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Feeding guidelines for 2 chubsters :)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
At my fiance's house, we have 2 cats -- both of whom are somewhat overweight. We are currently free-feeding Science Diet light dry cat food for them. So here are my questions.

1) Is free-feeding okay or should we restrict them to a set amount per day? And if we restrict them, how do we ensure that they are both getting enough and not just one cat or the other is eating everything? One of the cats, Hogan, is rather pushy and could easily persuade Mr. Star to give him everything.

2) Is Science Diet light an okay food to feed? And if not, what would you suggest we feed and why?

I think that's all for now. If not, I'm sure I'll be back with some more questions! Thanks!

-Jen & Hogan, Mr. Star, Snickers and Gizmo
post #2 of 11
Depending on brands, lite formulas tend to be a little higher in carbs. Carbs can actually make your cats gain weight instead of losing it.

There are several brands that are just as good, if not better then Science Diet. Also a little cheaper. (I'll leave those to someone who's had more experience with the brands)


I have a chubby cat too, he's not that bad and does not over eat. He's just lazy.
I do not free feed, they each have their own dish and get a measured amount per feeding. When it's gone, it's gone. No begging for more.
Sho's learned to get in there and eat or else he misses out.. Tomas will eat anything in his path. Wet meals are somewhat supervised to make sure Tomas does not steal Sho's food. The only thing that's helped is repeatedly putting Tomas back in front of his own dish... they can learn after a while.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I guess this brings up another question. Is there actually benefit to feeding wet food, and if so, how often should I use it? My vet has always praised my family up and down for staying away from the wet variety of food due to good teeth in our cats, so we've pretty much just assumed it was bad. We used to feed wet food once per week as kind of a treat, but have since stopped as one of our cats had digestive issues on that. SO any insight into that could be helpful. I've had cats my entire life and never imagined we might be misguided about the evils (haha) of wet food! Thanks for the info!
post #4 of 11
You have definitely come to the right place for advice.
I completely agree about Light foods being card heavy, also they usually have poor Omega 6, 3s; so your baby's coat will suffer eventually.

For loosing weight, wet diet is the best.
My chubby girl is losing weight, after I switched to 50% wet, 50% dry.
When she was on 100% dry, even on the best food, I didn't see much weight loss.

Someone will be along to recommend good brands to feed.
post #5 of 11
the light part of SD is soybean hulls at something like 16% .. thus kitty poops it out

Nutro
Royal canin both make "indoor" food s that have good protein with lower fat and L carnitine ( an amino acid ) which aid s in building lean muscle mass and aid in fat metabolism... These two are Animal by product , chemical preservative and artificial color and flavor free.... one has corn gluten and the other has varying amount s of corn ... BOTH are TRUELY premium in quality

EVO , CORE , Raw instict , Sergentti and Orijen are Grain free low carbs that have worked for many cats...

See the Indoor formulas are light or inbetween light and regular in calories .... These are high in carbs and moderate fat and protein.... I call them "Jenny craig"

the NO GRAINs are like "Atkins" high protein moderate to high fat low to very low carbs ....


Wet food is often very good for wt loss since it is low calorie do to high moisture ... It fills kitty up yet allows for NORMAL fiber levals
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow! This forum rocks for quick responses and friendly people. I should've joined ages ago. lol. Alright -- so if I'm looking to introduce the wet food into the equation, how would I go about it? Would I possibly want to feed one can of wet food per day and then do a second meal of dry food? Also -- are the brands of wet food worth looking at pretty much the same as the dry foods?

Gosh, I feel so clueless about this food business. lol. I feel the same way right now about my dog food. I'm going through the same confusing issue trying to decide what to switch her too. (Consequently she's on SD light as well seeing as I always thought SD was a high quality food per recommendation of my vet.) I just hope my head doesn't entirely explode from all of this wondering. haha.

Thanks everyone! You're all great!
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HogansHero View Post
I guess this brings up another question. Is there actually benefit to feeding wet food, and if so, how often should I use it? My vet has always praised my family up and down for staying away from the wet variety of food due to good teeth in our cats, so we've pretty much just assumed it was bad.
Wet food, provided that it's good quality, is good for cats. It provides them with the moisture they need but may not get enough of from just drinking water alone.

I've never understood how vets think that dry food helps a cat's teeth. Ever eat a bowl of cereal? You're not exactly left with a clean teeth feeling after.
Dry food is too brittle to actually be of use to 'clean' the teeth, and if you look after the cat has been eating it's not that uncommon to see some small bits of food stuck in the back teeth.

I like breaking their meals up into 2 wet, one in the morning and one at night. 1.5 oz each meal per cat. This works well since there's two cats and I use the 3 oz cans, if you have to divide it up amongst more try larger cans. It gives them something to look forward to, but not often enough for them to get bored with it. Then I offer dry meals during the day.
post #8 of 11
Wet food is IMHO easier ... see three to four brands at the grocery store or walmart all or some qualify as decent to good... meow mix ( fishy and has a tad of chem preservative ).. sheba in the gold tubs ( not complete , not a issue if dry food is avail) ... Iams ( the newer ones in chn entree , beef entree and oceanfish entree( some unknown animal contents but )... Natural life ( avail at walmart ... the quality rivals brands double the $$ )



From all my reading and one of my job s ... I look for in a dry food ... Meal ( named like chn , tuna , herring , beef or lamb)...just a named meat is good but it is mostly ( up to 70% h2o) so the amount is far less than on the pachage that list ingrediants raw ... I avoid a lot of CORN as it is not highly digestable ( cats dont digest any grain well but white rice is the most then oats ) .... NO chemical preservatives( BHT BHA ethoxquin and many time citric acid )... no artificial colors( if a food is red or green ummm passs on it )... this is the BASIC list as I dont want to make your head spin...


Same for wet thou I allow named organ meats
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks! You are all so helpful and your recommendations really make sense unlike those in my dog forum where everyone pretty much just recommends their favorite brand and refuses to stray from it. lol. I think with this information I should be able to figure out a decent dry food to switch to and maybe even introduce some wet food into my fatties' diets. I'm sure they'll love me for it.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Soo we picked up some Nutro Complete Care Indoor today. We're going to try to transition from the SD light onto that over the next few weeks and see how they do.

Also, I picked up some cans of Natural Life from Walmart. We're going to start off pretty slow with that because neither of the cats has had wet food since they've lived with us -- so maybe we'll try a can or two this week and see how they do.

Thanks everyone for your help!
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by HogansHero View Post
Soo we picked up some Nutro Complete Care Indoor today. We're going to try to transition from the SD light onto that over the next few weeks and see how they do.
Our cats were on SD Kitten (they were 10 months old at the time), when I gradually mixed Nutro Indoor with SD Kitten, on the second day both pick Nutro to eat first. Thanks to the by-products on SD, our cats has stinky #2s for about a week It was so bad we could smell it from another room with door closed. After the switch we can barely smell it unless next to the litter box. Keep us posted.
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