can a cat lose weight on a 50/50 diet? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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can a cat lose weight on a 50/50 diet?

okay, here's my predicament:

Sadie is overweight. She weighs about 14lbs right now and her ideal weight should be around 10lbs.

When I first got her, she had a tendency to overeat. She always seemed to be eating, and when the other cats went to eat, she would push them away so she could eat even more.

All of the cats, except Trixie, eat the same dry food (Chicken Soup). They get a rationed amount each day. One scoop in the morning and one in the evening. I know this is not an ideal feeding situation, and its a safe bet that Sadie is probably getting more than her share.
Thankfully, for the most part, she has stopped overeating. I don't see her at the bowl very often anymore and she usually leaves Aki and Hiro alone when they want to eat.
She seems to have plateaued at 14lbs. SHe hasn't gained any more but she hasn't lost any either.

I have tried feeding each cat seperately ond only at mealtimes, and that plan failed miserably. Sadie refuses to eat when she's confined to another room. Aki, who is still semi-feral, cannot be confined or he will panic, and Hiro refused to eat anything more than a few bites before walking away, even after a week of trying.

Now I am wondering if I could get Sadie to lose some weight on a diet of 50% canned and 50% dry. I know an all-canned diet has helped many cats lose weight, and I would love to try that with Sadie, but there is no way I can afford that right now. The best I would be able to do is 50/50.

If I give her some canned both in the morning and evening, and let her nibble on the dry, do you think it would help her lose weight? or do you think she would still eat the same amount of dry in addition to the canned?
She has a much stronger preference for canned food than dry, and I am hoping that if she can expect canned food, she will hold off on eating as much of the dry, or that the canned food will make her feel fuller and she won't be as hungry.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks for reading this far.
Does anyone have any advice, ideas?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 04:20 PM
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As long as she has food available to "nibble" on, I don't think your plan will be successful. It sounds like she's got a strong drive to eat, whether she's hungry or not. I suggest you do two things: consult with a vet to plan a diet for her -- this will probably involve a low-calorie prescription food and rationed amounts, and purchase a pet scale to monitor her weight on a weekly basis to ensure she is losing weight at a planned, safe rate (people scales are too inaccurate). Since your plan to feed in separate rooms didn't work out, this might mean that you're going to have to supervise all mealtimes, to make sure she eats only her food and nobody else's.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 05:48 PM
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She seems to have plateaued at 14lbs.
If that's the case, don't worry about it until she adds on another pound. It's quite possible she never will.

Some cats are very food oriented because of underlying anxiety issues. If that's the case with your kitty, you will have to approach any diet plan with extreme caution because food restriction has devastating effects on such cats.
Also, like people, cats come in all shapes and sizes and not all cats are healthy or comfortable at a lower weight level that's really not normal and natural for them.

Do your best to restrict the amount of dry food she is getting and concentrate on feeding a high-protein low-carbohydrate canned diet because this will protect her against diabetes even if she is slightly overweight. Such a diet may also help her lose a little weight without any effort on your part.

In her book The New Natural Cat Anitra Frazier recommends restricting dry food to 1 Tbsp per day. This is an excellent suggestion, I can highly recommend the same approach.

Let your kitty fill up on canned food and offer a tiny amount of dry once a day as a special treat. This approach goes a long way to protect the health of any cat, so you can't go wrong with it.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 06:38 PM
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But she also said she can't afford to feed mostly canned food. I think increasing the wet food and decreasing the dry can help your kitty lose weight even if the cat has some dry food to nibble on because some amount of dry food will be decreased and replaced by the wet. It's almost impossible to completely control how much your cats are eating in a multi-cat environment but you can do your best. As far as feeding cats in separate rooms, you don't have to complicate your life like that if it's too difficult. Use your own best judgement and be generous with wet food and limit the dry. But remember too many calories can come from any food, it's just that wet food has less of it. Just figure how much each cat needs and limit the food left out for all cats. With some competition it should be somewhat harder to overeat because at some point if your cat starts gorging and the other cats aren't getting enough, aren't they going to get hungry enough to eat more so less becomes available to your chubby kitty? If you're leaving significantly more out for all your cats than they all need then it's time to limit the quantity.

I don't reccommend prescription weight control diets. Hill's Pet Nutrition dominates the veterinary community but I don't believe those foods are very high quality and I tend to disagree with vets a lot when they push those Hill's diets stocked on their shelves and don't give you access to alternatives. Plus many weight control diets are even higher in carbohydrates and excess carbohydrates often lead to obesity. Good luck.

I think most indoor cats are a little overweight and I accept it because it's difficult to completely control. Just as long as they don't become obese. 14 pounds is a bit much for an average cat. If you can get the cat down to 12 or 13 pounds, and see that it doesn't gain weight, that's quite an accomplishment. That's what my Spotty weighs. He will always be a little heavy.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 07:07 PM
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14 pounds??? That doesn't sound overweight to me, especially if Sadie is a Maine Coon.

My cats are on a 50/50 diet and I am having A LOT OF TROUBLES trying to make them GAIN weight!!! I have tried everything to make them gain weight, but they are just too darned active !!! They currently weight 8~9 pounds.

Some canned cat food are much more affordable than others. Right now my kittens are on Hill Country Fare. I know it sounds horrible but I checked the ingredients and they agreed with me.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 07:42 PM
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Actually for some Maine Coons 20-25 lbs is perfectly normal weight.
The are big kitties
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-05-2005, 10:26 PM
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My late Jazzy was overweight She averaged from 14-18lbs. I tried everything, but nothing worked. I think she was just meant to be a fat cat.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2005, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions so far.
Sadie is definately not a large cat like a Maine Coon. I think she's overweight not just because she's 14lbs, but because she's got a big bulging belly.

Perhaps a couple of pictures will give you a better idea of what I'm dealing with...

This was Sadie last fall when she was at a pretty normal weight:

And this is Sadie now (4-5lbs heavier):

I really wish I could feed each cat their own seperate meals, but as I said before, I've tried, and failed. The main reason why this didn't work was because Hiro refused to eat more than a few bites at a time, even when he was hungry, and he was the one starting to lose weight.

If I didn't have the boys to worry about, managing Sadie's weight would be so much easier. It really can be very difficult when you have multiple cats who all have different issues.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2005, 03:29 AM
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I just wanted to jump in and say i know EXACTLY what you are going through....

I have 3 cats, and 1 is overweight. (Ashley) she should probably weigh around 9 pounds and she is at about 13 and a half. VERY pudgy, because she is a very small boned, petite almost 14 pounds is alot on her.
Anyway, I have struggled with what to do as well...I also feed Chicken Soup dry, and my 3 free feed. They all also split 1 can of wet food twice a day. My 2 boys are both good weights, although Gaylord is actually a bit thin- but he has always been that way. However, I wouldn't ant him to lose any weight or he would be skin and bones.
I don't want to feed a weight loss diet, because I would then have to diet all 3....I can't afford to go to all wet for all 3 of them, and I have tried that in the past and they hated it anyway.

Anyway, I guess I don;t have any great suggestions for you, but I had to jump in because our situations are so similar Let me know if you find something that works!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-07-2005, 04:18 AM Thread Starter
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It really does sound like we both are in a similar situation. Ashley sounds like my Sadie, and Gaylord sounds like Hiro. Hiro is also a thin cat. He is at a perfect weight right now and if he were to lose any, he'd be skin and bones too.

Both Aki and Hiro are my roommate's cats, so when we eventually go out seperate ways, I'll just have Trixie and Sadie. When that happens, it'll be really easy to control Sadie's weight, since Trixie is already getting seperate meals. That could be a a year or 2 down the road though, and I don't want to put off dealing with Sadie's weight problem until then if I can help it.

If I figure out a way to get her to lose weight, I'll be sure to let you know
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