Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Need Advice For Putting A Senior Cat On Diet

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by phobebon, May 11, 2019.

  1. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    Hi there!
    I have read a few threads on putting cats on diet and have begin a journey to do so for my senior cat of 14 years old who weigh 10kg. I wish to bring him to 7-8kg for health reason as he also have chronic liver issues.

    I feed him Orijen Fit & Trim with the reduced amount as stated in the packaging for dieting and also Wellness Chicken gravies (but he was on dry food all these while, thus trying to transition him to wet food). He is one picky eater, for the wet food, he is going for the gravy which i mixed with 2.5oz can of water and he will finish the gravy usually, eating very very little of the chicken.

    I also start to monitor his calories intake and according to some research online to calculate the ideal calorie intake is based on the target weight, which come up to around 310kcal.

    Currently, for around 1.5 months, I cut down from 330kcal to 276kcal slowly.
    However, there is not much change in the weight so far. Am I going too slowly or we can push the calories to lower?

    Looking forward to any advice or experience to share. Thanks!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    16,430
    20,450
    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi!
    Keep going really slowly, you're doing fine and there's no need to speed things up. Especially since he's older with some issues, be particularly watchful for him to start to get bony, where he is starting to lose muscle mass.

    Can you increase his activity? That would be helpful, and actually would be better than decreasing calories.

    My boy (also 14) has a tendency with several brands he likes, to slurp up the gravy only. I've read most of the nutrients are in the sauce, I don't know if this is true.
    Here are a couple of articles that might help;

    Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food (canned, Raw, Or Homemade)

    Transitioning Free-fed Kibble Kitties To Timed Meals

    17 Best Toys For Lazy Cats

    7 Proven Ways To Get Your Cat To Be More Active
     
    phobebon purraised this.

  3. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    3,951
    2,290
    Mar 23, 2014
    Maine
    Yes, slowly is the only way! Our neighbor was thrilled to tell me her cat had lost two ounces -- he's a big guy, too, and has a long way to go. But they'll both get there, ounce by ounce.

    If there's any way to get your cat eating the meat in wet food (rather than just the gravy!) that would be a big help. You didn't say exactly which Wellness food your cat is eating but most/many gravies are fairly carby so if a cat licks up the gravy but doesn't eat the meat, it's getting the added nutrients (that's a good thing!) but missing out on the protein, which is the best part of the meal! It's the protein in the meat that a cat (especially a senior) needs -- it helps maintain that muscle mass that Furballsmom mentions.

    I know you said your cat is picky so that may be hard to do but there are some pretty decent pates -- like Weruva's BFF Play or the Soulistic version that's sold only at Petco -- that are both protein-rich and low in phosphorous. Pates like Fancy Feast Classics are great for dieters since they're low-carb and high-protein but they're also higher in phosphorous so might not be as good for a senior cat to eat every day, depending on his blood work and other health factors.
     
    phobebon and Furballsmom purraised this.

  4. GalaxyGirl

    GalaxyGirl TCS Member Adult Cat

    210
    149
    Jul 26, 2018
    I was on a thread that talked about this. Seems like most of us with Senor cats who ate kibble their entire life will only eat the gravy. XD. Wish they made a food that was like that.
     
    phobebon, Furballsmom and lisahe purraised this.

  5. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    3,951
    2,290
    Mar 23, 2014
    Maine
    That's a good point about cats who ate a lot of kibble -- our previous cat was the same way about gravy! She did come around to some pate foods, including good old Fancy Feast Classics. I also pureed some shred + gravy foods so she could just lap them up. It did help!
     
    phobebon and Furballsmom purraised this.

  6. GalaxyGirl

    GalaxyGirl TCS Member Adult Cat

    210
    149
    Jul 26, 2018
    I’ve tried puréeing the gravy and chunks. It doesn’t come out smooth. What food processor do you have?
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  7. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    3,951
    2,290
    Mar 23, 2014
    Maine
    I've only ever used a Cuisinart Mini-Prep for that. (And it's an old one; I think I must have had it for at least ten years!) I suspect a small processor might be best so the bowl is small.

    That said! Not all foods came out well in it, though. Among the good ones: Weruva's Foul Ball, Natural Balance Platefuls, Merrick's Cowboy Cookout. Among the bad ones: Weruva's Steak Frites was memorably unsuccessful! The stringier the meat, the worse it will come out.
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  8. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    Thanks for your advice! I really need advice if i am going too slowly or in the wrong direction.

    Yes, I am also trying to increase his activity with play times and working out for treats. Also with toys and play mat, he is improving also really slowly - he plays for 5mins and start lying down to sleep!

    Thanks for the links, I will be sure to check them out!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  9. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    Thanks! he is getting Wellness Chicken gravies, should be this:
    Complete Health™ Gravies Chicken Dinner

    but he is not eating much or at all for the meat. As he has liver issues, i have been warned of Hepatic Lipidosis if he did not take in enough calories for his size.
    I have been trying to transition him to wet food with different brands (but we do not have Weruva here) but he eats very little or just a few licks before he walks away. Since he cannot go hungry for too long, i am afraid to use the hunger prang trick for food transitioning. I will continue to try every now and then when i could tho.
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  10. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    16,430
    20,450
    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    Hi! You're right to not use hunger, --just try toppers instead. Here's a list of things that might entice your boy;

    Try sitting with him and see if he'll lick food off your finger or a spoon.

