Tuesdays With Murray (Chapter 125) An Honest Question

How do you put a cat on a diet? Murray is obese. He’s awesome, lovable and hilarious, but he’s obese. And I want him to live a long, long time. So, it’s probably wise that he lose some weight.

I’ve tried to put him on a diet and—I’m not kidding—the moment he decides that he’s hungry, he starts looking for anything and everything he can put in his mouth. Paper, twigs, jelly beans, lint, leaves, paper towels, toys, crumbs—everything.

The hardest thing about it is, I have three cats, one of which is old and often won’t eat when the boys are around. I usually have to leave a little bit more around for her. Naturally, if I leave food around all the time, Murray consumes every last bit of it.


So, how do you put a cat with an eating disorder on a diet? Because he’s getting fatter by the minute.


Yes, I did just tell him that I love him. Crazy cat lady indeed.


  1. Try a zero carb diet. I don’t know if his cat food contains any fillers or additives or anything, but if it does, I’d say replace it with something all natural with no carbs! Also, his gut bacteria is likely out of whack. I know this is the case with a lot of people who are overweight, so maybe a probiotic is in order?


  2. He already eats the super high end food. We give him Stella and Chewies, Weruva and high-protien (no grain, etc) dry food. (Unfortunately, I can’t get rid of the dry food because my female won’t go near wet or anything else.)

    I don’t think the food is high in carbs at all. :[


  3. I tell my cat I love her… a lot..

    I may have even harassed my boyfriend asking, “But, do you LOVE her?? DO YOU LOVE HER??” in front of friends..


  4. My big guy got put on a set amount of diet food a day. I believe we gave him half in the morning and half in the evening or something similar. That went okayish until we got two kittens. Since the older one’s diet food was expensive and the babies’ food was not good for him (not to mention they were secluded for the first few weeks to get them used to each other), they got put on feeding schedules. Not having a bowl to graze from all day and only having his diet food to eat helped him a lot. I don’t know how feeding goes in your house, and I don’t know how well it would work in your situation with a cat who eats everything, but that’s what has worked for us.

    And this is a cat who once chewed through a lemon Hostess fruit pie. It’s no paper towel or twig, but seriously, what cat eats a lemon fruit pie?


  5. Oh, insomniagirl, my guy eats stuff like that as well. He seriously will eat anything. I had to stop the list because it would never end.

    I need to figure something out. He’s a blimp!

    R: I too tell my fatties that I love them regularly. :]


  6. When I was a kid, my mom and I just left a bowl out for our flock. But now all my gatos are inside only, and one tends towards the chunky. So we give them each a scant 1/8-1/4 cup of Science Diet Hairball Light 2x day. My Waffles is solid, but not obese. I think she lost a half pound over the last year. :)

    Maybe put Murray’s food in a toy that releases the food (a DIY version is a plastic bottle with a little hole cut in it) as he plays with it.

    Or you could just get him a girdle.

    I tell my gatos I love them all the time. I even have accidentally called our older male cat by my husband’s name and vice versa! Neither seem to mind.


  7. Murray is divine, and so telling him you love him is only normal no?

    My ‘Murray look alike’, may he RIP, was a podge too, and we used to give him diet dry food, which worked well, or just give him half dry food, and half steamed broccoli which he loved. The vet also suggested a (single) chicken neck for a meal was a good alternative.


  8. My IssyCat was just as big as Murray, and he lived to be 18 years old. :)
    I tried putting him on a diet a couple of times when he was younger, but it wasn’t worth the misery for either of us.

    I think he was just meant to be a big boy!


  9. Tee hee. He’s so cute–he looks like one of those Sandra Boynton cats you see on mugs and t-shirts!

    My beagle is the exact same way–my husband forgot to feed the dogs the other day and I came home and found that she had raided my purse for Tums and gum (which required an expensive vet visit–sugar-free gum is toxic to dogs)!

    What finally worked for us was putting our dogs on diet food and then feeding even less than what the label recommends. I asked our vet about it and she agreed that the feeding guidelines suggest way too much. Although both my dogs needed to lose weight–not sure what I would do if I had three pets with different dietary needs.


