Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Fat-Cat See-Saw

Or "Sir Eatalot goes to fat camp"
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I have two cats - let's call them Fat Cat and Skinny Cat. They share a food dish which is normally kept topped up because, unlike dogs, cats are good at self regulating their food intake. Sadly no one has told Fat Cat about this.

Skinny Cat attributes his svelte figure to his daily yoga sessions and skating workouts on the polished floors. It's actually because he can't get near the food dish. Fat Cat tells us his largeness is due to a glandular disorder, but it's really because he rarely takes his greedy snout out of the food dish.

The vet has told us to get Fat Cat's weight down from 7kg to 5kg, so I've designed a shared food dish for the pair of them (link).

The food dish is raised a couple of feet above the ground on a slippery steel pole - the only access to it is via a ramp. Unfortunately for Fat Cat, the ramp is actually a see saw (or teeter-totter) with a 5kg ballast at the floor end.

Any cat weighing over 5kg will automatically be deposited back down to the ground when approaching the food, but svelte cats still get to eat.

wagster, Dec 16 2007

(??) The Fat-Cat See-Saw http://wagster.mult...os%2Fphoto%2F4%2F17
In amazing 2D! [wagster, Dec 16 2007]

(?) Differential hoist http://www.longnow....ferential-DiffH.jpg
slower than a see-saw [apocalyps956, Dec 17 2007]

[link]






       .... but where, oh where, is the huge spring and tripwire, the boxing glove, the cliff, the fake tunnel mouth, the frying pan, the pit of spikes ?   

       "I tort I taw a fat puddy-cat......"
8th of 7, Dec 16 2007
  

       [+]
FlyingToaster, Dec 16 2007
  

       Ingenious. However, this effectively means that Fat Cat will eat nothing at all until he (or she - let's not judge) has lost 29% of his body mass. This seems a little harsh.   

       Also, having reached 5kg, Fat Cat will have a brief period of unlimited bingeing, followed by a further period of complete starvation.... see-saw dieting.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 16 2007
  

       Well, yes. There are some practical problems. I may have to feed him the odd titbit to see him though.   

       I think this would actually work fairly well once he's at 5kg. He would be able to eat after a visit to the litter tray when he's 4.95kg and will then be able to eat a 50g meal before being gently returned to the no-food zone.
wagster, Dec 16 2007
  

       The cat may figure out that approaching the dish with neck outstretched gets better results than crowding up to it like a greedy bastard--leverage and moment arms. He may also figure out that resting a paw or even a face in the dish helps, after a quick run-up before the thing tilts.   

       You could always make the counterweight adjustable, and start the fat cat out with a full feeding opportunity, and gradually tweak it down. [+]
baconbrain, Dec 16 2007
  

       // This seems a little harsh //   

       And your point is...... ?
8th of 7, Dec 16 2007
  

       ...err, food in a raised dish; a ramp leading up to a platform next to it; the platform is on a tuneable gas strut; it will slowly descend when weight is put on it... the more the weight, the faster the descent.   

       Therefore fatcat gets a nibble then has to run around and up the ramp again to get another nibble... whereas thincat can pig out.
FlyingToaster, Dec 16 2007
  

       my next door neighbor is older than i am, on the healthy side of healthy, and still lives with his mother - - i will show his mother your drawing.   

       also, maybe i can help attach the see-saw to their water sprinkler system, let him for once, help his momma tend to the lawn. [the good people of Gaviotas, Colombia connected a children's see-saw to their water pump]   

       [+] for the lovely imagery, but i hope thincat will be gracious about this device, i would hate for fatcat to get the "neener neener neener" jeer from thincat every time he tries to get food and can't.
pyggy potamus, Dec 16 2007
  

       Bun(+), but I'm with [baconbrain] on this one, start with a slightly lower weight and bring it down slowly. You don't want him to diet cold turkey, he could take it out on your furniture or eat the other cat.
MisterQED, Dec 17 2007
  

       Goodun, wags.
skinflaps, Dec 17 2007
  

       //Therefore fatcat gets a nibble then has to run around and up the ramp again to get another nibble//   

       Perhaps you could use something like the differential hoist in my link for this, but with more space between the big gears, a smaller main weight, food over the big gear on the right, and ramp or something that ends over the big gear on the left (they would stand on the main weight). Add spikes/electrical currents where necessary to prevent cheating. In such a case case, there would be enough time for fatcat to get a little food. The process of getting to the food should be made a bit more strenuous.
apocalyps956, Dec 17 2007
  

       "Why is it every time I get a crumb this thing drops"?   

       "Um, that's because it was the full crumb Fat Cat".   

       Are you sure this won't just train Fat Cat to have an enormous crap on your kitchen floor right before eating, as a weight-reduction strategy?
hippo, Dec 17 2007
  

       //"Um, that's because it was the full crumb Fat Cat"//   

       omg   

       =^.^=
Noexit, Dec 17 2007
  

       The prodigal Un' has returned! Bring out the fatted cat!   

       (=(^.^)=)
baconbrain, Dec 17 2007
  

       //There are some practical problems. I may have to feed him the odd titbit to see him through. //   

       Leave a bowl of kitty diet food on the floor for Fat Cat. I'm sure Skinny Cat would much rather climb the ramp for the tasty stuff.
jdlaugh, Dec 17 2007
  
      
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