Monday, October 01, 2007

Like owner, like cat

Our cat Bunpote loves to eat. No matter how much food you give him, he inhales it immediately and then wants more. I sympathize with him, and we give him a lot more food than the bag says you are supposed to give a cat his size (10 pounds!), but in the back of my mind I worry about him getting really fat. And then I wonder if I am a hypocrite. My main reason for not wanting him to grow into one of those giant 25-pounders is that cats that size have trouble reaching their butts to clean, which is yucky and can cause irritation and health problems like anal prolapse. But I wonder if maybe that's really not a big risk, and if I have just bought into it because I have already bought into the cat version of our society's anti-fat hysteria. Maybe this is parallel to the claim that fat (in humans) raises a person's risk for esophageal cancer. Apparently this is true, and I don't mean to downplay or trivialize what must be a really horrible kind of cancer to have, but the disease is so rare even for people with an "elevated" risk that it seems like a pretty lame reason to give someone for why they should lose weight. I think the only reason it gets mentioned is that the other supposed "risks" of being fat like diabetes and heart disease have not actually been shown to be caused by fat.

Anyway, so we're trying to be laid back about Bunpote's chubbiness (and are even pondering the question of whether we should just give him as much food as he wants -- though for now we're avoiding that because overfeeding can cause gas, which B already emits a fair amount of), but we also can't help making fun of his body and eating habits. We even coined a new verb, to bunpote (tr.), which means to inhale your food as fast as possible. As in: Gosh, Fred, you really bunpoted those tater tots! And I also could not help making the LOLcat above. I meant to get a shot of him sitting next to his empty food dish, but by the time I got the shot, he had gotten up and was walking towards me, and I actually think it ended up being funnier that way.


Ms. Pants said...

Alright MaryPants. Lemme just tell you. I had a tabby that looked just like Bunpote for 19 years. Male tabbies tend to be pretty big cats in general. They're the stereotype of the giant tomcats for a reason. (Not the insipid Cruise/Holmes version. The real, lovable, non-alien type.)

Goobers (I was 10, shaddup) was 26 pounds in his heyday. He was a fat fuck but he was happy and quite amusing. He kinda looked like a Macy's Day Parade float but he was still agile like whoa. He caught all the critters, he played, he ran up and down the stairs, and he was OCD with cleaning. He cleaned himself, other cats, whomever he wa sitting on at the time.... Everyone got clean, baby.

So what I'm saying is--it's pretty unlikely that Bunpote will just fall apart if he gets fatty fat and most likely, you'll be able to catch it well before it happens.

I have my cats and fosters (I'm fostering 3 right now--insane, don't try this at home) on self feeders. I just fill it with dry food and top up when necessary. I find that they actually eat less when it's available all the time. I do wet food as a treat because--ugh. The stinky stink that is the result is so gross. And also because they don't like regular treats so I need SOME sort of treat-thing.

Let Bunpote eat cake! :-)

Mary said...

Interesting, Ms. P. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it at all, especially in light of the fact that your little fatty lived for 19 years. I like your theory that B would eat less if he had food out all the time -- kind of like how dieting makes you want to go on a goodie binge. Maybe I'll test it out at some point, but if he starts eating more I think we're all in trouble because of B's terrible farts. We'll have to wait and try it sometime when we're not expecting company.

Ms. Pants said...

All cats and kittens go through a farty phase when you first bring them home. It's just them getting used to the new foods, surroundings, etc. Cat farts are highly underestimated. They're awful!! I fostered a kitten who liked to get under the covers with me. She'd sit at my feet and sleep. One night, she farted under there and then decided I needed to enjoy and she walked up and fluffed the blanket at my face. I got dutch-ovened by a fucking cat.

What kind of food are you feeding him? I hear higher end food (Iams, etc.) cuts down on farts but my big kitties won't eat Iams. They do like the new, higher end Purina; Purina One--half the price of Iams, but about a third more than basic brands. Bel gets bladder infections so I have to have him on PH balanced food for easy peeing. I know they have a Purina One for easy digestion as well. That might help.

Bun will be a piggy pig at first, but once he realises you're not taking the feeder away, he'll stop fixating on it and only eat when he's hungry. (If only my cats could teach me this habit.)

I've had cats all my life, so if you need tips, tricks, blah blah, let me know! sarahnoid at gmail dot com. :-)