So, after a few days of acting strange, Gidget saw the vet today. Said vet thought there were a couple of things going on:
- Gidget is probably stressed about the demolition that happened next door, despite the brave face she’s been putting on about it; and
- The opposite leg from the one Gidget had surgery on last year was hurting her (the vet actually popped her knee bones back in their socket in front of us, and we could hear it pop).
So, the vet’s prescribed us medication to ease inflammation in the knee (she didn’t seem to think it needed any further tests or treatment unless her odd behaviour persists), and said we should go to a pet supply store to get a spray called Feliway, which is supposed to be relaxing to cats when sprayed on their sleeping spots. But she also said that Gidget needs to lose some weight.
Now, Gidget has been a big (7kg) girl pretty much her entire adult life. Until last year, vets would always say: “Oh, she’s such a big girl! But not overweight, just all in proportion!” Then last year, it became, “Well, she’s not overweight, but don’t let her put on any more.” And now it’s, “I’d like Gidget to lose a kilo.” 🙈 I asked how much food we should be giving her each day, and the vet said to follow the package directions for a 6kg cat, which apparently is either 2 sachets of wet food + ⅓ cup of dried, or a ¾ cup of dried food if she’s only eating dried food (because in recent days she has not wanted wet). We have a measuring cup and everything we can use, so that’s OK… I think the real battle is going to be convincing Vivian not to sneak her extra food behind my back 😉
Timing is still a consideration, of course. Gidget’s always been a grazer, and in times gone by would never eat any more than she needed to be just satisfied (she’d never overeat). I think the little bit of extra weight (she weighed 7.2kg today) is because she’s not as active as she was before she became an indoor-only cat, and her hunger levels haven’t quite readjusted for her new sedentary lifestyle. So anyway, I don’t think it’ll be very successful if we just give her the whole ¾ cup at the start of the day, for her to graze at and finish by nighttime, so she decides to wake us up at 3am to demand more food. Probably better to give her like, a quarter-cup in the morning, and another quarter-cup in the mid-afternoon, and a last quarter-cup before we go to bed. Considering Gidget hasn’t really increased her dry food intake even though she went off wet food, I’m hoping she’ll readjust to that. (The vet also didn’t think there was any reason to keep giving her wet food if she doesn’t want it any more – an all-dry diet is fine apparently.)
So, that’s our update. Hopefully with the anti-inflammatories, the anxiety-easing spray and a bit of weight loss (to reduce the pressure on her legs) she’ll start feeling a bit better. We’ll see!