioned it out, but I am hopeful that the Nulo dry will give us better results than previous foods he's been on. Of course, I can always call the people at Nulo and they can help me customize his diet plan, and it's that kind of support that makes Nulo extra special in my eyes! And if Disco does well on it, I might just have to order some for the rest of the Furrydance gang!
8/16/10: It's one week into Disco's diet and while he didn't look any thinner yet, when he stepped on the scale tonight (and off and on and off and on...just to be sure), Teri's brow furrowed a little when she saw that he had put on 2 oz! (maybe his bladder was full, since we know his tummy wasn't, hahameow!)
She wasn't too surprised though, because he isn't wanting to eat his 2.6 ounces of canned Nulo in the morning and the evening, but is eager about both dry formulas-the chicken and the salmon. She has never gotten him to lose weight eating dry food before, but she is going to stick with the program and see how it goes. She would really like him (and all the other cats in the house) to be on 95% canned food, with dry being fed essentially as a treat, but as with any change and most cats who are often reluctant to change foods, she has to be patient and work at the diet transition!
This week she is going to mix a little Fancy Feast in with the Nulo canned food (as Disco likes that just fine, sigh...) and see if gradually she can wean him off the FF. It's not that he won't eat the Nulo canned at all, but he laps at it and maybe eats a tablespoon before he just walks away.
If Teri was around him 24/7, she would just offer him small amounts, numerous times a day and see if he would finish off his daily amount that way. So, even though he is actually eating less than the amount calculated for his girth and weight...he is slightly heavier after a week.
If Disco hasn't made progress by next Monday, then she will give the folks at Nulo a call and see what they recommend for 'His Chubbiness". Oh, yeah, there's that exercise program...ummm, that could be part of the problem! Just like she tells people about herself...if it wasn't for the stairs in our 3 level house, she wouldn't get much exercise either!!
But, the exercise that Disco seems best at is sitting and watching others exercise, so Teri bought him some new cat toys at the cat show and she spent 10 minutes with him tonight, getting Disco 'fired up' and running circles around and over her as she laid on the floor and waved the cat toy wands round and round.
But the folks at Nulo say he needs that amount of exercise 3 to 4 times a day...and just like with people, the most obese you are, the less active you get! She does notice that the other svelte cats in the house do race around a lot more than Disco does now that he has put on the pounds!
She promises she will do better...maybe even walk him around the house on his leash and harness, just like she did at BlogPaws with him and Brighton! She kind of wishes she could walk him outside like a dog, and even though he is up to date on his vaccinations and on Revolution to protect him against heartworms and fleas, she is still a bit nervous he could come in contact with something infectious out there...so she will have to make the 'indoor track' do for now!
She made him look to the left, look to the right, sit down, stand up...fight, fight, fight! Though she isn't sure this next move quite qualifies as a Leg Lift!
8/23/10: OK, don't get discouraged, Disco. We are only 14 days into your 90 day get 'Simply Fit' program and your purrsonal trainer, well...she is certainly not keeping up her end of this campaign by 'Working Out' with you!!
Oh, sure...she tells everyone that you plop yourself in the middle of the hallway like a huge jellybean, and watch her get ready for work in the morning, while everyone else without a 'weight problem' scampers up and down the stairs with ease! She says she knows without exercise, even your purrsonal trainer can't lose the 15# of pooch she's got, either!
So, does she want you to succeed? Yes! In fact, she contacted Nulo to talk about some of the problems she was having with you 'accepting' the canned variety, as she really wants to have all the Furrydance kitties on a primarily canned food diet since Brighton had his bout with the urinary tract blockage. And she knew she'd never been able to get you to lose weight on dry food before.
And guess what?! The CEO of Nulo, Michael Landa , wrote back to her, answering every question she had and including charts and information she could give to her vet and to other people who wanted to know more about Nulo! She had read on another cat food website, that meals were bad, bad, bad and made up of 4D meats. She was pretty sure Nulo was getting their meals from good sources, but it felt really good to have Michael explain it to her, and even he said he was disappointed in the scare tactics this other 'premium pet food' was using (hint, hint...it has 'Stew' in it's name).
He told her Nulo uses Chicken or Salmon meal, naturally preserved. It is the highest quality meal, it is USDA inspected and iced down immediately after cooking the fat and water out. It is the type of meal Nulo purchases for all of its dry foods. It is an extremely concentrated, high-quality protein source which is essential when extruding dry foods for keeping the amount of animal protein high throughout processing. Yay, Teri thought!!
And when she told him she might add some Fancy Feast to the Nulo canned to get Disco to eat it, he told her he's looked at the Fancy Feast recipes, and the first 6 ingredients (~60-70% of the recipe total) are Turkey, liver, meat by-products, turkey broth, poultry giblets, artificial and natural flavor. And to notice that meat by-products is one of the major ingredients falls into the bottom tier of the pyramid above (Meat & Bone Meal). This product does not meet Nulo'squality standards – by-products and artificial flavors (chemicals) are not great ingredients.
Nulo canned food contains: Turkey, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Beef Liver, Tuna…These are all named meats and it is a much healthier food for my cats. Disco's poor excuse for a purrsonal trainer had to giggle when Mr Landa told her 'If I ask a 7-year old whether he’d rather eat a can of Pringles, or a chicken breast, which do you think he’d select? The artificial flavors and colors of Fancy Feast may be swaying Disco a bit. We’d suggest cutting him off of Fancy Feast. Your cats (and I’m being completely serious) are the first cats that have not been ‘crazytown’ over our canned foods. Perhaps giving them both options is causing a neo-phobic reaction (some cats are simply afraid of new things). We had one blogger who’s cat wasn’t taking to the dry food, and after making it his only option, he slowly took to it, and now eats it up. And will be all the healthier for it.'
