I Have (Fat) Cat

If you follow I HAVE CAT on facebook you know Petie had his annual check-up recently after being a year overdue. I’d been dragging my feet because the last time I took him in he weighed 18lbs and I was told he needed to lose 4lbs. I knew I would be in trouble because Petie was definitely larger, not smaller. In fact on this trip, he tipped the scale at 20lbs.

Tape measure and measuring cup for cat weight loss

I tried to explain to the vet that Petie wasn’t all that interested in food and suggested a blood panel might be order. His weight gain could be due to a glandular problem. After agreeing with me that Petie was bigger boned than most cats (I knew it!), she told me she suspected he was a closet eater and sent me packing with a measuring cup, measuring tape and an order to have him drop 6lbs.

It turns out, she had a point.


The vet was adamant that I not let him lose weight too quickly. She said 1-2lbs a year was the right pace (great, I’d be well over 40 before he made his goal weight). At first I thought she was making a big deal about it because it’s NYC and some women might take it as personal challenge, but it turns out that sudden weight loss in cats can actually be fatal!

Large Grey Tuxedo cat showing off belly

Who me? Fat?

As it turns out, Petie wasn’t the only one in the household who’s  packed on a few pounds. I must admit I’ve been unable to wear most of my clothes this Summer because they just don’t fit. It’s a miracle I have been able to throw together enough work-appropriate outfits since I refuse to give in and buy new clothing.

A true sign I need to lose some weight? Kippie started making biscuits on my belly. For those of you who don’t have cats, this means he found my tummy akin to his mom’s boob. When kittens drink their mommy’s milk they knead in order to get the milk flowing. When an adult cat does it, it means he is very happy.

While I tried to convince myself it was a bonding thing, deep down I know this was not a good sign.

It seems Petie and both needed to lose 6lbs. Lucky for me, unlike Petie, 6 lbs isn’t 30+% of my body weight. But 6lbs will still be hard for me. The older I get the harder it is for me to deny myself.

In High School I dieted by subsisting on bread and mustard (and the fundraiser peanut M&Ms I thought didn’t count for some reason). These days I am unable to deny myself anything. I don’t eat fast food and I love salads – but I also love my wine and pasta.

As for working out, I’ve never loved it and have forced myself to do it – albeit sporadically – because I know I should. Like taking medicine. But since I started working full time again, it’s too easy to forgo post-work workouts in place of drinks with friends and co-workers. And I’m certainly not a morning person so pre-work is out of the question.

Maybe Petie and I could do it together. We could encourage one another – it would be a bonding thing. Surely having a partner would make it easier. Just like on “The Biggest Loser.” We could even get matching t-shirts!

Measurements & Weight-in:

  • Tamar: 36/28/36; Weight: n/a*
  • Petie – 23/25/23; 20lbs

*I don’t own a scale and if you thought I was going to divulge this information you are crazy.


  • Tamar: Eat breakfastl consume less wine; watch the carbs.
  • Petie: No more free feeding; no more stealing from the kittens; 1/3 cup of dry food in the am & a small can of wet food at night.


  • Tamar: Scheduled workouts with cute (but married) trainer 2-3 times a week.
  • Petie: 5 minutes a day of continuous laser pointer followed by 10 manual sit-ups.

Make sure to check back to see our progress!

On another note, as some of you might know, I’m a vegetarian (okay, a pescatarian) who has been flirting (badly) with vegan. This weekend I’m going to volunteer at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. I’m nervous as I’m not sure how well I’ll handle shoveling pig and sheep poo! I’ll be sure to post and include photos as soon as I get back!

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    I am dreading taking my cat to the vet too. He is actually small boned but weighs more than my former large boned cat did.

    My cat is about 12lbs (vet saw him at 11lbs and said he had to lose at least 1lb, like your baby he gained weight)….

