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Old 11-14-2012, 12:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need Advice: My Obese Cat

Hello--I have two cats...and one is obese (20+ lbs). They are both fed Blue Buffalo Weight Control dry food--1/3 cup twice a day. The obese cat tends to eat all of her food at once--the other cat will nibble all day. I do not give them treats.

I feel awful for my big girl. She can't clean herself properly because she is so big and her butt has become red and irritated because she seems to try and clean it obsessively...and can't. She smells bad as a result.

I would love to try and switch her to wet food...or better dry food. I haven't had success with wet food in the past because she's eaten dry food exclusively since she was a kitten.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1/3 cup twice a day is to much I think.... When I fed kibble I only fed Godzilla 1/4 cup twice a day and he might be a pound or so over where he should be... So that being said if the weight problem is that serious I don't think your gonna have any luck switching to a better kibble because blue buffalo is pretty decent.

If I were you I would try switching to canned entirely. Much healthier for your kitty and I'm sure it would take weight off much easier than kibble (if you can even accomplish losing weight with kibble :/ ) so there's lots of good brands out there but I caution you that when your looking for canned you try to avoid the ingredient carrageenan. It's in almost all canned pet foods and studies have found that it contributes to the risk for cancer.... Pet food companies are art slowly weeding it out though.... Here are some quality GRAIN FREE brands that do not contain the ingredient:

Weruva
Soulistic "In Gravy" varieties
Natures Variety Instinct
Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain

Ziwipeak and GO Naturals have informed us they will soon be removing carrageenan from the ingredient list... When I don't know. But you can be on the look out if your interested in those.

Out of that list Weruva and Soulistic are really low in calories and they are cheap for the quality they are. I don't know if you have a petco in your area but Soulistic is a Weruva brand made exclusively for them and I buy 8 packs of 5.5 oz cans for only 11 dollars. Actual Weruva and taste of the wild for me is hard to find in my area so if you wanted them you could order them online from a site I like called Chewy.com. No sales tax and its always a flat rate shipping of 4.95 IF you don't spend over 49 dollars then its FREE.... their prices are usually a dollar or two cheaper than the stores also. Saves trips for me and my stuff gets to me in only about 3 or 4 days. They've shipped same day for me or the next morning so they are quick.

Natures Variety is a good food and they have a lot of protein sources to choose from than the norm. They are just a bit pricier so I only use a few in my rotation.

If someone knows of any other grain free cans without carrageenan please add to my list! And someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe you wanna feed 1.5 or 2 percent of your cats body weight a day if your trying to take weight off of them.... Remember to split that amount into at least two meals. Godzilla only gets a half a can once a day and 3 table spoons of Honest Kitchen Prowl.

If your wondering about what honest kitchen is. It's a dehydrated raw cat food that comes in a powder. You add water to it and walah the next best thing after completely raw! It comes in 4 lb boxes and a 4 pound box is equal to 12 pounds of food. At only 41 dollars! My cats love it and its extremely healthy and not to expensive! You can get that at chewy.com too. It would be a good choice for you also. Here is Honest Kitchens Website where you can read more about it. I believe you can also get sample boxes from their website too.

http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/products/prowl/

Hope this helps!



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Old 11-14-2012, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the info! I think I'm going to cut down on the Blue Buffalo dry food as you suggested...and they try a slow switch over to wet food.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Please keep in mind that it is very dangerous for cats to lose weight too quickly. No more than 2-4 ounces a week. I recommend you get a good digital baby scale and weight them weekly.

There is some good info here:

Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health

on how to transition a kibble addict to a wet diet. It can be done. The important thing is to not be impatient. Resign yourself to the fact that it will take as long as it takes. Even if it takes six months, that doesn't matter, in the end your cats will benefit.

That site is written by a veterinarian, and she spends a lot of time researching foods. There is a list of canned food and their carbohydrate content also. While getting them on canned is the most important thing, you may want to consider the lower carb percentage foods first. I always liked Weruva and Soulistic, until I read that list. They are really high in carbs.

I do urge you to bring your overweight cat in for a check up, including blood work, so you know her health status as you start the weight loss regimen. Just don't let the vet talk you into some "prescription" weight loss kibble. As you have already discovered, "weight loss" kibble doesn't work.

Exercise is just as important as diet. An obese cat doesn't want to move much, which just makes the problem worse. The less she moves the more weight she gains.

