I am glad to help and here are a few suggestions to slim down your puggy cat.
Consider a blood test called a Thyroid Panel run by your vet to rule out hypothyroidism. Ask for a TSH, Free T3 and Free T4.
Do not free feed your cats. Give them 2-6 small meals daily, leave the bowls out for 15-20 minutes then pick them up.
Try to stimulate your cats to play and exercise, at least 4 times a day for 10 minute sessions.
Cat Nip (Nepeta Cataria) is an safe, natural herb that cats love. It’s available at pet food stores and may be stuffed into toys, and/or rubbed onto hemp perches/ the loose herb can be sprinkled onto food or used as a low calorie treat. It stimulates the cat’s nervous system so cats feel good and want to play. Catnip is very safe and has no known adverse effects.
To successfully lose weight owners must reduce calories, increase exercise and monitor their cat’s progress regularly.
High quality lean protein like chicken, turkey, beef, or liver making up at least 50 percent of the diet is necessary to prevent the loss of lean body tissue. Protein levels over 50% help stimulate metabolism and promote weight loss.
Reduce dietary fat to less than 10 percent of the diet. This may cause a dry skin and hair coat. Fatty acid supplements such as fish oil and/or flax seed oil will help prevent dry hair coats
Increase fiber up to 15-20 percent under your vet’s guidance. Fiber provides bulk which makes cats feel full and keeps them happy while losing weight. Excess fiber can interfere with absorption of minerals and lead to other nutritional problems.
Give a good vitamin-mineral supplement, like VitaLife Cat Supplement.
Initially decrease the total number of calories by 20 percent and set a maximum initial weight loss goal at 15 percent, then make calculations accordingly.
Weight loss must be greater than 0.5 percent per week, 1% is considered ideal, but losing over 2 percent of body weight per week is unhealthy because your cat will lose lean body tissue in addition to body fat.
Feed smaller meals more often. Try increasing the number of meals from 1 or 2 up to 6. Spread the food out on a very large cookie platter, which makes it take longer to eat and looks like a lot more to your cat.
Leave food out 20 to 30 minutes and remove-don’t free feed
Avoid snacks, or feed healthy treats like fresh vegetables.
Pet, hug, kiss, massage and brush your cat as much as possible.
Allow free access to clean, fresh water at all times
Create games and schedule play periods. Consider getting your cat a kitten to play with.
Cats enjoy laser mice games and dangling bird toys and other games that enhance their natural hunting instincts.
Many cats enjoy walking on a harness.
Fiber sources that can be added to meals: 1 tsp wheat bran, 1 tsp of finely grated carrots or zucchini or 1 tsp of peas, corn or chopped green beans.
I hope this information is helpful.
Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM