Dieting on raw
My 3 cats made the switch to raw one week ago. Two of them need to lose about two pounds each, but one is very obese. Last Friday I weighed him at 21.8 pounds. He is very small in frame and should weigh 10-12 pounds, so this is going to be a long journey for us.
He's the one I'm going to talk about most.
First of all, I have a weight watchers scale that weighs in .1 pound increments. I weigh myself, pick up the cat and weigh myself holding him, then subtract my weight out.
We're currently on Nature's Variety raw patties until I get the ingredients to make food (next month). I wanted to buy a small package to first see if I could get them to switch from kibble to raw. One appears to have no preference, he'll eat whatever he's served, one GREATLY prefers raw, and Rocky (the fat one) clearly prefers kibble but will eat the raw since that's all he's offered, so we're switching.
The chicken variety is supposed to have 65 calories per ounce. I converted that to grams for more accurate measurement.
Since he weighed 21.8 pounds, and I didn't want him to lose too much too fast, I calculated how many calories (I THOUGHT!!) would be needed to sustain 20 pounds. 274 calories per day. So I gave him the appropriate # of grams of food to get that many calories, divided over 4 meals per day. (30 grams, 4x per day)
He would never finish his meal, so in my worry, I kept putting his unfinished portions in front of him till he'd eaten it all. About 3 days in, I weighed him again, and he'd gained about .3 pounds. WHOA!
So I scaled back and gave him the same amount as the other male cat is getting, which is approx 208 calories, or 22-23 grams, 4x per day. He still wouldn't finish his meals, so I started measuring how much he DID eat per meal, and got around 13 grams that he was eating.
I tried one meal of giving him only 13 grams, but he only ate half of THAT. So now, I'm thinking, maybe he's just paranoid about running out of food, so he won't eat past a certain point?? So I went back to offering 22-23 grams per meal and letting him eat what he chose.
I weighed him on day 5 of the diet and got 21.7 pounds (yeeps!) then on day 6 and got 22.7 pounds. There's nothing wrong with my subtraction skills, and I can't believe he gained a pound in a day, when he was only offered 208 calories and didn't even finish that much.
Did I buy a crappy scale? EVERY time, I weighed myself immediately before picking up the cat, I'm not using a days-old weight for myself.
I'm not supposed to let him lose more than 1-2% of his body weight in a week, which is approx .2 to .4 pounds a week, if his first weigh-in was to be believed. Another place said not to let an obese cat lose more than .5 pound A MONTH.
I've been weighing the other cats and not getting such large fluctuations. I think I got a .1 or .2 pound differerence in each of them on day 5. Am I weighing him right before or right after he needs to use the litterbox? All the weighings were at the same time of day, about 5 hours after his last meal, and right before his 3rd meal of the day (about 5 pm).