I was Googling kitty weight loss plans when I stumbled across a related question on AllExperts.com. Imagine my reaction when I saw that the expert answering the question was none other than Norm Auspitz, CFA judge and Aby aficionado!
So of course I had to ask him about the best way to help an Aby lose weight, right? I have emailed him in the past about Aby rescue, and I’ve spoken with him at cat shows, but I’d never have had the courage to email him directly with a question like this. But on AllExperts, where it’s meant to be anonymous, I figured I couldn’t not ask him.
And, yesterday, I got a response from him! Although, I guess it wasn’t so anonymous afterall since he addressed it to “Coco”…
Question: I have a year and 10 month old Aby neuter who just entered his first CFA show. He did well enough for an Open, collecting his six Winners Ribbons, and the judges had positive comments about his colour, ticking, eyes, earset, legs, tail, and personality…but almost every single one told me to “get the weight off him.” He is “stunning” and “definitely Grandable” but he’s a chunky monkey. Problem is, we have three other cats, one of whom is UNDERweight! We feed high protein, no-grain dry food (Blue Buffalo Wilderness) and grain-free canned food, and he does get a lot of exercise (he’s a therapy cat and he loves to go on outings with me), but he hasn’t been able to get out much over the winter. He’s also a food stealer…he’ll try to intercept my fork on its way from my plate to my mouth, and he sneaks whatever he can and drags it to his lair (his show cage) to hide it. He also loves Cheetos! We don’t give them to him…but he does steal them when he can.
Knowing you know Abys, what’s the best way to distract him from the other cats’ food? I think I know ways to get him to exercise more, but his greedy attitude towards food in general is a problem! If it helps, his father and uncle are big Abys, too; his uncle is a GPr who has also had weight problems. My cat’s brother is a champion and weighs about a pound less.
*Sigh*, yes this is a problem with neuters. On the other hand, at 10 months, there may well be some “baby fat”, but, given his father and uncle, you are best to get on this now!!! We tend to indulge them and they tend to eat everything we give them. So, the only solution is to feed them less. Having said that, when you first cut down their food, cats metabolism slows down (just like people) and there is no apparent weight loss immediately. However, after some weeks or months on the restricted diet, they do actually begin to lose the weight.
With our show Abyssinians, they are on a strict two meals a day regimen. We leave no food out for them to “graze” on. What they get to eat at meal times is all they get! With some who attack their food and inhale it down, we often have to feed them in a cage or crate where they stay until everyone else is finished. You may also have to resort to confining him while you finish eating.
We also have cut down the amount of dry food they get. We mix good wet food with some dry. Good luck and I hope he becomes a Grand.
Best regards… Norm
So there you go, the word of the expert! Good thing we have that show cage set up and Jake thinks of it as his den of iniquity!