    I think Petie is adorable just the way he is….as for you………36-28-36???? If I had measurements like that I would think I had died and gone to heaven!!!! I am 54 and what they say about women gaining weight every 5 yrs after age 30 is sooooo true! Enjoy your measurements! You are not fat!!!

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Caren! So glad you enjoyed this post!

      Thanks for the compliments all around! Yes, my metabolism and willpower are not what they used to be!

  • Hey, Tamar!

    My Food Lady wunts to know if yoo’ll be attending BlogHer. If yoo are, my cohort Flat Skeezix will be there with her.

    Maybe if yoo take a Flat Petie in on yer next vizit, his wate will be okay!

    Skeezix the Cat

    • Ihavecat

      I want to attend BlogHer but it’s a little too expensive for me 🙁
      Does she know of any ways I can get a deal or an “in”?
      Tehe – i LOVE the idea of taking in a Flat Petie! Good idea! LOL! Thanks for the advice and for your readership!

  • Great post! Maybe the PM and I could do a form of Biggest Loser too! She’s in correct proportion though expanded a bit.

    Good luck with it all!! We’ll be checking in.

    Have fun volunteering!

    Purrs Shade

    ps~ we did get our photos but we haven’t been able to find frames we like. They are pretty cute! Maybe we’ll just do a post without frames as it could be a while to find perfect ones.

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Shade!
      I haven’t found frames yet either! Glad you like them though. Thanks for the good luck on the volunteering and weight-loss!

  • Damun

    OMG!!! Thank you for the laughs and good luck! Thankfully, my cats seem to stay fit with their constant wrestling matches. I on the other hand, really need to start some sort of exercise program… my 6-pack has turned into a keg and while some weight gain after 40 was expected… going from 130-140 average to 170 and above has been devastating to me! If only I could stop procrastinating. I try again tomorrow… LMAO!

    • Ihavecat

      I hear you Damun – hopefully the hot (but married) trainer can whip me into shape! 🙂 Will let you know!

  • Great minds think alike! Daphne and I have been sort of dieting together for the past month. The vet said Daphne needs to lose 2 pounds, so she is on light dry food and a small can of wet food. I would like to lose around 5 pounds.

    You are absolutely right. The older we get the harder it is to lose weight. I’ve been eating much healthier, working out 5 days a week, and drinking 2 liters of water a day, which is killing me since I live in the South and am never without a sweet tea in my hand. Unfortunately, I weighed myself a couple of days ago and put on a pound. 🙁

    Good luck to you and Petie!!! I can’t wait to read about your progress.

    • Ihavecat

      I loved sweet tea when I lived in the south. Lucky for me it’s really hard to get in NYC. I know a few places that have it, but it’s def not an everyday thing!
      I fear I will be hard pressed to keep him on a diet as long as the foster kittens are around!

  • loved the post..how funny.that sneaky food video..
    Best of luck to both of you……

    i gained 30 lbs in the 1 1/2 since I haven’t worked outside the home..it sucks big time and I just sit and whine about it!!!!

    Petie looks fine to me, but of course that statement is coming from someone who needs to lose weight!!!

    Can’t wait to see pics of the volunteer work..wear your hip boots..LOL


    • Ihavecat

      Hip boots – i knew i had to get something for this weekend! tehe! I have no clue what to expect – at least it will be an adventure right? And maybe I will meet some guys? At the VERY least I will be doing good for some animals! I hope they provide face masks for the poo collecting!
      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment Mimi and thanks for the ongoing support of IHC!

  • Stella Cadente

    I recently took my brood off all day free feeding and can already see the results in my little one who put all her extra pounds into her butt pouch. They get lots of extra exercise now, fighting over the food dish. Miss Big Butt* will lie on her back and paw at the Old Man, who is definitely big boned (he was emaciated and hairless when I took him in off the street and still weighed 12 pounds; he has the broadest shoulders and biggest paws I’ve ever seen on a house cat and has about 5 pounds of fur) like she’s doing air cycling! But it’s working, she actually is getting a waistline after 2 months!

