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I Have A Fat Kitty. Now What?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I want to ask about fat & carbs. I'm not clear on them.

 

Before I got my kitties, I researched cat food extensively, I learned that in order to keep a cat at an ideal weight, you should feed 10% or less DMB carbs. Ok, I did that & a few years later one of my cats became chubby. I then find out the food I was feeding was super high in fat. Ok, I switch to a lower fat canned food & then start feeding raw. She still is fat. I take her into the vet for bloodwork before a dental & her triglycerides were out of range, on the high end. Vet wanted me to put her on a low fat/high fiber vet diet (DMB=15.8% fat, 15.5% fiber, 24.2% carbs). I told her no, I needed to research. I then find a low fat food (4-6% fat & 9-17% carbs) & she still hasn't lost any weight.

 

Then someone mentions to me about I have to pay attention to calories.

 

I don't know what to look for anymore! Obviously the carb content that I was selecting my food from isn't right. Not sure if I need to focus on calories or fat.

 

Help if you can, thanks

post #2 of 25

I probably won't have time to answer tonight, but could you tell me how many cats you have in the house? How old are they and were any of them rescue,s that were found starving? Have they always been free fed or do you feed them at specific times during the day?

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Not a problem, I know it's getting late there.

 

I have 3 cats, all free fed. They are about 2.5-3 yrs old. Yes they're all rescues & I have no idea if any of them were starving. They were totally normal when I got them as kittens. None of them eat like it's their last meal, they eat a little, go do something, come back, eat, go do something. off & on from morning til night.

post #4 of 25

I have a fat kitty, now what.

When choosing a food for your cat there are three primary nutrients you need to consider. Protein, fat and carbohydrates are the only variables in determining the energy content of your cat’s food. How these variables are mixed and matched will determine how that food is digested and what effect it will have on their metabolism and their long term health.

 

Your cat is an obligate carnivore and by definition; cats have no nutritional requirement for starch/carbohydrates. In the wild, cats primarily consume small prey animals of every type. Since mice are a main stay for many small carnivores around the world, it may be helpful to use them as a model. Mice of different ages have different nutrient profiles. Old mice are higher in protein and lower in fat. Baby mice before they leave the nest are very high in fat. When it came time for me to select a model for a diet, I chose juvenile mice just as they were leaving the nest to strike out on their own. The reasons seemed pretty straight forward to me. Old mice are old for a good reason; they were able to avoid predators. Baby mice are protected in the nest and seldom become a meal. Juvenile mice on the other hand are abundant, inexperienced at avoiding capture and are most likely to become a meal for any predator.

 

The body composition of the typical juvenile mouse is 52-56% protein, 22-28% fat and 4-6% starch/glycogen/carbohydrates. As you can see, your cat was only meant to consume a very small amount of starch/carbs. Think of starch/carbs metabolically as a diabetic human would high fructose corn syrup. For your cat, starch digests much faster than protein and yet protein and starch both have the same 3.5 calories per gram.

 

Because your cat is an obligate carnivore, the rate at which their metabolism operates and adsorbs glucose from the blood stream, is the same rate that digested protein will supply glucose to the blood stream. Because starch digests much faster, it dumps more glucose/energy into their blood stream than they can use to fuel their metabolism at any given time. The excess glucose has to be removed from the blood to prevent harm, so the body produces excess insulin to remove the excess glucose from the blood and then stores it as fat. Now with the blood glucose levels reduced, your cat again becomes hungry and the whole process starts again. Their body fat slowly rises over time and the pancreas continues to do double duty. This unnecessary over use of the pancreas is most likely why we see such an epidemic of diabetes in our cats. Before 1960, diabetes was rare and most cats only ate meat and no carbs.

When we first started research on low starch/carb diets in 2000, we started with 10% carbs. We were unable to control weight gain until we dropped the total starch/carb content below 6%.

 

Our research showed us that if we wanted to free feed our cats and not have them gain excess weight we had to keep the starch content below 6%. Now if you restrict feed your cats you can feed them anything you want and force them to maintain a specific weight. However you will probably live with a very unhappy cat in your house and find that your cat will not let you sleep through the night.

 

What roll does fiber play in the diet?

