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How many Calories/lb do you feed?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well we are fighting the Battle of the Bulge here and I am curious as to what others are feeding in Calories per pound body weight and whether or not their cats are thin, just right, overweight, or obese.

I am in the process of switching from free fed dry to not free fed wet/raw/homemade. I used to feed a measured amount 2x daily, but even though they were eating what an 8 lb cat should eat they varied in weight between 12 and 16 pounds. Switching to free feeding didn't change their weight for the worse or better, but did help the inappropriate urinating some.(that is a whole other story, LOL)

I have a "fat cat" vet appointment next Monday with a new vet, and I am hoping she is knowledgable on the current thoughts about cat nutrition. I say hoping, but I am not holding my breath. We are so rural that I am lucky to find a vet at all. Our horse vet who is two hours away is great with horse and dog nutrition and weight control.....but he doesn't know what to do for fat cats. He said diets don't work, diet food doesn't work and the risk of hepatic lipidosis is too great. ( I am extremely paranoid about HL, have been down that road once and never want to take it again).

So now I am trying the new vet for the fat cats. Sheesh.

Anyway, I have done lots of searching and found recommendations that range from 18 to 30 calories per pound body weight, this is for non-pregnant, average activity cats. That is a rediculously wide range in my opinion. I thought i would take a poll here and see what everyone else was feeding if they know. Please everyone give your input. I know this isn't scientific, but I would like to see if we can narrow down that range at least a little bit.

Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both?

Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.
post #2 of 18
Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both? Both

Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed? I "free feed" dry, but they eat about 2/3 cup dry per day between the two of them. (I did measure at one point.) They each get between 1.5 - 3 ounces of wet food every evening, with additional water added to the wet to ensure that they are hydrated. They also get multiple treats per day, ranging from crunchy dry treats (like Whiskas, Friskies, etc.) to dried chicken filets (Ginger's fave) to yogurt treat sandwiches with bene bac filling (for Ferris.)

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.

Ginger is just barely over 8 pounds at almost 2 years old, now full-grown, and Ferris is between 11-12 pounds at 11 months old. Ferris is still a growing boy. I have no idea what the total calories per day are for each.
post #3 of 18
I feed the cat not the calories...

I feed mostly raw with some canned ... best guess about 350 cal a day for Kandie... Zoey eats dry 480 per cup and some wet
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both?
i feed both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?
well, they free feed on measured amounts of kibble. i have 2 bowls in an elevated feeder. they get 1/8 c. in each bowl, 2x a day. most of the time they don't eat it all. depends on how hungry they are on a given day.

for wet, i split a 5-6 oz can 3 ways for breakfast. again when i get home from work. and before bed i split a meow mix pouch or sheba tub into 2 bowls (stimpy usually doesn't want any). some days they are more hungry than others. if i can tell they are, i give 2 pouches or tubs before bed.

i also leave their wet out while i'm at work. it's usually gone when i get home. then do the same for their other meals. most of the time they finish it off in an hour or 2. my guys are nibblers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.
nabu is 8 lbs 9 oz at his last checkup. he never really changes weight.
raven is about 11 lbs (i can't remember exactly).
stimpy is about 17 lbs.

i don't calorie count for them. all are doing well. stimpy isn't gaining, so i'm happy.
post #5 of 18
Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both?
Neither. They get some wet if (when) I forget to thaw dinner, but both cats are raw fed. I used to feed 100% canned food before switching to raw though, so I will answer these questions with both diets.

Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?
Meals are given twice a day, no free-feeding here! (I would NEVER reccomend free-feeding an already overweight cat, for the record)

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.
Nya is 6 and a half to 7lbs (she varies each time I have her weighed), and Buddy is just under 9lbs.
They get the same amount of food. Now on raw, they each get just under a 1/4 lb of food a day. On canned food, they got 6oz each a day. I'm not sure what that equals in calories.
Body condition score: Nya is a 4, Buddy is a 5. (Hence why they both get the same amount of food, Nya will NOT gain weight! lol)


If you'd like some tips for getting your cat to slim down, there is some REALLY great info (maybe to take into the vet with you?) here:
http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/catweight.html
post #6 of 18
He said diets don't work, diet food doesn't work and the risk of hepatic lipidosis is too great. ( I am extremely paranoid about HL, have been down that road once and never want to take it again).

