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Obese/overweight cat? Do your research!
on October 22, 2012
This is a really good choice for a nutritionally sound, lower calorie food, and our cat (admittedly not picky) immediately devoured it. But the real message here is: you need to find out how many kcal/day your cat needs for weight loss, research the calories in your cat's food, and accurately measure your feeding. There do not appear to be industry standards for what's labeled as 'weight management', 'light' etc., and the differences are dramatic!
Our very young and energetic cat starting piling on weight from when he was a kitten. Maybe he stuffs himself because he's a 'rescue'--I don't know whether he might have had some starvation in his early weeks that marked him for life! but we had to put him on adult food before his kitten year was up, on the advice of our veterinarian--and he went on to gain weight up to almost 20 lb. even when giving the recommended daily amount of food, measured, divided into 2 daily feedings.
We decided to switch from a Purina Pro Plan regular adult formula to their 'weight management' formula--still, kitty was gaining. When I finally did the research of how many kcal/day he should be getting and how many kcal we were giving him (mind you--the recommended, measured amount), I was shocked. The packaging recommends 56-84 g./day of the food for weight loss, for a cat with a goal weight of 10-14 lbs. That's 214-321 calories, measured by their own nutrition information. But my research at [...] showed that the recommended amount should be 187 calories/day for weight loss, for a goal weight of 10-12 lb. That means the *minimum* amount recommended by the Purina label was 27 more calories/day than he should be getting--or 14% more! and the maximum 'recommended' amount was 72% more than he should be getting for weight loss.
[...] has a publication with calorie counts/cup of a wide variety of cat food: [...]
The range of calories/up is staggering. Anyone with an overweight cat--do your cat a favor and research how many calories/day they *should* be getting, and how many calories the 'recommended' amount that you're feeding actually is.
After finding out how much of the Pro Plan Weight Management per day to offer, I thought our problems were over--I started giving him a daily amount with the right calories for weight loss. And he did start losing, at a slow but safe rate: about .2 lb/week. But he was constantly, frantically hungry. I looked further, for a nutritionally sound food that could give him more volume and fill him up while still not exceeding the calories he would need for weight loss. With the help of [...] for nutritional ratings, and the calorie chart on [...], I selected Science Diet Light--with approximately 75% of the calories per cup compared to the Purina Pro Plan. I can now give him 9g/day more, and I think the higher fiber content of this food will help him feel more full. While it does cost more than his previous food, the difference is not going to break the bank--I estimate it will cost me $4 more per month.