    Old Man is walking a lot more, back and forth from the food dish with a scowl on his face. Don’t you use more muscles to frown than smile? Well, he’s getting more toning done then! They can eat what they want during the 1/2 hour or so it takes me to get ready for work in the morning, and generally the same amount of time in the evening. Except when they are rehearsing for Mexican Standoff Theater, each generally gets two passes at the dish.

    My other three cats are two skinnies and a normal. One skinny is my ancient Ocicat who has IBD, so she gets homemade food + supplement. The other Mr. Skinny gets canned food in the am along with the normal, who gets a different supplement. They have to be shut in the bathroom to avoid bloodshed. In the PM, the two get dry food; Miss Normal and Miss Big Butt don’t get along well, so Miss Normal gets hers in the quietude of the bathroom, which is her favorite room in the house anyway. Miss Ancient Skinny likes to eat everyone else’s food, which gives her the poops, so we have to keep her separated whenever the dry or wet food is out.

    Sound complicated? IT IS!!!!!

    *Please note, the names in this comment were changed to protect the innocent as well as the criminal. All criminals are innocent until we get around to proving them guilty in a court of LAWLs.

    • Ihavecat

      OMC Stella! You had me laffing out loud for real! Love it! It sounds like quite a drama going on in your home. I wonder if Petie could get into the upside-down cycling! That would be a hoot! Miss Big Butt! LOLOL I know I shouldn’t laff at sweet kitties but that’s too funny!
      I am not looking forward to this. I can barely feed myself!

    • Ihavecat

      Stella, i forgot to mention it before, but if you aren’t already an IHC fan on fb, please friend us and post photos of your kitties. I cannot wait to meet Miss Big Butt! LOL

  • Tamar, I’d highly recommend you get a treadmill. It’s a great way to lose weight, and it could also be a pretty hilarious experience. Take a look at this video of a cat & a dog on the treadmill. I exercise regularly with my gigantic Bernese Frieda on our treadmill, too – both of us at the same time. It’s awesome!


    • Ihavecat

      OMG i love that Daniela! What a hoot! of COURSE you have already covered this topic! next time I need to check out The Daily Tail before I publish anything.
      However, might i remind you that i live in NEW YORK CITY? Which means a small New York City-sized apartment?!LOL
      Thanks as always for reading and commenting!

      • Yeah, thats what I thought. But my treadmill folds, you know? Don’t be lazy!!



  • Eugene Becker

    Go on the Eugene Becker diet. Exercise for a few months to get your metabolism to kick in. Stop eating pasta, the worst thing. Start maximizing protein – tofu, egg whites, fish, edamame. I dropped 10 this year. Working on the next 10. Note that cutting down on drinking is not a part of the Eugene Becker diet.

    • Ihavecat

      Hmmm sounds very stringent. Thankfully drinking does not have to be cut out. Perhaps I can go on the liquid diet….But you KNOW how much i lOVE My carbs! Wah! I suspect that working out would be the best thing for me. Hoping paying for a work-out will make me more dedicated!

  • jmuhj

    We think you both look great, but if for your health you need to do this, we know YOU CAN DO IT!!! 😉 and lol

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Jmuhj! Glad you got a chuckle out of it! 🙂

  • Chris

    Hilarious! Similar situation over here. I need to rid myself of a solid 10lbs…as a start. I live with one, eat anything & everything 17lb kitty & one older kitty that literally eats very small meals around the clock just to maintain her tiny frame. Fun times!
    Wishing you lots of luck with your exercise regime with the cute (but married) trainer. Give that sweet Petie a scratch under his chin from me.

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks so much for posting Chris! I will DEF smooch Petie on your behalf! Be sure to post your kitties pics on I HAVE CAT’s facebook’s page if you haven’t already!


      • Chris

        Cool! Thx, I will!

      • Chris

        Okay….so I’m still trying to figure out how to post my pix on your FB page. I’ll get there eventually!!!

