Nutrition Management For Pets Expert Forum
Cat Food
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Cat Food

My cat has been on a steady diet of dry cat food for several years. I was feeding her "Science Diet" and then she started to gain weight. I then switched to "Science Diet" light...she is still overweight. I don't over feed her, she eats about 1&1/2 cups per day. I also give her about 3-4 treats a day (hairball treatment). In the morning, I also give her about 1/8 cup of 2% milk, or sometimes yogurt. Anyway, she does like to sleep and is not as active as she used to be. My question is this, is there a better cat food for her? I've always fed her that one. I've also heard about fillers in some of the food, as well as other things that aren't good for them. I know she is over due for a check-up with her Vet.  

My husband and I have been discussing her diet (or lack of) and he feels that I'm paying too much for the brand she eats (Science Diet). We both want what's best for her, and I would really appreciate any advice you could give on this matter. Are there certain ones, or ingredients that I should stay away from...what about grocery store or Walmart brands? I only buy her's at Pet stores. I want to reassure my husband too, as we are working with our own economic situation. Thanks for your help.
Type of Animal
:  
Cat
Age of Animal
:  
8yrs
Sex of Animal
:  
Female
Breed of Animal
:  
tortoise shell/short hair
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
January 22, 2005
City
:  
Redding
State/Province
:  
CA
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234713_tn?1283530259
Speaking in evolutionary terms, the domestic cat began as a desert animal and derived all the liquid in their diets from their prey.  The hypothalamus in the cat has not evolved sufficiently.  The average cat simply does not drink enough water to thoroughly support kidney function, etc (The hypothalamus controls thirst, hunger, and has myriad other functions).  Additionally, cats are obligate carnivores and have NO nutritional requirement for grains.  The best meal for a cat is a mouse, bird, fish or lizard, or the canned or homemade equivalent.

Practically speaking, any very high protein, grain-free canned food would suffice.  There are many good brands.  Look for very high MEAT based protein (not plant based), no grains, and very low carbohydrate (a small amount of fruit and vegetable ingredients can help supply vitamins, antioxidants, etc).

It is best to switch over very slowly in 2-3 weeks or so.  Eventually your cat can be fed three meals per day, which can be one can to 1 and 1/2 (Tuna size) cans per day in divided doses depending on your cat's size.  

Some cats find it very difficult to give up their dry food.  It this case very slowly add water to a small portion of the dry food, beginning with one teaspoon of water sprinkled on food the first day, followed by two teaspoons of water the second day...etc.  The trick is patience!  Go very slowly and be persistent.  

Dry food can be kept as a treat.   A dry prescription dental diet is a good choice as a treat, especially if you cannot brush your cat's teeth.  You may not need the hair ball treats once your cat is on a better diet, but regardless,  hairball treats won't hurt.
3 Comments
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931614_tn?1283486270
An adult cat should eat 1/4 cup (if dry food) AM and PM.  Just as we need to eat smaller portions, your cat should as well.  There are prescription calorie control diets that can allow you to feed your cat more like 1/3 cup of dry or it's wet equivalent twice a day and still lose weight.  Many people try to just feed their cat less.  Few are successful with weight loss until they select a prescription weight loss diet, but either way, be patient.  It will take months to see the great progress you can accomplish with your cat.
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874521_tn?1375890587
HI Peg,
Dr. Cheng is so right I too believe in his words.
My kitty Nemo was so allergic to grains in most cat food brands that he nearly starved himself, we kept him going on chicken and canned milk for a year, while I tried every cat food avail. in my city...
Finally from information online I found another brand in a city 3 hrs away, its a Natura brand called INNOVA.EVO...its GRAIN FREE and chicken not chicken by-products. he took to it immediately and has been on it for nearly 5 years, he is healthy and normal weight and I free feed which I know I shouldn't, but he only nibbles a bit here and there, not a big eater all at once.. I finally talked my local pet store to bringing this one in and it really sells good....there are other good grain free brands out there I've found out, go to a large Pet Store and they carry all of them I can't remember all the names Orjen(?) and California Natural are a couple.
My other cat Sami also loved this food but he developed an allergy to chicken so I had to find another source of protien..and Duck seems to be working (skin lesions)..I get this from my Vet. MEDICAL allergy. I have not been to the city lately to look.
thx and good luck Peg
Does anyone know of a better Brand that has duck for ingredients?
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This Forum's Experts
234713_tn?1283530259
Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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