Thursday, February 9, 2012

Finding Balance With My Two Cats


                           My daughter likes to take pictures of them when they're yawning!

Over the past year and half I have learned that there are definitely some advantages to having multiple pets, but there are also some challenges. I have never owned more than one pet (usually a cat) before. I have two cats now, a brown tabby named Demy (long story), and an orange tabby named Butterscotch. I didn't really think it would be that much different, but it is.

Meal time is the biggest challenge with our two cats, because they have such different food personalities. Even though our cats are from the same litter they couldn't be more different. Demy is quite a bit smaller than her sister.  She is a grazer who prefers to eat a few bites at a time and then run off and get into trouble. She is the princess of the family and she acts like it too, but food is definitely not a priority for her. Butterscotch on the other hand, is an over-eater. She wants food all the time. Every time someone goes into the kitchen she is usually right in front, stopping every few feet to make sure they're still there. She likes to stand up against the kitchen cabinets and stretch out her paw as if she is pointing at what she wants.

At first, we made sure that we only fed them dry food and it was available at all times. We started feeding them wet food when Butterscotch got sick. She got lethargic and wasn't eating. The vet said to feed her food that was stinky (fish, etc.), because cats like things that have a strong odor, and she would be more likely to eat. We eventually determined that Butterscotch had a food intolerance, and started feeding her a sensitive stomach dry food. We continued feeding her the wet food longer than we should have though, and she became overweight.

The weight problem led to anal sac problems and I found myself taking her to the vet to get her sacs drained every couple of months. That gets pretty expensive! After a long discussion with the vet, it was decided that her anal sac problems could very likely be caused by her weight (her sacs were rolling inward and becoming clogged).

Getting Butterscotch started on a weight loss diet was no small task. Demy wanted to eat Butterscotch's food, they both had a hard time getting used to a schedule, and so on and so forth. I loathed picking Demy's bowl up and then putting it back down again when she wanted to eat, because (as I said before) she is a grazer. I was picking that damn bowl up fifty times a day. Not to mention the fact that she knew where I put it, and just started jumping up on the counter when she was hungry. It was really frustrating to get them synchronized with their routine at first, but I finally discovered the secret.

Every night before I go to bed I measure out their portions into plastic containers with their names on them. That keeps my husband honest (he had a tendency to forget how much they were supposed to get) when he feeds them in the morning. He gets up really early, so that's his job. Whatever they don't finish they get as a mid-morning snack when I get up hours later. We do the same thing for dinner, and it has been working out a lot better than anything else I tried, and I tried a lot of things. The only problem now is that Demy has now decided to go around the house whining from 3:00 p.m. till dinner time (5:00 p.m.). She is such a drama queen!

The good news is that Butterscotch has lost a few pounds and is well on her way to being a supermodel. And hopefully she won't have any more anal sac problems. Fingers crossed.


urban decay said...

congrats on the weightloss butterscotch.

Lisa Snyder said...

Thanks Urban Decay! She has been working really hard at slimming down. I wish I could do the same!