  • Tiggy is going to make that vet scale moan when it’s his turn to go for his checkup. He’s packed on quite a few pounds since last summer when he mysteriously lost some weight while I was on vacation in Maine. Good luck with your diet.

    • Ihavecat

      Noll is so cute! What a face! So human! Thanks for visiting and posting! Come back soon!

  • Sam

    I actually always thought that you were too skinny. Petie, on the other hand….now that’s a FAT CAT!

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Sam 🙂 I think I need to tone up a tad! Yes, Petie is pushing maximum density! LOL! Thanks for commenting, hope all is well with you and the fam!

  • My orange Toby also has a weight thing. The vet even told us that my little Leia needed to lose a pound, though I disagree. She’s small enough as it is! Sometimes I think vets are overinfluenced by the general weight loss culture in America.

    BTW – the kneading thing has absolutely nothing to do with your weight and everything with how much he loves you. Toby likes to knead my head. Very hard to get a better compliment from a cat.

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment! A POUND? why bother – that’s crazy!
      You are right, I should take the kneading as a compliment…but i cannot help wondering…!

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  • Dionis

    Harmony has been on a diet for about a year and half now. 1/3 of a cup of dry food morning and night. Chaos gets the same – he’s lost weight, she looks like she’s gained, but she bites me when I try to gain her so we’re waiting for the overdue vet appointment to confirm. I don’t let them keep the leftovers when they are done, she’s just so hard to keep at a good weight. Has been ever since she got to a healthy weight after I rescued her. Chaos is about 13 pounds. Harmony was a little over 14 last she was weighed. He doesn’t look overly pudgy though, he’s long and tall.

    We won’t talk about MY weight!!

    • I HAVE CAT

      I feel like a bad mom because I am not being more diligent about feedings. I guess what I should do is stand there to make sure they all eat from JUST their bowl and then put it up. I feel so bad!

      • Dionis

        I don’t stand there and watch. They are on the same food, so that helps. I give them about a half hour, or however long it takes me to get ready for work in the morning, and then the food goes away until dinner time. As long as I leave about a foot between them, Harmony usually allows Chaos to keep his.

        • I HAVE CAT

          How can you be sure one doesn’t wander over to the others bowl when done with theirs? My guys are all on the weigh maintenance food. I’m trying to feed them more wet food…maybe that will help.

          Thanks for reading and for posting Dionis! 🙂

  • jmuhj

    When faced with this challenge myself, I decided to ask myself the question: “Which do you want more — eating stuff you’ll have forgotten all about half an hour later, or looking great and buying clothes in size SMALL!?” It was easy after that. And I’ve never gone back. I still enjoy a lot of foods I love, but in smaller quantities, and I rarely go out to eat (big weight gainer!). I don’t drink alcohol at all, but I have read that it turns to sugar in the body.

    As for the clowder, there are two who could do a few more sit-ups here — but at 13.2 pounds and somewhere in that neighborhood, I don’t think we’re going to stress too much. 😉

  • Oh my it sounds like everyone is going on a diet. We have one little pig here that I have tried to go on a diet but he manages to eat everybodys food that he can get too. So do let us know how it all goes. Oh and by the way he will NOT eat anything but dry food which makes things difficult. If someone makes a bird or mouse deaded, he will look at with great distaste. The expression on his face is hysterical. Great post and thanks for the great laughs. Mom even wet herself at one point. Take care and have a fun day. Petie, we feel for you.

  • Dionis

    I can’t really be sure they aren’t swapping bowls. But since they are both on “light” food, I only put out enough for each of them each meal…and there’s always some left in each bowl at the end of their half hour meal time. I suspect if I left it out all day, Harmony would vaccuum it all up, just in case there wouldn’t be any more. She’s always frantic to be fed, I think it’s cuz she was homeless before I brought her in. That’s why she and Chaos don’t eat right next to each other, she’s afraid he’ll take her food.