Some companies use high levels of crude fiber in weight control diets, to slow down digestion in the hopes of getting cats to loose weight. Their diets still generally still need to be fed on a restricted basis in order to control weight. Fiber can slow digestion at very high levels, but we found that it also likely irritated the intestinal lining of the digestive tract. In the wild the amount of fiber a cat consumes is quite low. When you add more than is natural for a cat to consume something has to give. I have seed irritation of the digestive tract, which manifested as soft stool mixed with mucus. I prefer lower levels of crude fiber and higher levels of soluble fiber. We find the combination gives us good transit time, good stool quality and maintains a healthy digestive tract.

 

What role does fat play.

Fat is crucial to the operation of your cats metabolism. It is common belief that high fat will cause excess weight gain. This is true if you throw starch/carbs into the equation in excess of 6% or you have an imbalance between fat and protein. Like everything else in nutrition all nutrients are relative to every other nutrient. In order for your cats metabolism to operate as it should, you need balance.

 

If I create a high protein low starch low fat diet, I can force an eight pound cat to gain 2 pounds in 3 weeks. If I increase the fat and change nothing else that same cat will loose the extra 2 pounds in eight weeks. It is all about balance and nature has already showed us that balance through the model of the mouse. In my experience, the average carnivore diet should consist, of roughly 2 parts protein to 1 part fat. Generally I like to see ratio of fat a little higher in our zero formulas with less than 1% starch and fat a little lower in our diets with less than 6% starch.

 

 

I have a fat kitty in the house what can I do.

I work with problem cats all the time, but my experience is limited to the nutrient profile of diets with less than 6% starch. With this in mind I can clearly state that there is seldom a need to restrict feed any cat. There are exceptions, but I only run into a hand full of cases each year and I deal with thousands of cats. The hard case that requires a restricted feeding regiment can be described as afraid of most things and they were usually found starving before they were rescued. These are tough cases, however, even most of these can be taught to eat correctly when free fed, although it may take six months of had work.

 

Remember the following advice is for diets with less than 6% starch.

Most cats overeat because of competition. They feel the need to eat the food before the other cat does. In the wild cats are solitary animals and seldom share unless they have kittens. The best way to alleviate this instinct is to have a never ending supply of food available. This means that you need one bowl of food for each cat in the house and no bowl should be allowed to be less than half full and each bowl should be large enough to hold 1-2 cups of food. It is best if the bowls are 8 inches across and about an inch deep, to keep the cat whiskers from brushing the sides of the bowl. It is also very important that the bowls be placed in out of the way places. Rooms that you spend time in, like the kitchen, will only encourage your cat to overeat.

 

Cats are social, if you go to the kitchen to prepare and eat food, then they will hang out with you and if their food is there, they will mimic your behavior even if they are not hungry. It is also important to make sure that each bowl is placed in separate parts of the house. When a cat is standing at any one bowl they should not be able to see another cat at any of the other bowls. There is usually one dominant cat in every group and by spacing the bowls you prevent him form controlling all the food. You can also rotate food from bowls that empty less frequently to bowls that empty more often. Rotation will maintain food freshness and prevent waste.

 

How many times has you cat yelled at you and then dragged you to their bowl and it still has food in it. They are telling you they are worried about starving. Your cat cannot reason that you will fill the dish in time before they starve. They have to assume that you got hit by a buss and they need to eat as much as they can before the other cats in the house figure out that you were in an accident. Once your cats are confident that their food supply is secure they will stop over eating. There are some cats that will gain weight on the less than 6% starch diet, but will not gain weight on the less than 1% starch diets. There is no way to know ahead of time but for problem cats the Zero foods are a better choice to start with. Of course every cat and household is different, but some modification of the above recommendations usually works in almost all difficult cases. Normal behavior for a cat eating a carnivore kibble is for the cat to eat small amounts of food 6-8 times a day and not gain excess weight. They are content, behave better and are more social.

 

This next statement is probably destined for some controversy and a longer discussion for another day, but I will make a bold and true statement. All healthy cats eating a dry kibble, as described above, will remain perfectly hydrated. Every published hydration study done on wet vs. dry diets was done with diets containing more than 6% starch. We have done hundreds of blood and urine panels and no sign of dehydration. Specific gravity is usually 1.020 for cats consuming a diet with less than 1% starch and 1.025 for diets containing less than 6% starch. The added benefit of low specific gravity is virtually no incidence of crystals/stones.