I don't have a lot of experience taking weight off of "fat" cats. I do understand the threat of HL, however I wouldn't let that stop me from being motivated to make positive diet changes, so the weight could hopefully be lost in a very gradual manner. I understand those are just your other vets' words, and not your opinion but I couldn't resist commenting anyway. After all, if a fat cat stays fat just because of the threat of HL from "dieting" then what happens when a fat cat gets sick and quits eating for a couple days....that's worse than any diet. Anyway, sorry I rambled.

Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both?


I feed wet and raw. One cat is raw only, one cat is canned only, and the other 6 get about a 50/50 combo.

Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?


Measured amounts in 3 meals. I honestly don't measure very specifically per cat. I just split up a certain total amount and keep a close eye to make sure everyone gets what I think is a reasonable meal...not too little, not too much. With 8 cats, I feel like a referee at mealtime...it's fun though.

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.


Leopold (9yo M)12.5lbs , .5lb overweight according to vet (I agree)
Momma 7.5lbs (4yo F) , optimum weight
Junior 9.5lbs (2yo M), optimum
Beandip 12lbs (3yo M), optimum
Paisley 11lbs (11 months F), still growing but honestly apx 1lb overweight
Pumpkin 8.5lbs (11 months F), optimum ...still growing
Pixel 7.5lbs (11 months F), optimum ...still growing
Precious 6.5lbs (11 months F), apx 1lb underweight...still growing but has health issues she was born with

I really only know the calories for one cat (Beandip)...only because he's on raw only so I know the exact oz per day, which is 3-4 so 195-260 calories per day. Incidentally the "recommended" amt for him per day is apx 3.8oz so 247 calories. I had not really ever figured the calories before now.

I don't really know the calories for the rest of them. On average, the others get about 4.5oz of canned (all fairly high calorie stuff) and around 2oz raw...so maybe ~300 calories? That seems high but 4 of them are only 11 months old. That's just a really rough guess though.

When I dropped the free fed dry, Leopold was a pound heavier than he is now. Now that he's on canned, I basically let him have as much as he wants at each of the 3 meals. That adds up to a whopping 6oz of food . He lost that pound a bit faster than he was supposed to, around 4oz a week. It is slowing down now though... he should level off at 12lbs. As a realllly rough guess, I would say he's on the low end of the calorie scale, maybe 20 per lb, based on eating 6oz canned @ 40cal/oz. ?? Not sure though. That's using rough numbers from EVO canned...about 520 cal per 13 oz can.

When it comes to fat cats, I think there are 2 types. There are overeaters (like my Paisley) and there are compulsive snackers (like my Leopold). Some fit both profiles...Paisley almost does. Meals have been very good for my cats.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I feed the cat not the calories...


This really does seem to be the key. From everyones replies so far it does seem it varies from 18-30 Calories/lb. It is amazing that so far most people feed a pretty consistent amount to all their cats and yet there is a significant weight range between them.

Gingersmom, it sounds like your Ferris is going to be a big boy like my Pumpkin and Littleraven's Stimpy by the time he is done growing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanillasugar View Post
Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?
Meals are given twice a day, no free-feeding here! (I would NEVER reccomend free-feeding an already overweight cat, for the record)

If you'd like some tips for getting your cat to slim down, there is some REALLY great info (maybe to take into the vet with you?) here:
http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/catweight.html


Vanillasugar, thank you so much for the link. This is excellent information laid out is a great manner. I will be adding it to what I am bringing to the vet. Icklemiss21 has send me some others as well.

