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Overweight kitty

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My cat Sadie is two years old and quite healthy. The only problem is that she's gained a lot of weight this past year. I leave her food bowl full and out where she has access to it at all times, and it's been that way since she was three months old, and I just don't have the heart to limit her meals. Is there some brand of cat food out there that could my poor kitty lose some weight???
post #2 of 11
You really should monitor how much food she is taking in. I know it must be hard, but it has to be done for the health and wellness of your cat. Any regular food is fine. I don't believe in those "diet" foods. All you have to do is lower her intake. You can still let her have free access to it, but once her measured amount is gone, it's gone. She should learn to control how she eats after a while. I had to do this with Pearl, when she was still eating kibble. And now she is fit and trim. Good luck!

BTW, what type/brand of food are you feeding her? You should incorporate more canned foods into her diet. Less carbs, more meat and moisture. Also, you can switch to a high quality food with less fat, instead of switching to a "low fat", "weight control", etc type food. Those just contain less meat and protein and more fillers/grains and carbs.
post #3 of 11
You definitely need to start measuring out her food. You may feel bad for her, but it is better for her health in the long run. High protein/low carb diets work pretty well, but they don't do any good as a free choice food, it defeats the whole purpose.

Try calling your vet and have them figure out what her DER (daily energy requirement) is and what caloric intake she needs to lose an appropriate amount of weight safely.

Canned food is supposed to help them lose weight because of the high moisture content.

It is great that you are noticing the need for her to lose weight. Obesity in cats can lead to so many health issues, and taking control of it now is an excellent decision.
post #4 of 11
canned is best for wt control.//// BUT First consult YOUR VET prior to any dieting as it should be closely monitored
post #5 of 11
And increase your play sessions- gradually if you feel she is struggling, but try and encourage her to move more often. I'd do at least twice a day sessions, and more is better. Getting her running up and down cat trees is a great way to exercise her.

Cats generally operate on a play-eat-groom-sleep schedule. So after she wakes up from a nap she would experience greater likelihood of feeling frisky. Wear her out before each meal.
post #6 of 11
My cat successfully lost 5 pounds (18 to 13) in a span of several years. It can be done. At first I didn't have much confidence either.

I use diet dry food for my cats (Science Diet Light Hairball formula). For a while I used a special formulated food available only at the Vet's Office called RD.

I agree with the previous posters that limiting food intake is the most important thing you can do. That is what helped my cat lose his weight more than the formula I switched to. Get rid of all extra treats, both human food treats and cat food treats. I limit my cats to two meals per day. Each has about 1/4 to 1/3 a cup of food at each meal.

My schedule didn't allow me to be home twice a day to feed my cats. As a result, I bought an automatic cat food feeder that dispenses a set amount of food at the schedule I choose. Now, my work, personal, and vacational plans don't interfere with my cats' feedings.

I, personally, never use wet food. It is inconvenient for me and bad for my cats' teeth.

Exercise helps as well. You can start play routines with your cat. If that doesn't work, you can also buy "treat" balls which are little plastic balls that dispense cat food periodically. You can put a portion of the day's meal in the balls. This will also help get your kitty moving for food.

Best of luck. I also agree with the prior posters that this should all be monitored closely by a vet.
post #7 of 11
As your cat is still young I would avoid 'diet' foods and just reduce the amount you feed, but I agree with what's already been said that it would be best to consult a vet about this first. Not all cats can free feed - if I put a bowl of food down containing Jaffa's daily allowance it would be gone before I'd even closed the door. I feed mine 2 main meals a day plus a bedtime snack. Auto feeders are a good idea if you can't be around at the same times each day. You could also try puzzle feeders so that she has to work harder for her food, or hide pieces of dry food around your home. It's very easy to over feed dry food if you don't weigh/measure it out.
post #8 of 11
First of all, consult your vet just to rule out any medical conditions and to get a target weight.

Secondly, just like with humans, it comes down to diet and exercise. You can switch to a light indoor formula and LIMIT THE SERVING SIZE. I know it's very hard to do. When my kitty was first losing weight (under the care of her veternarian), she would lay by her food bowl waiting for me to feed her. Sometimes she'd take a nice long nap!! However, as her meowmy, I'm responsible for her health. Therefore it's my responsibility to monitor her food intake. She didn't starve to death and she actually became more active.

Third, increase play sessions and/or get her a cat tree to climb on for more exercise. Also, you can put her food and water up on a counter or up on the landing of the stairway (bottom of the stairs if you have a basement), so that she'll have a bit more exercise.

It's all about diet and exercise. My kitty's lost about 5 pounds over the past 3 years or so. It was hard at the beginning, but now she's doing great!

post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by scoomoo
I, personally, never use wet food. It is inconvenient for me and bad for my cats' teeth.
I agree with the other comments but not this one. Bijou lost weight and trimmed down once I started feeding more wet and much less dry. Also male neutered cats are prone to crystals if fed an all dry diet. Dry food mixes with saliva and actually stays on the teeth moreso than wet food.

As you've probably already gathered, cats should not lose weight quickly and it really is best to discuss this with your vet. Unfortunately a lot of vets have little to no nutrition training and their advice will vary from vet to vet so just ensure you ask questions and get answers that make sense.
post #10 of 11
I'm thinking of trying wet food to help Winston lose weight too, but it is difficult when you have multiple cats.... I think the only way for me to ensure each of our 3 get what they need is wet food since it is somewhat controlled. I've always free fed, but Winston is getting chunky. He is a huge cat to begin with. 22 lbs was a perfect weight for him, he's at about 25 lbs now so he's chubby but not completley obese. I'd rather he not get to that point though.
post #11 of 11
Light foods often are worse because they just have more fillers and less meat.

If you want to leave her out dry food to snack on, put it in a coffee mug that is smaller around the top than her face. This way, she will have to dig it out piece by piece and eat it. So, she will eat more slowly and will end up eating less. Only do this if you also feed wet food as a meal.

Also make sure to give her playtime! Have you considered leashtraining her and taking her outside on supervised walks with you?
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