Sunday, March 16, 2014

Possum Is FAT.... Again

We've been eyeing his belly with suspicion for some time, so I hauled Possum into my arms and weighed him today. Sure enough, he's 15.2 pounds — having gained more than a pound since he was at the vet in September. Then he was a lean (well, still flabby, to be honest) 13.9 pounds, and was verging on too thin. At least he's not close to his all-time high of 17.5 pounds, but an extra pound is a lot on a cat, "big-boned" though he may be.

Possum has a bad metabolism, probably from being neutered as a tiny baby, and he doesn't get much exercise beyond agitating for his meals — swatting me, meowing, and stretching to put his paws on the counter to speed me along. Aside from that, he's a slug. Someone might chase him for a few seconds. He wrestled with Toffee last night, but it was brief. He only plays with toys if we dangle one right over him, so he can bat at it lying down, rolling a bit from side to side.

Meanwhile, Harris feels too thin and so does Lion (but he gets extra food, since he's a baby). Toffee and Wendy seem about right. As our vet used to note in the old days, when we took all four of our previous crop of cats together for check-ups, their "biomass remains constant." One cat might get heavier while another got thinner, but the total weights of all four always added up to something like 46 pounds of cat.

So we need to put weight on Harris while removing it from Possum. We know Possum can lose weight with proper feeding, and that it's up to us, not him, to get it right.

All the food we buy is high-protein, with no grains or starches, so the problem is quantity, not quality. I'm going to talk to our vet first, but I imagine that, from now on, we'll be putting a little more food in Harris's bowl and correspondingly less in Possum's — and keep the little porker from sampling other cats' bowls when he's done with his. This will take vigilance and herding, because bowl-switching is a popular game. Possum also likes to "wash" all the dishes, after everyone leaves. No more of that.

Poor Possum. He loves his food, but we need to keep him healthy and good-looking. Who knows when Hollywood might come calling?

Dinner for five.

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