 

I look forward your thoughts.

post #5 of 25
I have a cat that self moderates and has no weight problem. He gets wet 2 x a day and dry out all the time. He is 10.4 and the vet thinks his weight is perfect. I bought your Mature and as you said he is eating less of it . I am just afraid he ll lose weight. Any thoughts?
post #6 of 25

I would not worry. Cats that are of a normal weight will generally consume 30-40% less of our food when compared to the average 35% protein diet with a high starch content. Obese cats generally eat 50-60% less food. The Mature formula has a very high energy content that will digest slowly. Cats only loose body fat on our formulas not muscle. Because the Mature has 54% protein it is not likely they could loose muscle, unless they were not eating. ​As long as he is active, content, not begging for food and there is poop in the litter box I would not be concerned. It generally takes 2-3 months for a cat to loose excess fat and gain additional muscle. You will find that if the Mature was the only food you were feeding that an 8 pound bag would last 100-120 days and cost about $0.54 a day to feed.

 

I find that doing a body score on your cat to be far superior in trying to judge fitness vs. weight alone. Give it a try and keep a log and pictures. I have a client that just sent me pictures last week 21 pound cat from last May, that today only weighs 16 pounds. The before and after pictures are striking. She fed free choice. I think the kitty may need to loose another pound, but time will tell. 

post #7 of 25
Thank you for your response. We ll give it a try.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

wow that's a lot to take in. I know you explained a lot about the science behind food but I still don't have a clear understanding about my question. I guess it's not an easy answer!

 

I guess the only thing I can do is keep trying different foods & not to focus so much on carbs because that's what I did & it didn't do one thing, to the fat cat or the skinny one. I guess fiber isn't that great but most foods don't have a high fiber content, only the vet weight management diets. At this point I'm only focusing on the fat content & trying to find the lowest food that's decent. I guess I'll see how that goes over the next month.

 

 

When are you guys gonna make a canned product? I could totally guarantee people would be all over it!

post #9 of 25

If you are looking for a canned product then I will not be much help. We do not plan on making a canned food since we do not own that type of equipment and I refuse to have another company make any of our products.

 

If you are currently feeding canned food and your cat is gaining weight then feed less.

 

If you are free feeding a kibble then you have a problem. reducing the fat is not likely to help. Either you try something like one our Zero foods or you have to go to restricted feeding on the food you are currently using.

post #10 of 25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Young Again View Post

 

If you are currently feeding canned food and your cat is gaining weight then feed less.

 

Sure, that's what I try to do, but I hate to deny him food when he says he is hungry.

 

I am not sure I understand everything you say here and on the Young Again website. So let me take a concrete example. My cat eats mostly wet food, typically Animonda Carny, which has these ingredients: Protein 11.5%, Fat 6.5%, Fibre 0.5%, Ash 1.8%, Moisture 79%. The sum is 99.3%, and at least some of the remaining 0.7% is Taurine. Am I right that this food contains virtually zero carbs? Or am I missing something?

 

My big cat is not grossly overweight, but I believe his ideal weight is roughly 18 pounds - he now weighs close to 20 pounds. Just wonder if you think he would do better on one of the Young Again varieties and why.

post #11 of 25
How often should my cat have a BM on your food. On his current food he has one every 24-36 hours. I read somewhere that they poop more often when their body doesn t utilize the food.
post #12 of 25

Generally they will poop every 24-36 hours on our food. Carbs are very digestible for a cat. Cats usually only poop more often when they over eat or the food is loaded with fiber and inferior ingredients. If your cat is one of those that handles carbs better at this point in his life you will not see a big difference. Just because he can handle carbs now does not guarantee that in the future he won't develop a problem with them. Hence the epidemic of diabetic cats that we are seeing today.Kkeep in mind when you convert a cat to an all protein food they will usually have soft stool for a few days and will likely poop more often. Their system needs to adjust to a new set of ingredients and their digestive tract has to grow a new set of bacteria that like the new ingredients. This usually takes a few weeks.