So...the Fancy Feast I have on the shelf is going to Mama Katz, TomTom and an occasional raccoon and the Disco will have to understand I have his best interests at heart! And if she doesn't want Disco to be another ounce heavier at his next weigh-in, she better be putting those new cat toys to use and waving them around for Disco to chase, right?!! And she unearthed the laser pointer, too...maybe he'll get excited about that!
Ps: The other Furrydance kitties get to eat Disco's 'leftovers' and they are all wild about both varieties of the dry food--HipHipHooray! The canned...well, maybe all they want is a lick or two, but that's OK. I am hoping with time, they will be happy with the change and she knows they will be the healthier for it!
8/31/10: Seems Disco is at a standstill...that's the trouble--hard to burn off calories when one is standing still!
He weighed in this week at 15# 13 oz...just the same as last week. Thank goodness for small favors, in that he isn't an ounce heavier! I swear, I think the folks at Nulo must think he is sneaking food someplace, especially as he shares his home with 4 other cats...but no, he isn't!
And changing from ad lib (or free choice) feedings has not been as disruptive as I imagined it would be in a house with 5 cats. So many of the clients at the cat hospital where I work resist suggestions of doing this to help with their cats weight loss.
The two momcats are confined with their kittens, where Disco can't get to their food. And in the guest bedroom, there is a bowl of dry food (not Nulo, as it's Disco that is participating in the 'Simply Fit' campaign and I have some other food to finish up) and periodically, during the time I am home, I let Brighton and the momcats in there to snack...but not Disco!
Disco gets his (a little less than ) 1/4 cup of Nulo dry in the morning, and he is eager to chow down! When I get up at 4:30am, he goes into the library room with me and gets the dry kibble portion of his morning meal while I am getting ready for work, just him and me.
He gobbles that down in less than 5 minutes, and that seems to satisfy him, in that he isn't hovering around me and yelling for more. I need to set aside this time in the morning to at least do 5 minutes of 'running in place' for him...but sigh, I haven't done it yet.
Then he and Brighton follow me downstairs and as they are in the habit of asking for a morning treat (it used to be Hill's t/d dental diet--which now is also in the guest bedroom for those who can still snack...), Disco patiently waits for a treat (I need to order some Nulo treats for him--he could have 1 (I know, I know) so then I put out his serving of slight less than half of the 6 oz canned Nulo and that is his morning wet food portion of his meal.
He nibbles and licks at his snack, but doesn't finish it. I just leave it out and during the day it usually gets nibbled on, and sometimes even disappears, but I am not sure if Disco is eating it or Brighton or both.
Then Disco settles down on the couch, bringing to mind the picture 'Couch Potato', although I usually call Disco a 'Sweet Potato' due to his coloring, hahameow!
I'll be the first to admit, I have not been good about his daily exercise program though...
For a kitty that is used to wearing a harness and leash, and traipsing around hotels, cat showhalls and schmoozing at BlogPaws...the 'great outdoors is something totally foreign to him! But I live at the bottom of a hill, on a cul-de-sac with nice sidewalks (but do I get out walking either---no) and I thought if we could go out powerwalking, that should help melt away the ounces, right?
I mean not for me, after all, a cat's pace wouldn't get my heartrate up, unless I happened to be chasing said cat. But I thought it was worth attempting to help Disco get fit.
I am glad none of my neighbors showed their faces, as the exhibition of'Walking Our Way to Fitness' was well, more of a shuffle, helped along by me pushing Disco along with me positioned right behind him and helping him move forward with me walking kind of like a penguin.
And what was worse? Mosquitos!! They were hovering AND landing on Disco and while he is a very hairy naked cat now, still...I wondered if there was a cat-friendly bug repellant! He is (as are all the cats) on Revolution, but still, I didn't want him to have a skeeter bite reaction, so we shuffled back to the house and he went right into the tub for a bath, just in case any bugs or germs were on him.
That's another thing I worry about, that he could bring parasites or contagious disease in to the other cats...don't dog park people worry about that with their dogs? I mean, I am not anti-social but with all the easily transmittable diseases out there, and not knowing how the other animals out there are protected (and knowing many are not protected at all)...I am not sure it's worth the risks.
So, on to an alternate plan. I am now having Disco run up and down the stairs between Level 1 and Level 2 of my house, two times before I feed him in the morning and again in the evening. And then I lay on the floor and use that 'dragonfly wand' to encourage him to leap/lumber/walk over my body, until he loses interest...usually about 5 minutes worth.
If I can do that twice a day, while it's not the 10-15 minutes 3 X a day recommended, it's a start. This is what Nulo says on their website about exercising needs for cats: 'Get out some string or a light pointer and entice your cat to follow it around the house. Go up and down the stairs a few times. Make sure to put the string away when you're done so your overzealous cat doesn't ingest it. Cats can't resist exploring so create interesting places for her to climb so she will get climbing and jumping exercise. Put a table next to a bookshelf, for example, so she has several levels to climb.'
Still, I think back to the days when Disco was a show cat, fit and trim...and wonder what changed in his metabolism that started the ounces adding up? Aging, yes. Taking in more calories than he burns off? Sure looks like it. But even now, on the recommended feeding guide based on his BMI and age, he still isn't losing weight yet...and I have a question for all you cats (and humans) out there that are on anxiety medication.
Disco is taking Paxil for his spray marking behavior, at a very low dose now and it's working. But, it is when he started on behavior meds that he started putting on weight, maybe because he was less active or could it be that the medication has changed something else? I know some people have told me that they gained weight on Prozac, etc. Could there be something similar happening that complicates Disco being able to shed those unwanted pounds? Did any of your cats add poundage on anxiety meds, and how hard was it for them to lose them?
