Exploration

When Pete first came to live with me, I did hope that he would have fun romping around in the grassed areas and wooded areas at the back of where I live. However, he’s proved to be much more interested in snoozing than in going out to play. Since the vet trip last week, I’ve been trying to encourage him to go out and get more exercise, but he’s quite wary about going too far. So, I’ve been picking him up and carrying him to the Engine Shed car park, which has grass and trees, and to the area at St Leonards Bank which is ideal for cats to play in.

He’s loved it! He scampers and runs and tries to climb trees, and pounces, and sniffs, and jumps onto fences and slinks along them, and generally behaves like a proper cat. It can be an effort getting him to come back home sometimes! We haven’t been out every day, because weather, but most days.

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Fat Cat with a Stinky Bum

Pete and I went to the vet yesterday for his annual checkup and booster jags. I’m pretty skint this month and didn’t want to pay £15-20 for taxis there and back, so we got the bus. Getting him to the bus stop was the most difficult bit because he’s heavy and what is usually a 5 minute walk took nearly 15. He was really good on the bus though, a bit anxious to start with but once he’d realised there was nothing scary happening, he settled down and lay down in his carrier and just looked around quite calmly.

The vet (Edinburgh Cat Clinic) gave him a good checkup and said his heart and lungs are fine and his teeth are in good condition. The main issue is his weight. Although I haven’t increased his food, he’s put on about a pound in the last five months and he’s now 2lb overweight, which is a lot for a cat. He is a big cat, and we think about 6kg would be right for him, but he’s currently just over 7kg. I don’t know what else to do to reduce it – he gets on pouch of wet food in the morning, usually the 100g pouches but I mix in some of the 85g a couple of times a week, and he gets 30g of Thrive dry food which is 90% meat and about 190kCal per 100g. So he’s on a maximum of about 170kCal per day, and all the research I can find says to get him to 6kg he needs to be on about 200 per day! The vet says I’m doing all the right things, putting his dry food around the flat on the windowsills, on his platforms and in his activity feeders, so he has to go and look for it if he wants it, so the only thing I can try now is reducing his intake even further. I’m really worried he’ll eat my face in the night. We are wondering if he’s getting food elsewhere, but he doesn’t go out very often, and although the neighbours have been known to sneak him bits of steak bake (!) and the odd dish of milk, I don’t think they do it regularly. Because he’s so fat, the vet couldn’t examine his abdomen, but he seems healthy and happy so we’re assuming he’s ok.

The other issue is that after he’s used his litter tray, he often has a stinky mess down “the back of his trousers.” (Is it just me who loves cats’ fluffy britches?) So I asked Simon to check his anal glands. Pete did not enjoy having his glands checked and was quite happy to say so, but it didn’t take long. The right one was fine, but the left one has some infection in it, so Simon got it all out, and we’re going back in 4 weeks for another check, and I will keep an eye on it meantime. Simon does think though that some of the mess is because of Pete’s size, making it difficult for him to poo cleanly or wash himself properly afterwards. I think it’s all about his glands, his poo is firm and seems to come out cleanly, and the mess on the back of his legs is greeny and stinky, so I’m sure it’s exudate/secretions. While he was giving the injection, Simon found a lump on Pete’s back, which he thinks is just a lipoma, but we’ll keep an eye on it.

The other thing we did was a nail trim, to blunt his scimitar-like claws and protect my legs a bit. I try to do it at home but I only ever manage one claw, then he wakes up and attacks the clippers.

On the way home, partly because he’s heavy to carry, and partly to give him a bit more exercise, I let him out of his carrier as we got to the police station instead of waiting till we got in the stair, and he trotted along behind me quite happily. He had a bit of a run around in the evening as well, scampering up and down the stairs, and I took him over the road to see if he would romp in the grass, but a seagull swooped on us, and it got very windy, and he really wasn’t keen so we came back in.

He was very sleepy last night and still this morning, and not pestering for food quite as much, which I think is a reaction to the vaccination. He was the same after his first ones last year.

7th of July was the first anniversary of Pete coming to live with me. I’m so glad he picked me.