post #13 of 25
Thank you. Makes sense.
post #14 of 25

Because you are working with numbers that are listed as fed instead of dry matter basis, you need to first convert all the number to dry matter basis before you can add them together. If you add everything but the moisture the total is 20.3, then you divide this number by the percentage of dry matter in this can of food which is 100 - 79 = 21 then divide 21 by 100 to convert it to a decimal percentage and then divide that number into the 20.3. so 20.3 divided by .21 = 96.66 dry matter basis so you end up with 3.33% starch. To be fair it could be less or more because some of the values are listed as a minimum and others a maxim. Protein is likely 12 and fiber is likely 0.40 and moisture is likely less and fat likely a hair more. All in all there is some starch/carbs in this food, but not likely enough to cause weight gain. Basically you are feeding too much. There is no way to gain weight unless more calories are going in than are being burned. If you increase activity level he will likely want even more food.

 

Now for the big question you asked,  would he do better on one of my carnivore diets: maybe. I would try the Zero Mature Health, provided your boy is done growing bone. If not I would use the Zero. Many times over eating is a frame of mind for a food obsessed kitty. Since they are denied assess to food all the time, they want and crave food all the time. I have have client who put out a 1/4 cup of our food four times a day and the 15 pound cat ate everything and had mash-potato stool. After a lot of convincing she agreed to try my suggestion. My suggestion was to put 3 cups of food in a bowl and not let the bowl ever look less than 1/2 full. Of course the cat dove in and 15 minuets later tossed a bunch back up. However, within 2 days the cat was only consuming 1/3 of a cup each 24 hours and the stool was again solid.

 

The cat realized that there was an abundance of food and he only had to eat what he needed.Think of the starvation camp survivors that still carry food in their pockets. They are not hungry and there is a place to buy food on every corner, but they cannot help themselves. Your cat does not have pockets so they over eat. Competition from other cats in the home will reinforce this behavior.

 

I have an 8000 word description of how to free feed our food on the back of every bag and most people don't read it. When they call with problems they tell me they have been feeding cats their whole life and they know what is best. I reply yes, but not with my food. High carbs will always produce a solid stool even when they over eat it. Over eating of my food will almost always produce a soft stool. Normally you would think that is bad. However, you now know you have a problem that need fixing. Once fixed you seldom have to worry about obesity, diabetes,crystals or stones. I only run a cross a hand full of cats that can not be taught to free feed our food and I deal with thousands every year.

 

Here is what I would do with your cat. Place a level 1/2 cup of food in a small container. This is the amount  I want you to feed every 24 hours, divided into 3 feedings. The first when you wake, the second about 4:00pm and the last one just before bedtime. I like to save a little extra for the night feeding by making the 4:00 feeding a little smaller. If his stool is solid and well formed then see how he does for a week. If it is soft then decrease the food by 1 tablespoon. He will need somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cup in a day. After you have figured the correct amount continue for 2 weeks and then follow the directions on the back of the bag for free choice feeding.

 

Sorry to be so long winded.

post #15 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Young Again View Post
 

 

Sorry to be so long winded.

 

No need to be sorry. You are very helpful, and it's nice to see a fresh perspective on these issues.

As to the wet food I mentioned, the figures listed differ sllghtly depending on where you read them. Fairly often, the sum of percentages exceed 100%, so one must definitely take them with a pinch of salt. What irritates me much more is when the percentages add up to,much less than 100%. The Acana dry food that I buy have ingredients whose percentages add up to 80%.

You have some interesting thoughts on cat psychology. I have noticed similar things with my own cat. In the evenings we take one or two walks together. He will eat before we go out as well as when we come back. I suspect this is mostly instinct: "better eat while the eating is good", I wish i knew a way to turn off that instinct.

For the rest, your advice is no doubt very good for indoor cats who eat dry food. My cat is outdoors at least 12 hours every day, and I suspect he eats quite a few mice. A very different situation.

post #16 of 25

I

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReallySleepy View Post

 

You have some interesting thoughts on cat psychology. I have noticed similar things with my own cat. In the evenings we take one or two walks together. He will eat before we go out as well as when we come back. I suspect this is mostly instinct: "better eat while the eating is good", I wish i knew a way to turn off that instinct.

For the rest, your advice is no doubt very good for indoor cats who eat dry food. My cat is outdoors at least 12 hours every day, and I suspect he eats quite a few mice. A very different situation.

