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Hi everyone,

I'm new here and hope that someone can offer some suggestions. After having 3 cats for years, I recently lost my 2 oldest girls ... dear Lily (18 years) and Callie (20 years) ... from illness-related complications within the past 8 months. Right now, I have Socks, who is 1 year, and exceedingly spoiled and overweight (due chiefly to her sampling of Lily's food while we were trying without success to have Lily gain weight!). She eats a variety of dry lite foods ... Innova Lite; Chicken Soup lite; Blue lite (hates it!!!); Nutro Max lite ... and has a can of Fancy Feast once daily. I have some Merrick canned food coming and if she likes that, I'll probably stick with it since it seems to be fairly low in fat. Once I figure out which lite dry food she likes best, I'll probably give her just that one brand.

At any rate, I have 2 new girls coming home today following their spay yesterday at the vets ... Trixie and Pansy. :) My husband, daughter, and I adopted them from the local shelter ... such sweet, loving girls too! :) Both cats are estimated to be around 2 years old and were both strays. They are both very small cats ... I would guess in the neighborhood of 6 pounds (although I'll confirm their weight when I pick them up at the vet) while Socks is close to 17 pounds!!!

My main question is will they lose weight if I feed them the lite dry diet I am using for Socks or will they increase their intake to get the calories they need? Is the reduced fat in the dry bad for them? I've ordered an assortment of cat treats that appear to have lots of good things in them ... which have very high protein/fat percentages ... that I plan to use for them. I also intend to give them canned food also. I would really prefer that they all eat the same thing and since Socks weight management is the most urgent need, I thought I would have everyone follow her diet.

What do you think? Good or bad? I'll also ask the vet but wanted to know what those of you who've "been there, done that" would do! :)

I'm hoping for a successful introduction of all the girls this afternoon ... wish me luck!

Deborah
 

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In my opinion, NONE of them will lose weight on the lite diet. It doesn't seem to help at all and some cats even gain weight on those diets.

I'd stick with regular foods and just portion it correctly. Additionally, a wet food only diet would help your one cat lose some weight and would be more healthy for all your cats. Dry foods tend to cause obesity and diabetes and other significant problems.

They should all be able to eat the same food if you buy a higher quality food that is for all stages of life. Innova, Wellness and many other foods of this quality are for all stages of life. Cats metabolize foods very differently than humans, it's not the fat that you need to watch, it's the carbohydrates usually. You want something that is high in meat content - stay away from corn ingredients.

Try reading some of these threads it may help you learn more about the foods:


http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=8931

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6140

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=8909

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=6196

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=4677

Okay, give those a whirl!
 

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Oh, and do NOT just let the new girls into the house with the others cats you already have. You'll need to properly introduce them, there are tons of threads on this as well.

Here is one:

http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=8700


DUH! And, welcome to the forum! You'll find so much info. here and everyone is so nice and helpful. These kitties were lucky to find a family who cares so much for them.
 

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Congrats on the new kitties and welcome to the forum, Deborah! :)

I'll second what AddFran said. Lite and Diet foods are not worth your time or money and tend to be detrimental to the health of your cat. I highly recommend a canned-food diet. I think all three of your cats will flourish on a diet of high-quality canned food. My own cat has lost over three pounds since I switched him to Wellness canned food and his overall health has vastly improved.
 

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Focus on high quality wet food instead and give each cat the amount of food she needs, not more. Correct portions of food and more excersize will hopefully make your overweight cat lose the excess weight.

I never managed to get my overweight cat in shape on Light dry food, but when I started to feed her homemade cat food she started to lose weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the information everyone ... you can't imagine how startled I am to discover it's the DRY food that's the culprit in Socks' weight problem. My vet told me to avoid the wet food for her ... which now makes me a little worried about his credibility!

Since I have a ton of the premium lite dry food, I'll probably continue to feed them all that until it's gone. I will concentrate my efforts on finding a good quality canned ... thanks for the thread links, Addfran, since I'm sure they will be invaluable in steering me in the right direction.

I appreciate the welcome and feel sure you'll be hearing from me often. It's been a long, long time since I've had a houseful of young cats. I'd grown accustomed to the temperament and needs of my "grannies", bless their hearts! Hopefully, all these youngsters I have now will be with us as long as my other girls were.

Deborah
 

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It's unfortunate that your veterinarian recommended all dry to you. Keep in mind, however, that most vets only got about 4 hours of instruction on animal nutrition. And this instruction is funded by the major pet food companies :roll: . So if you really want *correct* information on pet food, you would need to talk to a vet that has actually done additional research on animal nutrition.

Here is a great article written by a vet with many years of research on feline nutrition:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?action=library&act=show&item=whycatsneedcannedfood
(this article is probably mentioned in the posts that AddFran listed, but I'm too lazy to check :p )
 
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