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November 22, 2012
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Any cat owners out there?

:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi, I really need someone to talk to right now.
Wall of text inbound


I've been in college since the end of August and just came home for Thanksgiving, like a lot of you. I was really excited to see my folks and siblings again, as well as my cat.
This is what my cat used to look like
[link]
Cute little fucker, ain't he?
Here's what he looked like now
[link]
If the problem wasn't clear from the picture; he's completely and utterly obese now. I was his sole caretaker for the past six years, and I've always tried to make him as happy and healthy as possible. He's had weight problems before, but never this bad. And those minor weight problems, I dealt with. Before I left for college he was an active, healthy-weighted guy who loved to run around the house and play with toys.

I leave for three months, and I come back to a basketball-shaped cat who can hardly walk, never plays, and has these constant, weird wheezing attacks. He doesn't want to move anymore; if you put him somewhere, anywhere, he won't move. He has no energy. He used to run up the stairs and follow me around the house, and now he can barely walk.

He had a wheezing attack during Thanksgiving dinner and I almost had a breakdown. I can't believe what my parents have done to him since I was gone. I told them they need to feed him less, they say he doesn't eat that much. I told them to make sure he doesn't eat the dog's food, they say they can't help that. I tell them maybe try switching to wet food, they say it's too expensive. Are you really going to deny that it's your fault? I leave for three months, the first time I've left him in six years, and he's quadrupled in size. Think maybe there's a correlation?

It's sad because I remember all the things he used to be able to do with me, how playful he was, etc. Now he won't,- he can't do anything. He was never like this before. He isn't old, he's only about 8 years old. It's so depressing to see the animal I left three months ago dead and buried under layers and layers of fat.

I'm leaving again on Sunday, and it kills me that I can't take him with me. I wish I could help him lose this weight, get healthy again, but I have school, and my folks don't see to give a crap about how he's treated. He's an animal, not a human, the only thing that controls his health are the people that take care of him.

Any college-bound cat owners ever have this problem? Help me out with a suggestion, or just talk to me, I'm all ears.
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Devious Comments

:iconbluekite-falls:
Bluekite-Falls Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
do you maybe have any friends who might be able to take him in?
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:iconleathurkatt-tftiggy:
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm not college bound, but I've had this happen with two cats of mine that I let my mother take care of. Over feeding is a huge issue and that is clearly what has happened here. There is possible depression due to you being gone, but they are not taking proper care of him at all. Yes, it IS their fault for him being that obese and they are making excuses to claim it's not their fault or their problem. I would say schedule a vet appointment if at all possible and make them go with you so they can hear from an expert what is wrong and why it's happening. They won't listen to you because "You're the child, they're the adults, they know more than you do." That line of thinking has destroyed more family relationships than I care to count... Seriously... I really wish colleges allowed people to take their pets with them, just one pet as long as it's small (under 20 pounds). Cats, small dogs, and most birds qualify under that. They won't even allow students to have a stupid GOLDFISH for crying out loud. It's disturbing, really.
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:iconshininginthedarkness:
The only thing I can think of is for your parents to switch him to diet cat food (from what I understand this is a better method of pet weight lost than just feeding them regular food but cutting portions), but that won't help if he's getting fat from the dog's food >_<
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:iconmrreviewerguy:
MrReviewerGuy Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If possible, I'd suggest finding a friend that could take better care of him. If your family doesn't care, he won't be getting any better I'm afraid. It'd be good to put him somewhere with much less food and somewhere where he can run and climb outside. Taking him to the vet would be good too, because it might be medical, on top of being overfed.
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:iconatlantech:
Atlantech Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yes I own a pussy
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:iconimaginationdiva:
ImaginationDiva Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
He might be depressed, just like humans, we eat a lot when we're depressed...
What I suggest is that you get him to the vet and ask for some suggestions for a diet for your cat..trust me, my cat is just as fat as yours ^^;
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:iconimaginationdiva:
ImaginationDiva Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
He might be depressed, just like humans, we eat a lot when we're depressed...
What I suggest is that you get him to the vet and ask for some suggestions for a diet for your cat..trust me, my cat is just as fat as yours ^^;
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:iconimaginationdiva:
ImaginationDiva Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
He might be depressed, just like humans, we eat a lot when we're depressed...
What I suggest is that you get him to the vet and ask for some suggestions for a diet for your cat..trust me, my cat is just as fat as yours ^^;
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cats don't mirror human psychological conditions or responses. Cats usually starve themselves when under stress, they don't "stress eat". They are not people
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:iconimaginationdiva:
ImaginationDiva Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
alright..just trying to help..sorry..
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:iconimaginationdiva:
ImaginationDiva Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Digital Artist
He might be depressed, just like humans, we eat a lot when we're depressed...
What I suggest is that you get him to the vet and ask for some suggestions for a diet for your cat..trust me, my cat is just as fat as yours ^^;
Reply
:iconpraxcrown5:
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you can afford to do so, have your 'rents take him to the vet and have them do some blood work as well as a virus panel. Some viruses have rapid onset and can give your cat a pot-bellied appearance. I know one of my cats has coronavirus, something that she got when she was a stray. I have to keep an eye on her because it can mutate into FIP and one of the main symptoms is the appearance of a pot-belly and lethargy.

