Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fat Cat or Happy Cat

I have a problem with my cats. They eat. My mother always put down a bowl full of dry cat food and would let her cats eat as much as they wanted. There would always be food in their dish, and they could help themselves throughout the day.

The problem is, her cats are fat. Very fat. And I've been told that it is not good for a cat to be that fat. Makes sense to me ... if human's can't handle being obese, why should a cat be able to get away with it? The vet tells me I have to keep my cat's weight down so I reduce their portions (I'd put them on a treadmill, but they're cats: if they can't figure a way out of it, they'll just take revenge on me later).

The problem with this is that almost every minute of my "I'm home, not sitting down and not sleeping" day I have to deal with between one and three cats meowing frantically, trying to lead me to the closet in which they know I hide their food supply. Heaven forbid I actually have to walk in the direction of said closet, or worse, open that closet. They get all excited and dance around, thinking I'm going to give them more food, even though I just fed them 30 minutes ago. They're so insistent I end up having to tell them, "No," repeatedly.

This ends up stressing me out, and the, "No," turns into, "No!" sometimes accompanied by a stamping of my foot. Of course this, in turn, stresses out my cats (or so I believe). So this makes me wonder: is it better to limit the caloric intake of my cats, keeping them a healthy weight but making them believe they are always hungry and causing both them and me to suffer chronic stress, or allow them to eat all they want, living happily obese?