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Discussion Starter #1
i just took my 2 year old cat in for a check up. she weighs 16.3 pounds. i've been giving her science diet light (1/2 cup am, 1/2 cup pm). the doctor recommended reducing the amt of food i'm giving her but also wrote me a prescription for royal canin calorie control. i thought the science diet was expensive, but the royal canin is VERY expensive. should i buy it or just try reducing the amt of science diet?? 8O
 

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Dry food is high carb, and most has a pretty low nutritional value (including Science Diet, though I am not sure about Royal Canin). If it were me, I would purchase a higher quality dry food for nibbling on during the day (there are several threads about this here on the forums), and I would also start feeding a good quality wet food. Science Diet is expensive, but it really isnt the best food you can get for that price.

Our 2 boys currently get 1 cup of Science Diet T/D, which is larger kibble size and good for their teeth (yeah, I know, I just said it isn't the best,and I am looking for something better to switch them too that still has the larger kibble size!).

In addition to that they each get 1/2 can (small) of Sheba or Wellness in the morning, and 1 can (small) each of Sheba or Wellness in the evening. They also get greenies (though only one of them wants it) as snackies during the day. One came to use with food obsession issues, because he was a street kitty. We've only had them for a month now, and they've each put on a few ounces, but are holding steady at around 10 lbs, which is a good weight for both of them.
 

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Personally, I never had any luck with "light" foods or dry foods for weight loss....they just replace protein and fat with carbohydrates that aren't particularly well-tolerated by cats. I did use dry prescription Hills r/d once, and though it did produce weight loss (feeding about a half-cup total per day), I had a very miserable, very constipated cat with severe skin and coat issues.

My preference for weight loss is high-quality canned food only; I've seen it work when not much else did...for my cat, it also had the benefit of clearing up the dandruff, dull coat, and most of the hairballs. Some cats have much lower caloric needs than others, so cutting calories by gradually reducing portions may be necessary (my cat and my neighbor's cat are around the same size -10 pounds -...my cat gains weight on more than 125-150 kcals/day, her cat does just fine with 250 or so)

You'll find a lot more information about cats, obesity, and canned food/grain-free diets in the Health/Nutrition forum here.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I found a PetSupermarket here in Charlotte which seems to have pretty good prices on Wellness big cans. My plan is to get some of those (turkey and chicken recommended in posts here) and do a gradual switch. Veeeeeeery gradual since I have 20 pounds of Science Diet left!!! Any thoughts on that approach?

I'm looking forward to a fit kitty. I was starting to wonder if the cat door was getting smaller. When the vet gave me the prescription for the royal canin dry food and I asked him how that was any better than the science diet light dry food he kind of stammered something about how he was at the seminar but couldn't remember exactly. I think $25 for a 5 pound bag of dry anything is a ripoff.
 

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If your experience is anything like mine, you will be amazed at the difference in your cat by switching to a high quality wet food!
My cats were overweight for years and I tried everything. They were on Science Diet R/D and still never lost weight but were hungry all the time. They also started having health problems like skin allergies and IBD, although I could never prove it, I'm convinced it was all a direct result of their diet. I did some research and switched to Wellness wet. To my shock, I noticed a difference in a couple of weeks! Their fur was silkier, they shed less, their skin cleared up, they were more active and they weren't begging for food all the time and, an incredible bonus, after a few months the IBD kitty didn't need meds anymore and never had a recurrence. Although, I was doing some additional supplements to his diet as well as strictly wet. AND they finally did lose weight! They both slimmed down to a healthy weight and maintained it for the rest of their lives. My current cats have been on an almost all wet food diet since I've had them and niether has had a wieght issue.
So, to answer your question, yes, I think getting the Wellness and doing a slow switch over to it is a great idea.
Good luck! :D
 

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Wet food was the answer for my fat cat. He was 15.8 about 15 months ago. At one point about two years ago he was up close to 17 8O . He gained weight on diet dry. After being on a wet diet for about 15 months he is now 12.6. He looks and feels so much better. With overweight cats you have to be very careful with weight loss so they don't develop fatty liver. I weighed him weekly to make sure he didn't lose to fast. He eats Natural Balance, Innova, Felidae, and Nature's Variety wet foods for the most part. Occasionally some Wellness or Avoderm. For some reason he won't eat Wellness in the big cans, only the smaller ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I bought a case of Wellness turkey for $30 (5.5 oz cans). Is that the biggest can they make?

Also, should I start by just mixing a spoonful of that wet food in with her dry food, then very gradually change the ratio?
 

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I agree with wet food! I can get cans of wellness as large as 12.5 ounces, so 5.5 is not their largest. When I added wet food to my cat's diet I just added cold turkey. If you want to use up the rest of your Science diet though how about a meal of dry for breakfast and wet for dinner. Unless your cat will finish the whole meal in one sitting it is not recommended to get the dry food wet because it causes the bacteria on dry food to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Where do you get the large cans of Wellness? Do you have a local store that stocks them or do you have to order them? At the price I paid today I'm not sure I can afford it forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also, should I follow the feeding directions on the can (1 can per 6-8 lbs. body weight per day, for my cat would be 2 cans a day!)? or is it overestimated in order to sell more food?
 

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I have a local store that has them, if you go to the wellness website you can find a store near you that sells the food so if the store you went to does not you might find one that does. If I fed my 10 pound cat Neko all wet food he would eat one 5.5 ounce can a day (split into two meals) unless he started loosing too much weight too fast (remember although your cat needs to loose weight loosing too fast is bad). That said I'd feed my 8 pound cat the same because he has a faster metabolism/is more active so if I fed him less he would be waaaaaay too skinny. If I fed Neko more he would be fat (or at least I think he would, I don't feed all wet though so I can't say for sure). So I guess it depends on the cat, generally speaking though most foods say to give more than is needed. Also keep in mind as he looses weight you would cut back the amount of food. Also, the larger cans will be cheaper than buying an equal amount of the 5.5 ounce ones if you can find them.
 

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I also forgot to ask, how much exercise is she getting? A good diet will help but she needs exercise too! Start some sort of regiment, one play session in the morning one after work and one before bed. If you can make the bed time one right before dinner (it will help her sleep, it's a natural cycle...hunt, eat what you killed, nap).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
She really doesn't get very much exercise, but she digs the laser pointer. Maybe I'll try doing that on a regular basis.
 

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you also have to remember a few things when looking at feeding recommendations. First, the more food they recommend you feed, the more food they sell. Second, they amounts are based on an ideal weight, not the actual weight of the cat.

So by feeding a 20lb cat an amount of food for a 20lb cat... he'll stay 20lbs. But by feeding the ideal 12lb cat inside of him you'll allow him to lose weight until he gets closer to the ideal weight.

As for the ton of dry food you have left over, you can always see if there's a shelter that could use it, or if you know of anyone who feeds strays or a colony of ferals?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well last night she seemed really excited about the new food. She kind of licked all the sauce off it, then left it for a while, then went back and ate the rest of it like an hour later.

Tonight she just sniffed it and walked away. I'm giving her dry in the morning and the new Wellness at night as suggested. Should I take the "You'll eat it when you get hungry" approach? Maybe I shouldn't have bought a whole case!!
 
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