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Help with weight loss

3008 Views 27 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Sabledog
So I adopted my sister's cat while she's living with my mom going through some issues. Money is one of those issues, and she's feeding Iams right now. I don't have any other cats, but my dogs are raw fed. I don't want to switch the cat to raw, but I do want a better food.

Problem is, kitty has to weigh 15-20lbs. I haven't weighed her yet. I really want to get weight off her. It seems like canned food is the best for this...but are there any kibbles that will suffice? I'm looking for something fairly inexpensive and something she can get at Petco/Petsmart or Target/Walmart. I've never had weight problems with any of my pets so I don't really know how to go about it! Especially since kitties are so sensitive.

Anyway, any food suggestions would be great!
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The best food for the cat is raw. It will be much easier to get kitty to lose weight on a raw diet. The next best option is some varieties of low calorie canned, but canned foods are usualy more expensive, particularly the low calorie ones.

I would not recommend feeding kibble for weight loss. All kibble is loaded with carbs, which makes the cat fat. Even the high protein, no grain varieties have a high carb content.

I am not sure if you are feeding your dogs commercial raw, which is also on the expensive side, but I feed my 4 cats franken prey and it's way cheaper for the 4 cats than what I spent on canned monthly in the past.
You're looking for something that doesn't exist. The only kibble that I would remotely recommend for weight loss is high protein low carb...CORE and Instinct can be found in big box pet stores, but they're not inexpensive.

Has your sister been free feeding? That may be the problem right there...getting on measured meals may help immensely.
Shoot, I was thinking that might be the answer.

I feed the dogs Franken prey as well. I'll probably see what weight I can get off her with canned and see what my sister can do to keep up with it. She is fed once in the morning. I'm not sure how much. Today is her first day here so I just put out 1/4 cup and am hoping she will eat. She's very nervous. I've set the bathroom up as her space and am obviously not going to introduce them for a long while.

Anyway, thanks everyone!
1) Overweight cats must be dieted VERY slowly and carefully, or they can develop potentially fatal hepatic lipidosis. When I took the extra weight off of my obese cats, my target loss was .2-.4 lb every two weeks. Any less than .2 lb in two weeks caused me to decrease food portions slightly. Any more than .4 lb in two weeks made me increase food portions slightly. I weighed each cat on a digital baby scale every two weeks and adjusted food portions accordingly.

2) I upgraded foods to high protein, low carb canned (which later transitioned to frankenprey) and a very small amount (1/8 c.) of EVO kibble.

3) Cats should be fed at least twice daily. Small cats are physiologically designed to eat small meals throughout the day. Most adult cats without digestive or renal issues can adjust to two meals a day, but they should not be fed only once.

4) I would not change the cat's diet until she has settled into your home comfortably. As you know, cats are extremely sensitive creatures, and the cat in question is apparently particularly nervous right now. If she stops eating, as stressed cats often will, she is at particularly high risk of developing hepatic lipidosis. Now is not the time to throw a dietary change at her. Give her nerves time to settle; then make very gradual dietary improvements.

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Thanks Laurie. I weighed her today at 14.04 lbs. I should have her until September. She's very sweet and responds well to petting (she'll knead and purr) but still wants to hide. My biggest concern is that she last ate Sunday morning. I picked up two cans of Wellness Core and took a can of Purina EN (I'm a vet tech, you'd think I'd know how to do this) home. So far I offered the EN with nothing eaten yet. I also have some purely chicken baby food. I'm going to offer the Core and the baby food tonight. I know the diet change right now isn't ideal but I need to get her to eat ASAP, especially at her weight.
That is worrisome. If she was eating the Iams well before, I'd give her that now just to get her eating again. Once she's eating again, you can start a gradual transition to better foods. If you can't convince her to eat anything, try some raw. If even that doesn't work, you're going to have to assist feed to protect her liver.

I've laid out a few options. Her Iams, canned Wellness, and baby food. I'll add raw. If she doesn't eat by tonight I'll be feeding her. She's interested for sure. She licks off what I put on her nose and smells the food for a while so I think if I just get a bit in her mouth she'll start eating.
Offer her only one food at a time. Cats can be overwhelmed if offered too much food or too many food choices. Under those circumstances, some cats will just reject it all.

Try warming 1-2 oz of a really smelly canned food (fish flavors of cheapo foods like Friskies and Fancy Feast work particularly well). The stinkier they get, the more irresistible they'll be. That's why warming works. It REALLY brings out the aroma. Also, the cheaper foods are almost always more palatable than the high quality foods we'd like them to eat. Again, the goal here is to get her eating something, not necessarily the right thing.

Thanks Laurie. My goal is to get her to eat about an ounce of anything today. Likely force fed, but we'll see.

