Best Diet Food

Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
edited 8 October, 2013 in Food & Nutrition
I've been trying to help my cat Rory loose weight for over a year. At her last weigh in she was 15 pounds, and I think she has gained since then. My vet recommended meal feeding her with soft food that is high in protein and low in grains. But Rory doesn't like soft food. I tried for about 2 months and she wouldn't eat it. So my vet told me exactly how much dry food to give her based on everything in her food to make her loose weight. Rory doesn't even eat as much as the vet said she could, even though its provided for her but she is still gaining weight. Her food is Natural Balance Reduced Calorie Formula Ultra Premium Cat Food. Does anyone have any recommendations for a food form of dry cat food that helps to loose weight? My vet will put her on some incredibly expensive kind of food soon if she does't start loosing weight soon, I'd prefer to avoid that if I can. Don't get me wrong, I'd pay for the special food but if I can avoid spending an arm and a leg every few weeks....

Comments

  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 29 March, 2013
    Unfortuantely, no dry food will help a cat lose weight :? Not even so called diet formulas. Dry foods are very high in calories, as much as 400 calories per cup, even 600 calories per cup :-O Many people just fill a bowl up with food and leave that out all day for the cat to eat. Since dry foods are coated in yummy addictive anmal digest and other flavorings, many cats will eat more food than they need :? Many "diet food" may contain slightly less calories than the regular formula but it's usually made up for in the form of more carbs or more fiber. The general rule of thumb is to feed 20 to 25 calories per pound of ideal body weight. A cat who needs to weight 15 pounds should get no more than 375 calories per day. If you need to lose a lot of weight, don't cut back on calories too much at any time or you might end up with fatty liver disease. Aim for a one pound or so weight loss within a month or two until you reach and maintain your ideal body weight. For a 400 calorie/cup dry food, you *could* feed 1/2 cup per day, like 1/4 in the morning and 1/4 in the evening, but that's not a lot of food and many cats will get hungry and drive you nuts for more food :? Here are tips on how to help a cat to safely lose weight: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felineobesity Canned and raw foods will definitely help since they are very low in calories. Have you tried different brands and textures of canned food? Some cats only like a particular brand or a particular texture. Anythng in gravy is usually yummy to a very picky cat. Catinfo.org has a section on how to make canned food more yummy, including adding FortiFlora to the food to mimick the taste of the stuff that coats dry food. Give canned food another try for a month or so. Offer some on the side. Your cat may not eat it right away but may decide to try it a couple hours later when the food gets a little dry and more like dry food. Canned food is ok to eat if dry and left out for a couple hours :) To find out how many calories are in canned foods, use these charts since pet food labels are pretty useless: http://catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf Hobo's lis Pet Food Nutritional Values If you want to see how many calories are in dry food see this chart: http://binkyspage.tripod.com/dryfood.html Most commerical brands are listed. If canned food just isn't an option, try freeze dried raw food such as Stella and Chewy's. These are kibble shaped and can be fed dry, though it is highly recommended to rehydrate the food in water first. It's crunchy like dry food but a whole lot healtheir for your cat with good ingredients. If you use Stella and Chewy's, buy the big dinner sized bags since those are the kibble shaped ones. Stella and Chewy's is a 100% complete diet =; Many other brands are only supplement only foods meant to be fed as treats or with regular dry food. Don't forget the excercise. Cats who eat too many calories and don't excercise to burn off excess calories will end up overweight, kind of like people. Increase the amount of playtime and try different toys to get your cat moving. If you have stairs, toss toys up and down the stairs for a good work out :)
  • Sarah_PinkSarah_Pink Chapel HillMember Posts: 153 ✭✭
    edited 30 March, 2013
    Perhaps you could go to a smaller amount of food? Maybe give a bit of dry and a bit of wet food (obviously not together ;) ). Maybe try to get your kitty to exercise a bit more? Doesn't have to be a lot, just a bit. In any case, I wish you luck! :)
  • Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
    edited 30 March, 2013
    I tried every single kind of low grain soft food that the pet store had. She didn't like it at all. My other cat Charlie, however thought he was in heaven, he loves soft food but he is not over weight at all. I just recently bought some more again, and she will give it one lick and then walk away. I found a new kind that they didn't have the last time I tried and she won't eat it. I always heard that soft food would ruin her teeth, so I never gave it to her as a kitten. That article was certainly an eye opener. I'll have to look and see if I can get some of that Stella and Chewys. I've never heard of it. Do cats tend to like that? We all try and play and get both cats to exercise. I've bought several toys, and the only one Rory will play with is the remote control mouse. Anything else she just lays around and waits for you to bring it to her. Thanks for all your help!
  • Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
    edited 30 March, 2013
    I tried every single kind of low grain soft food that the pet store had. She didn't like it at all. My other cat Charlie, however thought he was in heaven, he loves soft food but he is not over weight at all. I just recently bought some more again, and she will give it one lick and then walk away. I found a new kind that they didn't have the last time I tried and she won't eat it. I always heard that soft food would ruin her teeth, so I never gave it to her as a kitten. That article was certainly an eye opener. I'll have to look and see if I can get some of that Stella and Chewys. I've never heard of it. Do cats tend to like that? We all try and play and get both cats to exercise. I've bought several toys, and the only one Rory will play with is the remote control mouse. Anything else she just lays around and waits for you to bring it to her. Thanks for all your help!
  • Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
    edited 30 March, 2013
    I tried every single kind of low grain soft food that the pet store had. She didn't like it at all. My other cat Charlie, however thought he was in heaven, he loves soft food but he is not over weight at all. I just recently bought some more again, and she will give it one lick and then walk away. I found a new kind that they didn't have the last time I tried and she won't eat it. I always heard that soft food would ruin her teeth, so I never gave it to her as a kitten. That article was certainly an eye opener. I'll have to look and see if I can get some of that Stella and Chewys. I've never heard of it. Do cats tend to like that? We all try and play and get both cats to exercise. I've bought several toys, and the only one Rory will play with is the remote control mouse. Anything else she just lays around and waits for you to bring it to her. Thanks for all your help!
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 30 March, 2013
    You'll find Stella and Chewy's at non chain indpendent pet stores as well as online. The Stella and Chewy's web site has a store locator that you can use to find a local store =; Primal Pet is another 100% complete freeze dried food you can feed but it is ridiculously expensive, $35 for a 14 oz bag ::o Many cats will readily eat freeze dried raw food. Some cats won't :? so you'll need to maybe crush a few nuggets up and mix it with a little dry food and slowly get your cat used to eating it. Some cats are really stubborn dry food addicts and may take months to get eating even a little canned food :? The key is to be patient and persistent. Catinfo.org has a section on how to transition these types of stubborn cats.
  • Lee Ann KoffinasLee Ann Koffinas OrlandoMember Posts: 346
    edited 30 March, 2013
    I converted the most stubborn cat you have ever seen from dry food to canned. Took me MONTHS to get her totally converted, but it CAN be done! Very easily in fact. You simply put a very small amount of dry food out for her in the morning, like 1/4 cup, and then you offer some canned food, which she WILL turn her nose up. Leave it out for a half hour. Put it in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. Take it out later, heat it up for 11 seconds and offer it again. Leave very small amounts of the canned at first....that way you can leave small amounts that you will eventually be replacing so you don't waste the entire can. The goal is to have the canned food available for most of the day. Then in the evening, another small 1/4 cup of dry which she will gobble down. She will stick her nose up at the canned food for DAYS, until, eventually, she is going to get hungry and try it. She will nibble it and probably walk away in a huff giving you the evil eye. In about a week, she is going to eat a few bites of that canned food....no matter how much she does not want to, because she will be hungry....not starved, but hungry. Whatever you do, you do not go back to free feeding dry food in a large amount. Eventually they will eat the canned food, they will see that it was not so horrible, and they will start eating more. Soon, when you know that it IS possible, that they DID break down and eat SOME canned food, you decrease the amount of dry. Maybe take away the morning dry and just leave the canned, and give a tiny bit still in the evening. I actually had to make Beep sleep in the bathroom in the beginning, because she would wake me up at night, screaming for dry food. It did take a couple of months to get my cat completely converted. She went from 14 pounds to 9!!!! It happened gradually, over a year, but she looks SOOOO much better! Her blood work just came back perfect, she was a mess before, it's all good now. Before the transition, I had tried putting her on "low calorie" food, all it did was make her hungrier than ever and she was huge. She is a very small cat, so 14 pounds was huge for her. I know how hard it is to transition them, but it can be done. Just like with whining kids, you can't give in and give them the dry food. They get it two times a day, a small amount and the rest of the day they are offered canned food. It may take your cat 2 weeks before she more than nibbles the canned food, but I am betting that after a week of this, she will try it. Beep did. She used to sit at her bowl with the canned food and just glare at me and refuse to touch it, but I ignored it, didn't give in and it was possible to do. I had tried a few times before with no success, but didn't try this method. It works. I have helped several friends transition their stubborn dry food addicts this way. It really does work. Good luck, I hope you can try again.
  • Lee Ann KoffinasLee Ann Koffinas OrlandoMember Posts: 346
    edited 30 March, 2013
    By the way, Beep eats Wellness canned food, the turkey and chicken varieties only. Her coat is like velvet, and before it was dry and awful. I've heard good things about Instinct also. And Beep only gets 1/3 of a can in the morning, and 1/3 of a can in the evening. I mix a little warm water in the food to make a gravy, she loves it now. We recently did buy the Stella and Chewey's freeze dried food, and she went crazy over it! We use it more as a treat than a daily food, but she just loves it.