  10. We have the same problem over here and our Mao makes Murray look skinny (not even exaggerating). Her weight even gives her UTIs! We have three other cats and the same problem with limiting her food. So instead, I am considering keeping her outside of our roofed balcony this summer… She likes to go out there anyway. Maybe we can kennel her at nights. That way she has a separate food source. Her weight has gotten so bad that we have to bathe her and the other cats beat on her all the time! I don’t know what else to do.


  11. Hahahahahha. I know that video was supposed to be informative, but holy crap, how I laughed.

    I love fat kitties…


  12. From personal experience….the only way to actually put him on a diet is restricted feedings twice a day, with supervision, for all cats. However, this is guaranteed to create eating disorders in the other cats.

    Or you can take my approach — give him lots of smooches on that adorable belly and a happy, albeit chubby life.

    And I’m not convinced that fat cats live shorter lives than miserable, thin cats.

    Good luck!


  13. We’ve had success rigging a cat carrier door so that the cat had to be a certain size to squeeze in there to get to their food and eat.

    Basically, our carrier has venting holes on the side. We braided together some butcher’s twine and tied the door to the venting hole. Make the opening about the width of Murray’s face or just wider. If he’s hungry, he’ll squeeze in there.

    As he loses weight, adjust the opening so that it’s a little smaller. You’ll have to make small adjustments early on in order to make sure he fits without it being too big of an opening.

    We have four cats. The smaller cats had no issues with this set-up. The cats took their turns eating. And the fat cat lost weight. When we moved, we needed to use the carrier as a transporter. We were lazy and didn’t set up the feeding system. Guess who’s fat again?


  14. Spants: YOU ARE A GENIUS.


  15. I failed to mention that the string will need to be very securely tied to the cat carrier in order to withstand the cats going in and out. When it’s time to adjust the opening, you’ll probably need to start fresh with a new braid. My knots were so tight I had no choice but to cut the braid.

    With some trial and error, you’ll get the hang of it and once Murray has lost weight, that one braid will last a long time. The only way this will fail is if Murray chews on the braid. We didn’t have that problem, but making the braid taste nasty may help curtail that problem. Keep us posted!


  16. While he is so adorable, he could lose a couple of pounds :) Better to get it under control now than have to deal with diabetes, FLS or joint issues when he is older.

    Aside from any health issues, food intake is the main factor in controlling weight. It is great that you are feeding such great foods. With higher quality foods, you can actually feed less. Many popular commercial (and vet prescribed) foods are full of fillers and junk, look at the top 5 ingredients and compare them. Cats (and dogs) should be eating a diet with quality meats, not meat by-products, corn and rice.

    I would start to lessen the food by 10 percent increments each week and try to stop the free feeding, since Murray is probably the one benefitting from the food being left out. He should be getting the amount closer to his ideal weight and not his current weight. Feeding 2-3 smaller meals a day might help if you aren’t doing so already. Maybe he won’t feel so deprived if his food is spread out through the day.

    What about some toys when he starts to prowl for food, Pawbreakers (kitty krack)might be an option if he likes catnip. Since it is a solid ball, it will make noise rolling on non-carpeted floors, but it will get him up and running around chasing after it. FYI: Put them away in a drawer overnight if you want some sleep.


  17. Mihow,
    Have you seen Sockington on Twitter? He’s a cat with 1.5 million followers. Um, hello, Murray – are you out there?



    1. Damn! Murray only has a couple of hundred. What did Sockington do?

      Eyedigress: Much thanks! I think that’s what is going to solve this: feeding him in small amounts more often.


  18. i have the same problem with winston,
    who has become quite the fattie.
    we put him on weight loss dry food,
    twice a day
    and are trying to get him to exercise more (the laser pointer seems to work)
    it is a challenge…if only there was kitty cardio to help him shed some pounds..


  19. We feed our cats 3 identical meals every day. Abby, who is 5, weighs about 7 pounds. She chooses not to eat all of the food that is offered to her. Tucker, who is 4, weighs about 12 pounds and he is by far the more active cat. He’s just destined to be a big boy. So you may be able to get Murray to more svelte proportions, but you can only fight nature so much.


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