Help Dieting In Multi-cat Household

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by athegaylouise, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. athegaylouise

    athegaylouise Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Aug 16, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    So I have two cats, Blair Louise is 3 and Dallas Targaryen is 1.
    I feed both cats at the same time twice a day, 1/2 a cup dry Purina Indoor Cat chow (split between 2 bowls). However Blair has maintained the same weight, which has always been rather small....but Dallas has kept gaining weight and is now at 14 pounds.
    I'm having a hard time figuring out how to adjust their feeding routine without affecting Blair, since she is at a normal weight.
    I would like to get them on maybe a healthier diet overall, but I am on a budget and can't afford to go overboard.
    I thought about adding at least a meal of wet food, but I'm not sure what brands are the best. What I do know is that Dallas definitely needs to lose some weight. He is very active and runs around quite a bit playing, as well as running up and down the stairs chasing whoever is walking up or down. So I guess the only solution I can think of is to change up the diet.
    Any suggestions?
  2. mizzely

    mizzely TCS Member Adult Cat

    Feb 17, 2017
    I would try to find a food in your price range that has more meat in it. Right now they are eating corn and not much else, which is a lot of carbs. Carbs do convert to energy, but anything left over is processed as sugar and stored as fat. Purina indoor has about hIt's alf of its calories from carbs. An ideal diet for cats will be high protein, moderate fat, low carb.

    Are you free feeding or doing meals? Does Dallas eat Blair's portion? Is he actually overweight or just a bigger cat?
  3. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 11, 2015
    Naperville, IL
    I had the same problem when I adopted Lily. She was overweight, but my resident cat was at best weight and a slow eater. So I separated them at meal times. Lily would go behind the door to the basement stairs to be fed, and then I would close the door on her until Mingo (in the avatar) was finished. I fed her a hair less than 1/4 cup dry food in the morning and one Sheba portion in the evening. Over six months, she went from 11 pounds to 9 pounds. Don't be alarmed at those weights - she is a very small cat and the vet said she needed to lose weight. She now looks good.

    You really need to separate your cats when feeding. There are all sorts of ways to get your Dallas to lose weight, but the key is to control how much he eats.
  4. lalagimp

    lalagimp TCS Member Super Cat

    Mar 7, 2017
    Depends on the breed but the weight could be acceptable. My Tommy though is not maine coon big but he's a fairly big boy and the vet said he needs to be 13 lbs. My other more average boy needs to be 12 lbs.
    They've been dieting for years. I say they are still dieting because I have to manage their weight for them for the rest of their lives. Tommy is at his goal and Stewart hangs within a half lb or so of his because his daddy doesn't want him as svelte. Depending on the calorie of the formula depends on how much is acceptable to feed. Tommy ended up with 220-230 calories per day for weight loss. When he was on prescription diet food filled with crap, this meant he was getting 65 grams of food per day. When I moved him to an OTC diet food of much higher quality it was a bit more dense, and he was moved to 60 grams of food per day.
    If your cat is supposed to be more Stewart's size then you are talking about a deficit of about 15 calories. He always got just 5 grams less than Tommy per day.
    Tommy ended up with a condition called FLUTD and they were moved to canned food and then to raw. Now we adjust their food by a 1/2 ounce at a time up or down depending on how their weight is doing.
    One thing you can also adjust depending on the appetite of your cat is how many times per day they are getting fed. In the wild they feed small meals throughout the day so the boys' food was always broken down between 5 meals per day.
    It's daunting but it can be done. Tommy Gargoyle started out at 21 lbs. It took three years slowly getting him down. Stewmeat was 16.x lbs and he took less than 2 years to reach goal.
    another more costly way to do it is to give them access to their own feeder where they can control what they eat with the set amount you fill it per day, but this requires them usually to wear a collar with a tag and each feeder normally runs over $100, but you really end up putting a price on the convenience for your lifestyle.
    We're well invested over here. The girls get the feeder that uses the tags so they can eat whatever they want together, and the boys have feeders that hold up to 6 meals per day for them.
  5. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

    Aug 13, 2009
    High protein, low carb is the best food for cats, and if they need to lose weight, they will feel more satisfied with less if the high protein foods. Even Fancy Feast CLASSIC canned foods fit that description better than the Purina Indoor Cat Chow, or Sheba PATE, if you can afford to feed those instead of the dry food. And definitely don't let Dallas eat Blair's food, even if you need to separate them. Like the others who have posted here, I've got one who had to lose weight, and I stopped free feeding and now everyone eats from their own bowl and ONLY from their own bowl, and eat only high protein, low carb foods.

