Making Food Changes - What Should I Change?

spac

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I recently took in my elderly aunt's 13? y/o cat when she had to move away. She's agreed to pay for food, litter, vet bills, etc. It's time to buy more food and I'd like opinions as I have the choice of making changes to the cat's diet.

She was giving the cat 5.5 to 6 oz. of wet food daily (Friskies, Fancy Feast, Sheba, 9 Lives) and I will continue with that.

But she was also feeding several dry foods. There's one I've decided to discontinue once the bag is empty because the cat doesn't particularly care for it. I've listed the three other foods below. I'd like to stick with the Purina One. Not sure about the other two. And there is an unopened bag of Purina Beyond. I'll probably use it and then once it's empty, discontinue that as well. What about the other two foods I've listed (Rachael Ray and Blue Buffalo) are they any good? Is there something else I should feed in place of them? I know the cat really likes the Rachael Ray food.


Purina One Indoor Advantage Adult
Ingredients:
Turkey, Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Fish Meal, Dried Yeast, Powdered Cellulose, Soy Protein Isolate, Animal Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Hulls, Animal Liver Flavor, Phosphoric Acid, Caramel Color, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Dried Spinach, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free
Ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Powdered Cellulose, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Dicalcium Phosphate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Potatoes, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Sulfate, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.



Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon
Ingredients:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewer's Rice, Dried Peas, Corn Gluten Meal, Lentils, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Flaxseed, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Salmon, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Caramel (Color), Salt, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Dried Blueberry, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Dandelion, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.
 

She's a witch

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How much does she weight? My adult cats eat 5.5oz to 6oz of canned each a day and it’s enough for them, maybe it’s enough if you feed your new girl wet food only and not offer dry at all? I’d be so much better for her health.
 
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spac

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Before I took her in, she went to the vet in early January and weighed 15 lbs. I'm actually a bit surprised because I thought she had lost weight prior to that. She must've weighed more than 15 lbs. last year. I'd have to find her older paperwork.

Maybe I should contact the vet and ask how many kcals she should be consuming. Yeah, I'll do that.

One of my problems right now is that she's confined to a section of my house while she's being introduced to my other cats. She's very hissy with them, and they're kind of scared. It looks like she'll be in there for another month. One of my family members thinks she should be fed every time she meows. So I have to leave small amounts of dry food in her bowl so family member doesn't feed her. Some people are so hardheaded they won't believe you no matter what you tell them. But I leave the food she doesn't particularly care for in her bowl so it always looks like she has food, but she barely eats it. :lol:

Either way, my aunt prefers me to feed the cat both wet and dry food. I think it's best to continue with that until she's allowed to roam all over my house. Then I can re-evaluate her diet as there will be feeding issues with my cats (I'll post about that another time). And since auntie is paying, I need to do as she asks. I can't afford to feed another mouth, got too many as it is. One cat leads to another and another . . . 🤪
 

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Measure the amount of food you give her each day, and then also chart how much of it she eats. That will give you a starting point in terms of how much she is actually consuming.

It is just a basic guideline, but it is pretty typical to use 20-25 calories per pound of weight as a way to determine how much she should be eating. So, for a 15 pound cat (15 x 20 / 15 x 25) eating 300 - 375 would theoretically sustain that weight. Of course, some cats can eat more, some less, than those numbers.

Using a body size/shape chart is sometimes a better indicator to determine if she is overweight and by how much. I have attached one below. And, you can always pick her up and weigh the both of you on a human scale, then weigh yourself without her. The difference will be about what she weighs (weighing this way can sometimes be a bit imprecise, but probably close enough for getting an idea of her weight/weight loss as you reduce calories).

Whatever you do, don't lower her calories too much at once time. And, ideally lowering the amount of dry food is better, because that is where a lot of the calories are as opposed to canned food. To try to get a cat to lose weight, you really don't want to reduce their intake by any more than 10% at a time. So, if she is eating around 350 a day, you would start by reducing that amount down to around 315 calories per day and see what her weight is after a couple of weeks. Then, you can reduce the amount again accordingly. Slowly lowering the caloric intake also helps her to get used the reduced amount of food over a period of time.
 
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spac

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What is the recommendation for feeding overnight? That's where so much of the problem is. She tends to be vocal during the night and I'm afraid another family member will give in and over feed her. That's why I like to leave dry food overnight.

Is there a BMI chart for cats like there is for humans? Like the chart where you take your weight and height and it shows what your BMI is and what it should be. The problem with these cat charts is that if they're furry, that fur makes them look fat. I've tested this with super furry cats that I gave a lion cut to. Before the cut, they looked grossly overweight, and after they look ideal or a bit underweight. Ideally, their body length and frame should be taken into account when determing their ideal weight. Some cats are longer than others. Many vets fail to understand this. They think all cats should weigh 9-10 lbs. One of my cats weighs 13-14 lbs. and this is his ideal weight. I had another cat who was very petite and weighed 7-8 lbs. and that was her ideal weight. Ask a vet and they'd tell you my boy was overweight. If he weighed 10 lbs. he'd be a skeleton.

Using that cat chart, Dee would be 3 with a lion cut, and 8 with full fur. So, I guess her ideal weight is 14-15 lbs. :confused2:
 

FeebysOwner

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As far as I know there is no BMI chart for cats. Even the BMI for humans is a bit less than entirely accurate.

Maybe you don't trust your vet, if he has just thrown out the '9-10 pounds' as a number for your one cat - but, my vet told me that for Feeby she should weigh around 11 pounds - so, he is making some sort of assessment based on her size and feeling her body - just like that chart I shared with you does. Looking at their size is one part of the equation, the other part is using the recommended ways to feel parts of the body as well. So, if you use that part of the chart, how does that pan out?

EDIT: Maybe you would prefer some more detailed guidance, such as this?
How to Determine if Your Cat is Overweight: 12 Steps (wikihow.com) - Steps 1 - 5 are the ones to pay attention to.
 
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She's a witch

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What is the recommendation for feeding overnight? That's where so much of the problem is. She tends to be vocal during the night and I'm afraid another family member will give in and over feed her. That's why I like to leave dry food overnight.

Is there a BMI chart for cats like there is for humans? Like the chart where you take your weight and height and it shows what your BMI is and what it should be. The problem with these cat charts is that if they're furry, that fur makes them look fat. I've tested this with super furry cats that I gave a lion cut to. Before the cut, they looked grossly overweight, and after they look ideal or a bit underweight. Ideally, their body length and frame should be taken into account when determing their ideal weight. Some cats are longer than others. Many vets fail to understand this. They think all cats should weigh 9-10 lbs. One of my cats weighs 13-14 lbs. and this is his ideal weight. I had another cat who was very petite and weighed 7-8 lbs. and that was her ideal weight. Ask a vet and they'd tell you my boy was overweight. If he weighed 10 lbs. he'd be a skeleton.

Using that cat chart, Dee would be 3 with a lion cut, and 8 with full fur. So, I guess her ideal weight is 14-15 lbs. :confused2:
There’s also the method using your palm and knuckles:
“If you’re still not sure, put your hand out with your palm down and fingers straight. Gently run your other hand over your knuckles – this is exactly how padded your pet’s ribcage should feel! Now, turn your hand over so your palm is up (with fingers still straight). Run your other hand over your knuckles through your palm. If your pet’s ribs feel more like this, he or she is overweight!”
 
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