Have you done a body score on your cat? Maybe 20 pounds is a good weight for him. If he stays at 20 I would not worry. It is the slow gradual weight gain over several years that is the real issue.

 

Do you only feed him before and after the walk (two times a day) or do you feed him other times during the day or night as well?

 

I have many clients that feed semi wild cats and have numerous others that have a cat that spends the day outside. I have yet to hear of one with an overweight weight issue. I'm not sure my food would help if you are only feeding the two feedings, before and after the walk. My guess is he hunts enough to support himself and the food you supply has become social in nature, he eats even if he is not hungry just to be with you. If you are feeding him more often then my food may help. I always tell people that cats can't count. As long as they have free access to my food it seldom matters if you give them a teaspoon full or 1/2 a can; they always seem content. You could try freeze dried chicken for the walks as a treat, instead of a meal. I often times see social interactions resulting in over eating.

 

Please let me know what you try and how it works out.

post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by msserena View Post
 

I don't know what to look for anymore! Obviously the carb content that I was selecting my food from isn't right. Not sure if I need to focus on calories or fat.

 

Help if you can, thanks

 

Focusing on fat or focusing on calories is kinda the same thing. Fat has about double the calories of protein and carbohydrates. So a lower fat food will have fewer calories per a given quantity.

 

But, you don't want the food to be too low in fat. When I had an obese foster kitty I looked for foods that were roughly 35 calories per oz. Such a food won't be too high or too low in fat. That's canned food. I don't think feeding dry food to a overweight cat is a good idea. A very small amount of kibble can be surprisingly high in calories due to it's concentrated nature.

 

I did find closely monitoring his calorie intake was essential to him losing weight. That's easier if you make sure all the foods you feed have about the same calories/oz. Otherwise you have to calculate how much of a food to give him to achieve the desired calorie intake.

 

Click on the '...' in my signature to see my thread about my foster kitty. I don't know how my siggy got messed up so that the link shows as "...".

post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Again View Post
 

 

Have you done a body score on your cat? Maybe 20 pounds is a good weight for him. If he stays at 20 I would not worry. It is the slow gradual weight gain over several years that is the real issue.

 

Do you only feed him before and after the walk (two times a day) or do you feed him other times during the day or night as well?

 

I have many clients that feed semi wild cats and have numerous others that have a cat that spends the day outside. I have yet to hear of one with an overweight weight issue. I'm not sure my food would help if you are only feeding the two feedings, before and after the walk. My guess is he hunts enough to support himself and the food you supply has become social in nature, he eats even if he is not hungry just to be with you. If you are feeding him more often then my food may help. I always tell people that cats can't count. As long as they have free access to my food it seldom matters if you give them a teaspoon full or 1/2 a can; they always seem content. You could try freeze dried chicken for the walks as a treat, instead of a meal. I often times see social interactions resulting in over eating.

 

Please let me know what you try and how it works out.

 

You may be right that 20 pounds may be a good weight for him. The body score diagrams all agree that as long as you can see a "hip" near the rear end, the cat is not overweight, and I can see a "hip". Maybe I worry too much just because the vets say he is overweight. He could need to take off one pound, but he is certainly not obese.

 

My cat's schedule changes all the time, but he normally gets much more than two meals a day. He will often spend the entire day inside. He will eat breakfast, then sleep for several hours before he demands lunch. Then sleep again until dinner, which often coincides with the first evening walk. He is very structured in his eating habits, no eating between meals.

 

I think I will try freeze-dried chicken for some meals, thank you. I have some treats of that sort, but they are fairly expensive. Maybe there are cheaper sorts available.

 

What I find irritating is the lack of correspondence between weight and feeding. For the past three years I have recorded how much food I give him, but these records do not agree very well with his weight history. Maybe there are seasonal variations in the availability of mice - he was at or close to 20 pounds last winter too. In April and August he was down to 18.3 pounds, and I am not sure why.

 

Thank you for taking an interest in my cat. I'll be sure to come back to this thread if there are notable changes in his weight, but that might take some time.

post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
 

 

Focusing on fat or focusing on calories is kinda the same thing. Fat has about double the calories of protein and carbohydrates. So a lower fat food will have fewer calories per a given quantity.

