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?!