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I have 3 cats. My oldest is 9 years old and the youngest is almost 2. My 9 year old cat has always been overweight. I put her on less active food when she was about 1 1/2. It didn't seem to help. She continued to gain weight. For the last few years her weight has remained pretty stable. I took her to the vet a few months ago because she wasn't cleaning herself well. They ended up having to shave her butt :( I told the vet everything I just said. He said maybe I should try putting them on kitten food. Well I gave it a try for the last few months. Now she has actually gained MORE weight. She is healthy and active and doesn't eat alot. I worry about her being older and overweight. Basically what I feed one cat all three will eat.

I'm also looking for something to improve their coats. 2 out of the 3 have dry skin and dandruff.

I'm definitly more concerned about the weight issue.

Any suggestions. I want to make sure she continues to live a long healthy life.
 

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I don't really understand the suggestion of kitten food. I was my understanding that kitten food will put weight on more than adult food.

You don't mention what you're feeding your kitties, but there is reason to believe that dry food is the primary cause of overweight cats. You might consider switching her to a good quality wet food. Dr. Jean may drop by and explain it bit better than I can.
 

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I took Dr. Jean's advice and switched my 19 pound diabetic cat to Wellness canned. I fed him three meals every day, each meal consisting of about 3 oz. He was at the vet a month and a half ago and was down to 16 pounds. My veterinarian was concerned about his rapid weight-loss, but all of Sabby's tests showed that he is in "perfect health" and that his diabetes was under "excellent control" (my vet's words, not mine). Then he asked me what I was feeding him. He seemed really impressed. :)

I can tell he's still losing weight. His dandruff has cleared up and his fur is much softer and silkier. I'm not an expert, but I would highly recommend a high-quality, canned diet. No dry food and no dry treats. I do on occasion feed him dehydrated chicken livers for a treat and he goes absolutely bonkers over them. We've even taught him to sit on command with those treats!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Empath said:
I don't really understand the suggestion of kitten food. I was my understanding that kitten food will put weight on more than adult food.

You don't mention what you're feeding your kitties, but there is reason to believe that dry food is the primary cause of overweight cats. You might consider switching her to a good quality wet food. Dr. Jean may drop by and explain it bit better than I can.
I am feeding them dry IAMS kitten. Occasionaly they get wet food as a treat.

I thought wet food was bad for their teeth?
 

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In actuality, dry food only causes slightly less tartar than wet food. It doesn't actually clean their teeth anymore than Triscuits clean ours. Case in point is my cat Sabby again. He ate dry food most of his life and still ended up with one abscessed tooth and several decaying teeth. Dry food didn't help one lick. :?

If you're concerned about dental hygiene (and we all should be), there are special kitty toothbrushes and special kitty toothpaste we can use. Of course, it's no substitute for a real dental checkup for your cat.
 

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fbodgrl: If the dry food has never given you any success, try switching to a good proper wet food.

There are disputes about wet food vrs. dry, they both have their pros and cons.
Wet food at least a good brand is superior to dry food nutrition wise. But as some research shows (and some opposite) I can say that a diet of all wet food is murder on my cats and other cats teeth. With out the aid of brush daily, hard treats etc etc.

At any rate, speak to your cats doctor about this proposed action see what he/she says, there is a large assortment of canned foods out there pretty much all of them will help with weight loss in comparison to even the light formulas of dry food because of the calorie content.

Let me just throw out a couple other names of good brands for you.

Felidae
Wellness
Natural Balance
Solid Gold
Evolve
Pinnacle
Wysong
Chicken Soup for the Pet Lovers Soul
Innova
 

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Wet food is lower in fat (which is difficult for cats to process), and also wetter and would probably help the skin problem. According to my vet, many typical low-cal foods may not reduce weight, but maintain it. You could try some of the foods listed below, but you could also check at your vet to see what they think would be the best option for weight loss.
 

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Your vet probably meant *canned* kitten food. Dry kitten food has way more fat and protein but is still way too high in carbs for the cat to be able to utilize it properly. Think "Atkins" diet for cats.

For more details, see many nutrition articles here (especially "Why Cats Need Canned Food"):
http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks so much for all your help. I think I am definitly going to try and switch over to a primarily wet food diet when I get back from vacation.
 

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My vet this weekend told me about a study they did recently that observed how cats eat by putting them on a glass floor and observing them from below. It seems that they rarely chew on dry food, instead putting it on their tongue and flipping it to the back of their throat to swallow.

This would seem in keeping with my observations about my own cats. One has only 9 teeth and I've never heard him crunching on dry food. The other would crunch every 20 seconds or so but would be done with her food in short order.
 

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That's exactly why cat food kibbles are so small--so they can be swallowed whole.

I had one cat, long ago, who did chew her dry food occasionally, but I swear she did it only for the entertainment value; you could see that all the little bits fell out of her mouth!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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drjean said:
I had one cat, long ago, who did chew her dry food occasionally, but I swear she did it only for the entertainment value; you could see that all the little bits fell out of her mouth!
Ok everyday I know when Twinkie has eaten dry food b/c he bites it and all the little bits fall out of his mouth and he doesn't eat it. Its quite hilarious but not fun to clean all the time. :lol:
 

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Exactly the same with Maya.... :roll: Little broken Chicken Soup pieces scattered EVERYWHERE around her food area. Although with the Wellness pieces before she would fish them out of her dish individually and then chase them around the kitchen for a while before catching and eating her "prey".... not much better!
 

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firelightsj said:
Although with the Wellness pieces before she would fish them out of her dish individually and then chase them around the kitchen for a while before catching and eating her "prey".... not much better!
Gosh that sounds just like my Sugar. She would get kibbles and play soccer with it then chase it around some more and then finally eat it..... :wink:
 
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