Fat Cat, Skinny Cat

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About 5ish months ago we adopted two sibling kittens into our home. Rescued might actually be a better word because the woman who gave us the kittens had let her outdoor cat get pregnant and left these kittens to be raised in her make-shift garage open to the busy street. The day we went to visit the kittens one was actually sitting underneath her car in the driveway. And of course they were covered in more fleas than I care to even remember.

Flynn here – now affectionately called ‘Fat Cat’ more often than not, started out as a tiny little thing, the runt of the liter and several ounces smaller than his big sister.

6 week old tabby kitten

Miss Grey Baby (who started out as Princess Ariel) was chubby and healthy.

6 week old grey kitten

And now nearly 6 months later they are some big kitties. Grey Baby still has a slender figure and she’s a bit shorter than Fat Cat. She’s perfect!

5 month old grey kitten

But Fat Cat, well, he’s fat.

When they came to live with us we immediately switched them to a good quality cat food, Innova for Kittens, and they began picking up weight. Grey Baby continued to be as healthy as can be but Fat Cat started gaining too much weight. Just for fun we put him on the scale and he tipped it at a whopping 13 pounds. He’s not even fully grown and already overweight. You can almost see his belly rolls and sagging tummy skin in the pic below.

overweight fat tabby cat

And now I guess I’m looking for some kitty mommy advice. I’m not sure how to restrict his food without restricting Grey Baby’s too since they both have access to the same bowls and same spaces throughout the house. Do I just switch to adult cat food and hope that helps? I could use some advice.

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  1. Diana Stanhope says

    I’m not sure I would put him on a diet. I raised similar concerns with me vet because my little boy was close to 20 pounds. He asked a lot of questions about how active Sam was and told me that a) male cats are bigger and b) all of tests are normal and most importantly he was as active, if not more active than my girls. It’s always going to be different in every case but if he isn’t in poor health or lethargic he may just be a big boy.

  2. says

    I’ll second what Diana said, for starters. 13 lbs. isn’t all that big for an adult male cat. Make sure he’s getting exercise (run him around with a fishing pole type toy or laser for a good 20 minutes or so per day). If he keeps gaining, or if the vet seems concerned, you can try meal feeding them. Put half their day’s food down for about 15 minutes twice a day. They’ll learn within about a week that it gets taken away when they walk away, so they’ll eat it, and you can then monitor how much he’s getting.

  3. says

    I had a cat that topped 20 pounds … I think he ended up being 25? And my other ended up being 10. LOL. And he was younger. I just always had clean food and water for them. It was biology, I think. I wouldn’t worry too much at this point. Could be a growing spurt on top of it? Don’t kids sometimes gain weight then grow?

    Right now I am keeping an eye on my boxer, though. Because he was underweight when we go him … and now he is starting to really fill out – looking heavy. He eats A TON. But my Shar-pei is “underweight” in my opinion, I am always trying to fatten her up. LOL. But once again, I just leave food out. If I don’t he’ll gorge in on sitting and thats not good. If I leave it out, he eats slower all day. (But he still ends up eating 5 -6 cups to my sharp-peis 2 cups…) But once again, it could just be him growing while she’s already full grown.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your fur balls!

  4. Jen says

    A year and a half ago we got a new kitten and already had a 5 year old cat. At first we fed the kitten separately b/c we kept him away from the older cat. Jake hated the kitten at first. Finally we had to start letting them eat together, so we mixed the adult food with the kitten food. Jake got FAT. But once we switched to all adult food, he dropped the weight he gained from the kitten food, lol.

  5. says

    I am not a huge cat fan but those two cats of yours are pretty cute and I also love the name Fat Cat. LOL. Too funny.

  6. says

    These cats adorable! I do not have advise about food but I love the fact that you rescued these cats! They are obviously loved! I hope you figure out what to do. Maybe get two bowls in different spots and only have them eat when the food is down??!

  7. says

    We use IAMS weight control but I can tell you that I have had fat cats my whole life. Its because they are indoor…they really do not get as much exercise as out door pets. You can follow food restriction diets but my fat cats have lived as long as my thin ones honestly…

    I did have an incident where we tried to diet Paprika because she was having a problem cleaning herself. We put all the cats on the same food and she did lose weight but it also sparked a dormant diabetes in one of our other cats and he died as a result. Kinda complicated but once we put him on a diet, he had diabetes that we didn’t know about, and it triggered it to go into active. While we thought he was getting to a skinny healthy weight, what it was was his body telling him not to eat. I don’t really do the whole diet thing anymore. (this was all told to us by vet on what happened)

    My thoughts are, as an owner of 5 cats, that as long as they are otherwise healthy, moving around, cleaning themselves properly, and playing, there is nothing wrong with them.


  8. says

    We lost our sweet kitty the week of Thanksgiving. Breaks my heart. I’m not sure what the best advice would be. Maybe just feed both cats a “diet cat food”?

  9. SandiJ says

    I have a similar situation with the two male litter mates I own. We kept both on high protein diet (wellness brand) for some time, but my larger cat ended up developing urinary tract issues that almost killed him. However when we switched to urinary wet food he slimmed down like his brother. I tend to think it has to do with the carbs vs protein content in their foods.
    Also pay attention to the portion sizes on packaging. Many people tend to overfeed their pets. So if they’re munching all day, or one is more than the other (like mine were) this will affect their weight. Feeding twice a day with regimented portions could help Fat Boy =)