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Fat cat on a diet - please help me figure out quantities.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I spent a bunch of time figuring this out, but left the data at work.

My cat Jack weighs 19 pounds. I'd like to get him down to 12 pounds, and yes, I know it will take a long time. For years, before I knew any better, I was feeding him 1 can of Science Diet Light and 1/3 cup of Purina One for fat cats a day and he maintained at that. He needs to remain used to a dry food because once a week I put in a 16 hour day at work and don't want to have to worry about him being fed.

Right now we have Evo and Wellness canned as well as Evo dry. He's fully transitioned and is tolerating the food well. One can of Evo is roughly 200 calories. How much dry should I feed so that he has enough but can still lose weight at a slow and healthy rate?

post #2 of 7
Here is a link that might be of interest:

post #3 of 7
The side of the bag/can should tell you how much to feed per x lbs. Usually the wet food says "1 can per 7 lbs of cat".

Check the instructions and just stick to their recommendation, especially the dry food. Dry food is just carbs and uf your cat isn't giving enough exercise all those carbs turn to fat.
post #4 of 7
I can't find the link now, but when I was looking for info on diabetes in cats, I found a recommendation of 15 -25 calories/pound for a cat. This was for maintaining weight. The lower number was for a lap cat and the higher number for a wild child.

After I found the calorie content for the cannned food recommended by the vet, I realized that what the vet wanted us to feed wasn't enough to maintain the current low weight, let alone gain a couple of badly needed pounds.
So I figured the calorie intake based on the desired weight of 10 lbs (she could stand to be 12) and the average activity level. We would prefer a slow, healthy gain. And it is working - a 2 pound gain in 4 months. We are not doing any dry at this point and don't plan on it for the future. Fortunately, Captain will eat anything we put out.

For a weight loss, I would start calculating based on a desired weight of 15 lbs, with whatever activity level is appropriate. For an average cat, that would be the 20 cal/pound, for a total of 300 calories daily. Preferably in divided servings. Weigh Jack in two weeks and see if you need to change anything. If he is losing too fast, up the food slightly. If he isn't losing at all, decrease the food slightly. When he reaches 15 pounds, then calculate the food for a 12 pound cat and start feeding that amount.

Good luck.
post #5 of 7
You'll want to get your vet's advice before starting any diet for your kitty.

My cat weights 20 lbs. and my vet lectures me each time. I tell her that I had cut her back to 1/4 cup in the a.m. and 1/4 cup in the p.m. When she was on all wet it was 1/4 can (yep, not very much!) in the a.m. and 1/4 can in the p.m. Now that she's back on a high quality dry food, I've cut her back even more. My vet said you have to practically starve them to get the weight off, especially with an inactive cat like Mitties. So, she gets a shot glass full (about 2 tablespoons) in the a.m. and one in the p.m. The weight is coming off very slowly, but it is coming off. Good luck! See what your vet says too.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TickyTat View Post
You'll want to get your vet's advice before starting any diet for your kitty.
He's the one who turned me on to Science Diet Light!

Thank you for the advice, everyone. Sablemerle, that site was informative but also very sad. I feel so sorry for those poor kitties!

Mom of 4, 300 calories is what I've been aiming for. I did similar calculations and found that he would need something like 360 calories a day to maintain his current weight. I think he's been eating more like 320 for the past couple of weeks. He looks different to me (maybe it is wishful thinking) but I'm not seeing results on the scale as of yet.

lunasmom - Jack is just like his mommy (me). If I fed him as much as the pet food instructions say, he would weigh 30 pounds. We have slow metabolisms - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
post #7 of 7
my 25 pound cat Radar is currently on a diet...so i thought i would chime in.

i was told 20 calories per pound of ideal weight.
on his brand of food, he went from 1 1/2 cups a day down to 2/3 cups a day...and wasn't very happy about it.

after a week, he is getting better about begging for food and crying all the time, so just be patient..i promise it gets better. they just need to change their habits, just like us humans do.

i found the calories of his dry food here: http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/dryfood.html

here is the link for the can food:

Fat Cats Unite! ! !
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