    What Makes The Best Canned Cat Food?
  6. athegaylouise

    athegaylouise Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Aug 16, 2015
    Nashville, TN
    Yea, I think I need to start looking into a better food option than the Purina Cat indoor cat chow. The problem I have with trying to feed them seperately is that Dallas eats rather quickly, and Blair eats rather slowly. She seems to eat a bit and then come back in 20 mins or so to snack again. So that means having at least one of them shut in part of the house for a while until I think Blair is finished and has adequately eaten. She is actually on the small side and could probably use to eat a bit more. The cats, especially Blair HATE if a door is shut and they end up scratching at the carpet. I rent a room in a house that's owned by my roommate, so I definitely dont want them destroying anything.
    Do you think maybe cutting down their food amount, but then supplementing Blair with an extra solo meal would help? I end up probably overfeeding because I'm afraid of Blair not getting enough since Dallas overeats
  7. mrsgreenjeens

    mrsgreenjeens Every Life Should Have Nine Cats Staff Member Advisor

    Aug 13, 2009
    Well, you could certainly TRY to feed Blair an additional meal, but you may still have the issue of how to keep Dallas out of her food without separating them. You will need to monitor them closely to make sure he doesn't get into her food if you cannot keep her behind a closed door. I don't separate my guys, I just monitor them - always, even after all these years. Once Tinky walks away (he's like your Blair), I know he'll be back in 10 or 15 minutes to finish up, I cover his food dish with a book, and depending on which room I'm in, I either can keep an eye on it or I actually keep my foot on top of the book if I'm sitting at the computer, because I tend to get engrossed when looking at the screen and forget what I'm doing :tongue:. When he comes back, I uncover it and let him finish up. Works pretty well.
  8. sargon

    sargon TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Sep 22, 2016
    St. Louis Metra Area
    You could try switching over to taste of the wild, to improve the food. It is grain free, but less expensive than most grain free cat foods (you also might be able to get a sample (I've gotten a couple at a small pet store near me, so i knwo hey make them) to see how your cats like it.) There are better foods (with bigger price tags, of course), and if you can afford it, canidae pure elements chicken is a cut above, without being too much of a price bump, but TOTW is worlds better than purina indoor.
  9. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 22, 2008
    One of my brother/littermate cats, Cosine, was too thin, nit-picked at food, and refused to eat in a separate room from the other two cats. For the last 3.5 years he lived, to keep him from starving, I ended up free-feeding kibble, and his brother cat, Tangent, ballooned from 13 pounds, up to 16.5 pounds.

    As soon as Cosine crossed the bridge, I removed all kibble, and started Tangent on an all-canned diet (Sept-Dec). On all-canned, he lost 2.5 pounds over four months to 14 pounds. In January, I went back to a raw diet. February 3rd, I adopted a new kitten and the stress caused Tangent to go off food. Only 2 weeks of free-feeding an "all you can eat" kitty buffet with kibble back in the diet, Tangent mushroomed back to 15.5 pounds.

    Anyway, today's setup is that the growing kitten eats in my master bathroom with the bedroom door shut, even though she's a nibbler and takes a while to eat. Tangent eats a weighed portion, 2.5 ounces twice a day in the kitchen, and inhales his food in 60 seconds or less. They're always going to have to be separated unless the kitten starts eating faster.

    If Blair will eat a solo meal or two by herself, then I think that's a very good solution. I also like MrsGreenJeans "book" idea! :idea:

    I really do have a disdain for kibble after having one cat completely addicted to it and not healthy, and another cat having obesity problems from it.
  10. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Super Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    Tupperware containers (the short pretty flat kind) work great if you can't find a book :)

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