Overweight Cat

jencat

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My 4 year old former feral female is 13.5 pounds and should be 10 according to the vet. She was eating approx 228-235 calories a day - 1/2 level cup Indoor chicken nutro dry, one portion of Sheba chicken or turkey pate and some dental greenies. She doesn't always finish the wet food so hard to say exact calorie wise. She had blood work in late Dec/early January and again last week before a dental and vet said everything was good. After her January visit we switched her dry to Iams Weight and cut back on her food portions so she was getting at most 190 calories. Well last week the vet reweighed her and she had only lost a couple of ounces in 3 months and that was after fasting for anesthesia (which she hadn't done before her previous bloodwork a few months ago). She is extremely picky when it comes to wet food. I have tried the expensive brands and she refuses to eat them. She won't eat anything but pate I add water to to make runny. It's a struggle to even get her to eat the Sheba some times. I know for certain she isn't getting food elsewhere so I can't understand why she isn't losing weight. I am nervous about dropping her calories down further. I would love for her to eat all or mostly wet but she just doesn't like it much and I have been trying to get her to eat it since I adopted her three years ago. At the least I would like her on a higher quality dry but they are all so caloric and I don't think a tiny portion would satiate her. My vet recommends the prescription diet dry and no wet, but I would rather avoid that if possible.
 

FeebysOwner

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I am not saying she isn't overweight, but it seems like most vets have this magical '10 pound' number in their heads that they want to apply to just about all cats, especially females, so it may not be entirely accurate for your cat. Have you checked her size against a body condition chart to see how she compares? I've included one below for you to use. The only thing about this chart (like most all others) is that they never illustrate the primordial pouch that almost all cats get - that little pouch of fat and skin that forms on the underbelly immediately in front of the back legs. This pouch is on thin cats too, so keep that in mind.

Dry food, regardless of the kind/type, typically has a lot more carbs in them than wet food, so that can contribute to weight regardless of the actual calorie count. Your cat probably would do better on most, if not all, canned food. You can try - as a test - to add water to her dry food (in a separate dish) and see if eats it that way. This would be a prelude to getting her to accept food that is not crunchy and has more moisture. Also, make sure she really prefers her pate to be runny - that might be one reason she is less inclined to eat it - it is just too runny for her. My cat like pate only too but gets a bit annoyed if I add too much water to it. Too much water can dilute the flavor as well.

What other pate foods have you tried with her?

Body-Condition-Feline-Chart.jpg
 
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jencat

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Hi
Is she active? Can you get her to play more?
I spend about a half an hour or so at bedtime playing with her. Some days she is leaping all over the place, other days she lays on her back and just bats at the toys. I can try and get her to play more.
 
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jencat

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I am not saying she isn't overweight, but it seems like most vets have this magical '10 pound' number in their heads that they want to apply to just about all cats, especially females, so it may not be entirely accurate for your cat. Have you checked her size against a body condition chart to see how she compares? I've included one below for you to use. The only thing about this chart (like most all others) is that they never illustrate the primordial pouch that almost all cats get - that little pouch of fat and skin that forms on the underbelly immediately in front of the back legs. This pouch is on thin cats too, so keep that in mind.

Dry food, regardless of the kind/type, typically has a lot more carbs in them than wet food, so that can contribute to weight regardless of the actual calorie count. Your cat probably would do better on most, if not all, canned food. You can try - as a test - to add water to her dry food (in a separate dish) and see if eats it that way. This would be a prelude to getting her to accept food that is not crunchy and has more moisture. Also, make sure she really prefers her pate to be runny - that might be one reason she is less inclined to eat it - it is just too runny for her. My cat like pate only too but gets a bit annoyed if I add too much water to it. Too much water can dilute the flavor as well.

What other pate foods have you tried with her?

View attachment 446906
She has a pretty big primordial pouch. When she runs it flaps back and forth, but I do think she is overweight as well. I am not so sure she is 3.5 pounds overweight, though. I had a female purebreed maine coon who was the same weight as her but she was longer taller and more muscular. She could free feed LID Instinct Turkey with well over 400 kcals a cup and eat the wet as well and maintain ideal body weight despite being no more active than her. I was putting water in her dry food after her dental last week and she begrudgingly ate it at first, but then would just stare at her bowl. I have experimented with the water levels in her pate to figure out what she likes, but I can back off on it a little bit to see if her preferences have changed. I appreciate your suggestions.
 

