He's 9 years old, and weighs 17lbs. He had a brother, who sadly passed away last year, so it was difficult to monitor what he ate, because his brother would only eat what he wanted, then leave some, and then my 'fat cat' would polish off the rest.
We have a new cat now, as we didn't want our remaining cat to be lonely, so we are faced with the same problem..
We've stopped giving them biscuits with their meals, they are on a meat only diet, and try to move the other cats' food out of the way so that my fat one doesn't over-eat, but it is very hard to monitor every mealtime!
Please can you help!? He needs to lose at least 5lbs, or I know his health will suffer as he gets older.
Any advice GREATLY received.
Thanks in advance,
Natalie (and Peas the 17lb Cat!!) x
What type of food do you feed Peas, i.e. brand, ingredients, formulation? You said "meat only diet." What does that mean - canned cat food or meat from your fridge that you cook? In any case, the first place to start would be a high quality brand of weight management food in the form of kibble. They need that to prevent tooth decay since cats are not known to be good tooth brushers! Canned food can be very high in fat and not provide satiety. Also, you have to feed the cats separately in different rooms and remove the uneaten portions of food. Free feeding is not an option for a fat cat. I don't quite know what you mean by "biscuits" - whether you meant to say kibble (dry cat food) or treats, which are not recommended for weight issues. I would start with the low calorie diet first and see what happens. Good luck.
Give Biscuits some cooked veggies with dinner to take the place of the more fattening food. We used to do this with my dog, she would get a can of cooked green beans along with dinner, and only about half of the kibble. She never missed the kibble, and of course the green beans were much less caloric but still filling. She lost weight quite well on that diet, and liked it too.
I'm sorry I don't agree with some of the suggestions that have been given...first of all cats are carnivores and indeed need meat as the main ingredient in their diets however they cannot be fed just meat and none of the other required vitamins, nutrients&supplements such as taurine,calcium,Vitamin A,D,B's and E. Cats do NOT require grains nor vegetables except in very small amounts to help with elimination.
If you aren't feeding a cat food with all the necessary supplements kitty will soon become ill..
And I DO NOT agree that feeding dry kibble is necessary for dental health, can(wet) food is highly recommended for a healthy cat. Usually a cat that is constantly hungry is not getting enough nutrition in the food they are eating, when on a good diet with a high grade of protein they will be more satisfied and usually not over eat.
Please read this website regarding nutrition and cats its very informative. The Dr. I'm sure also gives some weight loss tips.
By 'meat', I mean pouches of cat food - little cubes of meat in either a jelly or gravy. I used to give them half a pouch of this, and some biscuits (dry cat food), mixed in, twice a day.
I've now cut out the DRY cat food, and give them one pouch of meat (cat food - not prepared by myself), twice a day, each.
According to the advice of the box of pouches, an adult cat should have up to four of these pouches a day, but I think that's way too much. At the very most, when they had a combination of meat and dry food, they were probably having the equivalent to 2 1/2 to 3 pouches a day each, but as I said, I've cut that down to 2 a day each.
Treats are also banned, and I do not give them anything other than water to drink.
Thanks for the website - I will have a look on there as well, as I really need to do something asap.
And thanks again for all your advice, it really is appreciated!
Actually, I think you are starving your cats. Those pouches only contain an ounce or two of food (any additional weight is water). A 17 pound cat just needs more food than that. I would recommend you switch to canned food. I feed each of my cats a can (5.5 ounces) daily and then make kibble available to them to nibble on if the rest of the time.
All of my girls are big, the semi-famous Miss Teia is 18# (12 1/2 years), Hildie (9 2/3) and Chessie (9) are both 17# and Kessie (11 1/4) is 15#. Kessie wears it better than the others as she is a good 1" taller at the shoulder than Hildie (her sister) or Chessie. Miss Teia is just a big girl all around.
They share wet food twice a day (about 1 tablespoon each at breakfast and dinner) with indoor formula dry food in self feeders. Sometimes they will get an extra portion of canned meat as a treat.
A good friend of ours, who is a veterinarian of at least 20 years in practice, has told us that one of the "dirty secrets" of caring for companion animals is "cats tolerate a bit of overweight better than any other animal."
If your kitty is normally active for his age, has no grooming or "box" problems and the vet thinks he's otherwise healthy, don't put your human worries about weight on his shoulders.
whatever you should decide to do about a diet at anytime, do it slowly....a rapid change in diet will give alot of gastrointestinal problems...
No I don't think you are starving them, however the food you are currently feeding may only be empty calories and not good nutrition, therefore the weight gain and constant hunger. Look for a can diet that has NO grains. The Vet on catinfo.org lists the better commercial diets on her site. Most cats I have found on a good diet will not over eat.
Never put a cat on a crash diet, if he is healthy the weight isn't a 'big' issue. find him a better diet and make sure he eats 3-4x a day, cats prefer smaller more frequent meals.
My sister had two cats, where one died and someone gave them a kitten. The kitten made the old cat move more and he lost weight that way, but didn't like it.
I think from my own experience with Catalina (my other sister's and my cat), it is difficult to get a cat to lose weight and keep it off. I had a vet tell me something like- take the food up after a half hour and don't leave it laying around. But you may not have that problem with wet food?
We give Catalina a combination of dry food and wet food (she seems to really like a little, but does not like to eat a lot of wet food) & we have cut back more than once on dry food. My goal is to keep her under twelve pounds (she is younger than your cat). I talked to people at the companies who make the pet foods we buy for help on her diet and got some nice coupons.
I would think the same thing about the way food breaks down for energy for humans would apply to a cat as well. First burned off are the simple sugars (if the cat is getting any of that), then carbohydrates. When the carbohydrates break down and then stop energizing, the protein kicks in, and last but not least, when the energy from the protein is used up, that's when the energy from fat kicks in. I imagine the cat needs a balanced approach for its energy burning needs like a human does.
If cats' metabolism is the same as human's in a certain respect, then if any of the weight gain happened with Peas after you cut back on food, it's likely your cat is not getting enough, because the body goes into the mode of conserving, slowing metabolism down when it isn't getting what it needs. But it sounds like to me the weight gain happened prior to Peas' brother dying due to overeating?
You may want to find out what kind of calorie count your cat needs from your veterinarian. Then look at your food (call and check with the cat food company if needed) and slowly adjust the amounts you are giving, to give the cat's stomach time to shrink up. I've had more than one vet tell me our cat is overweight, long bodied as she is, because they are supposed to be able to feel the bone structure on the ribs or something & Cattie's got some padding. They were concerned about her weight. But, I do not want her to be miserable with hunger and the cutting back process has been really slow. Eating is one of her big enjoyments in life.
I think the idea mentioned about the cats eating in separate rooms is a good one if Peas doesn't leave your new cat's food alone.
Thanks again for all of your very informative comments and suggestions.
I've checked the food I'm giving him, and according to that, it has all the vitamins and minerals in he needs. It also states that he can have 2-3 pouches per day. At present he is having two, but is asking for more.
As I have two cats, I think I will increase that to 2.5 each per day - 1 full pouch each in a morning, half a pouch each at lunch, and another full pouches each at tea-time.
I don't want him miserable, and if I'm not feeding him enough, like you say, his body will go in to starvation mode, which is kind of a contradiction!
Thanks again, I really appreciate your help.
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