I have to say I agree with the no free feeding an already overweight cat. Actually I have never been a fan of free feeding period and only started doing this in the last 9 months. I switched because we were having food/territory pee-pee wars in my house. I was getting peed on every morning at 4 am, the kitchen was being sprayed at all the feeding stations. I tried the feliway diffuser which worked for a month, until my bad boy started spraying directly on it too. YUCK. Free feeding has decreased the pee-pee wars but that is obviously not the solution to the problems overall. In all honesty, free feeding was a sheer despiration, last ditch effort to keep Stomper from leaving this earth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I do understand the threat of HL, however I wouldn't let that stop me from being motivated to make positive diet changes, so the weight could hopefully be lost in a very gradual manner. I understand those are just your other vets' words, and not your opinion but I couldn't resist commenting anyway. After all, if a fat cat stays fat just because of the threat of HL from "dieting" then what happens when a fat cat gets sick and quits eating for a couple days....that's worse than any diet. Anyway, sorry I rambled.

Leopold (9yo M)12.5lbs , .5lb overweight according to vet (I agree)
Momma 7.5lbs (4yo F) , optimum weight
Junior 9.5lbs (2yo M), optimum
Beandip 12lbs (3yo M), optimum
Paisley 11lbs (11 months F), still growing but honestly apx 1lb overweight
Pumpkin 8.5lbs (11 months F), optimum ...still growing
Pixel 7.5lbs (11 months F), optimum ...still growing
Precious 6.5lbs (11 months F), apx 1lb underweight...still growing but has health issues she was born with

I really only know the calories for one cat (Beandip)...only because he's on raw only so I know the exact oz per day, which is 3-4 so 195-260 calories per day. Incidentally the "recommended" amt for him per day is apx 3.8oz so 247 calories. I had not really ever figured the calories before now.

I don't really know the calories for the rest of them. On average, the others get about 4.5oz of canned (all fairly high calorie stuff) and around 2oz raw...so maybe ~300 calories? That seems high but 4 of them are only 11 months old. That's just a really rough guess though.

When I dropped the free fed dry, Leopold was a pound heavier than he is now. Now that he's on canned, I basically let him have as much as he wants at each of the 3 meals. That adds up to a whopping 6oz of food . He lost that pound a bit faster than he was supposed to, around 4oz a week. It is slowing down now though... he should level off at 12lbs. As a realllly rough guess, I would say he's on the low end of the calorie scale, maybe 20 per lb, based on eating 6oz canned @ 40cal/oz. ?? Not sure though. That's using rough numbers from EVO canned...about 520 cal per 13 oz can.

When it comes to fat cats, I think there are 2 types. There are overeaters (like my Paisley) and there are compulsive snackers (like my Leopold). Some fit both profiles...Paisley almost does. Meals have been very good for my cats.
You didn't ramble, very good points. My kitty that died of HL, was caused by reduced eating during an illness. He wasn't even obese, but he was a large cat. Stomper, one of my current obese kitties, did stop eating last year. He was severly constipated and in order to get him to eat and pass his stool, I had to give him a shot of valium everyday for five days until he started eating on his own without it. I was terrified. Around here, not eating is an emergency.

You have really hit the points I am wondering about here. I have been following the "raw feeding chronicles" and have been going through this transition here over the last month. I have been making my own raw following the recipe on catnutrion.org I have left the dry food out, but have been offering the raw and a variety of canned to see who would take to it and who wouldn't. So far, I have 5 of 7 that like the raw and this transition isn't a big problem.....except for know how much they should eat. Of course it is the fat kibble addicts that are reluctant to transition, even to 100% canned. So far I have not taken away the dry so they can still much on it as well.

I am worried about even making this transition because I don't want them to loose weight too quickly, sort of like your Leopold during the transition. Thus my question about how many Calories/ lb. This isn't an issue for my 4 that are at a good weight, but just the 3 that are obese, and they are obese and not just overweight.

Izzy actually weighs 6-7 pounds more than she should. So even a short term rapid weight loss can be dangerous for her. She has already had all her bloodwork and even had an ultrasound of her heart. Amazingly she is in great health. Stomper and Lola go next monday for bloodwork and evaluation.
I am hoping I will be coming home with a solid, safe, weight loss plan.

Anyone else that has input, please keep posting. The more input the better for me.

