Sunday, 19 August 2012

Jack Spratt and his Wife

Red and Magic have been having some weight changes reminiscent of the old nursery rhyme. I've been quite concerned about Red as about two weeks ago I noticed that he seemed lighter than a puff of air and 'folded' into my arms when I lifted him up. Because he is so fluffy it is hard to see if he is losing weight. However, on holding him it became clear that he was seriously light as his little hips were jagged and his spine and ribs were very prominent under the fur with almost no fat or muscle. His little face also seemed pinched when you looked closely. He's always been a skinny little racing snake but I could not work out what had gone on as he was lively and engaged enough just very, very thin. By contrast Magic was getting ever heavier and is now a two handed rugby tackle to lift her.

I tried to work out what could be wrong. Was it the move that had unsettled him- possible. Was he not getting enough food- certainly not the case as he is fed three times a day and Magic lets him eat first from both bowls. Was he ill or hyperthyroid, were his teeth painful, was he retaining furballs- all possibilities but he can crunch whiskas or Felix 'sweeties' and he yakked up a couple of mighty furballs so should be eating ok.Still he was shrinking. So I decided to give him a week with some booster feeds to see if the issue was just dietary before a visit to the vet while observing him to see if I could work out why he was disappearing and Magic was inflating.

The answer, oddly enough, came to me when I was standing in a queue  buying cat food. There are often very dry meaty bits left in the bowls which I end up throwng away and thinking what a waste. It then occured to me that although Red gets first dibs on the food he might be taking the gravy and Magic is eating the food. I watched them looking out for this specifically and that is exactly what was happening.

So, after some supplemental high protein kitten feeds each night he feels a little heavier and his bones seem more padded. He only eats a little at a time, presumably because he's been existing on gravy three times a day but I re-offer it during the evening till he eats it all. Applause for Applaws Kitten food.

I've also dropped the wet feeds to two meals a day so that Magic is not eating the best part of six bowls of food per day.She doesn't fuss about food normally and seems quite content. So hopefully she'll drop a little weight to take the pressure off of her poor little arthritic back legs. She's also been going outdoors with me and, although I wouldn't say she is expending much energy while sprawling on the patio, it does give me time to give her some special attention which balances up the time I am spending with Red during the booster feeds.

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