One of my other cats started wheezing badly when we moved to Texas (allergies, we would later find out).

There are other things as well, but only your vet can put all of the pieces together to come up with a diagnosis.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My parents told me a vet's visit is an overreaction
Honestly they don't seem to grasp the concept of obesity=unhealthy. Everyone just laughs at it and calls him cute "Oh gosh he's so fat, more of him to love!" "He's nicer now he doesn't move as much and he's happy"
Bullshit bullshit bullshit
everytime someone makes fun of his weight like its a joke makes me want to cry, and what's more is since they aren't taking it seriously, they dont see it as a health issue
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:iconpraxcrown5:
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
But...if you offer to pay for it, I can't see what they might have to complain about. It's your cat, your money, all you're asking them to do is take him to the vet.

If they won't afford you that...even if you are willing to pay for the visit (that really irks me if they're not willing to do it if it costs them nothing other than gas/time), then the only other option is to find someone who can take care of him.

I wish I could offer more than just advice...but I had to deal with something similar when I went to school. I hated leaving them, and as soon as I could, I took them back under my wing.

Do you have any good friends either at home or in the town where you attend school that could foster your cat in your absence?
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't afford a vet visit, so it's just not in the cards. In either case, I'm gonna have to go with the simplest explanation being the right one; that being they're overfeeding him, and as a result he's fat.
My cat has a history of gaining weight particularly easy, that's why I've always kept him on tiny, super strict portions. He may have been hungry, but he was still slightly(SLIGHTLY) overweight and still healthy and active. Once my portion control left, my parents went nuts with his feeding

The solution is simple, they need to take better care of him. Getting the proper portions through their thick heads is what's so hard, since they seem to think the diet I used to have him on as being 'too little'
but I guess that's what happens when your family is convinced that large comfortable portions are the best treatment for any species...
Sadly I don't have anyone that can take care of him. The only possibility I have is a current senior at the high school I graduated from, but her parents aren't on board for taking in another cat
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:iconpraxcrown5:
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If he has a history of weight gain, I agree with your assessment. Portion control is essential, otherwise cats will eat as much as they can. They do not understand that eating too much will make them fat, unfortunately.

How might you go about convincing your 'rents to give him less? They even have those mechanized dispensers that dole out portions at certain times during the day.

I hope things work out, and wish I could help.

If you need quick money, and have the time, I'd be willing to commission you again.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I tried sitting down with both of them and giving them a serious heart felt talk. This cat matters to me, and I matter to them, so hopefully they'll change. They just don't seem to think it's a problem. That bugs me soooo much, that they don't see obesity as a health issue, especially in a pet when it's controllable by them. I just want to get this cat safe back with me asap :( Only commission me if you want to, but please don't do it for charity.
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:iconpraxcrown5:
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I do hope they'll change their mind...especially since you've expressed to them just how important your cat is to you.