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Fat is what satiates the brain of cats (and likely all mammals).

Feeding calorie-dense foods that are rich in necessary protein and fats, and that ideally exclude carbohydrates (with are entirely non-essential in the diet of an obligate carnivore), is preferable to feeding high-carbohydrate foods, which tend not to satiate.

Better to feed small amounts of food that contain only essential ingredients (and avoid fillers) and that trigger the mind of cats to feel "full."

It is also a kindness to a cat to feed less mass, so they pass lesser volumes of waste through their GI tracts.

The downsides of feeding food are legion.

I'm sorry, but in my estimation your vet is giving you very poor nutritional advice. The opposite of what's optimal to promote good health and counterproductive to weight loss and weight regulation.

The advice is exactly backwards in my estimation.

Bill
 
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jencat

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Fat is what satiates the brain of cats (and likely all mammals).

Feeding calorie-dense foods that are rich in necessary protein and fats, and that ideally exclude carbohydrates (with are entirely non-essential in the diet of an obligate carnivore), is preferable to feeding high-carbohydrate foods, which tend not to satiate.

Better to feed small amounts of food that contain only essential ingredients (and avoid fillers) and that trigger the mind of cats to feel "full."

It is also a kindness to a cat to feed less mass, so they pass lesser volumes of waste through their GI tracts.

The downsides of feeding food are legion.

I'm sorry, but in my estimation your vet is giving you very poor nutritional advice. The opposite of what's optimal to promote good health and counterproductive to weight loss and weight regulation.

The advice is exactly backwards in my estimation.

Bill
If I switch her dry to a higher calorie/ protein/ fat food I will need to cut her portion from 1/2 cup to 1/3 daily to accommodate her reduced calorie diet. Will I need to worry about her getting the proper amount of vitamins and taurine? She will still be getting her serving of sheba at night. (1.32 ounces) but she is finicky and often times will not eat all the Sheba. I will continue to try and introduce other wet foods, but she has been literally running away from the foods I have tried lately.
 

Box of Rain

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If I switch her dry to a higher calorie/ protein/ fat food I will need to cut her portion from 1/2 cup to 1/3 daily to accommodate her reduced calorie diet. Will I need to worry about her getting the proper amount of vitamins and taurine? She will still be getting her serving of sheba at night. (1.32 ounces) but she is finicky and often times will not eat all the Sheba. I will continue to try and introduce other wet foods, but she has been literally running away from the foods I have tried lately.
It would be better to do "wet" food to avoid the dehydration and carbohydrates that are too high even in more calorie-dense foods, but if it has to be dry, I believe the formulas are made on a calorie basis and manufacture know that cats will be consuming less food and they adjust accordingly.

The more carbs in the diet, the harder weight control/loss will be. Higher-fat/higher-protein formulas should promote satiety, even when given in smaller amounts.

I would look for the most nutritionally dense--high calorie--food you can, and feed less.

It is much kinder to cats to have less waste to pass through their GI tracts.

That's my 2 cents.

Bill
 

Box of Rain

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J jencat One additional thought, have you ever given Sheba a small piece of chicken or other meat (cooked or raw) to see how she reacts? Might be an experiment to consider.

Bill
 
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jencat

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J jencat One additional thought, have you ever given Sheba a small piece of chicken or other meat (cooked or raw) to see how she reacts? Might be an experiment to consider.

Bill
Thank you for all your help. She won't touch any human food. I've tried little bits of chicken and turkey and it's a no go. She won't even touch a little morsel of tuna. I also have OCD so raw feeding is not for me.
 
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jencat

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How about pate with no water added, and try something here for hydration. By the way, have you looked at Mouser cat food?

Sorry if I already posted this for you;
Tips To Increase Your Cat’s Water Intake - TheCatSite
Thanks I will read the article. I have never heard of Mouser before, but will check that out too. I do have a pet fountain but she won't go near it. My elderly male cat has had reduced renal function for years and I swear it is what has kept his kidney values stable. He is obsessed with it. He spends half his day staring at the water, playing with the water and drinking. He drinks so much, it would be hard to tell when his kidneys have taken a turn for the worse, but he gets his values checked multiple times a year to ensure we are alert to any changes.
 
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