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Discussion Starter #1
I came back from my honeymoon and accused my parents of making Justin fat! Well, he was already overweight of course, but being gone for a week really made me do a double take and notice just how big he has gotten. Of course, I think my little brother may have just dumped a lot of food into his bowl each day instead of the controlled feeding that I asked my family to do, which may have caused him to gain at least some of the weight. Well, we bought a scale last night and from weighing myself and then myself with Justin in my arms, I got an approximation of his weight.
He weighed 14 pounds back around January and now he weighs somewhere around 17-17.5 pounds. This is really not good. :(
I have tried every trick in the book to get him to eat wet food in order to make him loose weight but he won't do it. He will eat maybe 2 bites of wet every few days and otherwise eats only dry. Right now he is on Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul and he gets somewhere between 3/4 of a cup and 1 cup every day. This is a bit less than what the bag recommends for a cat of his size.
He has been getting exercise every day with the laser pointer, maybe 5-10 minutes of running around total. Plus he will play with Stormy sometimes.
I am really worried about him that he has been packing on more pounds even though I do controlled feeding. With the amount of food that he gets right now, he is constantly begging for more and every time I get up and move toward the kitchen, he runs over thinking he will get more food. He is only 2 years old and I don't want him to have health problems from being overweight, especially diabetes. Already, he does not clean himself very well due to his size.
My husband insists that if I only serve wet food, he'll eventually get hungry enough and eat it. I have tried this, but I always have to give in and give him at least a little dry since I heard it was bad for them to go longer than a day without food.
What can I do? Is there ANY dry food that will help him loose weight? I will keep trying the wet food, but I just don't see that happening, as I have tried various brands and tricks for months.
I will try to post a picture of him later...he may have moved from "overweight" into "borderline obese". I'd really like to see him be about 12 pounds eventually.
 

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Maybe Justin is just one of those few cats that refuses to switch over to wet food. Your best bet would probably be to feed a prescription weight-loss food that you can buy through your veterinarian. You would have to continue to ration the food, however, otherwise he would just eat more of the food and not lose weight.
 

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Have you tried mixing wet with dry, and slowly lowering the amount of dry mixed in? That's about the only thing I can think of. I would say that 36-48 hours would be my limit for how long I would let my cats go without eating.

Will Justin eat homemade food? I know it can be a pain to make, but if it's the only way to get off the weight it is probably worth it. Sorry I don't have more ideas. I have a piggy of my own, who just won't lose her chub either.
 

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My kitty needs to loose a few pounds (maybe 4) and is the same way....he doesn't really seem to like his wet food.

He ate iams dry when I adopted him from the shelter but I have switched him over to Innova. He eats about 2/3-1 cup a day.

He just ends up wasting the wet food, and I have tried so many different kinds. :?
 

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Our overweight kitty was prescribed a prescription diet, but the ingredients were disgusting! We are now feeding controlled amounts of California Natural (high protein, low carbs) and brought home a cat tree yesterday to increase his activity more. We are seeing some progress since the new food. He's more satisfied (less begging), has energy and a beautiful coat. He won't eat much soft food and totally ignores anything raw. Wish you the best of luck!
 

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A trick you can try is rolling up tiny amts. of wet food and rolling it in dry food crumbs that are smashed up. I think some ppl have tried it on this forum but maybe your kitty will like it and want more, you never know :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, he is finally eating a little wet. Sometimes with dry food mixed in, sometimes with baby food mixed in.
Still, he is not eating too much of it. But I guess since he nibbles at it, that means that if he is hungry enough, he will eat more?
I would like to get him on mostly wet food.
Btw, at this very moment, my husband is laughing his butt off because Justin weights more than our vacuum cleaner. Poor baby, he's gotta lose some weight. :)
 

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Dr. Jean advises against mixing wet with dry, because of bacteria forming very quickly, so I would pick up the food quickly, and then try to use one or the other. Have you tried the 1 tablespoon, wait ten minutes; then feed another tablespoon and wait , and then give the balance of the food? Sbe said that will eventually get your cat used to several full meals a day, rather than nibbling. I always free fed my cats, and this is the first time I have had to cut back on a cat's food. They made the transition rather well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I thought Dr. Jean had advised me to try putting dry food crumbs on the outside of the wet food? That didn't work, because then he'd just eat off the dry on the top and not touch the wet. They have to be mixed for him to eat it.
The problem is, that even when all he got was dry, I wasn't free feeding. He got controlled amounts and still has not lost any weight (and has in fact gained). I did try the feeding technique you are talking about and it made him not scarf it down quite as fast, but he was still begging for more afterwards!
The idea, of course, is to get him trained to like the wet food. Right now I seem to be making progress and I hope it continues. I will be careful about not leaving it out too long. :)
 

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Right, don't mix dry food with wet food, especially if it will sit for more than 10-20 minutes.