    • I HAVE CAT

      Awwwww, sweet Harmony! It’s hard to readjust I guess once you’ve had it hard!

  • Soooo…do we have any progress reports? Is Petie slowly revealing his handsome muscular body? Does his mom fit into last year’s summer wardrobe?

    • I HAVE CAT

      we BOTH FAIL! well…i think I fail twice…since Petie is sort of under my care!

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  • since you say you’re pressed for time, I’d recommend high intensity interval training. There are a lot of exercises you can do at home or outside, and you’re mostly using your body weight for these. I do this training every other day, so about 3x a week, after my boxing workout (I’m not a fan of long boring cardio)

    • Thanks Ludviga! I’m training with a trainer 2x a week but only for 30 minutes as I cannot afford more than that! problem is getting into the gym when I know I don’t have to meet him there. 
      i’m with you when it comes to boring cardio! 

  • Carla Turner

    This is the very same scenario as my oldest cat, Mr. Bojangles and myself. We have both gained weight.  I quit smoking and packed on a few pounds and Boje, well, he just loves his kibble. By the way, Petie is the spittin’ image of Boje.

  • if you really want him to lose weight, ditch the kibble.  It is too high in plant based ingredients to be an appropripate food for any obligate carnivore.  Cats can’t digest plant based ingredients, and so it is basically filler which will fill the belly (and fill out the stool) but won’t provide proper nutrition.  Check out http://www.catinfo.org a website run by a vet who actually studies feline nutrition (most vets don’t, just as your own human doctor doesn’t and will refer you to a nutritionist if you have diet questions)

    She has a great page on feline obesity.  Basically you want to follow an Atkin’s like diet (think Cat-kins) of meat and fat

    • It’s true, I’m not sure why I assumed my vet should know but I don’t expect it of my physician. I guess at lest my physician can tell me McDonalds is bad for me. Vets can’t even or don’t even go that far. 
      I’m fortunate as my vet consulted with a nutritionist (from Hill Science but better than nothing) and they recommended EXACTLY what you said! That he should go on a Cat-Kins diet (I feel another post coming on!). so let’s see how that goes. The hardest part will be for me to keep the kitties separated at meal times. And to not leave any food out for them during the day!
      Wish me luck.
      Thanks for the website reco! 

  • Vicki Stringfellow Cook

    I heard the theme song to Rocky in my head as I read this and visualized you and Petie running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Gonna Fly Now!

    • OMC! that is HYSTERICAL Vicki! LOLOLOL That would be super cute! Somehow I think Petie would be under a bush hiding! I’d be collapsed halfway up! 

  • Tom

    Just wanted to say that you can’t “flirt with vegan” if you’re not even a vegetarian.

    • I can envision a carnivore saying the are flirting with vegan….so I’m not sure I concur…a meat eater can think about going vegan and dip their toe into the pool…..no need to go through all the steps in order eh?

  • Carla Turner

    To Tom. That statement on being vegan(vegetarian) was uncalled for. It is difficult for females and felines to stay fit, veggies or not! Hang in there Petie and Tamar!

    • Thanks Carla 🙂 
      Hey, who says I have to do it a certain way right? At least I’m trying to be more aware of where my food comes from and how it’s treated…..perfect is impossible..i can only do my best. 
      baby steps I say. 
      It’s hard for me as I’m a perfectionist but it’s the only way to not give up! 

  • Your Petie looks like my Peppas long distance US brother. Shes the same markings (except across her tummy she has a grey stripe) and has half a tail. Everyone keeps stopping us to say how pretty she is and how unique she looks (the UK seems to LOVE black cats) Its nice to see a similar looking kitty out there

    • oh my goodness!!! how sweet!!! she is adorable!! thanks for sharing. You should post Peppa’s photo on our FB page http://www.facebook.com/ihavecat i’ll bet lots of folks would love to see her!
      Grey Tuxedos look so much like stuffed animals to me don’t you think?!