But we are only at week three of a 12 week program, so keep those encouraging rah-rahs coming and stay tuned for Disco's next update, OK?!
9/7/10: Oh, Disco has soooo many people and cats rooting for him, sympathizing with him, and hoping he can achieve his goal of weighing 12 pounds by Thanksgiving.
...so much so that one furrend asked me if I ever had his thyroid checked because he reminded her of a hypothyroid cat.
Why, yes he does! Although hypo (low) thyroidism is quite rare in cats, it is quite common in dogs and well, they look just like Disco--fat, slow moving, strange haircoat (well, his is strange because he is supposed to be naked!), I run bloodwork on him every year, but because he is young, the thyroid test was never included as mostly we look for hyper (overactive) thyroid in cats...
So, I am taking him in to work with me tomorrow and we will run some thyroid tests and the results will be back on Thursday. If he is hypothyroid, there is a medication he can take. If he isn't, well, we will 'soldier on' and 'fight the good fight' to get 'Simply Fit' with Nulo as our nutritious guide!
So, as far as the diet goes, I cut back on his feeding of dry Nulo to 1/8th cup twice a day and he is eating more of the canned, but I still worry he might not be getting the proper amount of nutrition and vitamins and minerals if he is not eating 'enough' but for now, I will hope that his canned food consumption will increase and he will be able to go to all canned soon.
He did drop 2 ounces this week, but is hungry he says! While I was around him over the holiday weekend, I tried the small amounts numerous times a day and that worked well. I did take him out strollering but am afraid I was the only one burning calories on that trip! But maybe he burned a few from 'visual stimulation'?
I was bad and didn't make him stairclimb but once during the past week, but will try to do better this week! As a sidenote, what he doesn't finish, Kiki is more than happy to polish off, same with Coco, and Sammy the stud cat likes Nulo canned leftovers, too! Brighton...well, he must be holding out in sympathy with Disco?
9/23/10: As you can see by the photo above...Disco is holding at 15# 8oz this week and that is probably because I was home over the weekend and his constant yelling about STARVATION had me feeding him extra kibbles from time to time.
That, and the fact that he needs to hire a new personal trainer to help him 'feel the burn' computes to another standstill in weight loss for Disco! I told him I keep having to buy longer belts because my midsection seems to be expanding, too! But then, I am not blogging about my weight loss or lack of such...
He is enjoying the canned food more, and when I placed my second order for Nulo, I decided to just get the turkey canned instead of the salmon variety too, as I am not a fish fan and the term 'Stinky Goodness' is what NuloOcean Fish canned food is! Now when he yells for food, he gets a spoonful of canned, not dry, and I think he will make some progress in his weight loss!
But I did get more of both the Nulo Chicken and the Salmon dry as Disco likes both of those, and he is continuing on the restricted amounts that his vet recommended and I am trying to increase the canned and cut back on the dry even more, in hopes of getting him on mostly canned Nulo eventually.
I bought a couple of new cat toys at the last cat show and they are great for getting Disco to run up and down the stairs after...I just need to do it every day not a couple of times a week! I wish I had someone to film him as I was getting him to use the 'Stairclimber' but he does get pretty excited about 'catching' the dragonflies and I make sure to let him rest between reps, hahameow!
One thing this Nulo campaign has shown me is by monitoring Disco's food intake and his activity level, I realize just how INACTIVE he has become due to his obesity! Where the other cats run and chase and 'Stairclimb' on their own, Disco is more than SEDENTARY...he is more like a Pet Rock in terms of activity.
Of course, due to his obesity, I do worry about the strain on his joints when he climbs the stairs and watching him almost makes me cringe...not a pretty sight! But I hope that when (not if) he gets down to 12 pounds (and though it may not be by Thanksgiving as we hoped as his progress has been so slow) that he will be able to once again join in the fun and games with the other cats in my house!
Just as it says on the Nulo website 'Cats get varying degrees of exercise, depending on their lifestyle. Indoor cats often don't get enough exercise on their own and it's up to you to encourage your resident felines to be more active'and I feel guilty that I am not making more time to help get my cat healthier. But I do know I am feeding him what I think is the best food out there and just need to make the commitment to do better from here on out with getting him to exercise every day!
Nulo tells us that'By encouraging your cat's natural attraction to these types of games, you can increase his activity level significantly. These games may not be new ideas but the concept of making them a regular habit may be. Make a point of setting aside time each day to play with your furball and soon you'll both look forward to this fun and special time together.'
Stay tuned for next weeks installment of the Road to Simply Fit!
10/13/10: Oh...I'm not really 'effin' mad. I am happy...because I can already see a difference in Disco's 'enthusiasm' and activity level. I know, just like in humans when dieting, plateaus happen.
And part of it might just be due to the fact that Disco has decided he REALLY likes the Nulo Turkey canned food and he just might be eating more than 2.6 ounces twice a day that he is restricted to eating.
And all the other cats are now horning in on his 'special' food, and I know they sneak bites of his meals, so I have been feeding him a little more canned food to make up for that.
But he is only getting his 1/8 cup of dry twice a day and well, that's such a small amount that he goobles it up pretty darn quick!
I also got him a bag of Nulo Chicken Treats with the last order and well, he can only have one treat a day, and I know if he found the pouch, he'd eat the whole thing...he loves 'em!
I am happy about that too, as I had pretty much given up on finding a treat that all the cats liked and knowing this is a 'Good for You' treat makes me feel good, too.
I know when Disco's 12 weeks in the weight loss program comes to an end, that feeding Nulo will continue, for everyone in the house then and I can't begin to explain how confident that makes me feel--no worries about the quality or the ingredients or the safety of the food supply...Nulo's right on top of all that!
