Putting My Cat on a Diet

If you’ve ever had a cat that annoyingly meows for food, then you’ve pretty much met mine.  Each morning without fail my cat would wake me up at 7 a.m. and meow and rub me with affection.  Of course this was all a clever ploy, because the moment I got up, he’d bound off the bed and lead me to his food bowl.

When I got home from work it was the same routine – meow and rub until dinner was served, then meow and rub until more dinner was served.  And for awhile it worked, leading to some nights of sleeping under a very heavy cat* that had ballooned from 10 to 13 lbs.  On top of that, my wallet started to slowly bleed for cat food (albeit at a negligible pace).

So I made some changes.  To solve the first problem of early morning feedings, I bought him an automatic feeder** that dispenses food at 6 a.m. every morning.  Now I can thankfully sleep until 8:30 a.m. like a normal person.  The second problem (of a fat cat leisurely sipping away my funds) however required more drastic measures.  So I laid down some rules.  Every time he meowed for food I’d yell at him.  Every time he rubbed against me for food, I’d gently shove him away. Eventually he learned that meowing and rubbing no longer worked.

Once that happened, I decided to put him on a diet, and here’s where the small savings kicked in.  Before, I was feeding him a 3 oz can of Fancy Feast*** every night.  These cost $13 for a pack of 24 (or 72 oz total).  Now, I give him half a 5.5 oz can of Friskies instead, which costs $15 for a pack of 32.  So he’s getting 0.75 oz less meat and about 20 less calories per night while saving me $10**** per month in cat food expenses.

Over time he’s lost weight and now sleeps on my chest without crushing my lungs.  He’s more energetic during the day and just as affectionate without hustling for food.  If I had to guess, I’d say he’ll save me a few hundred on medical bills just by being a healthier cat.

So is there a lesson to all this?  Yes, feed your cat less and save money.  You’ll both be happier!

Update:  I’m proud to report that my cat is back down to 10.3 lbs. (his normal weight).  According to his vet, we can now start adding back to his diet.

*Not sure about other cats, but mine loves to plop himself on top of my chest when I sleep.  

**Note that if you purchase through any of the links on this page, I’ll get a small referral commission from Amazon.

***Some of you might think that Fancy Feast (or Friskies) is bad for cats, but our vet assured us that it’s okay.  In fact, she said that ANY wet food is better than kibble.  

****$10 is not much money, but $10 plus a healthier cat?  Priceless.  

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