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Kitty Meets Jenny Craig

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Kitty weighs 18 pounds roughly and has no health problems. However, if kitty doesn't meet Jenny Craig soon, I know kitty could end up with diabetes and health problems later in life. We have no idea how old kitty is, since he adopted us 4 years ago. I do know he has eaten only dry food for the past 4 years.

I am in the process of switching kitty to canned food, since the grains in the dry food (Purina One) are responsible for his weight. He turned his nose up at canned food at first, so now I mix two tablespoons of Purina One to one tablespoon of canned, which he promptly scarfs down. He doesn't over eat and always stops eating when he is full.

My questions revolve around selecting the best food for weight reduction, given the available choices of food in my area. Using the guidelines on about.com regarding choosing cat foods, I have found the following list of foods to be acceptable canned foods, as far as ingredients list (no meat by products, no animal meal, little to no grains, especially corn) and percentages of proteins, fats, fiber and carbs (p/f/f/c) by dry matter. My main concerns are regarding the last number in the series, being carbs, and best acceptable percentages of carbs to proteins, fibers and fats. The ingredients list, as it appears on the label, follows the dry matter percentages of proteins, fats, fibers and carbs, which are shown as numbers after the name of the food as p/f/f/c. I have noted those for which I don't have the ingredients list, but the ingredients list had been previously checked in doing this research, so I know those listed are free of low quality or inappropriate ingredients (no meat by products, no animal meal, little to no grains, especially corn). Here are my choices:

A. Authority Catfish Formula 45/30/3/21
Salmon broth, catfish, animal liver, chicken egg product, brewer's rice, etc

B. Blue Tempting Tuna Grill 45/30/5/20
Tuna, fish broth, chicken, chicken liver, whitefish, brown rice, etc

C. Blue Savory Salmon Entree 45/30/5/20
Whitefish, salmon, fish broth, chicken liver, brown rice, carrots, etc

D. Sophisticat Supreme Sardine Entree in Aspic 75/4/5/16
Sardines, water, vegetable oil, carrageenan, etc

E. Solid Gold Blended Tuna 68/10/2/20
Don't have can here, sorry.

F. Sophisticat Supreme Sardines, Shrimp & Crab Dinner 59/9/7/25
Sardines, fish broth, shrimp, crab meat, carrageenan, guar gum, etc

G. Sophisticat Supreme Flaked Salmon & Ocean Whitefish Dinner 55/14/6/25
Fish broth, salmon, chicken, turkey, ocean whitefish, animal liver, etc

H. Natural Choice Chicken & Liver Entree 45/23/5/27
Don't have can here with me, sorry.

I. Natural Choice Chicken & Turkey Platter 45/23/5/27
Chicken broth, chicken, turkey, beef, beef liver, dried egg product, etc

J.Natural Choice Oceanfish Formula 39/26/4/31
Dont have can here with me, sorry.

K. MaxCat Chicken & Lamb Formula 39/26/4/31
Chicken broth, chicken, beef liver, cod, beef, lamb, rice bran, etc

The recommendations regarding dry matter of p/f/f/c found on about.com suggest the following precentages:

Protein\t\t35-45%
Fat\t\t\t40%
Carbs\t\t\t15-25%

Questions:

Choices A,B,C above seem to closely match the recommended levels of proteins, fat and carbs, although the fat levels seem to low.

Choices D, E, F, & G, seem to be high protein/low fat, although the carb levels fall within the recommended guidelines. Is high protein low-fat recommended for weight reduction in cats, or would it jeopordize kitty's health?

Choices H & I seem to be a good compromise between the first group (A - C) and the second group (D-G), with the fat levels being a little lower than recommended and the carb load being slightly higher than recommended.

Should I leave choices j & K alone? The carb load is 31%, which is not far off from the carb load of Purina One dry, at 39%.

Assuming the carb load, which is dependent on the amount of grain in the food is responsible for the weight gain, which of the foods would you think be best? I am presently leaning towards A, B, C, I & J, although, if high protein/low fat will take the weight off the kitty more easily, then I would consider choices D-G.

Yes, I am aware it is exceedingly dangerous for cats to lose weight too quickly, which is why I think mixing the dry with the canned will start a gradual weight loss, which should continue when the switch is made from the dry/canned mix to canned only.