Providing my cats with optimal nutrition, appropriate portions, and plenty of exercise, in order to help him/her live a longer, healthier and happier life will be a 'Lifestyle' from now on!
And by making the commitment to participate in the Nu Campaign, I am also raising awareness about pet obesity and, through my participation, hopefully inspiring others to change how and what they feed their dogs and cats.
I am a vet tech at an all feline hospital and I help counsel our clients on nutrition and obesity, too. I have been spreading the word about Nulo and one couple who have 2 Furrydance Cornish Rex kitties from me are thinking of giving Nulo a try, too. Well, there are more reasons to give Nulo a try than not!
And because Disco looks so darned cute, racing up and down the stairs after his 'dragonfly' lure...I will have to get a friend to film it, maybe by next weeks 'Simply Fit' post!
10/20/10: Disco's dropped another 2 ounces on his Nulo food since his weigh-in last Tuesday!
And that's with me being gone for 3 days and my petsitter coming in to take care of the kitties! They said they are 'invested' in Disco's successful weigh loss program, too and every day they came in and 'exercised' him (twice a day, which is even better than my once a day routine).
They pulled out the laser light from the toy drawer and 'mixed up' his 'workout' routine with the light and the dragonfly and they said he was eager to race up and down the stairs and around the living room after the light. They did have to put the other kitties away though--as they were interfering with his 'aerobics', hahameow!
It is pretty amazing that even on Disco's way reduced calorie intake, he isn't pestering me to death about being hungry. And now that he is only eating a small amount of the dry he is eating more of the canned and I think as 'carb intolerant' as he seems to be, that combined with more exercise, he is starting to drop the weight.
As the folks at Nulo say, 'Encourage your pet to play for just a few minutes a day, slowly increasing the overall exercise time as your pet’s health improves. Older animals don’t have the endurance or interest in extended playtime, but will still benefit from short activities throughout the day'.
I really have noticed a difference in the past two weeks with Disco's 'endurance' improving when playing and although it's hard to tell from the photos, I think he feels less, ummmm, blubbery than at the start of his diet.
Here's his weigh-in photos over the past 10 weeks...
I am sure most of you are kinda chuckling because well, it's kinda hard to see much difference, except of course for the 'Nudity'...he already has a 5 o'clock shadow, hahameow...but you can see by the numbers on the baby scale that yes, he really is losing weight!
I know it's not much, but he also gets 1 Nulo Chicken Treat a night, after he gets his anxiety pill and while I am not sure he even has time to 'savor' it before he swallows it, I do feel good knowing that he is getting a 'nutritious' treat instead of 'junk food'. Once he's down to 12#, he can look forward to maybe having 3 treats, hahameow!
I am going to be away almost every weekend in November--delivering Spottie and Dottie to their new home in New Jersey; staying at a friends beach house the next weekend; a cat show the one after that and then there is Thanksgiving...
I am hopeful that with my petsitters help, that Disco won't 'fall off the wagon' (he'd bounce, I am sure) and that he will look more like a sausage and less like a pumpkin by 'Turkey Day'...
10/27/10: Ok! If Disco continues to lose an ounce a week, by Turkey Day he will be 15# and that would be a total of 14 ounces lost...not quite to the goal of 12# but at least I know he is doing it slowly, safely and nutritiously with Nulo.
That is one thing I always worried about when dieting him before--knowing he probably wasn't getting the right amount of good quality food, minerals and vitamins...No worries about that now!
He is more active, and it's so cute how at the end of the day, how he waits at the top of the stairs so he can do his 'aerobics'...Here's a funny, short video of 'Take Three' of his workout on Monday (hahameow--you'll see why we are laffin')
Whenever I call Nulo to place an order, the guy I talk to, Devin, pulls up Disco's file and tells me how much they enjoy his blog posts and how great it is to follow all the the Nu Campaign for Pet Obesity participants. I have been enjoying seeing their posts and progress too, and thought you might, too.
By participating in the Nu Campaign, I pledged to help raise awareness about pet obesity and, through Disco's participation, inspire others to change how and what they feed their dogs and cats. I talk about Nulo and Disco's weight problem with all the clients at the cat hospital where I work and feel like Disco and I are part of the 'Street Team' for Nulo, hahameow!
I pledged to provide my pet(s) with optimal nutrition, appropriate portions, and plenty of exercise. I am doing better with their program than mine!I tell people if it wasn't for the stairs in my house, I wouldn't get any exercise at all! But I feel good about making the time and putting in the effort to help Disco and all the Furrydance cats live a longer, healthier and happier life.
Every one I have talked to at Nulo has been open, honest and approachable. They are like-minded pet lovers, just like me, and you can tell they share a kinship and a passion with their pets and the company they work for, too. You can tell it's not just a marketing ploy!
And every post on their blog is informative (and as a veterinary technician, I am very persnickity about accurate information when it comes to pet care!)
Disclosure:Nulo has generously provided free product in exchange for our participation in the Nu Campaign to fight pet obesity. We are happy to be a part of this awareness campaign, however, all of the opinions about the product are mine and Disco's and not dictated in any way by the company...that would be silly!
11/10/10: Down another ounce...
and just for comparison...here he is at the beginning of his diet:
I know, it doesn't look like much difference but it's half a pound and as an example, it would be like if I lost 4 pounds...it's a start, but I wouldn't rush out and buy a smaller size jean just yet, hahameow!
