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My two cats, both four years old and at the weights 14lbs and 9lbs, each get a combination of canned food and dry food most days (and sometimes a supplement of chicken thigh when it's on sale and then mealworms as a snack).

When they get canned food they end up getting a total of 5 ounces of food a day (because the cans are three ounces for breakfast and then dinner is a 1/4 cup, or two ounces of dry). When I'm in a hurry and only feeding them dry they get 4 ounces a day (breakfast and dinner both two ounces of dry).

My concern is that maybe I'm cutting back my big cat too far and his body is going into starvation mode and saving up his fat, because he seems overweight but hasn't appeared to do anything but remain at this stable. I'm afraid to cut his food any more and make things worse. Any suggestions? Should I cut it or add more? As a side note, I just found out that they had roundworm and they just received their second dose of treatments so should be roundworm free. Could this have been causing his weight stability? Do you expect that I'll see him losing weight now?

This is what I feed:


 

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Just like humans, each cat has a different metabolism. My cats each get 3.67 oz of wet food and 1/8 cup dry per day. The two girls (9 &12 lbs) usually don't finish it all and Kobi (19lb) cleans up. They're all at a good weight for their frames and maintain it consistently.

Your cats are getting more food per day than mine, plus you're adding the occasional chicken thigh (I'll equate the mealworms, yuck!, with the treats I give mine). So I can see where they wouldn't lose weight.

Two things to note....1/4 cup of dry food is not 2 oz. That's liquid measure on the cup. If you actually put one cup of dry food on a kitchen scale you'll find it weighs 5 oz.

The second is that ProPlan is not a great canned food, meat by products give me the heebie jeebies. You can do much better for about the same price especially if you just split a 5.5 oz can between them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, so instead of a cup of dry food being 8 ounces like I thought it's really 5.5 ounces? So that means I've been actually feeding them 1.4 ounces of dry food each meal, right? As for the chicken thighs, they don't get them in addition to the rest of their food, they get it in place of one meal and the same weight as the meal that it replaced.

What is the best canned food to get for the price? This is the best I could find at PetCo (unless I'm just blind, lol) for that price range. Is there another brand I should be looking into? I was feeding IAMS ProActive Health, but I liked the looks of the ingredients in the Purina ProPlan better...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry to double post, but I wanted to mention: I used to feed them Nature's Variety:


And it says on the package "may cause temporary digestive disturbances", but that was an understatement. I fed them two entire 12lb bags of the stuff waiting for the "digestive disturbances" (horribly smelly stool) to subside and it never did. That stuff was awful :(. They seem to be doing much better on the Wellness Core. Anyone else ever experience this?
 

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I think that at one time Iams used to be pretty decent food but once they sold out to a larger company (was it P&G?) it's garbage now and imo, would rate Purina below Iams.

Canned food I would suggest Wellness Core, Before Grain, By Nature, Evo, and even Natural Balance. I feed anywhere from 6-9 ounces to the 8 year old and 9 ounces to the 1 year old. It depends on the calorie count of the food, how active he's acting and what his condition looks like.e

I can't help with dry, as I don't believe in feeding it.
 

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Iams is no better or worse than Purina...both pretty yucky.

If you're looking for a lower priced but decent food then Natural Balance, Chicken Soup, and Taste of the Wild are all good choices. You'll find NB at Petco, the other two will require going to an independent...you can find a store locator on their websites.

BTW...we really don't need huge photos of the foods you're asking about. The brand and product line (if they have more than one..e.g. Purina Pro Plan vs Purina One) is sufficient...
 

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It never ceases to amaze me just how many people get caught up equating "How much food should I feed...?" and "How many ounces should I feed...?"

Whether it's cats or humans, the actual question about amount needs to be expressed in calories......e.g. "What's the necessary caloric intake for a cat weighing x # pounds?" The "because" is because different foods have differing caloric content.

Welcome to the forum, Jadie.Glitch!

A few suggestions for you:


- Get yourself up to speed on feline nutrition. There's a free Feline Nutrition 101 on a very excellent Veterinarian's website (both the Veterinarian and the website are excellent!) You'll find it 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 I'm recommending this because you're using a dry food and because you're using a lot of fish (the dry has fish as an ingredient as well) and because fish is NOT good for cats. From that website
Stick with poultry (chicken and turkey) and rabbit as the bulk of your cat's diet. Fish and beef are common food allergens in the cat and can cause inflammatory bowel disease and skin allergies in some cats. Think 'feathers and long ears', not 'horns and fins'.
Fish is also more apt to be contaminated with heavy metals and PBDEs. PBDEs are fire retardant chemicals that have a possible link to hyperthyroidism. Because fish is so palatable to most cats, many cat foods do contain some fish so be careful to read the labels.
If you want to feed a fish-based food as a treat, please limit it to once or twice a week. That said, I do not feed my cats any fish on a regular basis.
- Have a read of this (by another Veterinarian who, BTW, used to be the resident Vet here) Why Fish is Dangerous for Cats | Little Big Cat Note in her headline "...Dangerous..."

Once you know your cats' current weights and the caloric count of what you are feeding, then you will know whether/not you've been feeding too much/the right amount/too little - at this point in time.

Whether or not your cats are of ideal, healthy weight is an entirely different issue/question....I don't think you're asking that but, if that's part of your wondering, do ask. (You'll need to assess certain physical features and there are excellent resources to help you learn that too.)

Oh yeah...
What is the best canned food to get for the price?
IF you decide that you can easily digest:wink: Dr. Pierson's article on food, then take a look at a second one Commercial Canned Foods by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM :: reading cat food labels, canned versus dry cat food That will teach you how to determine for yourself which ingredients are OK/not OK. (motivator: you WILL find a listing of acceptable canned foods in there).

With regards to cost I suggest using large (12-13) ounce cans...much more economical than 3 & 5 oz cans...and...purchasing by the case (12 x 12 ozers) will often get you a discount of 10% (shop around!)...and, if you have a gram/gramps, they might even be able to get you a larger discount!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Stryker, oh my gosh, thank you so much. All of that helps a ton! I'm gonna get on reading right now :D. See, this is why I don't have a ferret yet... I knew I didn't quite have my ducks in a row when it came to this type of feeding (small, primarily carnivorous animals), and if I can't even figure out how to feed my silly cats right then it would be a mistake to get a ferret at this point. Hopefully I will be much more informed by this time tomorrow. Thanks! :)
 
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