 

But, you don't want the food to be too low in fat. When I had an obese foster kitty I looked for foods that were roughly 35 calories per oz. Such a food won't be too high or too low in fat. That's canned food. I don't think feeding dry food to a overweight cat is a good idea. A very small amount of kibble can be surprisingly high in calories due to it's concentrated nature.

 

I did find closely monitoring his calorie intake was essential to him losing weight. That's easier if you make sure all the foods you feed have about the same calories/oz. Otherwise you have to calculate how much of a food to give him to achieve the desired calorie intake.

 

Click on the '...' in my signature to see my thread about my foster kitty. I don't know how my siggy got messed up so that the link shows as "...".

 

I'm seriously losing my mind with all these calculations & figuring this & that out. Right now I have everything sorted by fat content, dry matter. I went from 23% down to 7%. She's going to stay on that & only that for 2 weeks. Surely some weight will come off. I need to get her blood checked again on the low fat diet so if her triglyceride numbers are fine on the low fat, she'll stay on that. Since the vet wanted to give me a 15% vet diet, I have found quite a few other foods I can throw in that are 15% & less. Everything depends on what her blood panel says. If she still has a high triglyceride number, I think the vet's gonna suggest an ultrasound to see if there's a tumor or something.

post #20 of 25

I would not worry about the triglycerides until you pick a diet. then the cat should be on the diet at least 3 weeks before you test for a base line. Did you know that when you have your triglycerides checked that you can have no alcohol for 48 hours before the test? My point is a lot of things affect them, so be less concerned about them vs. the diet. I assume you are feeding a canned diet?

 

You should contact really sleepy her caned food has about 4% starch. Thes numbers are from up above on this post. Animonda Carny, which has these ingredients: Protein 11.5%, Fat 6.5%, Fibre 0.5%, Ash 1.8%, Moisture 79%.

post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 

Two vets have both told me that it takes about 8 weeks for a body to fully get accustomed to a new food. If I want the blood panel to be as accurate as possible, I need to wait. She'll probably be on the new food that whole time. Yes I do worry about triglycerides because anything over 1000 can lead to seizures, blindness or pancreatitis. My girl is only 3, I surely don't her to have a major health issue this young.

 

Yes only canned. I usually give some kibble as a treat once or twice a week, but I need to be super careful with fat, so I can't give Ella any dry, any freeze dried, any raw, no extras. She's on a 7% fat (DM) diet & will stay on it I 8 weeks.

 

I've never even heard of that brand, she/he's in Norway so I don't think that brand will help me right now.

post #22 of 25

I imagine it's similar to humans, probably just changing a cat's diet isn't going to be enough, they also have to do more physical activity, and that's the hardest part because lazy cats just don't like to play.

 

I've bought so many different toys for my fat, lazy cat to try and encourage her to move around more. She doesn't really like any of them LoL. She's about 9 years old, so she's getting into senior territory and all she wants to do is laze around. She hates playing, but that's just her personality. Of course, the metabolism slows down as you age, so she has been getting slowly fatter over the years. Just like me. 

 

I was also free feeding her so she would overeat when she got bored, so I've started portion control. I haven't even bothered looking into a low calory senior food for her, because I'm certain the reason she's fat is because she was eating too much and was not active enough, so I'm trying to encourage her to eat less and be a tiny bit more active each day LOL.

post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderseed View Post
 

I imagine it's similar to humans, probably just changing a cat's diet isn't going to be enough, they also have to do more physical activity, and that's the hardest part because lazy cats just don't like to play.

 

I've bought so many different toys for my fat, lazy cat to try and encourage her to move around more. She doesn't really like any of them LoL. She's about 9 years old, so she's getting into senior territory and all she wants to do is laze around. She hates playing, but that's just her personality. Of course, the metabolism slows down as you age, so she has been getting slowly fatter over the years. Just like me. 

 

I was also free feeding her so she would overeat when she got bored, so I've started portion control. I haven't even bothered looking into a low calory senior food for her, because I'm certain the reason she's fat is because she was eating too much and was not active enough, so I'm trying to encourage her to eat less and be a tiny bit more active each day LOL.


