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16 lb cat, how much dry food

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm on attempt #2 for a diet for my cat. I adopted him from a shelter and he was over weight. He's a pretty large cat (build wise) and the vet said he should be about 16 lbs, he's currently 20 lbs. I was doing Iams Weight Management in the AM (1/2 a cup) and then Iams wet food at night because the weight said it had less calories. He hasn't dropped a pound. I just transitioned him over to Blue Buffalo, a much healthier brand that I really trust, but the bag only shows me how much I should be feed a cat from 10-14 lbs, which is 1/2-1 cup. I don't think the 1 cup a day is cutting it for Fred, he's been walking around the house terrorizing my roommates for food, and he never did that when he was on the Iams. He even woke me up at 5am for food this morning! Is it safe to give him 1 1/2 or 1 1/3 cup instead? I don't want to starve him, but I also don't want to over feed him. Thanks!

post #2 of 11
First of all, you have to calculate how many calories your cat must eat to start to loose weight. For example, you can use these sites:

When you know how many calories your cat needs, you can easily estimate how much food you must feed him.

Dry food has more calories than wet food. Most of canned foods have more protein and less carbs, and better fulfill cats nutritional needs. So, ideally, it’s best to feed only wet in order to achieve weight loss. Or at least, you can feed a combination of wet and dry, but try to give him kibble as little as possible.

You didn’t mentioned, which of the Blue Buffalo kibbles you are feeding. If it’s a Weight Control one, then it has a 458kcal/cup and only 28% of protein, which means it contains huge amount of carbs (like 40%) and this is not a good thing to feed to any cat! If you still want to use some kibble in your cat’s diet, try to feed one with high protein and low carbs in it.
post #3 of 11
Originally Posted by MaraOzza View Post

So, ideally, it’s best to feed only wet in order to achieve weight loss. 




Some articles that help explain why you should ditch the dry if you're trying to get your cat to lose weight (and really, even if you aren't): 


If Your Cat is Fat, a High-Moisture Diet Could Be the Key to Weight Loss

Feline Obesity: An Epidemic of Fat Cats

post #4 of 11

I'm with everyone else--don't feed the dry, too high in carbs. Getting away from dry will also improve the cat's health on other fronts.


My kitty was fat once. I got away from dry and didn't feed weight control formulations. Weight control formulations are typically higher in carbs. I just figured out how many calories I thought the cat needed and SLOWLY cut back on regular food. I believe the amount is no more than 10% cutback in calories per month, but check with your vet or other sources, my memory is fuzzy.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MaraOzza View Post

First of all, you have to calculate how many calories your cat must eat to start to loose weight. For example, you can use these sites:


sweet jesus, If I feed Fred the amount it says to he will be eating anything and everything in the house he can find. I wish my vet emphasized how much better wet food is than dry food. I'm going to order some BB wet food and do 1/2 and 1/2 until te dry bag is done, then i'll just do wet. Thanks for the advice!

post #6 of 11

I second the wet (or raw) only diet

My old cat was as big as yours, after most of his life eating only dry food (I didn't know any better and my vet didn't know any better either). I had tried various diet cat foods etc and cutting back calories etc but while he lost some weight this way, he was still overweight. He had other problems caused by his all dry diet as well (constipation, dry skin / fur, allergies). His last year of life I realized he needed more wet food so I started giving him one meal a day of canned and this helped him tremendously with some of the problems like constipation / dehydration / dry fur / allergies. He did start losing weight as well, however, he also got cancer and that had more to do with that. I wish I had known more about wet food diets earlier on his life though.