Disco is kinda like a caterpillar, in that he can 'scrunch up' and stretch out, and just like when someone takes a picture of me and says 'Suck it in', here are two photos of him...one looking quite slim (and it's not Photo Shopped, either)
We aren't disappointed that we are at the end of this 90 day campaign and didn't end up 'The Biggest Loser' because: 1) We have found the food we all want to eat and that is good for us, too and 2) We have done something in spreading the word about pet obesity by our participation in the Nulo Fight Pet Obesity Campaign! And we are waiting anxiously to see who the dawggie or kittie will be that is 'The Biggest Loser'!!
We really like having Nulo delivered right to our door (actually, it comes to where our Teri works so it's not left out on the porch for someone to nab!) and Teri says it keeps her out of the 'Pet Department Stores' which also saves her some green papers! And fresh! She says it's almost like she made it herself, hahameow!
And our Teri will continue work on getting Disco down to his goal of 12# and will post on his progress (yep, no doubt there---we will succeed!). And really monitoring Disco during this program revealed to her that Disco's weight had kind of turned him into a 'Pet Rock' and she is happy to see him 'feeling frisky' again!
It's been a fun and rewarding experience and even though our Teri knows lots about cats, she said even she learned some new info being involved with Nuloand that helps make her a better pawrent and a better vet tech, too!
Nulo is where nutrition meets love. As an advocate for better nutrition, health and wellness for dogs and cats, Austin-based Nulo aims to improve a pet's lifestyle through grassroots education and a new way of care and feeding.
11/20/10: A Disco weekly weigh in report and Nulo diet update:
Disco is under 15# now (just barely...14# 15 oz) and while Teri skipped a couple of exercise sessions...the battle of the bulge will go on til he's down to 12#...good thing the holidays aren't a problem for cats and their diets, hahameow!
Part of the benefit for completing the Nulo 'Fight Against Obesity' campaign is that Nulo will donate $250 to the pet related non-profit of each of the participants choosing. That was hard to pick only one, but two that have a special place in Teri's heart are:
Both places are actually close enough for Teri to visit and she has plans if she stays in this area when she retires, to volunteer there from time to time. Blind Cat Sanctuary has been getting a lot of publicity and donations through The Animal Rescue site's $100,000 Holiday Shelter Challenge (they are in third place).
Tabby's Place, who Teri found out about via the CB and this blog we follow, A Few Good Cats, is a fabulous place, that does everything from to adoptions to hospitalizing to hospice care and who's facility is so cat friendly they have been shown on TV and in magazines, is also featured on The Animal Rescue site, but they are way down at 401st place and the voting ends on December 12th.
12/10/10: She keeps forgetting to update everyone on Disco's dieting progress and well, as you can imagine--no news isn't good news. Disco's purrsonal trainer has fallen down on the job since the 90 weight loss campaign ended and has been pretty lax about exercising him! The photo below is Disco attempting to open the bathroom door (where the forbidden dry food is--so the other kitties NOT on a diet can snack from time to time).
In 4 weeks, she's only made him 'work out' once a week, tops! So he gained 4 ounces (he'd also been snacking a little bit too much, too) but with a little less food intake, he got back down to 14# 15 ounces again this week. Now all he has to do is start using the 'Stair Master' again and the oz will start coming off again, we are certain of that.
2/19/11: Disco is still dieting and has lost 4 ounces in the past month and is looking good at 14# 11 oz...2# to go and at an average of 4 oz a month he will be ready for 'bathing suit weather' this summer, hahameow!
7/24/11: Teri is still not being a good 'personal trainer' though and hasn't been Stairclimbing with Disco, but she says she will do better, so he maybe can lose some weight before they go go BlogPaws in a month!
Here's a link to an easy to use calorie calculator that Teri shared with Mr Puddy and Yogi, that maybe some of the 'overconditioned' kitties of the CB can check out:
Disco is stuck at 15# 2 oz, and Teri is cutting down on his treat of t/d kibble and bought him a bag of Stella & Chewy's Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner. It's a dehydrated Raw Diet, but Teri is feeding it as a treat, in it's 'pellet' form, and Disco loves it. He would love more than 2 morsels but it will give him some variety and she may even feed it rehydrated for him if he likes it that way, too. It was recommended to us by the cats of Coffee, Cats 'n Yarn.
Their website says their patented food safety process was designed by a Professor of Food Safety at Kansas State University and the food safety programs in place at Stella & Chewy's would be in the forefront of human food manufacturers and are years ahead of the pet food industry. Here's a link to their website if you want to check it out:
And for your viewing pleasure, here's another pix of Disco and a movie clip, too! (especially for Stella):
11/28/11:We are featuring Disco NoFurNo on this ManCat Monday in honor of his new diet starting today!
Yes, some of you kitties who have been following us for a while probably remember when Disco participated in Nulo's 'Simply Fit' weight loss campaign...but that was way back in the Fall of 2010 and Teri's been very frustrated by his plateau weight of around 15# for the past year...
Of course, while we had kittens around, he was always sneaking kitten kibble. And Teri is the first to admit, she has been very lax in exercising Disco to encourage burning those calories...but at his 'show weight' he was around 11# and at his most obese, 16#...Teri would be happy if he could get down to 12#
It is hard, in a multi-cat household, to restrict everyone's food intake, so to get around that, she leaves dry food out in the guest bathroom and lets Brighton and Coco in there from time to time every day so they can snack on dry food, which Disco can't...
But at the last cat show in Indianapolis last week, she learned about a new dry food, Young Again, that is very low in carbs, and without the 'veggies' that she just doesn't think an obligate carnivore needs. She grabbed a bunch of samples and everyone liked it. Of course, Disco will eat any kibble, that goes without saying.
So she ordered a bag, and she is going to feed it to Disco for 90 days and see if he will lose the fat and gain the muscle, as the company says he will. If he does well on it, she may even start feeding it to everyone in the house!
