Calorie counting - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
twylajane's Avatar
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Question Calorie counting

Hi my name is twyla and I have fat cat.

Sorry couldn't help myself.

Seven weeks ago I adopted Walter from the shelter, he weighed in at 17 pounds at the vet I was told he should weigh around 12 pounds.

I cannot find any info on any cat food as to how many calories are in the food, I did find some helpful info on how to calculate how much a cat should intake.

I have done this for my toy poodles, because to them there is never enough food, mainly to keep them fit and but because one had knee surgery have her the right weight is important.

I realize what is on the side of the bag/ canned is not correct sometimes it way too much depending on the activity level of your pet.

I did order Prescription R/D, but Walt got pretty constipated when I changed his food over to the prescription diet food, I don't know if it was the food change or that I gave him tap water instead of bottle that lead to him not drinking enough. So I switched him back to what I am feeding him now which is one 3 oz canned of sliced Fancy Feast Turkey and a 1/3 cup of Blue's Indoor Cat.

Walt has lost 1 pound in roughly six weeks.

I worry a lot about fatty liver disease, I lost two cats to that, one was a newly adopted cat who stopped eating so I am very careful to keep Walt de-stressed and eating.

I just want to help him carefully shed his excess pounds, any information would be helpful.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 06:12 PM
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With cats you will lower weight better to concentrate on getting rid of carbs than trying to find the lowest calories with no attention paid to ingredients. Don't get the high carb, over priced prescription stuff. It sounds great but they don't digest things the same as we do and most of those prescription kibbles are not the ideal way to accomplish anything having to do with health. You want high quality, grain free. Wet food is healthier and often has a higher meat content. You can even get foods that are 90% or more meat with necessary supplements added and nothing else. Prefrozen raw patties are another good form of no carb food. They thaw to about the consistency of canned but they are not cooked so the nutrients are damaged less and the taurine is all there. Getting your nutrients from a natural source is better than processed versions being added later but it's definitely not the most major consideration when choosing food types.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-25-2015, 06:41 PM
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Location: Washington
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^ Second what has been said above.

And I use this website to help me calculate the calorie amounts in food to ensure I'm feeding my cats enough. (or not too much, as food labels will often try to get you to feed more than they actually need, and/or are vague in exact amounts)

Cat Food Nutrition Calculator | Elizabeth C Scheyder

Most canned foods will also list how many calories there are per can. (if you can't view the cans yourself, then the manufacturer's website is your 2nd best bet) I used to make the mistake of going by eye, assuming that a 5.5oz can was plenty for any cat. But all foods have VERY different calorie amounts, so it's good that you already plan to check those amounts beforehand.

As for figuring out how much your cat needs.. well, it's easier said than done. lol. Starting out with his ideal weight is a good point, then factor in activity level, whether he is indoor/outdoor, etc.

The recommended amount varies heavily depending on these factors, but is around 20-30 calories per pound. 25 is usually a good starting point, as 20 is pretty low and 30 would probably be for super young, active cats. But again, it isn't an exact science.

I myself am STILL working on figuring out a more exact calorie amount for my overweight senior. In my experience, they shed weight very gradually, so you want to avoid accidentally starving your cat just because they aren't losing as much weight as they're supposed to. I feed Scamper enough food for a lean, healthy cat, yet she still retains a fair bit of weight. (though, she is also a bit old, indoor-only, and very inactive)

Once you start mapping your calorie plan out, be sure to post if you need any brand suggestions. There are lots of us here with great recommendations.

Best of luck to you and Walter on his weight-loss journey.

Proud parent of Scamper (age 12) and Robin (age 4)
At the rainbow bridge: Slippy, Faramir, Gabriel, Lucky, Ammy

Last edited by Augustine; 11-25-2015 at 06:43 PM.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-26-2015, 06:39 AM
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Most pet food companies will list the calories on their website as mentioned above. If not, feel free to contact them via email or phone. I'd also encourage you to start reading food labels (ingredient list). Knowing that felines are obligate carnivores, carbs should actually be less than 10% in the food to be optimal for cat's overall health. Kibble, no matter what its claims are, will have much higher carb content than canned because some kind of starch is needed to help retain its shape and form.

However, cats need to lose weight very slowly, so my advise is, if you haven't done so, is to read There will be very detailed information, especially if you click on the topic of feline obesity as the author herself has had to put her kitties on a weight loss regime as well. Don't forget to buy a scale specifically for your cat, and do a weigh in weekly and keep a journal of his progress. It will take some hard work on your part, but since he already cosumes canned, it may not be as difficult as those hard core kibble addicts!

Kaliska recommended raw patties, but I wanted to clarify she clearly means commercial raw patties that are strictly made for felines, not ground burger meats meant for humans. Local independent stores will carry those raw meat selections in addition to some great quality canned which are surprisingly comparable to big box store pricing. They may also be another source for comprehending food labels and getting calorie content in the foods they sell, too.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2015, 01:57 AM
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Twyla, I'm not sure which brands you're looking at, but I've always found the calorie information on a can (or bag). I just double-checked a few cans of Dave's, Merrick, Hound & Gatos, and Blue that I have, and the calorie count is on all of them. It's not presented the way calories are on human food, and it's only a few words, so maybe you're not seeing it?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2015, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the the info, I have a bit of info to review.
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