Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nulo Week #3--Time for a Treadmill, Disco?

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?!


  1. Poor Disco! Hitting a plateau must be hard on both of you. I don't know anything about metabolism and Paxil, as none of us are taking it, and I actually get an appetite stimulant (please do not let Disco read that - he will probably kill me!). I do know that Binga and Boodie, who are both around 12 lbs. and not young cats (Binga is 10 and Boodie is 9) eat less than Disco does. They get about a 1/8 cup scoop of Wellness Core dry in the morning, and for dinner, half a 6-oz can each of whichever grain-free food my human happens to have that week. My human's boyfriend gives them a few treats at bedtime. It may not seem like much, but their weight has been pretty stable since they've been adults. I eat all wet food, probably about 5 oz.' worth, daily and I am about 6 lbs.

  2. SSRIs generally make people less hungry and so they loose some weight. Cats may react differently to them--so who knows? Maybe it is the medication. Good luck with that weight loss thing.

  3. Oh Mr. D! Sorry to hear you are being starved AND tortured! You poor, poor dear! And to top all that off you have to take anti-depressants? Good grief; you sound like my human. She's always bemoaning the 'middle age' whatever and lack of all the snacks she wants but I can tell you something... she ain't a gittin on her treadmill every day either so go figure MOL!

    I'm so in love with you and want you to be healthy certainly but anytime you're ready to check out of club Dread into Club Fed... let me know. I have people.

    Ms. Stella O'Houligan

  4. We are all cheering for Disco on his weight loss journey...We don't know anything about anxiety medication, but it sounds like that must have something to do with his weight issues...Best of luck, sweet boy...kisses...Calle, Halle, Sukki

  5. Disco!! I feel for you!! I would soooo not be happy if Mom tried to put us on a diet...as it is, she is rather stingy with the food...I have to really YELL at her sometimes so that she just gives us a few bites in between meals. So I totally understand you plight. Good luck. We do have the obligation of exercising because our food is on the ground floor and our toilet is two flights up!! Also, we have the garden and Mom always wants me to come for a walk with her to the compost (I like to go there with her because it allows me to do my 'marketing' - if you know what I mean!!) which is like a MILE from the house! When we are in the city, life is super easy though because the toilet is next to the kitchen and we don't have to climb any stairs!! It's like being on holiday!! without the fresh grass...Purrs, Lautrec

  6. I know how you feel Disco. Mum has been threatening me with a treadmill, (actually she said a giant hamster wheel.) Sometimes when we go for walks, I can't be bothered and just flop down. She picks up my back end and it looks like we are going to take part in a wheelbarrow race. How does she expect me to walk when I am being starved?

  7. Oh dear Disco. we're still purring for the pounds to start shifting!

  8. Oh Disco, I give you lots of credit for trying so hard! Ever since we switched to a holistic vet when Harley joined our family, we no longer eat free-choice. Our food gets put down, and it is all finished in under 5 minutes or so. My Mommeh says it is gratifying to see us eat with such gusto. I used to just stroll downstairs and pick at my food all day. She also weighs us about once a month to monitor our weight.

  9. Mom knows a human who took Paxil and she slept real well and ate real well while on it. So maybe it is having an effect - maybe before taking Paxil, Disco had a lot more nervous energy and actually burned off more calories.

    The laser pointer light is easy for a human to play with a cat, easier than a wand toy. Also, it can be used to distract a cat away from constantly wanting food.

  10. Oh Disco darling boy! You come off of that scale and come here with me. I'll hide you in under my bed. We'll talk all day and night about this awful d-i-e-t!!!

    I'll email you my address, Disco. I hope you have your own laptop?

  11. Not to be disrespectful, but less food works... We mea, we kitties love our food, but sometines less is better.

    We are on a slight diet that is helping us get to our better weights.

  12. Keep it up Disco...weight loss is hard, for cats and humans :) Tanner is a good example...he'll lose, then gain...the classic yo-yo dieter. We are pleased with even one ounce of weight loss!

    As far as the anti-anxiety meds and weight gain, Smokey takes amitriptaline (sp) and has not had any weight gain.

  13. Keep up the play...Disco probably gets winded quickly, so a few short sessions a day would be perfect. Could he eat wet food exclusively? It's just so much better than kibble.

  14. it looks like Disco has fur?? huh? Maybe if you shave it he will lose an ounce! :-)

  15. Well, the only experience we have with anti depressants is with mommy's haircutter's daughter. She is mildly autistic and lives still at home with mom and dad. She was taking paxil and she gained 50 pounds++.
    Perhaps a lower dose or every other day for Disco.
    Mom thinks SSRI's are EVIL Mom's nurse practitioner tried to get mom to take those when her big sister died - mom tried them, they did not make her hungry-er, just really weird feeling. She stopped them

    anyway, Disco, come on over and run with me and Miles hahaha
    or perhaps when the kittens get out you can chase after them!

    bonks and bronks

  16. Oh Disco, we're purring for you on your diet! We understand because mommy keeps threatening to put us on diets to keep our girlish figures. We also hope the mosquitos leave you alone!

  17. Whew, what a story. I'm exhausted. I know how hard it is for me to loose a few pounds. Good luck with sweet Disco.

  18. Greetings from New York!
    Buster says HI and woof
    to the little cats!

  19. I don't know anything about SSRI's in cats but they can make people gain weight for sure (or sometimes lose weight - it just depends on the person!) It's possible, too, that Disco is just on a plateau and that he will lose quite a bit suddenly - this definitely happens in human weight loss. Wishing him all the best - I know it can be frustrating!

    P.S. I'm glad to know about switching from free choice feedings - our vet has HIGHLY recommended this for Tasha, but I know we'd have to hear about it - constantly - so I also resist it! (Also worried about Franklin losing too much weight since both the other cats are food hounds.)

  20. Oh Disco! I wish B had a bit of this problem as he is too thin and can't gain weight! It sounds like it is age and the medication that is causing the weight gain. Good luck with the exercise! Kisses to all the furballs!
    How you doing with the book?

  21. The stair program should help - great idea. Lucy cat is doing that on her blog. It is possible the meds are causing the weight gain. You are being a great mom Hang in there.
    Thanks for coming to the party.

  22. In humans one of well known major side effects of Paroxetine is significant weight gain. As the drug is reducing Disco's anxiety, he's going to be less prone to losing weight (anxiety causes weight loss in many animals) - one of the other side effects in humans is somnolence, which is more sleeping. Could Disco be sleeping more when you are out working?

    Could he maybe go onto a different type of anti-anxiety medicine if he still needs it or maybe you could ask about adjusting the dose?


Thanks everso for stopping by. We love visitors!