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A Diet Book for Cats

Written by Dena HarrisAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Dena Harris


List Price: $9.99


On Sale: September 17, 2013
Pages: 128 | ISBN: 978-1-60774-490-0
Published by : Ten Speed Press Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? Cover

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This diet-guide parody shows "extra furry" cats how to get svelte with kitty-specific versions of popular weight-loss and fitness regimes like the Zone, South Beach, Mayo Clinic, and French Women Don't Get Fat (But Their Cats Do).

Americans own more than 86 million cats, and the wild popularity of cat videos--from YouTube to the Internet Cat Video Film Festival--proves that cat-lovers can't get enough kitty humor. This book pokes fun at tubby tabbies--the world's cutest (and surliest) fat creatures--with laugh-out-loud details that will tickle the funnybone of anyone "owned" by a cat. Lampooning trendy weight-loss regimes and health gurus, this book will also make people feel better about their own battle of the bulge in comparison to cats' insatiable appetites and lazy lifestyles. By eating right for their blood type, sourcing raw and living foods, joining Weight Stalkers, avoiding toxic treats, and exercising while lying down, felines of every shape (round) and size (round) will soon be motivated to ditch the fifth serving of Beef Morsels in Gravy for fresh, local options like that vole in the backyard.



Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big? is the book for any cat hoping to transform into a lean, mean, sleeping machine. While other diet and exercise books encourage a healthy lifestyle based on portion control and exercise, this book promotes the more feline-friendly approach of “returning your calories to the earth” (also known as “blowing chunks”).

This book is also a wake-up call for cats who just need to be, you know . . . awake. (Seriously, some of what we’re saying here is important. Get up.)

Want to be as strong as a professional mouser? Ready to admit that hot and sexy belly that’s been dragging on the floor the last few years maybe isn’t so hot and sexy? On the following pages you’ll find a stash of easy-to-use purractical tips such as:

•           Eat whatever you want. Just do what cats have done for centuries and disgorge a small mound of bones, fur, and grass someplace your humans will be sure to step in it.
•           Work in light cardio. Twice daily, increase your heart rate by running in frenzied circles around the house as if you’re being chased
by a cat burglar or a veterinarian with a thermometer.
•           Seek out fresh, local food. Protein still in its final death throes is always healthiest . . . like that vole in the backyard.
If you’re ready for these secrets and more, keep reading. In less time than it takes to groom your backside, you too can be fit, feline, and fabulous!

Taking Stock: Where Are You Now?

Let’s be honest. If you’re reading this book, chances are you’re sporting a little “junk in the kitty trunk.” But are you actually “overweight”? Find out by rating your body using these definitions:

•           Plump. The ground shakes when you approach. Not because people fear you, but just because . . . you’re approaching.
•           Stocky. It takes two or three leaps and a complicated system of grappling hooks for you to summit the bed.
•           Obese. If we could tie a string to you and make you float, you’d fit right into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
•           Big boned. Dinosaurs were big boned. Sasquatch is big boned. Pull up your kitty Piddle Pants1 and face the truth: you’re fat.
Before Before There Was Diet Kibble . . . A History of Fat Cats

It should come as no surprise that our feline ancestors, such as the European wild cat and African wild cat, didn’t struggle with their weight. With no easy access to Trader Joe’s Turkey & Giblets in Gravy—the nearest outlet was miles away—these cats were forced onto the plains and into caves to hunt and forage for food. Research reveals that the European cave lion, in an early adaptation of today’s popular Paleo diet (see page 54), occasionally noshed on bear cubs. (This was before the petit fours rage swept the plains, ushering in an era of catnip-tart and mini-vole desserts.)

These days, pampered cats are more likely to snort a bowl of Friskies Party Mix than to take down a grizzly. (Although . . . snorting Friskies has made more then one cat hallucinate they were taking down a grizzly, only to wake up the next morning in a compromising position with the dog’s Kong Teddy Bear toy. About that, perhaps the less said, the better.) In fact, more than 50 percent of felines are overweight—which of course means that 50 percent of felines are normal or underweight. How you see it depends on whether you’re a “the bowl is half empty” or “the bowl is half full” kind of cat. Since you’re reading a diet book, you’re probably a “the bowl is always empty” kind of cat—which reminds us: FEED ME.

How does this affect you? You’ve got your blankie, your sunbeam, and unlimited access to the naughty cable channels while your humans are at work. Why should you care about being overweight? Because issues linked to obesity include diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and the mortification that comes with having to be weighed on the livestock scale behind the veterinarian’s office.

So where to begin? The first step (calm down—you don’t actually have to stand up and go anywhere) is to test your knowledge. Take the quiz starting on page 6 to help you determine how much you know about shedding (no, not that kind of shedding—if only it were that easy) those unwanted pounds. Then grab a meal replacement bar,2 turn the page, and let your weight-loss odyssey begin.

Table of Contents


Taking Stock: Where Are You Now?  
Climbing the Feline Food Pyramid  

The Comatose Cat  
You: On a Diet: A Cat’s Manual for Waist Waste Management  
The South Beach Diet  
For the Comatose Cat: Exercises You Can (Almost) Do in Your Sleep  

The OCD Cat  
Eat Right for Your Blood Type  
French Women Don’t Get Fat . . . But Their Cats Do  
Wash Your Paws Twenty Times Before You Exercise:
The OCD Cat Workout  

The ADD Cat  
The Paleo Diet  
The Zone Diet  
The Raw Food Diet and the Living Food Movement  
Exercise for the—Hey Look! There’s a Bird! And a Squirrel!
And Another Bird!—ADD Cat  

The Chronic Dieter Cat  
Master Your MetaPurrlism  
Catty Craig Versus Weight Stalkers  
The 557th Try Is the Charm:
An Exercise Plan for the Chronic Dieter Cat  

Psycho Kitty  
The Mayo Clinic Diet  
Touch My Sweatband and Die: Psycho Kitty Workouts  

Bonus Section  
For Cat Owners: Putting Your Cat on a Diet in Twenty-One Easy Steps   

Top Ten Tips for Continued Weight-Loss Success  
Ask Flabby Tabby  

About the Author   
Dena Harris

About Dena Harris

Dena Harris - Does This Collar Make My Butt Look Big?
DENA HARRIS has been a humor columnist for Cats & Kittens magazine and contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul: What I Learned from the Cat, Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers, Chicken Soup for the Cat-Lover’s Soul, and Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. She is the author of Lessons in Stalking and For the Love of Cats. The host of her own monthly AM radio show and founder of a corporate communications company, Write for You, Dena lives in Madison, North Carolina, with her husband and two cats, Lucy and Olivia.


"This diet guide shows 'extra furry' cats how to lose weight and get fit—fast! Perfect for felines of every shape (round) and size (round), this miraculous diet manual reveals the secrets to sourcing raw and living foods, avoiding toxic treats, choosing between Paleo and Weight Stalkers, exercising while lying down, and more. Two paws up!"
—Jillian Meowchaels, author of Master Your Metapurrlism
"This book shows tubby tabbies how to win the battle of the bulge. With exercises you can (almost) do in your sleep, it’s never been easier to . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . Huh? Wha . . . ? Is it time to eat?"
—Dr. Mewmet Paws, host of The Dr. Paws Show
"French women don’t get fat . . . but their cats do! This guide motivates fleshy felines to ditch that fifth serving of Beef Morsels in Gravy for sensibly sized portions of fresh, local options—like that vole in the backyard."
—Le Chat Pépin, author of The Art of Cooking Voles

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