Also, what in the world do the terms "chicken egg product" (A) and "dried egg prodcut" (I) mean? Are these ingredients best avoided in cat foods?
post #2 of 21
Good for you for researching the best possible food for your kitty's new healthy lifestyle plan! I would like to add to your list of consideration Innova Lite. This is what my girls eat now, and they have eaten Natura products for years. I strongly support and recommend their products.
post #3 of 21
First question are you working with your vet?? ANY kitty diet should be monitored carefully by a vet...

I wouldnt worry so much about the % at this point as canned food as a whole is going to assist in wt loss ... Compare any of those cans to the current dry and youll see ...

3-5% fiber is the normal for wet and dry

Protein the higher the better in a wet food

Fat keep it moderate but NOT low

You need to try out every can you find good ... see if kitty eats the lower fat ones ( many wont) ...

The top three are mostly fish which can cause other issues.. Try to limit all fish formula s to about 3 times a week...
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra View Post
I would like to add to your list of consideration Innova Lite.
That one comes highly recommended, however I can not find it anywhere in my area.
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
First question are you working with your vet??
Kitty has a vet but I am not working with the vet regarding this. I am following the research and advice I have so far found.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I wouldnt worry so much about the % at this point as canned food as a whole is going to assist in wt loss ...
GREAT! This is just what I needed to know. However, I will keep my compiled list handy because I do not ever want kitty to eat junk food again. This list will be my guide as to what foods to buy. If they are out of one thing, I will have choices to purchase others. (And I am sure you already know, one flavor of one brand will have decent ingredients, but a different flavor will contain meat by products, which is why I made this lst!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Compare any of those cans to the current dry and youll see ...
I met a rep from Blue at the pet store on Saturday. I wrote down the percentages for Blue dry food. The carb load is actually 5% higher than Purina One, so, yes, I know exactly what you mean)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
3-5% fiber is the normal for wet and dry

Protein the higher the better in a wet food

Fat keep it moderate but NOT low
Noted, remembered and appreciated. The comment on the fat knocks several off my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
You need to try out every can you find good ... see if kitty eats the lower fat ones ( many wont) ...
Kitty's not a picky eater actually.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
The top three are mostly fish which can cause other issues.. Try to limit all fish formula s to about 3 times a week...
Thanks! Then chicken and beef based will be the mainstays, with fish occasionally as a special treat as a meal.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra View Post
I would like to add to your list of consideration Innova Lite.
WOOHOO! I found a store that carries Evo. I have only spoken with them by phone, but I assume they will have the lite version if they also carry Evo.

What I like most about your recommendation here is that it is completely grain free and we all know how much cats DO NOT need grains! The carbohydrate levels of this brand is also lower than any I have run across so far.

The store who carries the Evo only offers it in cases. I would prefer to be able to purchase one or two cans to test first. In the event I can't do that, I will gamble on a case however, since kitty certainly is no picky eater.

Thanks so much for the recommendation.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
WOOHOO! I found a store that carries Evo. I have only spoken with them by phone, but I assume they will have the lite version if they also carry Evo.

What I like most about your recommendation here is that it is completely grain free and we all know how much cats DO NOT need grains! The carbohydrate levels of this brand is also lower than any I have run across so far.

The store who carries the Evo only offers it in cases. I would prefer to be able to purchase one or two cans to test first. In the event I can't do that, I will gamble on a case however, since kitty certainly is no picky eater.

Thanks so much for the recommendation.

Evo can help or hinder a wt loss .. My vets cats actually gained alot of wt
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Evo can help or hinder a wt loss .. My vets cats actually gained alot of wt
You have touched on something here I don't quite understand. It is my understanding that the carbohydrate load is responsible for the weight gain. Kitty is huge but has eaten nothing but dry for the past 4 years. The dry food always has grain, so always has carbs.

Innova lite actually has a higher carbohydrate load than Evo. But the protein and fat levels of Evo are through the roof, the highest of any I have seen so far, while the carbs are REALLY low.

So, which causes weight gain, is it the carbs (grain) or proteins and fats?

I can tell you kitty does not over eat. I have weaned him almost completely off of dry for the past two weeks. Right now, kitty gets 2 tablespoons (flat level, not heaping) of Max Cat, with one teaspoon (flat level, not heaping) of Purina One mixed in. He gets this twice a day. He will not eat any more beyond that even if I put another batch down for him.
post #9 of 21
Okay here it goes ...