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 31 March, 2013
    Many people here feel strongly against feeding any dry food. Sometimes reading an anti-dry food post on a message board/forum can come acorss as being rude/harsh/mean/etc even if the person didn't mean it that way. I hope you won't feel bad about asking about diet choices to help with weight loss |:||:| Catster members just want to help you and your cat by making you aware of diet choices avaiable and pros and cons of each :) Give freeze dried raw food a try for a good month or so. Stella and Chewy's has 6 varieites you can try, including a stinky fish one. If you're not sure if your cat will like it, buy one of the small pouches first and sprinkle a little bit over dry food and offer it as treats. You can even sprinkle it over canned food to make it more appealing =; And keep trying with the canned food. Offer a litle bit in a bowl separate from the dry food and freeze dried food. Crush up treats and smush it on top of the canned food to make it more yummy. Buy some FortiFlora and sprinkle that on canned food. It's basically animal digest, the same stuff dry food is coated in. Few cats can resist the taste of it. Your vet sells it or you can buy it online. Grain-free is ideal but maybe there are some cats who prefer something that does have grains :? Have you tried Fancy Feast, the regular canned ones not the Appetizer trays? Many cats love Fancy Feast. IMO, the cheapest junkiest canned food is a lot better than the highest premium grain-free expensive dry food :-#
  • Lee Ann KoffinasLee Ann Koffinas OrlandoMember Posts: 346
    edited 31 March, 2013
    I wanted to add too, that I never mean to be mean or bossy, or pushy about my feelings on dry food vs. wet food. I hope that I didn't sound that way. Just knowing what I have seen my cats, and friends and family members cats go through who are on all dry...it makes me really want to spread the word about nutrition and health for cats.
  • Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
    edited 12 April, 2013
    It's not coming across as that way as all. I tried the soft food, she won't eat it. I have a stubborn kitty :) Rory has an appointment Thursday with her vet, I'm going to talk to her about putting her on that Stella raw food diet. How do you guys get over the fact that its raw? The thought of it grosses me out. I worry that if there is a recall on it because something was diseased both of of my lovely kitties could get sick.
  • Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
    edited 12 April, 2013
    I always heard that soft food will rot your cats teeth, how true is that?
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 12 April, 2013
    Charlie, it's a big myth about soft foods causing dental problems :? Bad dental hygiene causes teeth problems, ie not brushing the teeth to remove food particles and bacteria. Hard crunchy food dose nothing to clean teeth :? Think of trying to keep Human teeth clean and healthy by only chewing on hard pretzels :? Here is info about dental health and food: http://catinfo.org/#Dental_Disease Rory, a raw food diet is the most ideal for cats =; Some people may be uncofortable with feeding raw food to a pet but most get over it quickly. Stella and Chewy's raw food is nugget shaped like dry food so just think of it as healthier "dry food" :) Stella and Chewy's posts their food safety results on their web site. The bag of food has a batch number so you just look for that number on the web site http://www.stellaandchewys.com/safety.php
  • Courtney McLeodCourtney McLeod Member Posts: 26
    edited 18 April, 2013
    I took Rory to the vet today and my vet is putting her on a special hard food that I will probably spend an arm and leg on and have to get from the vets office. I mentioned Stella's but my vet told me to try the one she knows works first. She had never heard of Stella's. If the one from the vet doesn't work I'm going to try Stella's. She also recommended that I get her one of those Slim Cat feeding balls so she will have no choice but to move to get her food. Fingers crossed! Since Rory is going on special food, I think I'm going to take the dive and switch Charlie to a soft food diet. Fingers crossed again!
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 19 April, 2013
    There are lots of brands of food out there that many people have never heard about. Vets often push the prescription food because they know very little about proper nutrition and some even get paid by the pet food company to sell the food :? A proper diet will help any cat lose extra weight. That would be canned or raw food and controlling daily calorie intake plus getting plenty of excercise. I don't think pushing a ball around to get food out will help much :? If you want to feed Stella and Chewy's or another brand, go right ahead and feed it =; It's your cat after all. The vet may not like it but can't force you to feed something else. Just my thoughts on that :) I know there are people who are uncomfortable with going against the vet's advice.
  • Catherine BogartCatherine Bogart San JoseMember Posts: 767
    edited 22 April, 2013
    Whhen my old kitty, Cupcake, needed to lost weight, canned food was not an option. We wound up gradually decreasing her intake of kibble to 1/4 cup twice a day, which kept her lean and healthy until age 16.5.
  • Kat WhickerKat Whicker ToledoMember Posts: 1,695
    edited 10 May, 2013
    i learned the hard way that diet dry food can harm a cat. Tiny almost died from the fiber in diet dry food. My cats are on a strict wet or raw only. And it wasn't easy to convert them, but it was for the best. i put a obese female cat on wet only and she lost weight rather nicely. i dont think wet food rots teeth. However, i do give a few kibble treats. after i brush the cats teeth i give them one or two dental treats.despite what pet food companys say, dry food alone does not clean the teeth. if you want your cat to have healthy teeth, the teeth need to be rid of tartar by brushing. I also might note that my cats are 7 years old and have great teeth. whatever you choose, i hope you stay away from anything thats called 'diet' or 'light' dry food. it can be so harmfull.
  • Stephanie ParenteStephanie Parente Member Posts: 9
    edited 8 October, 2013
    Perhaps try a leaner protein, such as rabbit? Rabbit can be very expensive and hard to find, though.
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