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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all.

My Tutu has a slight weight problem and we need your help.

I've had Tutu for 2.5 years and she's somewhere between 8 and 10 years old (probably). She is spayed, and petite.

When we adopted her she was 8 lbs and looked like a cat should. Thin without being skeletal, and very muscular.

We fed her 1 can per day of Fancy Feast and free-fed 1 cup of kibble per day (or replenishing whenever she finished it off.)

She quickly gained weight and we tried to change her diet a little. Low-cal kibble did nothing, but we were confused because the calories we were giving her was probably lower than the recommended amount for 8 lbs!

I'm upset that my vet never brought this up to me... but I recently learned that spayed cats need 20-30% less food than intact females!! 20-30%!!!

It's no wonder she's now 10.5 lbs :(

I've decided to scrap the kibble altogether and she'll get her hard food in Greenies dental treat form a few times a day (and CET dental chews, one per few days).

Just as an example, a friend of mine has a male, neutered cat of the same size who is SKINNY, but eats 3 pouches of wet food per day (the highest recommended amount for his weight class). I've been giving Tutu 2 pouches per day of the same food (the lowest recommended amount for the same weight class), but she isn't loosing much weight. Maybe half a pound since April.

** Note we are living outside of the US at the moment so we are using French cat food! Also note that she HATES the "healthy" cat food like Halo... won't touch it. **

Obviously I don't want to put her on a crash diet. She doesn't go hungry at all, but does seem to fluctuate between HUNGRYGIVEMEFOODNOW days and not very hungry days.

I'm just so confused now on what actual amount of food to give her. She should be at 8 lbs, but I'm wondering if I should calculate to give her the amount of food needed for 7 or even 6 lbs since she is spayed and gains weight so easily?

Other pertinent info: indoor only, not very active, very happy and playful.
 

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Weight has nothing to do with spayed or not...it's all about metabolism and calories consumed. 2 pouches a day...I assume 3 oz each? If so, you are feeding her what is typically a maintenance level for her weight. You need to cut her back by 15% or so and monitor every 2 weeks...a pet or baby scale would be a good investment. The goal is to lose 1/4 - 1/2 lb in that 2 week period. If she loses less, decrease food again. If she loses more, increase it a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just know with spaying, there are hormonal changes and this then effects the metabolism.

The pouches are 85 or 100g depending on the brand, but both say 2-3 pouches/day for ~8lb adult. This translates into 3-3.5oz per pouch. The thing is, Fancy Feast cans are also 3.5oz, and I never feed her 2 cans of those per day as it recommends, because she bulk up in no time if I do. (I also used to feed her kibble, but not currently)

I don't have a baby scale, but I do the "weigh us then weigh me thing" on a digital human scale and whenever we go to the vet get her weighed there too (my method is accurate enough to the vet's scale).

I'm trying to feed her 1.5 100g pouches per day, or 5.3 oz. Even this sounds like too much, but any less than that she is crying for more.

She *is* slowly losing weight on this plan, though. Very slowly. I'm using pouches right now because the Monoprix-brand pouches are literally the only French cat food she will eat! (We are here for the summer)....

Anyway, healthy cat food is another issue altogether. I can't seem to find a happy medium between "don't want it" (healthy stuff) and "give me more NOW" (Fancy Feast) with American cat food....
 

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Fancy Feast is actually cat junk food. Very high in fat and not complete and balanced. Is the French cat food complete and balanced? If so, I would stick with that. If she is losing weight, I would stick with what you are doing. A slow weight loss is better for the cat; yoyo dieting is destructive to the metabolism.

Good luck with your weight loss project.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh yes, I know FF is basically junk. Hard to ignore it though when it's all my cat wants and I'm basically impoverished (I'm a grad student).

I'm not going to be in France after August, however, so I need to find a good cat food in the US she will eat.


*UPDATE*
I just weighed her and I'm not sure what's going on, because the digital scale says she's the same weight as she was when we left home, but she's much thinner!!
My other half thinks she's losing fat but gaining muscle.
It's not impossible. She's built like a kitty rugby player.
 

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My 16yr old cat also will eat nothing but Fancy Feast. She also has some anorexia and I let her eat whatever she will take in that day; so I understand your problem. Lately Apache is taking raw hamburger and raw ground chicken now, but not in life sustaining quantities. She has borderline liver problems and has lost all ther teeth suddenly; vet is not sure why.

