Lula’s Residency In Chubtown
In the early months of 2016, my cat Lula was diagnosed with asthma; a rather common kitty condition, but also a somewhat expensive one that is not without its side effects. Luckily, Lula’s condition is mild, and she only requires a small dosage of Prednisone every other day. However, as anyone who has a pet who is on steroids knows, Prednisone can cause your baby to have a voracious appetite, which of course leads to kitty obesity. Since Lula’s treatment on Pred, I’ve taken many of the necessary steps to help curb her weight gain. Step one was limiting her food intake – which seems simple and obvious but is waaaay harder than it sounds.
Prior to her diagnosis, I free-fed both Lula and Marzipan, which I later learned wasn’t the best method for feeding my little indoor babies. Free-feeding basically means that food is available to your pets at all times, and it is a method that is commonly exercised by most cat owners. The problem with this, however, is that free-feeding encourages lethargy and over-eating. Even house cats are biologically programmed to hunt for their food, and in making food available to them at all times, you’re indirectly messing with their hardwiring, which is… yeah. You know, not ideal.
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Every Ounce Counts
Now that Lula’s diet consists of about 2 spoonfuls of wet food twice a day, she certainly has made some progress. Unfortunately, though, her diet is only half the battle. Just like humans, cats need both healthy eating habits AND routine exercise. Living in a tiny shoebox apartment, Lula doesn’t have many opportunities to stretch them little porkchop legs. Every once in awhile she will heed my invitations to a playtime session with one of her EIGHT HUNDRED MILLION TOYS THAT SHE NEVER PLAYS WITH THANK YOU VERY MUCH, but for the most part, she’d rather snooze in the sunlight. That’s when the leash makes its appearance.
When My Girl Walks Down The Street
Now, if you have dogs or have ever walked a dog, do NOT expect walking your cat to be like that. Like, at all. In fact, you should definitely prep your cat WAY ahead of time to even be okay with the very notion of going outside attached to a leash. You can do this in all the usual ways – letting her sniff the leash, hooking her up to it and walking her around the apartment before going outside, and letting her get used to the feeling of it – all in preparation for The Big Day.
When you do finally take her outside, don’t expect much. For the most part, Lula just looked around, wide-eyed and terrified, let out a few pitiful mews, and then slithered against the perimeter of the building until she demanded to go back inside. However, it’s been a few days now, and every day she gets more and more emboldened. If your cat refuses to move even a paw, carry her a few feet away from your doorstep. This will encourage her to, at the very least, run back to the door to be let back inside. Also, if you live on the top floor like me, have her go up and down the stairs a few times. Doing so is an excellent way to get some cardio out of your chubby baby bubs!
Finally, remember that patience is everything. Stick to your guns! Don’t let your cat con you into giving her an extra serving of food, and make sure you maintain an exercise routine that fits your schedule and is frequent enough that your honeybee can get used to it. With all these efforts combined, Lula has gone from a rotund physique of 13 pounds down to somewhat svelte 11. If Lula can do it, your sweet baby thing can too!