Today’s post comes courtesy of Angel, sister to Thunder and Onyx, who have both posted here. She lives with our human sister. Purrs, Snoops and Kommando Kitty
Greetings everyone, big and small, furry and not furry! I’m Angel Katt, and I’m often called a big kitty (or, as the vet very rudely said, a “really, quite overweight cat”). A little while ago, my human was complaining about the lack of affordable clothing and accessory options available for her size (she has the opposite problem of me- she’s small, much like Thunder). As I kept listening to her whine and whine, I realized that she- and many others- have no idea how difficult it is to be a plus sized kitty in a small cat’s world. From toys to litter boxes, and beds to the size of food cans, we face a daily struggle that’s practically unspoken about. However, I am here to enlighten you to my- and many other kitties- plight.
I’d say my biggest purrsonal issue is the struggle with cuddling. I happen to love snuggling up on a nice warm lap, and soaking in the attention that is owed to me. But at 15 pounds, I often feel too heavy for my humans to keep me on them long- and, on top of that, all of my weight is concentrated into a short body, so I find it difficult to position myself comfortably. The mini humans try, but I weigh the same as one, and am only 5 pounds lighter than the second one. So they usually settle for chewing on or yanking my tail, which is not the relaxing cuddle that I seek.
Big kitties come with big paws; little kitties come with little paws. Unfortunately, toy manufacturers seem to see cat toys as a “one size fits all” product. While there are some larger cat toys (I have a crinkly carrot that’s made for kicking, and several large stuffed fish to chase), I’ve noticed the rest of our toys are designed with smaller cats in mind. Every mousie, ball, and red dot just disappears under my paw. I would love to see a wider selection of Angel-sized toys (excluding kick toys, since those are big enough for me) grace the shelves.
We have a cat tree that is absolutely great! There are dangly balls to swat, high perches to sit on, and scratching posts to destroy. There are also two cubbies. One is a tight squeeze. The other one I can’t fit into, and it makes me really sad when I see my sister’s curling up in them, and I can’t. The cat tree isn’t the only issue; we have another hideout that has the exact same issue. Really, how hard would it be for the creators of these toys to create the hideaways just a little bigger, so kitties of all sizes can enjoy them?
One of my favorite spots to sit is a criss-crossed cardboard perch that fits perfectly in a prime sunspot. It’s infused with catnip, I can scratch it without repercussions, and it’s so comfortable to nap on. Sadly, though, I find my humans needing to replace it monthly. Mom (finally) read the label, and realized that the maximum weight was 12 pounds- how disappointing! And she couldn’t find one made for higher weights, which just seems rude to me. But that’s not the only perch that’s prone to upset big kitties. When searching for a window perch, Mom kept finding them easily for cats under 15 pounds, she was harder pressed to find an affordable perch for big kitties! So I have to either watch my weight, which would involve dieting (and Thunder’s disgusting “lettuce”), or I have to risk breaking the perch and hurting myself. How horrible are those choices? Hopefully the future cats won’t have to find out!
Have you seen the size of a can of wet food? It’s abysmal! I’m not sure how any cat can survive on one of those per day (although I do have 24/7 access to dry kibble), let alone a cat who requires more intake! I conducted an independent study one night, and for the sake of health and science, managed to bring myself to eat not only my nightly can of food, but also Onyx’s and Thunder’s! I came to the conclusion that 3 cans was barely enough- 4 really would have been better. Unfortunately, since I can’t seem to convince anyone of this logic, I’ll have to hope that some merciful canner takes mercy on us larger cats and makes a can of food sized accordingly.
Litter boxes have several rules: keep them clean. Put them in a private area. Make sure each cat has their own. And make sure the box is big enough for the cat. I will admit, larger litter boxes are fairly common. But, there is definitely a surplus of small and medium sized boxes in comparison. The larger box costs quite a bit more, which doesn’t seem fair to me (after all, we all need bathrooms). And, to rub salt into the wound, they don’t even feature big kitties in the photo on the label- they use a cute, little kitty! Litter box equality has proven to be a real struggle.
Every cat should have a nice, thick, warm bed that they can come back to nap after nap. A bed that, like the pillows humans sleep with, will fluff itself up and provide comfort and support. Sadly, I have found that my beds start to sag and lose their firmness within a year. A dent forms and keeps sinking deeper, eventually making it so that the bed is more of a nuisance than a luxury. Purrsonally, I would love to see a wide cat bed made with extra thick, super durable layers of foam and fleece, perfect for larger cats to enjoy throughout the years. This would avoid the disappointment of finding a great bed, then saying goodbye to it because it lost shape due to being unable to support the weight of its kitty user.
Physical activity is an important part of each cat’s day. We run, jump, pounce, and leap. We hunt hard, and knead our humans. We climb and chase, and scratch and stalk. Being bigger makes these activities more tasking. I run out of breath and have to take more frequent breaks. There are some corners that my toys get wedged in that I can’t access, and then my toy is lost until Mom notices or Thunder steals it out. I’m prone to wheezing after wrestling with Thunder. And I land my jumps very hard and loud, which totally ruins the stealth in hunting (I’ve lost several red dots this way)! I also notice that things I jump on move or break easier, depending on the height of my jump or what angle I land it at. Although I’m considered to be an overall healthy kitty cat, I definitely notice some struggles with physical activity.
I would like to take a moment to say that all cats are beautiful. All body shapes are beautiful. Even if the vet is a meanie, big kitties and small kitties are both beautiful. However, there are some struggles that large kitties face. In my case, it’s because I’m a Scandinavian breed of cat, not because of my eating habits. But still, day in and day out I face hardships due to my size. Still, I wouldn’t change for anything- I’ll just figure out a way to have everything change for me! Big kitties, keep being pawsome- there’s plenty of love to go around!