Tabby’s story starts with her arrival on our hospital’s doorstep one overcast morning along with her sister Tux. One of our amazing technicians, Diana, took one look at the pair and knew they would be a great addition to her menagerie at home. Tabby and Tux settled into their new home and enjoyed the life of leisure! Fast forward a few years…and Tux started drinking more and urinating more. Diana, being the astute veterinary technician, realized, this was a change from normal for Tux. Lo and behold, Tux had diabetes! Diana started Tux on treatment right away and got her diabetes under control. But, Diana wanted to know how to prevent this from happening to Tabby! We knew Tabby had been enjoying her life of luxury and had gotten a little overweight. Kitties that are overweight are prone to developing insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes mellitus and orthopedic issues. Diana made a commitment to be very strict with Tabby’s diet and formulated a plan with Dr. Wind to get her weight down and help with her long-term health. (Don’t worry about Tux – she was also placed on a special diet for her condition!)
From this time onward, Tabby’s food was weighed on a gram scale and she didn’t get any extra treats. Diana also made an effort along with her family, to get Tabby up from being lazy and moving around – the best thing that worked for her was a laser pointer light to chase!
Weight loss is not an overnight fix and shouldn’t be done quickly as that is not safe. Tabby’s weight loss journey spans 14 months…but over this time, she has gone from 21 pounds, down to 12.9 pounds! Tabby has hit her weight loss goal and Diana has reported that Tabby is much more active and able to move around so much better than when she was overweight – not only is her risk of diabetes greatly decreased, but she is a happier kitty! We are so proud of Diana and Tabby for their hard work and commitment to her long-term health!
5 tips we’ve learned over time to help with weight loss:
- Surefeed feeders that help to keep the pets that sneak their housemates' food work off of your pet’s microchip: https://www.surepetcare.com/en-us/pet-feeder/microchip-pet-feeder
- This has been great for Dr. Owen’s household that has multiple pets.
- Separating meals into several feeding stations to make it into a scavenger hunt for food! Also, multiple small meals.
- Using some kibble for treats instead of the high calorie treats you can grab at the pet store
- Using puzzle toys for food or throwing the kibble down the hall to encourage movement.
- Using a gram scale to measure the amount of food – this is far more accurate than a measuring cup – but at a minimum – use a measuring cup! We are all guilty of thinking we are feeding less than we really are!