Everyone is on a diet in my house. And some of them aren't happy about it.
Our vet has insisted that our cats are too fat for some time now. Her main concern is diabetes, as cats who weigh over 15 pounds are at higher risk. As luck would have it Basil is right on the borderline of 15 lbs. Kosh and Bennnie are in the 13 pound range, which means that 15 is right around the corner for them.
Since our choices were give cats insulin shots twice a day sometime in the near future or restrict their feeding now, we opted to try the diet. For all of their lives Bennie and Basil have been on open feeding. If the dish was empty, we would fill it. As you can imagine, this has been quite a shock to them.
We're now feeding them a mixture of Science Diet Hair Ball Control Lite and Science Diet Lite dry food. We put out 3/4 cup in the morning and 3/4 cup in the evening, the vet-recommended amount. It's been going on for about a month now, and I'm beginning to doubt they're ever going to get used to it.
Sitting and staring at the empty food dish has become a common pastime now. I've even seen Basil licking the bottom of the dish! And the looks! Basil can go from a pathetic pleading stare to an icy "you don't love me any more" glare in a matter of seconds. The worst has got to be the early mornings. Sometime between four and five, Basil will start trying to wake me up. Some mornings, she'll try once and give up, which is fine. However, the mornings where she comes back every 20 minutes to try again are a little bit much.
They don't seem to be following our line of reasoning very well at all. Apparently, cats just don't grasp the concept of "It's for your own good." Bennie's started sleeping on top of my computer monitor, so I've started turning it off whenever I leave, just in case she's harboring thoughts of emailing the ASPCA.
Basil has a vet appointment next month, and we'll see if this is working at all. I truly hope so. It might make those four o'clock wake up calls a little more bearable.