Here's 2 pix Teri took today of Disco, weighing in at 14# 15.5 ounces...
So, join in cheering Disco on, and hopefully by March 1st, he will be down to his 'target weight' of 12#...
12/5/11: Sigh...one week down and up 1/2 ounce (maybe his bladder was full, hahameow!).
Teri has been exercising him once a day (not enough) and he is eating more (about 2 tablespoons more) of the Young Again kibble than he was of the Life's Abundance, so we are hoping to see a weight loss in another week...we'll keep you posted!
Obesity is a huge (forgive the pun) problem with all pets and our friend, Matt Beswick, made a great infographic discussing Disco's very issue!
12/19/11: Down 2 more ounce this week! Disco can't speak for Santa Claus,
but one day, Disco's "...little round belly won't shake like a bowl full of jelly...".
1/2/12: Yes...the numbers don't lie...15# 3 oz!
And you might think that Teri shaved all the furs off Disco's back to get him to lose a few ounces...but no, that's just how his mutant furs grow (and you all know, Teri does shave him from time to time in hopes one day his furs will not grow back in strange tufts and hummocks, hahameow!)
So, we are trying something new with Disco's diet for the next month...we ALL get free choice Young Again kibble in our bowls...we never see the bottom of the bowl...
Does that seem like a diet? Well, not really but we are trusting Michael, the founder of Young Again advice to lay off the Hill's t/d kibble treats and the few morsels of TomTom's dry food that Teri tosses us when she puts out food for him outside, and at least for the next month, no other food except for Young Again.
Even though Disco was used to eating it for the past 5 weeks, once he could eat it whenever he wanted instead of tablespoons of it doled out 4 times a day....he ummm, got a little diaper rash cuz he got the 'squirts'. But Teri put him on a gut antibiotic for a few days and he is back to normal now. Funny, but the other kitties had no problems at all with the food transition.
Young Again 50/22 kibble has a nutrient profile that Teri likes., 50% protein (from animal sources not plant proteins--she doesn't think we need blueberries, carrots and apples, hahameow!), a balanced fat level of 22% and less than 5% carbs.
Here is a good article from Young Again's website talking about obesity in cats...we're not naming names here...just sayin'
Well, as they say...What have we got to lose, right ?! We could all tone up a bit. Even Coco has put on over a pound since she was spayed in May and Sammy's put on 2# since hewas neutered in March...
1/16/12: You might have noticed we skipped, missed, ran out of time...to do a Disco Diet post last Monday. It really isn't because we are embarrassed that well, the diet is heading in the ummm, wrong direction...
Here's the weigh-in photo from last week... 15# 6 ounces
and the weigh-in for today... 15# 9 ounces
Teri is trying to be positive and stick with this new food, Young Again, and follow the company's recommendations and feed it free choice. For the first month she fed it, she was actually giving Disco some Hill's t/d as a treat (5-10 kibbles a day) and letting him have a kibble or two of TomTom's food but she stopped doing that about 2 weeks ago and had hoped for some ounces to drop...Sigh.
This is what it says on Young Again's website about Obesity in cats and feeding their 50/22 food:
The beauty of Young Again Cat Food is that you can offer your feline this pelleted food in a bowl and just leave it out for her to eat free choice. Within two weeks of consuming Young Again, your cat will naturally adjust the amount of food that she needs to fuel her metabolism. Since proteins are digested more slowly, she won't be hungry all the time, as she would if she was consuming a carbohydrate-laden diet. So, she will gradually adjust the volume of Young Again that she wants and needs to approximately one tablespoon per day for every 5 pounds of healthy body weight. An eight pound bag of Young Again Cat Food will last the average 8 pound cat about 100-120 days depending on activity level and weather you supply treats. Of course, provide her with fresh, clean water at all times.
On Young Again Cat Food, your cat will begin losing excess body fat, and will in turn, begin developing better muscling..., as well as a softer, more kitten-like coat. She will have more energy and this will also help her lose excess body fat. Cats that were couch-potatoes will begin playing, exploring and even jumping and climbing! Shy cats may become more outgoing and friendly. And an added benefit will be found in the kitty-litter box, with smaller, more compact fecal components, due to the high-digestibility of the food. Young Again guarantees these results in as little as 8 weeks.
Disco does look more slender in the second photo, but it's just his positioning we think...cuz he's the outtake photo taken at the same time...
At his heaviest, Disco weighed 16# and Teri doesn't want him to get there again...so she will stick with this for a couple more weeks and make a decision then. Young Again does make a zero carb food and she may try that...but right now, she's kinda frustrated.
Disco does seem happy and content and not begging for food like he was when she was feeding him the other kibble as a treat, and that's good...but she keeps remembering that Disco weighed 11# at his 'show' weight and she would really like him to get down to 12# to consider his 'diet' a success!
And just for the ladycats out there who purr every time they see Disco...Here's a smoochable photo!
1/30/12: Well, at least one ladycat is missin' seeing Disco's Mancat Monday posts...we didn't get around to posting last Monday once again.
Maybe if Mr D was losin' the ounces, we'd be more excited about the results? Teri has been taking photos, though and here's the proof from last Monday...up 1 ounce:
Teri even talked to Michael, the founder of Young Again and decided to stick with it a while longer. She will have to say that she still isn't exercising Disco every day and she knows that is an important part of sucessful dieting, but guess she was hoping the food alone would do it...
And here's this Monday's photo... up 2 ounces...
Before giving up on this diet, Teri HAS to do better about getting Disco to do stair climbing and hallway sprints, she just has to.
So, stay tuned for next week's post...