I have a little different take on weight gain and aging animals. I think many people equate what happens to us and apply it to their pets. I make foods for many different types of pets. For example tortoises if fed the correct diet free choice, can live longer than people and you seldom if ever see a fat tortoise; captive or wild. Parrots are another example, I have a parrot that I raised from a baby that will be 35 years old this year and she still weighs the same as she did 33 years ago. Again she is eating a balanced diet free choice. Hedgehogs if fed the wrong diet will blow up like a balloon, but if you figure out what is balanced they can eat free choice their whole life and be trim and fit. I deal with hundreds of animal types and if the diet is metabolically correct for them they will not become obese. There are always exceptions but they are relativity few.

 

I believe strongly that if your cat is over weight and you are feeding free choice, you are feeding a diet that is not metabolically balanced for your cat. I have tested this theory on many thousand of cats and I have found it to be true for all but a few individuals.

 

Cats were not meant to get exercise to stay trim or grow muscle. Cats maintain basically the same muscle mass no matter the activity level. They were meant to hunt and sleep and that is what wild cats do and that is what house cats do. When a cats metabolism slows down they eat less because there is less demand for calories. Keep in mind your cat is a carnivore and protein and fat have the same digestibility curve for their whole life. Their adsorption of nutrients will degrade as they age, but that will not cause a fat kitty. On the contrary it produces a skinny cat. There is absolutely no genetic advantage for a hunter to gain weight as they age so they can become a poor hunter. There is no advantage for a tortoise to become so obese it can no longer pull his head and legs in to protect himself from a predator.

 

Here is the secrete I have learned. Starch/carbs mess with your cats metabolism and until you remove them from their diet you will continue to experience weight gain, diabetes and UTI issues.

 

Of course the diet also has to be nutritionally balanced for the cat. This concept is not hard to prove, feed a balanced carnivore diet, free choice and your cat will not be overweight in 8-12 weeks.

 

Consider this a starch free challenge. Right or wrong you will know in 8 weeks. How long have most of you been dealing with overweight kitties? I bet years.

post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Again View Post

 

Cats were not meant to get exercise to stay trim or grow muscle. Cats maintain basically the same muscle mass no matter the activity level. They were meant to hunt and sleep and that is what wild cats do and that is what house cats do. 

Ok that part is definitely not true... in the wild, cats are way more active than house cats. I raised hundreds of wild barn cats over the years. House cats do not hunt and some of them, like my cat, don't even like to play.
All cats have different levels of muscle mass and that muscle mass can change based on their activity level. I used to have an extremely muscular house cat growing up, that cat was one of the most muscular domesticated cats I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of muscular cats in my time, but most of them were feral. She was so muscular she sounded like a herd of elephants running across the floor, and it was all solid muscle, no fat on her at all. But she did exercise a lot on her own. She still lives with my parents, but not too long ago she got hurt and of course the time she spent recovering made her lose her muscle mass. Which is exactly the same as what happens to us humans... Ever since that she's been really scrawny, but she's been slowing gaining some muscle which is a good sign. Physical activity is important for animals too. And also, some cats do just fine on a grazing diet, but others just overeat, it's not really the same for all cats.   

post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by thunderseed View Post
 

Ok that part is definitely not true... in the wild, cats are way more active than house cats. I raised hundreds of wild barn cats over the years. House cats do not hunt and some of them, like my cat, don't even like to play.
All cats have different levels of muscle mass and that muscle mass can change based on their activity level. I used to have an extremely muscular house cat growing up, that cat was one of the most muscular domesticated cats I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of muscular cats in my time, but most of them were feral. She was so muscular she sounded like a herd of elephants running across the floor, and it was all solid muscle, no fat on her at all. But she did exercise a lot on her own. She still lives with my parents, but not too long ago she got hurt and of course the time she spent recovering made her lose her muscle mass. Which is exactly the same as what happens to us humans... Ever since that she's been really scrawny, but she's been slowing gaining some muscle which is a good sign. Physical activity is important for animals too. And also, some cats do just fine on a grazing diet, but others just overeat, it's not really the same for all cats.   


You are absolute correct and I did not state this very well or even accurately. I guess what I wanted to say was that muscle mass in cats, seams very stable in cats that do not engage in much activity. In my experience I have not found exercise to be very effective in getting a cat to reduce their weight without a diet change.

 

I would be very interested to hear from others if they had success with exercise and weight loss and what worked for them.


Edited by Young Again - 1/10/17 at 8:14am
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