Susan the Chonker

Ok, I have a confession to make! Having worked in the veterinary industry for 6 years, I’ve assessed a lot of cats as overweight and discussed the importance of weight loss with countless owners. The health complications associated with feline obesity are well documented. I know the drill.

But more recently I’ve come to know the other side of this story. Yes, it’s true… my cat is a “heckin’ chonker”!

Actually, I have two cats, Susan and Annie, which is where my kitty feeding woes went awry. You see, weight gain creeps up on you, like a kitten waiting to pounce on your feet as they move under the blanket. Suddenly, Bam! Your cat is fat and you’re asking yourself, how did this happen?

Susan was about 8 months old when we got a new kitten, Annie. With the new subtle dynamics of a two-cat household, Susan went from sensibly grazing on her food to an absolute guts, eating both hers and Annie’s food whenever possible. Once she was ready to transition to adult food, more troubles began. It became impossible to make sure that Annie had her kitten biscuits and Susan had her adult biscuits. Susan loved the kitten food and would seek out Annie’s biscuits, and Annie liked the adult food better. Feeding times became an intricate ballet of bowl swapping and neither of them was getting the right food with the right nutrition for their life stage.

Susan continued to gain weight and as her annual vaccination approached, I began to worry about what my colleagues would say when they saw how “chonky” I had let her get. So I decided to make life easier for myself and invested in two Surefeed microchip feeders.

What an amazing product! They were definitely not cheap, but I shopped around and found them on sale. Microchip feeders work by programming in the cat’s individual microchip number. As the cat approaches the covered bowl, a motion sensor detects them and the chip is scanned. If it is a match, the lid that covers the bowl retracts, allowing the cat to access the food. Once they leave, the lid slides back in place, covering the food.

The feeders came with easy-to-follow instructions and had a handy training mode, which allows the cats to get used to the movement of the lid bit by bit. Within a couple of days, both cats were happily using their feeders. I say “happily” but of course, Susan is less than impressed with her inability to eat Annie’s food, but I finally feel like the situation is under control.

It’s going to take some time for Susan’s weight to come down and a prescription weight management diet such as Hills Metabolic will help with this, but being able to control exactly what food she has access to is the first step in this journey.

So to my fellow “chonky” pet owners, I share your frustrations, I feel your shame. But we are here to help! Talk to us to arrange a weight and nutrition consultation. We have lots of information, tips and products to help your “heckin’ chonker” get back to their healthy weight.

Here are a few more links that could help you and your chonky feline

Written by Tracy McNally, Animal Caretaker.

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