Long story short - Rexie is 2 1/2 yrs, got him at 3 1/2 - 4wks, unweaned, of course; and I am Mommie. When Rex was a baby he wouldn’t eat unless we (or mainly, I) stood next to him and petted. Vet says it was because he’d been separated from natural mom so early (my cousin found the kitties outdoors and talked me into taking one) Since kittens are used to being ON mommy when eating, being petted while eating is a substitute. She told me it could become a habit, but if I wanted to break him of the habit, I had to make sure he ate.

As a result, this behavior (his and ours) did become habitual. He’d run into the bedroom to his bowl whenever we approached, for scratching, grooming and petting. When we’d come into the bedroom, he’d automatically jump from the bed to his bowl.

So now he’s a good 2 1/2 pounds overweight. (from inactivity, not overfeeding - he’s an indoor cat and never really scarfed down his food in the first place.) Vet has put him on a good reducing food, measured amounts.

His bowl used to be at the foot of our bed, by his tree house. My hubby came up with the idea this weekend, that if we move his bowl from the bedroom to the kitchen, at least he’d have to walk further to his bowl, thus getting a little exercise.

Monday a.m. I checked his bowl - looked like he’d not taken two bites - he knew the bowl was there, but the kitchen is cold and he’s used to eating on the rug. Last night I left a small light on in the kitchen and put his bowl on a placemat like he’d had in the bedroom.

This morning when I checked, he’d eaten most of his food.

I’m hoping this will work, and we can get those pounds off.—Shirley

Duh! That was the first thing tried. Unfortunately, exercising him turns out to exercise me more. I’m trying to get him hooked on catnip like everyone says, so he’ll play more, but he’s just never developed a ’smell’ for it!—Shirley


Maybe he has never really learnt to play. If you have had him since he was soo little and he sees you as mummy he wouldent have learned the same hunting and playing skills as a normal cat. You need to get some great toys and teach him how to play, gonna take a lot of excercise and more time from you but when he gets the idea he should be able to do it himself!!—BC

You know, in a way that’s true. He does crouch and hunt, kind of. But when he plays with Jim, he’ll play like he’s going to attack (lurking around a corner, etc), but then he lets it go. I did fail miserably in the litter box area. He uses it faithully but doesn’t do a good job of covering the mess!

He’ll jump at a stick with string, (but lately, not as high - that’s probably the extra weight).

One of his favorite things to do, after he’s destroyed one of the stick/string things, is to use it as a battering ram. See this URL - The pix are about a year old, but you get the idea! <jumi-shirley-butler.com>—Shirley

Wow. I am many days late in getting to this thread (lotta junk ’round these parts lately, eh? ;) ) but I can’t believe how much darker he got with age! I have only had Jasper since August and he is around 14, so I don’t know what he looked like as a young spry guy, but I’m sure much lighter and boy do I wish I had some pictures of him from back then

:) <public.fotki.com>—kitkat


Someone told me that only 30% of cats are born with the catnip ’gene’... Don’t know if that’s true or not... Both of mine LOVE it... But they tend to sleep & lounge around as much as get the ’zoomies’ after I give them a ’fix’.—Mathew

Karen, what is a cat dancer? I have a little plastic cat that moves around the room, with a mouse on a string protruding from its head. The idea is for Rex to chase it. He just sits and studies it!—Shirley

Shirly: A Cat Dancer is a fairly simple toy, my cats go CRAZY when I bring it out of it’s hiding place. It’s several small coils of cardboard at the end of a firm but flexible peice of wire. It jumps (dances) around erratically when moved or batted at by cats, the erratic movement whips the feline into a FRENZY. Most pet stores sell them. Here in BC, Canada they cost about $10. If your cat needs more exersize, I highly reccomend this toy.—Mathew

Thanks, guys, I’ll check this out. We have PetSmart, Pet Dept. etc, and if they don’t have it I can probably find one online. By the way, look at our website to see a pic of him. The color is a little dark, but that’s my boy. That chocolate brown is more of a soft ’mink’ color. <jumi-shirley-butler.com>

Again, thanks.—Shirley

He’s beautiful!! You can definitely see in the photo that he is a little heavy. I also recommend a Cat Dancer. All of my cats love it and it’s cheap. Have you tried a laser pointer? Only one of my cats never showed an interest in it but the others love to chase the red dot. Another favorite toy is the Cat Charmer. It’s just a plastic wand with a long piece of multicolored fleece attached to it. It’s easier to control than just dangling a plain piece of string and the fleece stretches, which the cats seem to like.—Elizabeth

Does a pet sitter cost more if you have two cats? I don’t think so. That’s why I’ll get one if I go away, plus the mail will be looked after too. Catteries would be double the cost of course. About the cost of food: I find with two cats I can buy bigger/better value packs, at the end it works out about the same as for one cat. The double cost is the vet, yes, but then again you can have a cheap healthy cat or an expensive one, so it’s a risk anyway.—M.C.

That, string on the end of a stick, is my cats favorite above all others. That and ping pong balls, toilet paper cores and paper towel cores. I may be willing to try the cat dancer though. Everything else they have snubbed. Oh yeah, they love paper grocery bags also. like to hide in them.

Stone <photos.yahoo.com>—Gary

Cats like crinkly sounds. Persia goes nuts over those crinkly mylar balls they sell at PetCo. I had to buy the BIG ones because the small ones kept disappearing after being batted underneath the sofa.—jmcquown

Oh, what a beautiful cat! It’s not purebred is it? Mine usually don’t play anymore once they’re around 10 months old :-( But then they’re outdoors and get a lot of stimulation; this might be the reason why.

A new thing I’ve introduced is that I have a box of catmints (with no sugar!) beside my bed. Every morning a get some furball attention recently because of that - it usually lasts until they’ve got two treats ...—M.C.