Thank you!
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Izzy actually weighs 6-7 pounds more than she should. So even a short term rapid weight loss can be dangerous for her. She has already had all her bloodwork and even had an ultrasound of her heart. Amazingly she is in great health. Stomper and Lola go next monday for bloodwork and evaluation.
I am hoping I will be coming home with a solid, safe, weight loss plan.
Yes, I forgot that important point. Leopold had bloodwork and an exam before we embarked on this canned "diet". The thing with Leopold is that he does not have a big appetite, but he likes to eat often. If he had his way, he would eat every 2 hours...but free fed, it was more like every hour. He is slowly eating more at each meal, and going ahead and eating even when he doesn't approve of the menu. He really likes the canned food, so that was good at least. I couldn't have gotten this done already if he had been more resistant to the switch. I too would have worried about an unhealthy drop in weight.

Paisley on the other hand, is not the Catkins poster child....well not without careful supervision. She was resistant to the switch just inititally. After a day or two she dug in and never looked up, literally. I have to take plates away from her. She would eat herself into sickness if I let her. OTOH, now that there's no dry she's now gaining at a normal "I'm just growing" pace, despite her big meals that she enjoys so much.
post #9 of 18
Odo is my slightly chubby boy at just under 12 pounds. He gets a single can split in to two meals. The foods are a rotation of Evanger's Chicken, Turkey and Pheasant varieties and Natural Balance Venison and Chicken varieties. I'm not sure how many calories Evanger's has, but Natural Balances is 156 calories per can, which is about 13 calories per pound of Odo's weight.

Willow is self-regulating. She is free-fed dry food (out of Odo's reach) and gets occasional canned treats. When I tried to switch her to just canned, she lost weight (which was not my goal) and then stopped eating, so I went back to giving her dry. She weighs about 8 pounds, and I don't measure what I feed--I just put a good scoop (maybe 2/3 cup?) in her bowl whenever it is empty or near empty.
post #10 of 18
Battle of the Bulge...yeah, I'm about to be there too. I just took Merlynn to the vet for her 1 year check up/vaccinations and the doc said to watch her because she looks a little "tanky." How rude?! My poor little lady being called tanky. She is just low to the ground and stocky doctor.

Hopefully Merlynn wasn't listening when the doctor so blatantly called her ont he verge of being a fat cat.

In any case, from reading the many postings here, I began to incorporate canned food into their diets. Merlynn meows me awake in the a.m. for her breakfast can but does not eat it all. Piccolino, on the other hand, the little tall, slender monster, eats his portion and finishes hers.

So generally speaking, they get 2 oz of dry food and 3 oz of canned food per day. They eat California Natural Chix/Rice dry and Solid Gold Tuna canned. The dry is left out all day and the canned is split into breakfast and dinner.

This morning, I cut back Merlynn's wet portion to probably 1 oz and she ate it all. So we'll see how that goes.

Would anyone suggest setting regular feeding times for dry as well? I just can't see them eating all the dry and canned at the same time. But, then again, I haven't tried.

Good luck with the Battle.
post #11 of 18
Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both? I feed both.

Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed? I have recently switched from free-fed dry to scheduled meals. I measure out the day's food for each cat, and then give them access to their food for a few minutes at a time, four times a day. I let them eat as much as they want at each meal and put the food away after they stop eating.

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.

Julie, age 17, weighs about 13 pounds and eats 160 calories per day. That's only 12 calories per pound, but she gains weight if she eats more. She isn't very active at all. She was extremely fat a few years ago, and is still a little overweight.

Niko, age 9, weighs 9.5 lbs. every year when the vet checks her - she has always been good at self-regulating the amount she eats. She typically eats 140-150 calories a day, but when she wants more I give her an extra snack. I trust her to know how much she needs. Her weight/body condition is perfect.

Cracker Crumbs is an almost-ten-year old Cornish Rex. She weighs 5.5 lbs, as she has for years, but I'm trying to get her to gain weight. She's getting older and it worries me that I can so easily feel her ribs, spine and hip bones when I pet her, although I know her Cornish Rex are supposed to be thin. She is currently eating 120-130 calories per day. I don't know how much she was eating when I free fed her. I have put her on a high calorie food that she really likes, so hopefully she will gain weight.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloud_shade View Post
Odo is my slightly chubby boy at just under 12 pounds. He gets a single can split in to two meals. The foods are a rotation of Evanger's Chicken, Turkey and Pheasant varieties and Natural Balance Venison and Chicken varieties. I'm not sure how many calories Evanger's has, but Natural Balances is 156 calories per can, which is about 13 calories per pound of Odo's weight.
gorgeous kitties! I couldn't find the calories for NB anywhere, which is the canned I am using now. thank you for letting me know that. Interesting that Odo stays at 12 lbs on 13/cal per pound. That would be 4 pounds over what NB states a can a day should maintain. (With the standard disclaimer of individuality of course)

Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
The thing with Leopold is that he does not have a big appetite, but he likes to eat often. If he had his way, he would eat every 2 hours...but free fed, it was more like every hour. He is slowly eating more at each meal, and going ahead and eating even when he doesn't approve of the menu. He really likes the canned food, so that was good at least. I couldn't have gotten this done already if he had been more resistant to the switch. I too would have worried about an unhealthy drop in weight.
This is turning out to be Stomper's issue. I monitored him all day. He literally will only eat a couple bites at at time, half an ouce of wet or less than a tablespoon of try....a gazillion times a day. He is going to be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by merlynn's mom View Post
Battle of the Bulge...yeah, I'm about to be there too. I just took Merlynn to the vet for her 1 year check up/vaccinations and the doc said to watch her because she looks a little "tanky." How rude?! My poor little lady being called tanky. She is just low to the ground and stocky doctor.

Would anyone suggest setting regular feeding times for dry as well? I just can't see them eating all the dry and canned at the same time. But, then again, I haven't tried.

Good luck with the Battle.
Poor Merlynn! "Tanky" is not nice! It is good that you are nipping it in the bud though. I wish I had been knocked on the head and told earlier.....hmmmm that cute fat fluffy tummy is NOT a good thing! I feel bad I made my kitties so overweight.

I do suggest trying the regular feeding times. Switching to free feeding was the stupiest thing I have done with the cats. I am regretting it horribly. It is very hard to switch them back, especially the "nibbler".

Is there a dieting thread started already? Maybe we should start one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by momto3cats View Post
[b]
Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed? I have recently switched from free-fed dry to scheduled meals. I measure out the day's food for each cat, and then give them access to their food for a few minutes at a time, four times a day. I let them eat as much as they want at each meal and put the food away after they stop eating.

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and donlt know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.

Julie, age 17, weighs about 13 pounds and eats 160 calories per day. That's only 12 calories per pound, but she gains weight if she eats more. She isn't very active at all. She was extremely fat a few years ago, and is still a little overweight.

Niko, age 9, weighs 9.5 lbs. every year when the vet checks her - she has always been good at self-regulating the amount she eats. She typically eats 140-150 calories a day, but when she wants more I give her an extra snack. I trust her to know how much she needs. Her weight/body condition is perfect.

Cracker Crumbs is an almost-ten-year old Cornish Rex. She weighs 5.5 lbs, as she has for years, but I'm trying to get her to gain weight. She's getting older and it worries me that I can so easily feel her ribs, spine and hip bones when I pet her, although I know her Cornish Rex are supposed to be thin. She is currently eating 120-130 calories per day. I don't know how much she was eating when I free fed her. I have put her on a high calorie food that she really likes, so hopefully she will gain weight.
Mom_2_3, you have another low calorie per pounder. My cats are pretty lazy so increased exercise is on the agenda if the vet oks it. I like the idea if measuring the food out and then putting it down a few times a day. Hard to do with wet and especially raw, but if I did that with the dry I could at least determine how much they are eating now and get an idea of how many calories it takes to keep them at their current weight. Then I wouldn't have to worry so much about how much to cut back and get a nice slow weight reduction. Thank you for this idea!

Thankfully I have never had a too skinny kitty, but I guessing they bring the same amount of worry as an overweight one. What are you feeding for the high cal food? I am wondering if I can find a wet or raw diet that is high enough in calories my little nibbler will eat enough in a couple feedings a day. I know, sounds stupid to feed a high cal food to a fat cat. I am going to need to find a solution to get him out of the nibbling addiction.