Oh, as a side note, even though Teri isn't exercising as much as she should, her diet is making her smile when she gets on the scale...down from 152 to 143 since November! She said when she hits 140, she might fit in to some of her dresses again...
2/6/12: Disco is purr-oud to announce that he lost 4 ounces since his last weeks weigh-in!
That made Teri pretty happy, too! Let's hope he is going to be sheddin' the ounces on a downward spiral starting NOW!
If only Teri would start exercising him twice a day like she is Coco, we think that would help ensure success!
As we all know, lounging around and bird watching doesn't burn many calories, does it?
But Disco said he would try some calisthenics and crunches...maybe he could make a workout video?
2/13/12: Oh Noes...There's only 2 weeks left in Disco's 'Young Again' challenge and while he was cheating in the beginning and getting some carbs he wasn't supposed to...we had really hoped he would have lost the healthy 4 ounces a month Teri had been dreaming of!
Nope! At Disco's weekly weigh in today, he tipped the scales at 15# 14 oz...the heaviest he's been in 18 months. We are blinkin' back tears...
So Teri is thinking she will go back to an all canned diet for him, as both Brighton and Disco still have urine that is too concentrated for comfort, 1.080. She could try the no carb version of Young Again, or maybe even think about feeding raw. One of the clients at the cat hospital where Teri works raves about RadCat and how well her cats are doing on it...
(Disco in his slender days...)
She knows part of Disco's lack of success is her failure to exercise him, too. But especially after Coco's problems with her knees, she worries about Disco carrying the extra weight and the strain on his joints. She thinks maybe a PetZen Treadmill would help both Disco and Coco...but she doesn't have an extra $600 to lay down...
We know the ladycats out there love Disco just as he is...but maybe if he could chase around Prancer Pie and Ms Stella...that would burn off some calories for free, hahameow.
OMC...Disco's brought new meaning to the words
Here he is, 90 days into his diet plan and he weighs more than he did 18 months ago when he began the Nulo Simply Fit program. 16 pounds 3 ounces !! Below is a photo from August 2010...
When the folks at Young Again read Disco's post last week, they called Teri and asked her if she wanted to try their NO CARB dry food and offered to send Disco a free bag...
So Teri said, ok...what has Disco got to lose (oh, about 4 pounds). So the bag arrived today, delivered by the guy in the brown shorts (well, not in the winter time...).
Teri emptied out the food bowl of the Young Again 5% carb food (and gave it to Sammy, who could shed a pound, too) and filled up the bowl and everyone had a snack and enjoyed it!
Teri is also trying out some raw diets, too, but so far, we have turned out noses up at Stella and Chewy's and Pawgevity, but one of the clients at the cat hospital where Teri works brought us a tub of RadCat today and Disco thought that was pretty yummy!
And maybe by the time 'bathing suit' weather rolls around, Disco won't get sand cat litter kicked in his face at the beach water fountain...
Disco went from 16# 3 ounces a week ago to 15# 10 ounces today... That's 10 ounces in a week and actually might be a little too fast... Nutritionists say about 4 ounces a week is a safe rate of weight loss.
But he is cleaning up the 'wet' food and Teri's seen us all nibbling on the dry, so it's not like any of us are refusing to eat (which is very dangerous for a cat, especially an obese one as they can develop Hepatic Lipidosis), so Teri will monitor Disco's food intake and add more Rad Cat if he continues to lose the weight too fast.
But losing is great and makes Teri smile, to know that there is hope for sweet Mr. TOL to become a 'Hard Body' again!
3/19/12: We are just barely squeezing in a Monday post before Tuesday rolls around! But we wanted everyone to know, Disco lost 5 ounces this past week...Yay!
We was kinda worried cuz he didn't lose anything the previous week...and we skipped postin' about that...
He's down to 15# 8 ounces, and if he continues to lose 4 ounces a week...he'll be down to 15# by April Fool's Day...and ready for those Swim Trunks by summer!
4/4/12: And since we missed another ManCat Monday--Disco's Diet update, we are purroud to announce that Disco weighed in on Monday at 15# 5 ounces! Down 4 ounces this week!! Down 14 oz since beginning the Zero Carb food. We are happurry about that, and one thing that Teri really likes about feeding the Young Again Zero Carb dry food, is that she can leave down 'free choice'.
Us kitties spend most of our time in the basement watching Cat TV or burrowed in our sleepin' bag, so we have to walk up 2 flights of stairs to get a snack, but that's actually good exercise to burn off a few calories anyway, hahameow.
We are still eating some raw RadCat, and some Nulo and Life's Abundance Instictive canned, too (TomTom gets our leftovers) and Teri thinks Coco's slimmed down a bit too (she kinda needed to as she gained a pound since she was spayed a year ago...and Sammy? Well, he chunked up from just over 6# to just under 9# since he was neutered, so he is dieting, too...but at least with Young Again's Zero Carb kibble, it doesn't really seem like a diet.
4/14/12: MeWowZa (Teri says she is thinking of getting purrsonalized license plates that say that)...Disco is down to 15# on the nose (or butt, hahameow).
Yep, since February 27th, Disco has lost a total of 1# 3 ounces now! We be furry hapurry about that, and the fact that we no longer have to starve just cuz he's on a diet...Thanks to Young Again Zero Carb!
We think by the time June is here, Disco will be pretty buff if he keeps shedding those ounces...
4/16/12: Another 3 ounces melted away this week---Yay Disco!
Teri says she is going to add a page to our bloggie so that everycat who is having diet challenges of their own can maybe get some 'inspiration' from Disco...
5/7/12: Then Disco had his toofers cleaned and of course, that had to include a fashion shoot! And speaking of Disco...at his weigh-in today, he is down another 8 ounces! He has dropped a total of 1# 14 ounces and now is looking noticeably more svelte, at 14# 5 oz.