Good luck with getting your little kitty rugby player onto a healthier food. I am just trying to keep my old kitty alive.
 

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My girls ate Fancy Feast for years before I could get them to switch. As my vet says, sometimes the best food for cats is what they'll actually eat.
 

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@LaurulFeatherCat: 16!!! well done.

@marie73: your vet is spot on.


Tutu has "selective anorexia". I tried to feed her Sheba cans here in France, which are slightly better quality, but she wouldn't eat more than a mouthful before ultimately turning up her nose at it.

Who'd'a thunk that a kitty from the streets would be so picky!??

sigh!



My main issue is that I want to "free feed" her both meals, morning and evening, since I'm doing away with free-feed kibbles.

I need a type of food she likes enough to eat, but not enough to inhale (aka Fancy Feast).

I'm considering Natural Balance wet pouches because I can get them from Amazon (no pet stores in the area). However, Tutu would not eat the CANNED version of the same food. I'm wondering if I write to the company and tell them this, that she did not like the canned stuff but I'd like to see if she'll eat the pouch version (who knows, maybe it will work) if they will give me a free pouch or two. Can't hurt to try.
 

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Hi all.

My Tutu has a slight weight problem and we need your help.

I've had Tutu for 2.5 years and she's somewhere between 8 and 10 years old (probably). She is spayed, and petite.

When we adopted her she was 8 lbs and looked like a cat should. Thin without being skeletal, and very muscular.

We fed her 1 can per day of Fancy Feast and free-fed 1 cup of kibble per day (or replenishing whenever she finished it off.)

She quickly gained weight and we tried to change her diet a little. Low-cal kibble did nothing, but we were confused because the calories we were giving her was probably lower than the recommended amount for 8 lbs!

I'm upset that my vet never brought this up to me... but I recently learned that spayed cats need 20-30% less food than intact females!! 20-30%!!!

It's no wonder she's now 10.5 lbs :(

I've decided to scrap the kibble altogether and she'll get her hard food in Greenies dental treat form a few times a day (and CET dental chews, one per few days).

Just as an example, a friend of mine has a male, neutered cat of the same size who is SKINNY, but eats 3 pouches of wet food per day (the highest recommended amount for his weight class). I've been giving Tutu 2 pouches per day of the same food (the lowest recommended amount for the same weight class), but she isn't loosing much weight. Maybe half a pound since April.

** Note we are living outside of the US at the moment so we are using French cat food! Also note that she HATES the "healthy" cat food like Halo... won't touch it. **

Obviously I don't want to put her on a crash diet. She doesn't go hungry at all, but does seem to fluctuate between HUNGRYGIVEMEFOODNOW days and not very hungry days.

I'm just so confused now on what actual amount of food to give her. She should be at 8 lbs, but I'm wondering if I should calculate to give her the amount of food needed for 7 or even 6 lbs since she is spayed and gains weight so easily?

Other pertinent info: indoor only, not very active, very happy and playful.
i don't know if this will help you or not, because my cat is older (15) but probably about the size of yours. she has lost weight in the past 18 months so she only weighs 6 1/2 lbs. but i wanted to switch her to all canned (all my cats really) and i was also having a problem if she ate more than 1 tbsp. of food at a time, if i didn't wait at least 30 minutes to give her more, she'd just throw up.

after many many (did i say a lot?) different kinds of cat food, i have narrowed it down to weruva, tiki cat, and hound & gatos. as long as it's grain-free and doesn't have carrageenan in it, she can have as much as she wants. i calculated about 22 cal. a lb. for her because she's old and never goes outside. she also is somewhat arthritic so she's not very active even when she plays. she prefers to lie down and have me dangle something in front of her. oh and she's blind as well. but other than that, she's very healthy (kidney and liver-wise). she has gained a few ounces in the last month and i wanted her to, (just not too much--now that she can eat all she wants--and she is not picky either) i'm giving her between 165-175 calories a day. you could try that and see what happens.

my other two indoor cats are 2 and 5 and i estimated them at 25-27 calories a pound and they aren't gaining weight, so it's probably a fair guess. they're pickier than she is, but tough lol. they pretend to say, "ew. poop. leftovers smell like poop," and cover it up, but when i leave it out, i catch them coming back and eating it later.

no one seems to know very much about hound & gatos but i finally found out the company was started in 2010. it's 98% meat, with only water, vitamins and minerals added. no weird additives. i want to find out a little more about it but the cats really like it. it's about 1.50 a 5.5 oz. can, and you can get beef, chicken, salmon, pheasant, rabbit and lamb + chicken + salmon (i didn't try that one or the pheasant because they were out). it's all between 192-218 cal. a can, so that wouldn't quite be an entire can a day, so hopefully that isn't too expensive for you. it's one of the more reasonably priced foods i've found plus the cats like it so unless i find out something bad about it i intend to keep buying it.
 