This is great information everyone. I find it extremly intersting that the bigger cats that would overeat, actually need much fewer calories per pound. I keep adding to my list for the vet next Monday and have lots of possibilities to ask her about.

that she doesnt say " just feed them 1/4 Science Diet Feline Maintenance Light and they will lose weight". I will fall over dead if she does!
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Well we are fighting the Battle of the Bulge here
I am doing the same, since last summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
and I am curious as to what others are feeding in Calories per pound body weight and whether or not their cats are thin, just right, overweight, or obese.
I can't answer the question regarding number of calories fed daily. Instead, I am regulating the quantities fed. My cat is still overweight, but not to the point he was. Our visitors all comment on how much thinner he now is. He still has more to lose, however. He is also much more active since losing the weight he has lost up to this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
I am in the process of switching from free fed dry to not free fed wet/raw/homemade.
Beginning last summer, I switched mine from free-fed dry (Deli-Cat) to canned during the day, with a small amount of high quality dry at night. For me, the most difficult part was not knowing how much he was eating or how often he was eating when he was free-fed. Fortunately, I work from home. Because of that, I was able to give him a small amount of canned throughout the day, whenever he wanted it. So the first part of my switch was going from free-feeding dry to free-feeding canned. At that time, I would feed two level tablespoons of canned whenever he wanted it. Please note, I used an actual tablespoon, not a measuring spoon. 17 of those level tablespoons constituted a 5.5 oz can. This meant one level tablespoon was approximately 1/3 tablespoon measurement.

In feeding these two level tablespoons of canned food on demand (to mimic his free-feeding habit at the time I switched), I began to notice those two tablespoons would last him about 2-3 hours before he was hungry again. After six months of this type of feeding (which was a longer time period than it probably should have been), I begin feeding him 4 level tablespoons of canned for each meal during the day, which would hold him for between 5-6 hours. Presently, he gets 3 meal per day of canned, consisting of 4 level tablespoons each. His last meal of the day, at 11 PM, consists of 3 half tablespoons of dry food. In measuring out the dry, I use measuring spoons you might find in any kitchen. This meal is measured out by volume, so is not a precise amount. They aren't really a full half tablespoon, since dry kibble won't fit evenly in the measuring spoon, given that there are air pockets around the kibble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Anyway, I have done lots of searching and found recommendations that range from 18 to 30 calories per pound body weight, this is for non-pregnant, average activity cats.
I may get chastised for this, but I pay no attention at all to the amounts of food to feed, which are recommended by the cat food manufacturers. I instead tried to listen to my cat and pay attention to his own hunger cycle. I felt I had no choice when going from free-feeding dry to portioned canned meals by day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
He said diets don't work,
I am counting portions instead of calories. I don't know if what I am doing can properly be called a diet. Here's my plan. Presently kitty eats;

7-8 AM - 4 level tablespoons canned cat food
1-2 PM - 4 level tablespoons canned cat food
6-7 PM - 4 level tablespoons canned cat food
11 PM - 1.5 tablespoons of dry

Let's say, after another month, he is still at the same weight, I will then switch to feeding him;

7-8 AM - 3.5 level tablespoons canned cat food
1-2 PM - 3.5 level tablespoons canned cat food
6-7 PM - 3.5 level tablespoons canned cat food
11 PM - 1.5 tablespoons of dry

In other words, by incrementally decreasing the amount fed per meal, I hope to lower his caloric intake in small amounts, in order to reduce any risk of hepatic lipidosis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
diet food doesn't work
When I embarked on this last summer, my first order of business was to research cat foods that were nutritionally sound (real meat, no meat by-products, few grains, etc), low calorie and low carbohydrate. Everything I read said diet cat foods were high in carbs, which were the very thing which led to weight gain. I contacted manufacturer's to get the carb levels of foods for those foods which didn't have the information on either of the label of the manufacturer's website. I can PM that list to you if you wish.

Presently, I rotate the following;

1. California Natural Chicken & Brown Rice which has 149 calories per 5.5 oz can, 3.5% carbs, with the carb source being ground brown rice in position 5 on the ingredients label.

2. Merrick Surf & Turf, which has 160 calories per 5.5 oz can, 8% carbs, with the carb sources being potatos in position 7 on the ingredients label, carrots in position 8 on the ingredients label, zuchini in position 9 on the ingredients label & apples in position 10 on the ingredients label.

