Help! Cat Losing Too Much Weight (diet change) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Help! Cat Losing Too Much Weight (diet change)

Hi all,

I'm new here. I needed to find a place quickly because I needed some help with my cat and I found you guys.

Anyway, here is the scoop: I have 3 cats (around 5 years old) and 1 kitten (not really sure how old she is, she's super tiny.) Anyway, on 10/20/08 I decided to change my cats over to just canned food. Prior to this all they have had was dry food. They've been eating Purina's Urinary Tract Infection dry and they, of course, loved it.

I switched, Blade, first and mind you, I found him on the streets when he was 1 yrs. old and he would eat just about anything people would give him. Of course, NOW, he's giving me a hard time about the canned cat food (I thought he would be the easiest, boy was I wrong.)

From what I read online, a cat should only lose 1 to 2% of his weight a week. Well, Blade is losing a lot more than that and it's because he's not eating. He started at 20.2 lbs. on 10/20 and I just weighed him this morning and he's 18.6 lbs.

I give him a 1/2 can in the morning, which he doesn't touch, and a 1/2 a can in the evening, which he'll eat 50% to 70% of. I tried putting parmesean cheese on top and that doesn't help.

I tried putting little bit of his dry food on top and that doesn't help.

I just put tuna fish on top and well he ate all of the tuna fish off lol but that was it. I don't know what to do to get him to eat.

I just spotted him this morning eating a tiny, tiny bit, but he stopped. Then I added tuna and of course he ate all of the tuna, but nothing else. I was happy to see him at least attempting to eat this morning because he hasn't been eating all day, he only ate after I went to bed.

Any suggestions? I'm trying realllly hard not to give him his dry food. I know they say it takes patience to switch some cats to canned food, but I'm not having a problem with being patient I'm just having an issue with him losing too much weight and starving himself.

We were thinking of doing a 1/4 cup dry in the morning, then the canned food at night?? A part of me thinks that would be awesome because he'll at least start eating again, but then I'm thinking that it will keep the dry food addiction going even more.

So I'm stuck. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 12:22 PM
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Re: Help! Cat Losing Too Much Weight (diet change)

Have you tried maybe crushing some of the dry food and sprinkling it on the wet? Cats can develop liver issues if they don't eat for a couple days or if they eat much less than normal over a period of time. I found this site helpful; maybe you've already seen it: ... nned_Food_
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Help! Cat Losing Too Much Weight (diet change)

Hey Porcupine,

That' site is where I found some of the ideas I'm using now. I gave in though and filled up his bowl with 1/2 the wet food and then I pushed that all to the side and put a 1/3 of his dry food in there (Purina Urinary Tract) and he went over and nibbled on the dry food for a second and ate some more of the wet food.

Soooooo I'm hoping he gets better. Next I think I will try what you said and crush the dry food up and put it on top (btw, I bought wellness and he wasn't eating that so I picked up some fancy feast canned last night and he still wasn't eating that. The one he ate today along with the dry food though was wellness.)

I was thinking of getting some "better" dry food while I'm transitioning him, but on I checked out all of the dry foods with the protein/fat/carbs and with the top 3 I came up with: Nature's Variet Raw Instinct 45 pro/49 fat/ 7 carbs, Wellness Core 47 pro/42 fat/ 11 carb, Natura Innova Evo 44 pro/47 fat/8 carb......I don't think the Purina was that far off from them at 50 pro/37 fat/ 13 carb. Plus, the phosphorus, which I think I read is bad, right? Is lower in the Purina than the other 3.

Would you agree?? So perhaps I can keep that during the transitioning and give him wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy less than I did since it's like 443 or so calories per cup...I had nooo idea. I just have him a 1/3 cup with the wet food but he didn't really eat all of the dry.

Or do you think I should just start all over with him back on his dry food....give him 1/2 a cup a day (which would be like 220 calories) spread out at 2 sittings, whereas before I just left him a 1/2 cup in the morning, then by about 8pm can him another 1/2 cup (just let it out all day for him to finish.) Plus, maybe only leave the food out for the 20 minutes each sitting for him to chow down? Then maybe after a few days try the sprinkle the dry food over top of the wet, etc.??

Boy this is really difficult....I honestly thought he'd be the easiest one to switch. Everyone else is doing awesome, except him.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 12:36 AM
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Re: Help! Cat Losing Too Much Weight (diet change)

First, it is CRITICALLY important that your cat keeps eating, even if it means giving him dry food again. Overweight cats are at high risk of developing potentially fatal liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) if they quit eating or don't eat as much as they need to maintain proper weight. Hepatic lipidosis can occur within a day or two of inadequate eating, esp. in fat cats.

Second, you are correct that weight loss should be slow and steady. Rapid weight loss is potentially very dangerous for cats. Most of my cats have been on a weight loss diet for more than a year (I used to free feed them dry food), and several of them still need to lose more weight. My target for weight loss is .2-.4 lb every two weeks. If a heavy cat loses less than .2 lb between weighings (I weigh them on the 1st and 15th of every month), I decrease the food portion a little. If a cat loses more than .4 lb in two weeks, I increase the food portion a little.

Like your boy, my cats were addicted to dry food when I put them on the diet. The first thing I did was upgrade their food to Evo dry and Wysong canned. I eliminated the all-day dry buffet and started feeding them portioned meals three times a day - dry for breakfast and lunch, canned for dinner. I gave them 15-30 mins to eat each meal, then picked up any leftovers and put them away until the next meal. They disliked the canned and didn't eat much of it initially. After a week, I switched to dry for breakfast and canned for lunch and dinner. A week later, I cut out the lunch meal altogether and fed them dry for breakfast and canned for dinner. That's the schedule they've stayed on until very recently when I decided to try to transition them to a raw meat diet ... but that's a whole different can of worms.

The point is that it took my cats about a year to start really eating canned food enthusiastically. It took time for them to develop a taste for canned, but it did happen. I was very careful, though, to feed them enough dry at breakfast so that none of them lost weight too quickly while they were learning to appreciate canned food.

One trick that seemed to help transition them to canned food was to feed the canned meal communally. By allowing the cats to eat canned food together out of the same large bowl, the competition inspired all of them to eat with more interest. Also, I mixed the canned food with hot water to turn it into a soup that they could lap up. The cats all seemed to prefer canned food soup.

Bottom line - you have to keep your boy eating enough to slow his weight loss to a safe rate in order to protect his liver. If that means feed him more dry food while he gets used to the canned, then so be it.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Help! Cat Losing Too Much Weight (diet change)

Thanks Laurie for that post. I felt the same way this afternoon and I was like "I don't care about canned or dry food right now...I care about him eating!" which is why I took away his 1/2 dry and 1/2 wet and gave him a bowl of his dry food again (1/3 cup) of it. He's not the type of cat that as soon as you put his food down he eats it right away so I left it there (and right now I'm too concerned about him eating to worry about timing him.)

We had a haunted house and when it was over and I checked on him there was only 3 lil dry kernels left. So I was super happy (this was like 6 to 8 hours mind you.)

Then I gave him a can of fancy feast canned food this evening. He ate it for a second but that was it until a few minutes ago. He walked up to it and was really eating it up. So, I'm feeling a little better about things.

I think I'll stick to the 1/3 cup of dry in the morning and then the wet food at night. Then after a while I'll see about trying different tricks on him to get him strictly on canned.

Thanks to all who answered. I (we) appreciate it.
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