My eldest cat, Emilio, is 6 years old and sadly, obese. He's gained 6 pounds in the last 2 years alone. That's an astronomical number for a cat. He's in terrible shape. He's on the fast track for developing diabetes or arthritis.
The average cat weighs 8-10 pounds. Dale, my fittest cat, weighs 11 pounds, so he's doing quite well. He has a healthy silhouette, is active, and no health problems. Crush on the other hand weighs 20 pounds, which would be considered obese, though he's never had any health problems to date. Those extra 10 pounds on him is a big deal though. Apparently it's like 140 extra pounds on a should-be 140 pound woman.
But Emilio comes in at 23 pounds. My daughter only weighs 3.5 pounds more than him. Emilio's weight is the equivalent of a 322 pound women who should weigh 140 pounds. You can imagine what that looks like on a person. He has a lot of weight to lose!
It's affecting his health. He can't jump over the baby-gate in the hallway because he's too big. We had to buy a wider litter box for him to do his business because he didn't have enough room. He's had trouble wit his intestines and bowels on multiple occasions. I bought the largest cat harness and leash at the pet store to take him outside for walks and he was too fat to fit in it. I'm going to have to get a small dog harness.
He's on some fancy diet food now. I purchased 24 cans for $50 and he gets a can a day. The vet had been pressuring me for a couple years now to put Emilio on his prescription diet food, but I always turned it down, trying cheaper alternatives. My way obviously isn't working and Emilio needs an intervention. I want him to live long enough for Tesla to be able to pronounce his name properly. (She currently call him Crush or Dill-ee-yole-yo.)
Crush should really be on this diet as well, but I can't afford to spend over $100 a month on cat food alone. Like, my family needs to eat too! Emilio's the fattest and the sickest, so we'll start with him and see how it goes over the next year. For Crush, I'm going to focus on the exercise and getting him outside to play while more closely monitoring his food intake and limiting when food is available to be eaten.
Hopefully this helps. Expect before and after pictures.