3. California Natural Deep Water Fish, which has 138 calories per 5.5 oz can, 3.5% carbs, with the carb source being ground brown rice in position 6 on the ingredients label.

4. An occasional can of Authority Lite, Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea, Chicken Soup Lite, Naturalife Lamaderm or Chicken & Veggie Platter.

For the dry food at night, I feed 1/2 tablespoon of Evo, with half tb of Innova Reduced Fat, and 1/2 tb of Chicken Soup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both?
Both, with the majority being canned during the day.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?
Measured amounts, so that I don't have to count calories, but instead can count and control/reduce portions.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Question 3. How much does each cat weigh
I still don't know. He got his shots at Petco in March, but they didn't have a scale.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
and how many calories do they get each day.
I don't know. My goal is to incrementally reduce portions in small amounts, to limit risk of hepatic lipidosis.
post #14 of 18
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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
gorgeous kitties! I couldn't find the calories for NB anywhere, which is the canned I am using now. thank you for letting me know that.
I was curious about NB calories too...because my underweight Precious has really taken to their food like no other. I'm able to get about 1 full 6oz can in her each day, sometimes a bit more...just for the sake of research, that's 24 cal per lb for Precious (156cal/6.5lbs). She just started on the NB food this week...I haven't weighed her since last week, but she's been stuck at 6.25-6.5lbs for awhile now. She wasn't eating the other foods very well...so I'm really hoping she can get up to 7lbs soon. I'll settle for 6.75...that's progress.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
This is turning out to be Stomper's issue. I monitored him all day. He literally will only eat a couple bites at at time, half an ouce of wet or less than a tablespoon of try....a gazillion times a day. He is going to be a problem.
I *may* have tried to get away with 2 meals a day, but it just won't work for Leopold, so it's 3 meals. He eats about 2 ounces and he's done. At first, it was less...but now it's a consisitent 2oz. At first he would start begging 2 hrs after his meal, then he got up to about 4 hours. He's nearing 6 hours now. I just ignore it, and he started eating more at each meal. If he gets real persistent...then I know he really is 'starving'...then I wait until he calms down for a few minutes and I give him about a tablespoon of kibbles. I am sure to wait until he's NOT begging, so as to avoid encouraging him.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
My cats are pretty lazy so increased exercise is on the agenda if the vet oks it. I like the idea if measuring the food out and then putting it down a few times a day. Hard to do with wet and especially raw, but if I did that with the dry I could at least determine how much they are eating now and get an idea of how many calories it takes to keep them at their current weight.
I keep a small digital postage scale in the kitchen. It's really just for the ones that tend to nibble. I feel better knowing exactly how much they ate...so I can compensate at the next meal (usually by picking the brand/flavor that the light eater(s) prefer). I use it for Beandip's raw too, as it's hard for me to eyeball an ounce or two accurately from an 8oz patty...and I want to make sure he clears 3oz/day...and now he does, consistently. He actually had close to 2oz just for breakfast today...so since I weighed it and know this, if he picks at his other meals today, I won't worry.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
Thankfully I have never had a too skinny kitty, but I guessing they bring the same amount of worry as an overweight one. What are you feeding for the high cal food? I am wondering if I can find a wet or raw diet that is high enough in calories my little nibbler will eat enough in a couple feedings a day. I know, sounds stupid to feed a high cal food to a fat cat. I am going to need to find a solution to get him out of the nibbling addiction.
The underweight ones do bring a lot of worry. Like I said, I haven't focused much on calories but I have noticed that Leopold begs sooner after his meal when he's had a lower calorie food. I am familiar with calorie numbers in terms of 13oz cans, since that's mostly what I use. The grain free ones are higher than most...EVO, and the grain free Wellness flavors have more than 500 calories per 13oz can, if I recall correctly. California Natural Salmon+Sweet Potato comes close, at 488cal/13oz can.

I don't think it sounds stupid to feed a high cal food to a fat cat. In fact, the high protein/low carb foods are supposed to be good for weight loss. A lot of people have reported success with feeding their overweight cats EVO, for example...which is very high calorie.

