Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The She That's a He and WAY Too fat!

Once again, enter an obese cat: Krystal Blue, now Tom-Tom. The photo of him will appear tomorrow when he is in a better mood. But for now, just picture this in shades of tan and dark brown.

Krystal-Blue was taken to my vet today, along with her blood work from a previous vet and her original shelter documentation by her current caretakers. Amazingly, even after shaving the tummy of this enormous 25 pound whale of a Siamese cat to glimpse a spay scar, apparently both shelter and first vet failed to look a little farther south to discover... uh oh... she is a he, and he is now Tom-Tom. Sigh. How a shelter and subsequently a licensed veterinarian could make such an error is beyond me. My vet called it the gaff of the day and it was she that crowned him with his new name. Tom-Tom was the name of her very first cat, so I am honored. She is excellent with cats.

So, we will begin, here, week by week to document Tom-Tom's progress in getting in shape, including weight charts and photos.

We'll begin today, with his incoming weight:

25 lbs = 400 oz. Target weight: 12 lbs = 192 oz. We will adjust target weight up/down as we get somewhere near in months ahead.

The key to getting a cat fed to maintenance in calories is a formula that goes like this:

(13.6 x weight in pounds) + 70 = calories to maintain weight. This gives us an idea of how many calories are needed to maintain the current weight. Here are Tom-Tom's weight maintenance calcs: (13.6 x 25) + 70 = 410 calories/day.

As a comparison, Gerber chicken baby food (Beechnut is 1/2 the calories/volume, and other meat baby foods have significantly less calories which is a useful little factoid if you are trying to get a cat to eat and are forcefeeding) has 100 calories in their baby food 3 oz. jar. So to maintain weight, he would (as a comparison only) need to eat 4 jars of Gerber chicken baby food/day to maintain that obese weight. We're not going to be doing that.

Instead, we are going to take 2% of his current weight (2% of 400 oz. = 8 oz, or 1/2 pound) and target this for his first week's weight loss goal.

This of course assumes two things: That 1) he will eat what we give him, and 2) if he doesn't that he will eat something, even a "wrong" something like high-carb dry food while we search for what it is exactly he will eat and slowly transition him to a very high quality CANNED only diet. NO dry food is our first goal in terms of food type.

Lots of times, new cats, from stress, don't want to eat anything. I can accept this for 24 hours, but not for over 36. At 36 hours, he eats or gets forcefed.

His blood work showed a couple of irregularities, but nothing pronounced. We will be doing blood work routinely to make sure that his body is not responding poorly. Cats can become diabetic from obesity, and likewise from losing weight too rapidly which we will need to prevent.

By way of the person that rescued the cat from the Upland, CA shelter, this boy was found on a street corner literally crying his eyes out. Whether abandoned (likely) or lost, he was quite stressed but very friendly.

And in the way of prayer, if you pray, please keep me and Tom Tom in your prayers throughout our journey. They can be rough journeys, especially at first.