SOme kitties like humans need low fat moderate carbs and moderate protein... like Jenny Craig ... I think these kitties may be a bit more domesticated

Others need Atkins for kitties ... high protein and fat low carb( one would think this would be best for a obligate carnivore)

Yet others seem to do well on moderate fat protein and carbs ...

My vets cats gained on Evo dry yet not on Solid Gold ... just a tidbit

My Gigi( yes a dog) has lost over a lb on a raw diet with some rice ( about 8 weeks)
Kandie lost wt when I increased her wet but now she gains on wet and raw which is good due to her crf
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Others need Atkins for kitties ... high protein and fat low carb( one would think this would be best for a obligate carnivore)
And this is what I am expecting to work, but mainly because kitty eats so little. If he overate, I would worry about feeding him this type of food. But he won't overeat, even if I mix a batch and put it in front of him. He simply won't eat when he isn't hungry.

I believe his weight problem is due to two reasons:

1. Eating nothing but dry food for the past 4 years.
2. The high level of carbs (grains - the worse kind) in the dry food he has been eating for the past 4 years.

So by restricting carbs and giving him high protein and high fat (and the protein and fat level in Evo is ridiculously high) I expect he will lose weight, and most likely need to eat even less quantity than he presently does. Innova lite is actually much higher in carb levels than Evo, which to me, seems would work against my purposes here.
post #11 of 21
The reason Evo can make some cats gain weight is that it's a very concentrated, high calorie food. If the kitty continues to eat the same volume of food after switching to Evo, he will be getting more calories than before. That can lead to weight gain in spite of the lack of carbs.
post #12 of 21
When I rescued my cat I was given a bag of food. It was "Purina Deli-cat" which basically looks like a kid's cereal! Multi-colored with all those different shaped pieces (like the cat cares.) Ugh...junk food for cats. She was 16 lbs (yes, female). After discussing diet with the vet who told us her ideal weight is probably about 12 lbs--she's a big cat in general even without the extra weight (big paws, big head etc) we put her on Wellness Lite and she's down to 14 lbs the last time I weighed her.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
It was "Purina Deli-cat" which basically looks like a kid's cereal! Multi-colored with all those different shaped pieces (like the cat cares.) Ugh...junk food for cats. She was 16 lbs (yes, female). .
See, this kitty had been eating nothing but Deli-Cat for 4 years before 6/12 of this year. How long did it take your kitty to get down to 14 pounds from 16?
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto3cats View Post
The reason Evo can make some cats gain weight is that it's a very concentrated, high calorie food.
It's the highest calorie-wise isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by momto3cats View Post
If the kitty continues to eat the same volume of food after switching to Evo, he will be getting more calories than before. That can lead to weight gain in spite of the lack of carbs.
I have planned for that. I expect to be feeding less, much less actually, than the MaxCat he has been eating for near 2 weeks now. Maxcat is 31% carb. Plus, I won't be feeding only Evo. I actually only bought 2 cans of Evo and two cans of Innova in the red can as a test. He wil get fish based food in cans, (little to no grains, low carbs, high protein, low fat) but for not more than 3 times a week. I may add some Wellness into the mix given the previous post.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
See, this kitty had been eating nothing but Deli-Cat for 4 years before 6/12 of this year. How long did it take your kitty to get down to 14 pounds from 16?

Yikes... I don't know how long my cat was on this food but the old owners said she was about 11 (years old) when we adopted her. It took her at least 6-8 months to lose those pounds, keep in mind she is older and less active. Even now with some of the extra weight off she is not very active/playful. The most exercise she gets is going up and down the stairs!
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
It's the highest calorie-wise isn't it?



I have planned for that. I expect to be feeding less, much less actually, than the MaxCat he has been eating for near 2 weeks now. Maxcat is 31% carb. Plus, I won't be feeding only Evo. I actually only bought 2 cans of Evo and two cans of Innova in the red can as a test. He wil get fish based food in cans, (little to no grains, low carbs, high protein, low fat) but for not more than 3 times a week. I may add some Wellness into the mix given the previous post.
I wont say the cat will eat less... from my Evo trials one ate much more and still lost wt ( Atkins phenomenon )
post #17 of 21
When my cat Toby (who was around 20 pounds at the time) was diagnosed with diabetes, in addition to insulin, the vet placed him on Purina DM. The vet also suggested I also place Rusty (not diabetic, but 22 pounds) on the DM to lose some weight. Both have been on it for 3+ years. Toby is 15 pounds and Rusty is 18 now. Not a huge difference, but they have food available whenever they want it. They also like it. Sometimes that's an issue. And after receiving 2 insulin shots a day for almost 3 years, Toby has been off it since December. I would never feed it without my vet's okay, but it has been very effective for a slow, sustained weight loss for these two.

