I apologize for the poor audio quality. It was shot with my Android phone. You can still see how cute my cat Kazu is though!
For the past several weeks, I have been re-training my European Burmese cat Kazu to eat moist cat food so that she will lose weight. She is a very fussy eater, and it has been a guessing game, trying to determine which foods she will eat. My conclusion is that Kazu will only eat food which has had little to no processing, and is considered “human grade”. This little lady is insisting on a whole food diet, which is fine with me, but the kind of food she likes is expensive!
Today I decided to stock up, so I went to C&C Pet Foods (great place for discounted pet food in Burbank) and purchased 32 three ounce cans, 6 three ounce pouches and 1 six ounce can, which came to a total of $54. That’s pretty pricey if you ask me! However, Kazu has refused other brands of foods, so I have to stick with a small handful of brands (Tiki Cat, Weruva, and B.F.F.) which are not available at stores like Petco or PetSmart.
If you have a finicky pet, I would HIGHLY recommend these brands of pet food, because they are high quality and quite palatable to most pets.
Cats are known for being finicky, and this is certainly the case for both of my female cats, Shima and Kazu. Their constant fussiness is balanced out by my boy, Tenshi, who is one of the most food-motivated cats I have ever known. Tenshi will eat just about anything he can get a hold of, including asparagus, avocado, broccoli, bananas and blueberries.
Over the past month I have been trying to get Kazu to eat moist food and to avoid dry kibble, because she is about 30% over her ideal weight. It has been nothing short of exhausting, trying to figure out what she likes to eat. I have gone to the pet store twice, and have selected a bunch of different varieties and brands of food, though I have focused my purchases on the Tiki Cat brand of moist cat food because it is human-grade, the closest to human table scraps, and highly recommended by her vet.
I have purchased about eight different varieties of Tiki Cat, most of which were tuna varieties with other goodies mixed in, and also purchased B.F.F., Innova Evo, Wellness, and Evanger’s. I also purchased tuna and sardines from the grocery store. Here is the status of my experimentation with different types of food:
B.F.F. – Kazu really loved this food, probably because it was a tuna variety. She ate it pretty readily.
Innova Evo – Kazu completely ignored this stuff.
Wellness – Kazu did not like the varieties we tried (tuna chunks and turkey chunks). All she did was give the broth a couple of licks, then completely refused to have anything to do with the food.
Evanger’s – Kazu didn’t even give this food a second’s worth of interest. To be honest, when I opened the can and got a whiff of the food, I was pretty grossed out myself. As a matter of fact, I have noticed that if I find a food off-putting, Kazu will not like it either.
Tiki Cat – Kazu has liked all the tuna varieties, but she was rather indifferent when I offered her the sardine variety. I will say that I am VERY impressed by the consistency and smell of this brand of food. It is appetizing, without any strange odors. With the chicken varieties, you can see actual flakes of shredded chicken. The meats which are used in the Tiki foods are high quality and unprocessed. This has been the winning brand for Kazu, and though I want to try a couple more brands on her, this may be the standard which she will eat on a daily basis. Some varieties of Tiki Cat are priced at close to $2 for a THREE ounce can, so this stuff isn’t cheap!
For the first time in the thirty years that I have had cats, I share my home and my heart with an obese cat. My six year old European Burmese Kazu is of small stature, and her normal weight should be somewhere around nine pounds. She was nine pounds until just under a year ago, when her weight began creeping up. I noticed instead of walking down the stairs like she used to do, she hopped down the stairs, mainly as a result of her increasing belly girth and her short legs, both of which interfered with normal transit.
One day in May, my roommate remarked that Kazu was rather stout, then began asking questions about her. Since my roommate was new to the household, she could clearly see that my cat was overweight. Was she constipated? Well, yes, Kazu has had bouts of constipation since kittenhood. Did Kazu drink enough water? Yes, I think she does. Does Kazu overeat? Honestly, I really don’t think so. Kazu doesn’t usually beg for food, and she normally doesn’t like moist cat food or people food. Out of concern for my little girl, I took her to the vet, who told me that my cat was fat and that there was nothing I could do about it. I then got a second opinion which was the same. I then addressed the constipation issue by trying glycerin suppositories, but there wasn’t much of a change in Kazu’s bowel habits, and neither of us enjoyed the process.
By early August, Kazu’s weight shot up to twelve pounds, which prompted me to take her to a third vet. Thankfully, that vet (Dr. Lavely at Limehouse Veterinary) was willing to take the time to chat at length about the problems which I had regarding switching the household to scheduled feeding times (erratic schedule, often not home, greedy male cat who eats everything, Kazu’s finicky palate). It’s been about a week since we visited Dr. Lavely, and the feeding has definitely been very erratic, which is why I still have dry food out at all times for the cats to eat. I keep trying to give Kazu people food and moist cat food, but her response is inconsistent. On some days, she readily accepts the food I put out for her, while on other days, she barely even sniffs the food before walking away. I am hoping that Kazu begins to accept the offerings I give her, because that is the only way she will lose weight. I even bought a very expensive moist cat food which has human grade ingredients in hopes that she transitions over to moist food. My goal is to get her to lose three pounds in a healthy way over the next year. Kazu is relatively active and plays with her siblings frequently. She also plays toys and is the only cat out of the three who knows how to play fetch and even initiates games of fetch on a regular basis.
I guess Kazu is my first feline body transformation client!
Over the past year, my European Burmese cat Kazu has put on considerable weight, and is now rather tubby at 11.5 pounds when she really should be 9.5 pounds. Since I have never had an overweight cat before, and also since my other two cats are rather svelte, I am wracking my brain trying to figure out a solution which would get Kazu to drop weight. When I took Kazu to the vet to investigate her sudden weight gain, the vet told me that all I could really do was to address her chronic constipation via dietary fiber and glycerin suppositories. When I tried feeding Kazu wet food with fiber mixed in, she refused it, but I wasn’t surprised since she isn’t a fan of canned food. On the one occasion in which I decided to try a suppository on her, neither she nor I were happy about the experience, and though I think the treatment helped to move things along a bit that day, I am not convinced that the mild boost in bathroom activity warranted me torturing my poor cat on a regular basis.
I feed my cats a low calorie, high protein, grain-free, dry formula to which they have free range all day. This is partially because I have always done that with the cats I have had since 1986, and because I am always so freakishly busy that I am gone for the entire day and unable to accommodate scheduled feedings. Kazu’s breeder suggested that I consider a timed feeder, but that wouldn’t work in our household because my American Burmese boy Tenshi is so food-motivated that he would chomp down all the food in the feeder, leaving none for the other two cats to eat.
I think at this point, I will try to add fiber by another means, and will measure out food so that about 1/3 cup of dry food is allotted per cat per day. I will have to portion the food out in the morning before I leave and just keep an eye on how much Kazu is actually consuming, though I know she isn’t a big eater. In addition, I have been trying to get Kazu to exercise more, even though she is relatively active. All three of my cats play “grab-ass” (my favorite terminology for the rough-housing they all do) on most days, and Kazu loves playing fetch with socks and toys, so I will try to encourage as much play as I can when I am home. It isn’t exactly easy to put a six year old cat on an exercise plan, but if I can do it for humans, I am certainly up for the challenge with a feline!