    18 Awesome Cat Feeding Tips By Thecatsite Staff Members

    Also here is a compilation of things;

    Try feeding in different locations - and utilize different heights. For example put a couple of books underneath the dish, next time use two thick phone books, or a small-ish box so the heights are varied....

    Try some raw egg yolk. Egg white must always be cooked, and some people cook the white and make a slurry of sorts by adding in the raw yolk.

    Also you could try some Nutri-cal or similar product for a treat with some extra calories.

    Try making these recipes - they're just as viable for an adult cat as for kittens;
    Kitten-Rescue.com

    These below can be used on their own or combined with food. Also, if you heat the food a little - stir it so there aren't any hot spots from the microwave.

    Or you could heat some water, about a tablespoon, and add that to canned food. A small glass works to stir it all up.
    • Chicken, beef or ham flavored (pureed) baby food such as Gerber Stage 2 - make sure there is no garlic or onions in the ingredients
    • Tuna and/or the juice, a low mercury/low/no sodium brand is called SafeCatch
    • Salmon, mackerel
    • Sardines (make sure there are no bones)
    • boiled cut up chicken or turkey with no seasonings
    • canned kitten food any brand
    • Try mixing in Kitten Milk Replacer - there are recipes on the internet or store bought
    • Fish, tuna or BBQ flavored canned wet food (I personally have never seen BBQ flavors, but...)
    • Lickable cat treats or pouch treat 'gravy' poured over the food
    • kitten glop (recipes in website link above)
    • Bonito flakes
    • fortiflora
    • fish oil
    • green beans, asparagus mushed up, lettuce, applesauce, mashed chickpeas, black olives
    • whipped topping such as reddiwhip
    • dry pasta
    • goat milk, or no lactose cow milk
    • whole cooked eggs (the white must always be cooked) or raw egg yolk now and then
    • broth with no salt and no garlic or onion or seasonings of any kind
    • There are also commercial toppers, Applaws is a brand that can work well as a topper
    • Some good treats would be freeze dried Purebites, Orijen, Meowtinis, Meowables, Only Natural Pet, Primal
    • There are also Lickimats that you could spread types of soft food onto, even plain unflavored yogurt, and even freeze it. Licking something can help a cat to feel better emotionally The LickiMat - Food Puzzles for Cats
    • shredded cheddar cheese, string cheese
     
    phobebon purraised this.

  11. mizzely

    mizzely TCS Member Super Cat

    780
    850
    Feb 17, 2017
    Michigan
    Try Tiki Cat Mousse... It's like a thinner pate, or mix up a soft pate with bone broth to make it soupy.
     
    phobebon, lisahe and Furballsmom purraised this.

  12. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    3,951
    2,290
    Mar 23, 2014
    Maine
    Yes, thinning a lighter pate like that -- or the Weruva BFF Play or Sheba pate, both very smooth -- might work well for gravy slurpers, too!
     
    phobebon, Furballsmom and mizzely purraised this.

  13. GalaxyGirl

    GalaxyGirl TCS Member Adult Cat

    210
    149
    Jul 26, 2018
    I couldn’t get mine to eat the Sheba or the Weruva slip n slide. :(
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  14. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

    3,951
    2,290
    Mar 23, 2014
    Maine
    Ours weren't thrilled with the "slip n slide" (I love your name for it!) either -- they ate the one I gave them but obviously weren't excited about it -- but they love the canned Play pates.
     
    phobebon and Furballsmom purraised this.

  15. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    Thanks for the great list of things to try!
    I have tried out bonito flakes and fried dried chicken breast so far which got him to lap up all the gravy part. Will give the other points a go!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  16. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    Thanks for the recommendation. I couldn't get Tiki cat here either but i did try other mousse like wet food, even the popular Ciao churu mousse snack with his favourite flavour, bonito. he sniff a little and lick a bit before walking off. Tried chase after him to give some more and he will start hiding underneath the bed!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  17. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    Oh i think we have Sheba, I will try out the soup making with this.
    If he take in this, I believe i can count the calories and reduce the amount of dry food.
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  18. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    I also have the question on the calories counting, can anyone advise the calculation based on weight of my cat is right? If i am following the every pound of weight guide, it seems it is already low enough for losing weight. but strangely, nothing seems to change with the weight at all, it just stay right at 10kg (22lbs 0.7oz). I even try putting him with cans of food and the weigh did change though =X.

    I saw in a weight-loss blog somewhere that the blogger cats only start to lose weight at 180kcal which sounds too extreme especially for my cat's condition.

    Thanks for any experience or information for this!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

  19. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    16,430
    20,450
    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    phobebon purraised this.

  20. phobebon

    phobebon Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    59
    32
    Jul 5, 2018
    I would love to try to bring him out for walks if he is not scared of the surroundings and sounds. He is very much an indoor cat for many years and so i might have to go slowly on this. Maybe in a protected stroller, then harness and leash walking later.

    Thanks for the information, be sure to go through them in detail!
     
    Furballsmom purraised this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.