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ZooCVT, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  25 + years of experience w/ sm. animal, fish, exotics, orthopedics, ophthalmology and zoo medicine.
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My Cats Weight Gain

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My cat always gets heavier in the winter. And usually come Spring, she gets back her nice slim body. She has been fixed and is going on 17 so she’s not as active. But since January her stomach has gotten twice its size. She almost looks pregnant but I know she's not but that's how fat she is. It just does not look her normal winter weight gain. My husband says it’s just fat and she’s old and not going out as much since we have had such cold temps, but I am worried. She eats and drinks and I know uses the litter box inside but as far as bowel movements, I’m not seeing so much, unless she waits until she’s outdoors. Do you think I should be alarmed? I mean she’s not acting sick or anything. Maybe wait until warmer weather and see what happens after she’s more active and see if she loses it?

Thank you,
I would have your vet take a look and possibly x-ray it, especially
with her age. It may be nothing but if its not and you wait it can turn

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to ZooCVT's Post: Hello, the problem is, and you are not going to like this but when she was born, there were two other siblings with her. One of the "sisters", a Maine Coon, after having them all fixed and their first shots, would not allow me to take her for her yearly shots so instead of only taking two of them and not her, I stopped taking them all. So she's not been to a Vet since she was about a year old. She's been a very healthy cat. If she was showing signs of sickness because of this, wouldn't I know it? I know the best thing to do is take her but since her initial visit the Vet that was here shut down and the nearest Vet is 75 miles away. A long ride for a cat that has never ridden in a car or cat carrier, nonetheless to a Vet. I know it's hard for you to diagnose w/o seeing her but you don't think it's just winter weight and her age? I guess I'm grasping for some thoughts.

Thank you for your time. You were very fast in replying to me.

Hi There,
In the future, if you switch to Iams Less Active for cats in the Winter it will help with the weight gain problem.
I am going to be a little stern with you and tell you that after 17 years you cat deserves trip to the vet for a complete check up. It is not fair for you ask lay people/vets on the Internet if your cat is OK. Your pal has not caused you any health /maintenance problems its whole life. Please take him to the vet.
Dr. Katie

I understand your concern with the trip but you must also think of the wait until she does
start to show signs of distress and it will be even harder for her to
make the trip OR you take her now, while she's still feeling fairly
good for her age and they tell you she just put on some extra hoilday
weight and for you to cut back on the treats. I would opt for the go
now instead of later.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to's Post: Hello Dr. Katie, I hated even saying that about me not taking her for so long. I don't sound like a very nice animal owner, do I? It's not that I was expecting lay people or online Vets to help me w/o me even taking the time to take her to the Vet but I was just hoping the extra weight could be explained as winter weight and her age. She always gains weight in the winter but this year it's been sudden it seems. I alternate between Fancy Feast canned food and Friskie canned foods, is this a bad thing? As far as Iams, I've tried her with that and she will not touch anything made by Iams. She is a very finicky eater. She will not eat dry food at all. She seems to have trouble chewing the dry food, this started about two years ago. As I explained too, I live out in the country....actually the boonies, and with the nearest Vet over 75 miles from me, I'll be honest again and tell you, my vehicle is not in good shape and I'm almost afraid to even go that distance. But I will try and see if a family member might go with me and drive their car.

Thanks for listening and for your suggestions.

Good luck to you and your kitty and I hope its just some extra holiday
weight...that unfortunately most of us have put on!..well at least in
my case!

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to ZooCVT's Post: Hello again, I understand 100% what you are telling me about it being better sooner than later. As far as treats, she gets none. I'm not the type that feeds an animal just to feed them. And since she reached about the age of 14, she doesn't have much of an appetite like she once did. But maybe I'm feeding her the wrong kind of food. Ever since she started having trouble chewing dry food, I've resorted to mostly canned foods.....Fancy Feast and Friskies. As I told Dr. Katie, I will do my best to see if there is anyone available to drive me to the nearest Vet. And I wasn't expecting you all to diagnose her online after finding out I hadn't been to a Vet. Gosh, if I had been able to see a Vet, I wouldn't have used this service to begin with. I was just wondering if anyone knew of cats gaining the extra weight as they got older. But you are right....she might have other problems. Thank you again for your time.

No I understand completely and no need to justify your actions! The
issue that has come into recent discussion is that cats are obligate
carnivores for they need a higher protein intact than they had thought
in previous years.This is why most cats are over weight...that and most
owners free feed. This is almost always the case unless the animal is
in kidey failure or could be. The only way to know this for sure is a
blood test. As far as your kitties case....I think there's more to it
than meets the eye. As most people think..if it ain't broke, don't fix
it....that has been the attitude for years with our pets...and with us
for that matter so adding on top of you living on the outskirts is
understandable of why you haven't visited a vet. We are here for cases
just like yours that aren't sure what to do and need some advise. I
didn't mean to make you feel neglectful in any way and if I did I
apologize. I hope everything turns out ok with your old girl.

ZooCVT, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience: 25 + years of experience w/ sm. animal, fish, exotics, orthopedics, ophthalmology and zoo medicine.
ZooCVT and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Hello again, no I did not take any offense to either of your replies, yours or Dr. Katie's. And I know what you're telling me is the best advice you can give me w/o you actually seeing my Callie. And that it would be wise to have her checked out no matter if it does come to be it's just her weight. But probably if it's something else more serious, along with her age and our income.....depending on whether it is reparable, we may have to have her put down if it's something that is going to get worse and she will suffer in the long term. I will let you know once I do find a way to get her to a Vet and see what he says. But I didn't take offense to anything that was said. I know it's not very nice of me to have never taken her to see a Vet just because her "sister" was too wild for me to get a hold of. I mean it's not like the Vet has never been here, it's only been in the last 5 years he closed shop, so no excuse for not taking her. Again, thank you so much. It has helped me in my decision of what to do by your replies.

Thank you,
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to ZooCVT's Post: Hi, I know this specific thread is closed but I did want you to know I ended up having to put my Callie down. It was hard making an appointment....Vets must stay very busy but in the two weeks since I asked for advice, my cat's stomach continued to swell. She still acted fine, ate, used the litterbox, etc. But I could tell she was getting bigger and was now waddling, it was hard for her to get around. I took her yesterday and the Vet told me this long name.....3 words long that I cannot remember of what she had, but said it came with age and also was uncurable. She was filled with fluid but her heart had not yet been effected by it or her lungs. In fact, she had a strong heart. He checked her bowels too and for the most part if you ignored the extended belly, she was a healthy looking cat. But he told me what she had would only get worse and in taking in consideration her age, he felt it best to put her down before she really did suffer. I have to tell you, this was the hardest thing I've ever done. To sit there and hold a perfectly looking healthy cat other than the belly and have her go to sleep in my arms still purring and kneading my arm. But anyway....I did want to touch base with you and let you know what I ended up having to do. Thanks so much for your advice.

Vicki Short
I am so sorry for your loss....It sounds like you did everything you
could to figure out your kitties problem. Again I am very sorry for
your loss.

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