Another of my vets is absolutely sold on an all wet food diet to lose weight.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
It took her at least 6-8 months to lose those pounds,
Everything I have read says that's exactly how you want it. I am not looking for fast (and therefore dangerous) weight loss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
keep in mind she is older and less active.
That is the same case here, although I have no idea how old kitty is, since he was a stray who showed up one day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Even now with some of the extra weight off she is not very active/playful. The most exercise she gets is going up and down the stairs!
He is playing 3 times a day now instead of one, by chasing string. That didn't happen until I started feeding him wet. I don't know if it's related to the change in food or not though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I wont say the cat will eat less... from my Evo trials one ate much more and still lost wt ( Atkins phenomenon )
I know this is a possiblity too. I will have to play it by ear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder
Toby is 15 pounds and Rusty is 18 now.
Congrats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder
Not a huge difference, but they have food available whenever they want it.
I am not free feeding this one since two weeks ago when I began transitioning him to canned. (Actually this morning was the first meal without any dry in the wet and he scarfed it down!) He doesn't seem to mind or even notice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder
And after receiving 2 insulin shots a day for almost 3 years, Toby has been off it since December.
This sounds just like Type 2 human diabetes. Change the diet and there's no need for insulin, in many cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinder
Another of my vets is absolutely sold on an all wet food diet to lose weight.
That's one reason I am switching him to canned. The other is because I really want to feed him a higher quality food, much closer to what he might eat were he wild. No matter what I do at this point, I can't do anything worse than before, with 4 years on Deli-Cat, then Purina One since 6/12.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have revised the food list. I won't be feeding items D-G, for three reasons:

1. The ratios of protien, fats, fibers and carbs aren't balanced.

2. I will feed only small amounts of fish based foods to limit health problems associated with fish consumption.

3. Some of the foods listed in D-G contained an ingredient named 'animal liver,' which means I can't possibly know what is in the food.

I also called Nutro and asked for the carbohydrate contents of their products on my list, except for the Oceanfish formula. I forgot to get the carb level for that one, so will have to call them back. The following are the list of foods I have chosen:

A. Innova Evo 55/36/2/7

B, Innova Cat Food 50/32/7/11

H. Natural Choice Chicken & Liver Entree 45/23/5/12

I. Natural Choice Chicken & Turkey Platter 45/23/5/17

J. Natural Choice Oceanfish Formula 39/26/4/?

K. MaxCat Chicken & Lamb Formula 39/26/4/15

Although the Blue Tempting Tuna Grill & Savory Salmon Entree (B & C) did have balanced levels of protein, fat, fiber and carbs, the other foods were much cheaper in price, even the Innova brands, so I dropped the Blue brands from the list for this reason.

The transition from dry foods to wet is now complete. I used K for the transition from dry to wet, which he loves. Having finished a very large can of that, I just opened a can of I, which he promptly scarfed down the two level tablespoons I put down for him.

I haven't opened any of the cans of Innova as a taste test for kitty as of yet. I wll have to post later as to how those go when the time comes.
post #20 of 21
I'm not going to weigh in on the nutrician side of your concern, but may I ask what you are doing about the physical activity? You need both diet AND exercise in a weight control program. I have had luck with getting very obsese cats to lose weight by simply mixing some lite food into their dry, but more importantly, working with them to add in exercise.

Simple things like placing their food up on a counter (or washing machine) to force them to jump up and down to get it. Tall cat trees placed by windows so they climb up and down. Putting food on one floor of the house and water on another level to make them walk up and down stairs. And or course always encouraging them to play with wands, balls, etc. I think mine have lost more weight thru exercise than diet.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I think mine have lost more weight thru exercise than diet.
Actually, the cat just moved here 6/12. This house has two floors plus a basement, so kitty runs up and down the 2 flights of stairs now, which he didn't have before.

He immediately began playing more once I put him on the wet food. While he was on dry, he would play for about 10 minutes a day. Since being on the wet, he plays 3 times a day for about 20 minutes each. I just bought a new toy for him to play with a couple of days ago, because I do want to encourge his play activity. He gets a huge burst of energy immediatly after eating now, so those are times he likes to play.

Thanks for the other ideas you mentioned here. I may well introduce them into his environment next.
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