How to Safely Help Your Cat Lose Weight

Obesity is a serious and, unfortunately, very common health issue in cats today.  I am ashamed to admit I am guilty of allowing one of my cats to become obese.  Ellie was starving when we found her. She had been abandoned as a young cat, and she was apparently not a natural hunter. Once we adopted her, I never wanted her to be hungry again, and I guess I let it get out of control.  The next thing I knew, we had a terribly overweight cat.

Taking that weight off can be difficult.  It’s very important for your cat’s health that the weight loss occurs very gradually. Rapid weight loss in cats can result in serious health issues. In Ellie’s case, her weight loss occurred very slowly, but steadily, over the course of several months.


  • Feed a good quality canned cat food instead of dry kibble. It’s higher in protein and moisture and lower in carbohydrates.


  • Ideally, cats enjoy several small meals throughout the day. You can serve small meals before work, after work, and later in the evening. (Rewarm leftover cat food that’s been refrigerated before serving.) Avoid “free-feeding” or leaving an unlimited supply of food out on which your cat can gorge.


  • Optionally, when you serve the canned food, use a bit less than a normal portion, and mix in a small amount of water to the serving.  It will add volume, make your cat feel fuller, and the extra water consumption is an added benefit. Be careful not to add too much, or it will be too diluted and your cat won’t eat it.  Just a teaspoon or so should be fine.


  • Weigh your cat regularly, every day or two if possible, and keep a record so that you can track your cat’s progress.  I used a baby scale for this purpose, and it worked out great.

For more information about obesity in cats, the experts at Cornell Feline Health Center discuss feline obesity in this post.


Recipe: Liver Brownies (Dogs or Cats)


This recipe was developed by Kathy Gibson-Anklam of Rockwood Hospital for Pets in Merrill, Wisconsin and is published here with her permission.  The recipe provides 30 percent protein, 21 percent fat, and 45 percent carbohydrates.


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 800 IU Vitamin E
  • 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped garlic
  • 2 pounds raw liver (beef or chicken)
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup lecithin granules
  • ¼ cup kelp powder
  • 8 teaspoons Animal Essentials calcium
  • 1 tablespoon brewer’s yeast
  • ½ cups water (enough to make a batter)


Beat eggs and oil.  Squeeze contents of vitamin E capsules into egg mixture and add garlic.

Process the liver to a paste in a blender or food processor.  Add to the egg mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the liver mixture, plus enough water to be able to stir well.  You want to have a thick batter when you are done.

Spread the batter in a greased 17” X 11” jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until nicely browned and firm to the touch.

Cool completely.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Refrigerate or freeze.  Use refrigerated brownies within 4 to 5 days.

Note:  This treat will be very enticing to dogs and cats because of the high liver content.  It is, however, very high in vitamin A, which comes primarily from the liver.  So use this as an occasional treat, not for daily use.


Senior Pet Care (FAQ)

Dogs and cats reach “senior” age faster than we realize.  To help our companions age well, we must be keenly observant of changes in their demeanor or activities, and work closely with our veterinarians to adjust to their changing care needs.  It is helpful to work with multiple veterinarians to get a full range of opinions and care options available, maintaining relationships with both conventional and holistic/homeopathic veterinarians.

The American Veterinary Medical Association posted a very informative, comprehensive Senior Pet Care (FAQ) article covering topics such as estimating when a pet is considered “old,” common health problems affecting older pets, behavior changes, senility, signs of disease, cancer, arthritis, and making the difficult determination of when to euthanize.  You may recognize some symptoms or conditions described here that you can discuss in more detail with your veterinarian(s) to find the best solution for your companion.

What do cat whiskers do?

Facts You Need to Know About Your Cat’s Whiskers

Have you ever wondered what do cat whiskers do? I’ve had cats for years, yet I never understood the true purpose of their whiskers until this year. CatWatch is an independent newsletter produced in collaboration with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Feline Health Center. They published this great article explaining how ‘Whiskers Are All About Vibration, Airflow, Touch’.

And while we’re on the subject of cat whiskers, take a look at this interesting BBC Earth video (about 4 minutes) that shows us how cats’ whiskers help them “to see.”