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Cat weight loss advice

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 12th, 2019 6:26 pm
[OP]
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Jun 21, 2003
2819 posts
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Stoney Creek, ON

Cat weight loss advice

We have 2 cats. One of them is 9 years old and is in good shape but the other is 2.5 years and obviously overweight. We've tried the Kirkland brand of adult cat weight maintenance and followed the feeding guidelines for around 6-7 months but it hasn't helped at all. We're definitely eager to get this resolved as we love our pets and want them to be healthy. We're looking for advice for how to get her weight down and recommendations on (ideally) affordable food to try out. We have a 4 week old newborn so the budget is tight and we're hopeful there are some affordable options out there that some of you have had experience with. If comes down to it we will go with a more expensive brand and a vet visit but for obvious reasons we are trying to avoid that high expense if at all possible.

The other issue we need to sort out is how to go about proper feeding. The older cat eats less and more frequently throughout the day versus the younger one that loves to mow down the second the food is refreshed. She will also eat a lot more of it if it's available all day compared to the other cat. I'm not sure how to combat this. We want to limit the younger cats intake but how do we do that without starving our older cat?

Any help and advice is greatly appreciated.
6 replies
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Oct 6, 2015
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Basically, just like a human, you have to get cats away from carbs if you want them to lose weight. Feeding a cat carb-laden dry cat food is like trying to raise your newborn on potato chips.

Unfortunately with cats, getting them to eat vegetables is significantly difficult, if not an impossibility. So you're basically looking at protein-rich food sources
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May 22, 2003
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Vancouver
Are you feeding them dry or wet cat food? As burnt69 already mentioned, dry food is loaded with carbs. The cats we just adopted were severely overweight on dry cat food before they were surrendered and switched to wet cat food - they are now back at healthy weight. Also, if possible, best to have them switch to set feeding times rather than free feeding. If the younger cat is eating the older cat's food, you might have to separate them during feeding times.
[OP]
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Jun 21, 2003
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We've been feeding dry food to this stage but will go over to wet food. Do we need to look for specific wet food that is aimed at weight loss or is wet food in general going to help achieve this?
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ChicoQuente wrote:
Feb 4th, 2019 9:06 pm
We've been feeding dry food to this stage but will go over to wet food. Do we need to look for specific wet food that is aimed at weight loss or is wet food in general going to help achieve this?
That's not the easiest question to answer because even the cat food industry has a vested interest in pushing the theory that lower calories = "weight loss", as carbs are cheap, but meat derivatives are less cheap. Ideally you basically want to feed them as close to actual meat as you can reasonably afford/procure*.

https://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/nu ... ents-label

Basically if there's two cans of food you're comparing, you probably can safely pick the one with the lower per unit carbohydrate count. Protein counts unfortunately are inflated by the fact that many cat foods contain soy derivatives, which "count" as protein as far as labelling goes, but don't really have the amino acids that are fully equivalent to natural meat. (if you do some Googling, there is a decent argument to be made that soy protein is actually harmful!)

Of course, we're talking about cats here, which can be notoriously picky eaters, so just because you've found a food that is the best combo of your budget and low carb count, doesn't mean that the cat will actually eat it. My cat of 20 years (RIP) wouldn't touch anything that contained liver, even if it was a secondary or tertiary ingredient. And when he killed and ate wild meat, he deliberately dissected the liver out of the carcass. In fact, that was often the only way I knew he had caught something in the middle of the night -- there'd be a little mouse, rabbit or squirrel liver sitting near where he usually spent his time.


* careful about going to the Dollar store and buying tinned "human" meats like tuna or chicken though...those preparations often have fairly high salt levels, but could be occasionally appropriate. Butcher or slaughterhouse trimmings could be an interesting choice if you have reasonable access and don't mind managing -- things like stomach, lungs, heart, intestines, tongue, uterus, etc. Some variety is needed as well.
Sr. Member
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Jul 4, 2009
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Mississauga area
I know you said budget is limited, but I just want to put it out there as an option.

I too have two cats, with different eating habits.
I bought this from Amazon SureFeed Microchip Feeder
This is great for my slow eating cat that likes to graze. I put the RFID tag on her collar and it works well.
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Feb 11, 2009
204 posts
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Vancouver, BC
kittypink wrote:
Mar 9th, 2019 3:01 pm
I know you said budget is limited, but I just want to put it out there as an option.

I too have two cats, with different eating habits.
I bought this from Amazon SureFeed Microchip Feeder
This is great for my slow eating cat that likes to graze. I put the RFID tag on her collar and it works well.
I have been using the SureFeed Feeder for almost 3 years. My senior cat (21 years old now) like to munch a little a time and gets hungry all the time. He meows really loud. So this feeder saved me from getting up every hour in the middle of the night.
(He still tries to wake me up but gave up after a min or 2 and goes to the feeder)

I still feed both cats twice a day with wet can food. And my other cat still managed to "join" my senior cat for some snack from time to time. (He just learns to poke his head under that flip when it's opened for my senior cat)

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