What do you guys think? Disco doesn't look so 'Sausage-y' in his 'Rock Star' Tank Top now, does he? Teri is very happy that the Young Again Zero Carbdry andNuloand Life's Abundance canned food combo is workin' out for Disco!
In fact, everyone has slimmed down, which is a good thing! Coco's almost down to her 'showcat' weight, having lost 13 ounces and she looks mah-vah-lous. Brighton has lost 6 oz and is just right at 8# 2 oz. Sammy is still nomming on the leftover 5% carb Young Again and even he dropped 8 ounces, too.
5/14/12: Well, Disco hit a plateau this week...stuck at 14# 5 oz, but that's ok!
We just ordered another 2 bags of Young Again Zero Carb and we'll see what the next month brings, but we are sure he will be ready to put on those 'Board Shorts' by June.
(and just in case you'd like a pair of these of your own, check out this Etsy shop!)
Teri made a page for our blog, documenting Disco's Battle of the Bulge, but she hasn't had time to post pix and the posts we've done, sigh...
Here's a photo of Disco at 16# 3 oz and one of him today~quite the difference! We B Happurry about that!
We know that doesn't look like almost 2# lighter, but it is. He is more muscle than fat now! We think Lucky 13 might just be his Number! We think Disco just might be ready to be a 'Chippendale' cat by December, hahameow!
5/29/12: You might have noticed that we skipped our weekly 'Disco's Diet' post on Monday, the 21st.
That was cuz Mr D unscrewed the lid of TomTom's food hopper and gorged on a medley of 'junk food' while Teri was off day hunting... (Ps: It really was Teri's fault about the lid not being screwed on tight...after all, we don't have thumbs!)
All it took was that 'A moment on the lips, forever on the hips' scenario...you get the picture!
Well, it took Disco 2 weeks to lose the 5 ounces his trip through the smorgasbord packed on,
so this week, Disco's weighin' in at 14 pounds, 6 ounces, so that's up 2 ounces from May 14th.
You might have noticed that pix of Disco in the new hoodie looks suspiciously like he might just be at the vets! Yep...for only the 2nd time in Teri's whole lifetime of cats, she has a kitty with an abscess!
And yep, it's Disco! Last Thursday she noticed a bite mark on Disco's side--probably from Brighton, as they get into tussles sometime. It looked minor at the time and she didn't start him on antibiotics.
But by Saturday, it was puffy and infected, so she ran into work and got a long acting antibiotic injection and although it looked worse for a day, now the lump is firm and smaller and Dr E saw him today and said he doesn't need to undergo anesthesia and flushing as it's not fluid filled but a granuloma now.
We hope Dr E is right...Disco has love handles, he doesn't need an extra lump! Fortunately, his fashionable hoodie covered up the bitey mark...doesn't look like much, does it?
But without antibiotics, it would have turned into a full-fledged abscess (don't click on this link if you are squeamish, hahameow).
And just for Prancer Pie and Stella (oh and Carole, too!)...here's a shot of Disco sunning himself yesterday!
6/4/12: Here we are...stuck on a plateau, 14# 6 oz, same as last Monday...but that's OK cuz at least Disco didn't get into TomTom's food tub this week!
That's not to say he doesn't hang out by the 'Treat Jar' with a whistful, hopeful look on his face...
But he eventually gives up, and goes off to catch some ZZZZ's with his buddy (yep, probably the buddy that bit him!).
Oh, as you can see from the photo, Disco's abscess is healing up fine, with only a pea-size lump left...
6/27/12: Oh, we know we have missed the past couple of Mancat Monday-Disco's Diet updates, but Disco is kinda at a standstill, weighing this week at 14# 6 oz, but some of that may be due to eating heartily while Teri was away (added some Fancy Feast to tempt him and some varieties has wheat gluten in it--carbs).
We will get back on track again and get under 14# real soon, but he is looking slimmer, less cellulite and more active now, so we are happurry about that!
Well, Disco's been hovering at the mid-fourteens now for about 8 weeks! People are gonna lose interest in this Battle of the Bulge saga soon...
But Teri isn't giving up...and since he doesn't have a lot of say in the matter, Disco isn't giving up either! We aren't sure what the slowdown in losing the poundage is, but maybe while Teri and Coco were gone to BlogPaws, Disco ate out of boredom, even though it's still just theYoung Again Zero Carb kibble.
Or maybe the typical 15 hours napping turned into 22 hours napping and more calories were consumed than got sweated off by the nightly laser light zoomies! Teri said she will try and do better about the exercise routine, since she'd really like to see Disco get under 14# cuz that sounds so much closer to 13#, hahameow.
She actually ordered a new toy to help in Disco's Sweatin' to the Oldies routine! It's a toy she say at the Catification lounge and Coco gave it her Paw of Appurruval! It's theCat-a-Pole. She thinks she can stand at the top of the stairs and have Disco do some 'Stair Climbing' to grab it and that should help burn off some ounces!
Almost 2 years since we updated Disco's 'Battle of the Bulge' page! No, he didn't ever get down to his goal of 12#...and Teri is still a terrible Purrsonal Trainer... so Disco is stuck at 14# 8 oz STILL!!!.
And Teri is stuck at 139# STILL!
See a pattern here? She is supposed to exercise because of her osteoporosis and high glucose tests, and she doesn't (hasn't yet!!) so how can we expect her to be diligent about Disco's dieting??
In the 2 years since we posted to this page last, Disco was diagnosed with IBD and is on a pretty calorie restricted novel protein diet, but calories in must be more than calories burned...it's not rocket science.
We'll post again when there's some progress...for either Disco or Teri, hahameow!