ANyway, my current cat is on an all wet (and some raw) diet after I did research on cat nutrition when I got him so that I could start him off on the right path and he would not have the same problems as my old cat. It's so much easier to keep his weight maintained at a good level with wet food. He would eat the house down if I let him (he's a former feral so if he sees food he eats it all until it's gone and has no self control). But I find giving him cans of high protein wet food (and some raw), keep his weight at a good level. So if you figure out the calculation for how many calories your cat needs, you can adjust his cans to cover that amount of calories, so he can't overeat). And then you can see how he does on that amount and adjust as necessary. Try doing multiple meals too, as that will help with his hunger (say three timed meals a day). As a bonus, the all wet diet is SO much better for their fur and skin. I can really see the difference in my cat's current health / fur / activity level. it's really striking. So I am a big proponent of all wet (or raw) food now. But try it out and see for yourself...

post #7 of 11

One time I bought some wet food that I didn't realize had high carbs. I fed one meal of it. My cat was staring at me, begging for more food, even though you had to feed twice the amount in bulk to get to the same amount of calories as other typical wet foods. So she got twice the volume of food, but was still a little hungry after dinner. Then I found out the food was over 30% carbs.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yeah BB isn't matching what everybody is saying... this if from the website about their wet food



Feeding Guidelines


Calorie Content (ME):
Kcals/Kg = 1,048
Calories Per Can = 89.6

Feeding Instructions: Feed 2-3 cans per 6 lbs. to 8 lbs. body weight. Divide into 2 or more feedings per day.  Adjust feeding amounts to body weight condition.  Refrigerate unused portion.


 So I would potentially be feeding him minimum of 4 cans (360 cals), but probaly like 5 or 6 cans, I don't want to start off starving Fred. Does anybody recommend another brand that is just as good as BB but not nearly as expensive?

post #9 of 11

If I fed my cats the amount recommended on the cans they would be as fat as pumpkins for sure!!! Mine are adult cats and eat 5-6 oz. of wet a day.  No dry. They are healthy weights at 9 and 10 lbs. That is an average amount for a cat on wet only (which I think you said is your goal).

You also need to be careful that your cat loses weight slowly so it doesn't cause liver issues. Over weight cats are more prone to this with quick weightloss. I would give the vet a call and see how much to reduce his food intake so you are doing it safely. ( But hold your ears when they recommend weight control

I agree with the other posters that a wet diet is much healthier than dry and especially for an overweight cat. I would stay away from the weight control foods. They are full of carbs and as you already saw don't result in weightloss.

Fred is a cutie pie!catman.gif

post #10 of 11
First I wanted to say thank you for giving a fat cat a second chance. They certainly don't get adopted as often.

I also adopted a fatty from a shelter; my big black sweety Grim. smile.gif
He was 22lbs(!!) when I adopted him from the shelter. He was on Hills weight loss formula, which made him fatter, so the first thing I did was switch him to Before Grain dry, just so he would be on something not so horrid. After I did my research, I started my transition to wet, and he's now lost nine pounds! That's a whole cat!
The road may be hard and tough, but if Grim can do it, your kitty can too!! biggrin.gif

Oh, and about quantity, one and a quarter can should do it. (Of the 5.5 or 6oz cans.)
Grim has been on one can for most of his transition. He didn't need much at first because he wasn't active, and then later he didn't need as much because he was smaller. Its worked out well for me. smile.gif

Oh, and get a baby scale. It will tell you better than anything if he is losing too slow or two fast. 1-2% of current body weight per week only. agree.gif
post #11 of 11
Hi there wavey.gif What a good doobie you are for taking in the furbaby!

Kibble is carb and calorie dense. Weaning him off the kibble and incorporating more wet into his diet is probably the route you will want to take. My cats eat Nutro Max and Nutro Natural Choice wet foods and are on a 90% wet to 10% dry diet. None of them are overweight. I will also buy other premium brands of wet to give variety.

You might want to space the feedings out a little differently. And always measure kibble if you intend to continue using it. Someone posted the calculating link for you already so i will not be redundant. I divide the 10% kibble they get daily, into 3 separate feedings. I space these between their 2 daily wet feedings. For the kibble, I use an timed feeder so it's easy to space their kibble in between the wet foods. I realize this may not be possible for everyone but just trying to give you an idea of how you might help take the edge off his hunger by spacing his meals out differently.

Weight loss in cats should be done slowly and it is a slow process. Patience is your friend in this case.
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