I'm sorry if I my reply came off that way. I did not meet to offend. I know what it is like to be in your situation, having been so myself. I did not mean to imply that you needed "charity," just that the offer was open if you needed the cash now (rather some undisclosed time in the future...if that makes any sense).
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:iconno-doves-fly-here:
no-doves-fly-here Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
In addition to what others have said regarding anxiety and a change in diet, I'm pretty sure cats with Siamese, Burmese and similar lineages have a lot of spontaneous digestive issues anyways so what may not effect other breeds as much could be detrimental to your cat's health.
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:iconironfish-383:
IronFish-383 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
This is a stupid question and I understand you probably would have mentioned it in the post, but has he had any surgery recently? I remember when I had my cat spayed, she put on the pounds and quick, I was afraid she might die from all the weight she put on.

Since you're not at home you can't control what they do, but my suggestion is to talk to your parents about how it is your cat and you don't want to see him dead or dying during your next visit. Cats will pretty much eat whenever they get the chance to regardless if they're full or not [or at least that is how all of mine have been, I might just have really hungry cats]. While you're still there try to moderate his food intake, although you probably won't see a change in a few days.

I hope the best for your cat, honestly. I have a male cat the same age and I couldn't imagine seeing him in that condition.

I apologize this post wasn't very helpful.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
He's never had surgery beyond being neutered when he was a kitten, and that was eight years ago

No it's cool, just having people to talk to really helps, thank you :hug:
I'm trying to compose myself and try to get the seriousness of this across to my parents and get them to change. They really seem to think a morbidly obese cat is just "cute"
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:iconironfish-383:
IronFish-383 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
Ah, okay. At least he's never had health problems thus far that required a surgical procedure.

You're welcome. :hug:

They need to understand, its heartbreaking to practically see an animal's stomach drag on the ground and see them become so inactive. He still has many healthy years ahead of him, and hopefully he'll be able to live those years out. I hope for you and your feline the point gets across.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know, it really is. They don't play with him, they don't pet him, all they do is feed him. They aren't his real owners, and they really don't understand how I feel. They respond to me in tears with nothing beyond 'lol seriously u cryin? he's fat and cute'
But yeah, here's hoping. Thanks for your time
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:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:c Oh no, I'm so sorry this happened to him.
There isn't much you can do if you aren't taking care of him.
There are low-calorie foods you can ask them to buy, and my sister says you can buy automatic feeders that only dispense a programed amount of food certain times of day.
He needs more playtime obviously, maybe try and come home more often or ask them to play with him? Or maybe an automatic laser pointer for him.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
lol never heard of an automatic laser pointer. sounds legit XD
im looking into buying low-cal food. wet food also seems to be better as far as weight-gain goes so im trying to get them to switch to that

i think the main problem is them giving him free choice food, that is, giving him such a large amount that it basically lasts all day and he can eat whenever he wants. the biggest rule for my cat is that he should have food in his bowl once a day, and then it should all be gone and no more will be in the rest of the day


when i got back there was food in his bowl he hadnt eaten, thats just a huge red flag for me
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:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
XD We have one actually. You like prop open the top and it has a mirror and it just projects a laser pointer and it spins and it confuses the hell outta our cats.

Yeah free feeding is almost always the reason for overweight in any animal.

So I'd say finding an auto-feeder is your best choice.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
An auto feeder seems like an overly-expensive thing though. My parents are home enough, they dont need an automated feeder. The problem is they don't understand what a normal portion is!
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:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Guess all you can do is show them while your home and hope they get the idea.
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:iconmsgtfrank:
msgtfrank Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student General Artist
Im not college bound but i have owned cats before... It's probably a combination of a diet change and depression. Your his owner a really close figure to him so when you suddenly disappeared he didnt really know what to do. the diet change couldnt have helped either, but i think that the real cause is you being gone.
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Psycological stress in cats usually leads to a lack of appetite, not an increase. And even if there was an increase, the amount of food going in his mouth is the only thing affecting his weight. He's being overfed
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:iconmsgtfrank:
msgtfrank Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student General Artist
and possibly under exercised?
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:iconcryophase:
Cryophase Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
He didn't exercise much when I was here beyond running from place to place when he felt like moving. He has been overweight before- i put him on a strict diet. It clearly changed once I left and didn't change back despite my advice to my parents
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:iconmsgtfrank:
msgtfrank Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student General Artist
*Shrugs* change it back thats all i can say i guess
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