Sometimes I rough house with my cat. I rub his fur rapidly while he chews on his toys. He's never seemed to mind too much, but recently he's taken some swipes at my head.
Am I going overboard, or is he just returning the favor?
Also, my cat is very heavy. His skin hangs down from his belly. Can you recommend ways I can get him to lose weight?
Generally it is not recommended at all that you play with your cats suing your hands as bait as it were asit makes them a target and the cat thinks its Ok to scratch bite and genarlly attack the hands. It is recommended that you use toys as the main focus to play with them, i.e things on sticks, balls etc.
All I can assume is that as you ruffle his fur he is treating the game as your hands being the target item for the game and that is why he has taken to swiping back.
it could also be that he finds it uncomfortable to be ruffles this way. cats skin is very sensitive and when the fur gets pulled it can be rather uncomfortable.
As for his weight issue. It does depend on the cat breed as to what weight he should be and also some cats do have what is known as skirts around there rear legs, which are sort of flaps of looser skin. Maine coones etc have this.
ideally if your cat is overweight it is a good idea to get them checked by a vet to determine what weight they would recommend for your cat. It gives you a starting point., as well as ruling out any health issues around the excess weight etc.
generally as long as you feed your cat the recommended daily allowance of food as recommend on the cat food label and that you also encourage your cat to be active, i.e with chasing games and with plenty of things to do during the day i.e climbing post etc this is the best way for a cat to loss weight. reducing food alone will not grantee weight loss.
I have a web site with some pages which might be of further interest for you. one is about keeping indoor cats active etc and another is a about cat food and general nutrition etc and a page about over weight cats.. i will give you the links here
best wishes Kate