One fat cat and one thin cat


I have 2 rescue cats and the problem is that my male is quite slim (a small cat for a ginger tom) and my other cat, a long haired female, is overweight.

I am frightened to reduce the food intake as the ginger cat may lose weight he cannot afford to lose. I work every day so it’s difficult to monitor or stop the fat cat eating without punishing the thin cat. Any ideas?

Without examining your cats, it is difficult to make a recommendation of what to feed them to control their respective weights.
In my experience, many cat owners believe that their heavier cat is overweight when compared to their thinner cats or that their thin cat is underweight compared to the larger cat when in fact they may both be ok or the owner is accessing wrongly which one has the problem.

Your little girl cat may be at a healthy weight for her and/or your little boy cat may be at a healthy weight for him. Your cats have differences in their bone structures. For instance, 14 pounds on one cat may not mean the cat weighs too much or is fat while 14 pounds on a cat with a different bone structure may be quite excessive. There is always a large variance in what may be acceptable for a female as opposed to a male cat.

That said, even though I have not seen your cats or know what diet they are currently eating, my best recommendation would be to switch them to a “less active,” “indoor formula,” or “multiple cats” food. These options typically encourage lean muscle mass in cats, which will prevent your little boy from losing weight and might help your little girl lose some.

Also, weighing them periodically and keeping a chart and feeding them separately is often the best method. Please see our page on How Much To Feed Cat Companions.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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