She was very interested in the fish canned Wellness I heated up for her last night but didn't eat any of it. Sigh.
Try one of the Fancy Feast Classic (pate) recipes with shrimp in it. The shrimp is incredibly smelly. Most cats go wild for it. The lower quality grocery store brands like Fancy Feast and Friskies add flavorizers that make them much more appetizing to cats than the high-end brands like Wellness and Evo. I know you want to feed her high end foods ultimately, but if today's goal is getting her to eat anything, try the shrimp FF.

Will do. I picked up FF tuna and Natural Balance salmon before I read your post. I'm within walking distance of Petco so I'll go back for more FF.

The dogs wouldn't mind another errand to the pet store, they get cookies from the workers, lol

Thanks for all your help Laurie. I'm worried about her.
You might also ask your boss for an appetite stimulant (or script for same). I've had good luck with cyproheptadine. Others have had good results with mirtazapine.

Oh the poor thing! If you have to force feed her, vets sell canned food designed for that purpose: it's smooth high energy paté so you can put it in syringe and down her throat. When our cat was sick, it was the only thing he wanted to eat (Thank God, we didn't have to force it down!). I think the brand we used was Royal Canin but thera are others.

Kind of funny: I looked into this topic for tips to get our cat to lose some weight and ended up thinking all the tricks I tried to make him eat more.
Thanks everyone. It's gone from bad to worse but luckily I'm in the profession I am. She still isn't eating, and even when force fed she spits it out. I tried to give mitrapazine but she is very hard to pill and I'm home alone. I gave her 1/2cc vitamin B12 and 100cc of SQ fluids at home today. She's acting fine but I just came in to check on her and she had vomited a tiny bit. I'm trying to decide now if I should wait until tomorrow morning when I go to work (7:30am) to have her seen or take her to emergency. Personality wise she's really come out of her shell.

That makes me wonder if this is stress or coincidental.

Then I come out to let the dogs out after I've treated her and I find a tick on my couch. Got off work 1/2 hour late too.

Needless to say I'm extremely stressed out :(
Still not eating? And vomiting too? I'd say she needs to checked by a vet - the sooner the better. There might be something wrong with her. And it's not healthy for a cat to without food for so long. It can cause liver damage.
I'm sorry to hear that she's still not eating. At least you don't have to worry about dehydration with the subQ's. Hopefully the B12 will kickstart her appetite. Have you tried Pill Pockets? I have found that even if a cat won't willingly eat a Pill Pocket, the cat is a lot less likely to try to spit out the med if it's dropped down their throat inside a Pill Pocket. Also, cut the Pill Pocket in half so that she'll be less likely to try to chew it, and chase it immediately with a cc or two of water. (as if you don't already know all these tricks as a vet tech) Oh, and my cats seem to prefer the newer duck flavored PP's.

A word of caution about mirtazapine - I've read lots of anecdotal reports about disturbing side effects occurring when mirtazapine is dosed according to Plumb's guidelines. You might want to start with a lowered dose and work your way up if the low dose doesn't help.

Thanks everyone. I actually tried feeding her the duck pill pockets and she wouldn't touch it. Stinker.

Anyway, I brought her in to work with me this morning. She had a 104.2 temp. Took some blood (her bladder was empty so we'll get urine later), and some chest/abdomen films and gave her some antibiotic injections and another 125cc of fluids. Turns out she has a bladder stone. Luckily it's small enough to pass! Just checked her temp again at 11:30 and it's down to 102.6. Still hasn't eaten, but hopefully she'll start soon. Gave another 75cc of fluids. There's a super annoying barking dog here so she might be too nervous to eat.

Bloods came back normal. I'll keep you guys posted. Thanks again!
Oh, poor girl! I should have thought to suggest you check her temp. DUH! I'm glad the fever's coming down and that she should be able to pass the stone on her own. No wonder she hasn't wanted to eat. I hope you'll be taking her home soon and away from that scary barking dog.

Here's hoping that you can get some food into that girl before her liver takes a nose dive. At least she's in good hands.

Please do keep us updated on her condition.

Try one of the Fancy Feast Classic (pate) recipes with shrimp in it. The shrimp is incredibly smelly. Most cats go wild for it. The lower quality grocery store brands like Fancy Feast and Friskies add flavorizers that make them much more appetizing to cats than the high-end brands like Wellness and Evo. I know you want to feed her high end foods ultimately, but if today's goal is getting her to eat anything, try the shrimp FF.

there's one (or used to be anyway) called, "shrimp, cod and sardine." oh. em. gee. i thought i was going to puke when i opened it once. it's fish hunks in aspic. it was absolutely deezgusting (to me, the cats loved it). i have bought fancy feast for a treat (yeah giving them sup-par food for a treat LOL.) well, come on. it's junk but it tastes good, but if you don't let your kid live on slim jims and pixie stix, i don't think it hurts occasionally.

but look for that flavor if they still make it. without a doubt, that would be THE stinkiest cat food i have ever smelled. :)
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