So, you will need patience here too, as you work on getting him moving. Even the tiniest bit of play every day is a good start. Even if all she does is bat at a string at first.

It's wonderful that you want to get your girl back to a healthy weight. It can be done!

Last edited by lovetimesfour; 11-14-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My cat is overweight too by a kilo (not sure in pounds) and I have been trying things like..

At dinner times doing a few laps around the house with him following before putting his food dish down

Instead of putting his food is a dish putting it in small amounts around the bottom half of the house in several places so he has to go and 'hunt' them

Feeding smaller amounts more often (he would sit and eat his whole portion in one go like your cat does)

My boy loves his food so he is happy to work for it

Also, I don't know how much a cup is but I weigh out his food portions and bit by bit have to work it down to the amount to give for his ideal weight (if that makes sense)

He was on 90g and over about 10 weeks now worked down to the recommended about for a 6kg cat which is 60g (following the guide on the bag)

Hope you find something that will work for your girl!
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In the time we've had Lottie, she has lost a lot of weight (although she is still a big girl). She was never lethargic and not actually a greedy cat. We have encouraged exercise and monitored her diet but, in all honesty, she is by no means greedier than the others and less so than several of them. Becky and Baz who are the two thinnest both eat more than her and more rapidly. I hope she will lose a bit more but I am quite happy to have got her from obese to slightly over-weight and accept the fact that she has got a slower metabolism than the others.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your input. I am determined to help my big kitty lose weight.

Just to let you know the steps I've taken so far...I went to Petco and got a few different kinds of quality (at least I think they are a bit better) of wet food to try and see if she will even try it. I got chicken (and variations, like chicken and quail) because they have been eating chicken dry food and I thought they might eat that more easily. To my surprise, she ate it! She sniffed it a few times and walked away...while my other cat gobbled it up. Then she did that digging-to-cover-up-poop motion with the food. Then...she ate it! Phew. It gives me hope that she will be able to lose weight with wet food and more play time.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Oh...and I've taken her to the vet pretty recently. The vet told me that her problems would be cleared up with weight loss...so...here we are.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Your post made me cry. Poor little girl!!
We have 3 cats. I free feed. The 1 male and the female nibble all day and do not have a weight issue. The other male (littermate to the female) was overweight, but I would not call him obese. He ate larger quantities than the other 2 and if there was food he liked, I knew he ate more than he needed to to satisfy his hunger.
Funnily enough, the last 3 or so weeks, I have been trying to switch them all to less seafood flavors and lower carb.
Apologies that this is a long post, but maybe it will help...
I needed to buy some new dry because Costco quit selling the grain free dry I was using. Surprisingly, the overweight cat (well, they all loved the new but he more than the rest) ate the new stuff like a glutton.
I started putting out the new canned...initially, they all loved it and now there is resentment amongst the ranks, particularly, the overweight cat. He hates the new canned food, but he will eat it if he is really hungry. I am finishing up the dry costco food and surprisingly, the overweight cat has now decided he does not like it as much since he knows the new dry tasted better.
I find that he now eats only to satisfy his hunger since the food is not as yummy to him as the other has been. I make sure he eats, but he does not stuff himself and he holds out to eat the canned towards the end of the day. I would like to wean them all off of the dry totally, but it will be a slow process.
In any event, i cannot believe how much weight he has lost.
They are all indoor/outdoor cats, but this one prefers to be indoors more than the others. I try to play with them if the weather is bad so they burn up some calories.

So besides more exercise, I would say switching to a healthy food that they are not nuts over will maybe force them to eat only when hungry.
I also think the weight-loss type foods are actually worse for them (more carbs) and carbs cause weight gain....so at least 3 ideas to work in.
Good luck.
Please post back to let us know how your girl is doing.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Here's what I do with my cats--they eat about 1/4 cup of dry food in the morning and a 3 oz can of quality wet food at night. If I give them treats in between feedings, I only give them four or five. When either cat is finished eating their hard food in the morning, I put the excess back in the bag. This means their tummies are full and the worst thing (imo) is to let them free feed. Some cats are able to control themselves but others can't. I think cats can eat out of boredom or availability, like humans do but this is just my opinion. Also try to exercise them before meals, it helps them with the kill, eat, groom, sleep pattern that Jackson Galaxy always talks about. I'm not an expert on this, but it works for my cats! They're both around 9 pounds which is good for their age. Whatever you do, good luck! Let us know how kitty is doing with everything.
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