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Originally Posted by kittymonsters View Post
that she doesnt say " just feed them 1/4 Science Diet Feline Maintenance Light and they will lose weight". I will fall over dead if she does!
I'll just hope she doesn't say that.
post #15 of 18
Question 1. Do you feed wet or dry or both?
I feed dry food only... on occasion I will pick up a 12 pack of canned food and give it to them as a treat but that is very rare (maybe once every 6 months)

Question 2. Do you feed measured amounts throughout the day or free feed?
I free feed. I have four bowls that I fill up twice a day

Question 3. How much does each cat weigh and how many calories do they get each day. ( if you free feed and don't know please answer as such)
and in your opinion what is your cats body condition score.
Weights:
*Stanford - 2 yr. old male - 10 pounds
*Leo - 8 mon. old male - 8 pounds
*Daisy - 8 mon. old female - 6 pounds
*Spooky Bear - 6 mon. old male - 5 pounds
*Tabitha - 7 mon. old female - 8 pounds
*Olive - 7 mon. old female - 5 pounds

*Sasha, who is pregnant, gets extra food of course... she has her own bowl and I feed her in a separate area, she eats maybe 10 times a day.

I haven't got a clue how many calories they are getting, but other than Sasha they each go and eat about 3 times a day, they don't overeat and none are overweight.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Mondays vet visit went well, for me anyway. Poor Stomper is a 4.5/5 on the body condition scale, officially a very fat cat. Got his blood drawn and waiting results.

Vet didn't poo-poo raw food, only cautioned on the salmonella. Surprisingly she didn't bring up the food recall at all.

When asked about calories per pound she suggested about 200 calories per day for Stomper. This is interesting because she said this should get him to about 12 lbs eventually, which is his goal weight. This works out right now to be about 14 Calories per lb at his current weight. Which seems to be about what people have posted here for their kittys that tend to be heavier. However for the leaner kitties, she suggested between 300-400 calories per day which was pushing 26 calories per pound. I am a little skeptical about these numbers.....that is ALOT of food, would be two whole 6 oz cans a day. I don't think I can make any of mine eat two full cans a day.

Another intersting thing, which echoed what Icklemiss21 suggested is that for a safe weight loss he should not loose more than 1/4 a pound a week.

So today I got a new scale that weighs in tenths and I also got a new digital food scale.

Sadly Stomper is still refusing to recognize raw as real food. I can get him to eat about 1/2 ouce of some canned, but I have a serious kibble addict on my hands.

On a happy note, he got oohed and Ahhhhed over at the vets. Everybody though he was a very pretty boy, which makes him very happy. He believes he is the center of the universe, LOL.
post #17 of 18
That's all interesting info you got from the vet.

I didn't catch that earlier, about the 1/4 lb/wk. I had read 1% per week somewhere, which for Leopold would have been 2.1oz, but he did lose a full 4oz a week. He's leveled off at 12.5lbs now, and that's a good weight for him. I was worried that he might continue to lose, but all is well.

Precious did end up gaining a 1/4lb last week, on apx. 6oz NB per day. YAY!

Hopefully you can get Stomper to realize that the canned and/or raw is food.

For my light eaters, I was thinking of trying some Wellness Kitten. IIRC, it has 140 calories per 3 oz can. Sounds like quite a power meal. LOL
post #18 of 18
I have two cats, the yr. old is my fat cat, she weights almost 11#. I've had her since 5mo. she was a feral kitten and was fat at that time. The other cat only weights 7# and is trim. Ironically fat cat doesn't eat as much as the slim one, but the trim one exercises more. I guess they are like people. I feed them a 6 oz can of Friskies about 7AM, a 3 oz pouch of whiskas at about 6PM when I get home from work and free feed dry at all times. I have tried most of the premium wet foods, but they just turn their nose up at it. I put down about 1 1/2 cup of dry total in a day. Currently the dry is nutro natural, Purina Natural one, and very seldon Meow Mix cuz my big cat loves it. Except for fatso they are thriving and the vet says she's ok. By the way both cats were sick on recalled food, just a few pouches of Special Kitty and few cans of Iams did them in. They've both recovered, thank goodness.
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