The contamination is on the surface of the dry food. When you crush it it sort of dilutes that problem, so it can be rolled onto a little ball of wet food. The dry is only on the outside of the ball; like bread crumbs on fried chicken. Hopefully these will be eaten right away. If not, discard them after 1/2 hour.

There are no low-carb dry foods. Canned cat foods are usually less than 10% carbs. Prescription diabetic foods (Purina DM, Hill's m/d) are 15%, the highest protein OTC dry foods are at least 30% carbs. California Natural is well over 30% carbs. Most dry foods are 40-50% carbs.

I'm working with a diabetic patient whose numbers came down nicely with BioSuperfood, to where he needed only 0.5-1 unit of insulin instead of 3). However, his glucose was still fluctuating wildly. Despite my urging, his guardian persisted in giving him just a tablespoon of dry at "shot time" because it distracted him. Finally she dropped *all* the dry food, and he stabilized immediately. This demostrated to me that even a tiny bit of dry food is going to mess up the cat's glucose and insulin metabolism.

With an overweight cat like this, you really must get him off all dry food. True, you can't let him starve; he must eat at least once in a 24 hour period. Since he's eating more of the wet food now, just offer it to him frequently. He should eat about 8-10 oz. of canned per day.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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I think I'm finally beginning to see some small weight loss with my big guy, Jack, who weighs in at 23 lbs. It's very subtle, but I think I can tell...I'm so glad he's on the wet food now. His coat is beautiful, silky, smooth and shiny.

Lisa :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Okay, here is the situation. Justin is eating about 2 oz. of wet food a day, tops. I still want to offer him a little dry food at least every other day, because I don't think 2 oz. of wet a day is enough for him. My husband says that it is and that by offering him the dry at all, I am encouraging him to turn up his nose at the wet because he knows eventually he will get the dry. He says "if he's hungry, he'll eat more wet". Well....
So...what should we be doing? Is the 8-10 oz. per day for weight maintenance or weight loss? Justin and Stormy together don't even eat a whole 5.5 oz. can of wet food per day and that is with me offering it 3 times a day.
My husband has a lot of different ideas than me on nutrition...he also thinks it's bad to be giving them two different foods at once (one brand wet, one brand dry) since it is contrary to what he has heard is good for cats. Dr. Jean, do you know of any research articles on cats who got hooked on a brand of food and would starve rather than eat something else? I don't think he believes me on that count.
At any rate, I'd really appreciate advice on how much food he needs each day for him to be healthy and achieve a HEALTHY weight loss.
 

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Shlanon, have you tried warming the wet food up a touch? My cats refuse to eat if the food is cold. I agree that Justin should be eating more than 2 oz a day. My smallest cat eats about 4.5 oz a day. I have no idea if you should remove the dry food completely. How much dry food do you give him?
 

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I don't think there are any studies, but I have seen this happen with my own patients. An overweight cat can develop severe liver disease after missing only a couple of meals, so it's not something you want to let happen.

Your hubby is probably being influenced by pet food commercials. OF COURSE the pet food companies want you to feed only their food! But this makes no more nutritional sense than saying people should eat only Kraft Mayonnaise because they also eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese!

I encourage mixing brands because different companies will get their raw materials from different sources, making deficiencies or excesses less likely.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So should I still be giving him some dry until he eats more wet? When I give dry, the two cats split about 1/2 cup. Justin usually eats more of it than Stormy, so he gets maybe 1/3 of a cup.
I have tried warming it, but only once or twice. It didn't seem to make a difference, but I should probably try that again.
He did eat more this morning than he usually does and with no additions to the food! (no meat baby food or dry food mixed in) :D
 
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