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I need a type of food she likes enough to eat, but not enough to inhale (aka Fancy Feast).
Advice given here for this issue, that worked for me, was to squash the food into the cat's plate. If you smush it in really good it forces kitty to slow down and lick some of it off.

Unless kitty finds it too much work and goes off to find something else to do :fust
 

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Discussion Starter #11
after many many (did i say a lot?) different kinds of cat food, i have narrowed it down to weruva, tiki cat, and hound & gatos. as long as it's grain-free and doesn't have carrageenan in it, she can have as much as she wants. i calculated about 22 cal. a lb. for her because she's old and never goes outside. she also is somewhat arthritic so she's not very active even when she plays. she prefers to lie down and have me dangle something in front of her. oh and she's blind as well. but other than that, she's very healthy (kidney and liver-wise). she has gained a few ounces in the last month and i wanted her to, (just not too much--now that she can eat all she wants--and she is not picky either) i'm giving her between 165-175 calories a day. you could try that and see what happens.
hmm, I know I can get Tiki Cat from Amazon, and I haven't tried it yet. that's an interesting plan you have, and I think you're on to something.

Tutu isn't all that active usually... lazy!! but chases catnip mousie around about once a day for an hour tops a day (unless she does it all night long, who knows).


@Jacq: If the food is chunky like Halo's stew I *have* to mush it up (I've even considered blending it) because Tutu WILL throw it up. She's too lazy to chew! This is particularly the case with Fancy Feast chunky style. sigh.
 

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you'll think i'm crazy but i actually bought a food processor for cat food, like 15 years ago. my toothless cat couldn't eat chunks so i made it into paste for him.

now i use it sometimes when i want to make leftovers look more appealing. it has come in handy more than once and it was only $10 lol. (of course they're more now but it's just a little black & decker 2-speed).

tiki cat is good food, it's a little more expensive than weruva but it's a lot more meat. i started that "1 tbsp. at a time," trick with all my cats because they were gobblers, and then started noticing that the older one always threw up if she had seconds and they were too close together. never did i think she might have a grain sensitivity or allergy. (facepalm.)

at this point you'll just have to feed whatever is available that she'll eat, and i don't know what is sold in france. would you give her raw? (french people eat horses, don't they?) well i just mean it would probably be available in a butcher shop for human consumption and it would be less expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've considered raw, but I wouldn't have a clue where to get the added nutrients a cat needs. Can you get them online? (I know I mention Amazon all the time, but it's because I get free shipping!)

really it makes me nervous to give her raw food. particularly when my vet is so expensive and, well, I kind of like my cat alive.
 

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I've considered raw, but I wouldn't have a clue where to get the added nutrients a cat needs. Can you get them online? (I know I mention Amazon all the time, but it's because I get free shipping!)

really it makes me nervous to give her raw food. particularly when my vet is so expensive and, well, I kind of like my cat alive.
You don't need added nutrients, other than perhaps taurine. I don't bother w/ taurine as I feed whole mice. If you feed food that has been frozen a long time, or ground, it's important to add a little taurine--any made for humans commercial taurine supplement works and most cats eat it sprinkled on the food. You can also add a little fish oil if you like. That's about it!

If you want to discuss raw feeding come over to the raw forum (subforum of this one) and we'll help you out! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update!!!

Tutu has been off kibble and on a strict wet food and dry treats diet for almost three months. I haven't weighed her yet, but she looks GREAT. I'd guess she's about 9lbs now instead of 11, which is perfectly healthy for her size. She's still a little chubby but when you see her silhouette from behind she's no longer pear-shaped, but that normal cat shape. (And being a little chubby is a good thing if you ask me).
She looks like she did when we first adopted her two years ago. I can't believe I didn't think that her healthy, low-cal kibble could have been the culprit.... oh well.
 
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