Rat Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boyfriend's parents adopted a cat last year who used to be quite petite and trim. Now she is huge. Bigger than a thanksgiving turkey. She is very round and solid and we know this is terrible for her health. She is fed a very good diet ("Wilderness" brand) but the problem is there is an unlimited amount. She complains and cries whenever her bowl is empty, so they just keep it filled. We've tried talking to them about limiting her food and putting her on a diet, but they think she is too annoying when shes hungry so they won't do it. : /

The only other thing we can do really is have them change her food. Does anyone know of a good high quality cat kibble that is very low fat and might help her lose weight? She is an indoor cat if that makes a difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I'm not sure where they feed her but another idea is to have her food bowl up on a dresser/shelf where she actually has to put a little extra effort/exercise in to get up and down. That's what a roommate and I did years ago to help her overweight rescue cat. I can't remember what weight loss food she fed her though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,636 Posts
Sorry but "diet" foods are not going to fix the issue here. They'll probably make it worse since they're heavily loaded with fillers (carbohydrates). Her food access needs to be limited in a way that allows her to lose body weight at a SAFE pace. A timed feeder would probably do wonders - and if the crying for food is the issue, usually they will decide cry to the timed feeder and not the human ;) Please read this site http://www.catinfo.org/ - and more specifically this page http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felineobesity for how to help her safely lose weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great thank you! I know a "light" food is nowhere close to an answer, but I hoped it could at least help. Her bowl is on a table that she has to jump on, so that hasn't helped haha. She also loves chasing toys and laser dots, but its not enough to burn all the calories. We were telling them to just feed her before going to bed and when they wake up in the morning since she cries a lot at night. But I don't think they think it's worth the trouble? I don't know. It's disappointing.

We suspect that when we move in a couple months, they will give her to us. If they do, there will be some BIG changes in her diet routine!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Our cat used to be obese and a vet told me that if we stopped feeding her dry food and put her on wet food, she'd lose weight. I was skeptical, but it worked. Giving her canned wet food caused the weight to practically melt off, apparently because is lower in carbohydrates. It is also easier to control portions because you're controlling how many cans the kitty gets per day. She usually gets Fancy Feast cans but sometimes we treat her to special foods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
863 Posts
From someone who has 4 cats - all nice and trim - I second the advice for canned food. I even mix a bit of warm water in, just a few tablespoons to help the cats feel full and to keep them extra hydrated. Since I started feeding this way, none of my cats have had an instance of UTI.

As far as crying for food all the time - you will want to rule out thyroid disease, as this can make a cat feel hungry all the time. But I suspect she's crying because she's bored.

Of course, playing with the cat is essential for exercise, and for bonding. All they need is 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening when the cat is feeling active.

Last suggestion is this: http://www.amazon.com/Petsafe-SlimC...d=1427049890&sr=8-1&keywords=cat+foraging+toy
Yes, it uses dry food, but it will encourage your cat to move around and eat more slowly. Cats really enjoy foraging!

It's great that you want to slim down this cat. So many people have fat pets and they live in denial about it. But it is a serious health risk, and it's 100% avoidable. Follow Jaguar's links, there's great info there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions and links! I had thought of canned food too since kibbles are more concentrated calories, but again, I think the issue here for them is that dry food is "easier".

I don't want to make them sound like uncaring or unkind people, I love them and they're very nice! They just don't have much experience with pets or too much interest in learning more. The only pets they had in the past were very easy and healthy so all they had to do was walk the dog, clean the cat litter box, and fill the food bowls. So the idea of having a pet with any sort of special needs I don't think even occurs to them to have to do things differently.

I'm hoping we will be given the cat soon so we can start helping. Until then, maybe we will buy them one of those timed feeders and that might help. They love their kitty, but they don't seem to notice her weight as something dangerous, and see it more as just something to lovingly joke about (in the kindest sense).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,636 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
As someone that has had an obese cat (though, to my credit, a big portion of her weight gain was due to her being spayed), I can definitely tell you that being overweight is no joke. Especially in older cats who are already likely to develop some kind of health problem(s) at some point or another.

Wet food is definitely your best option, but if they're too lazy to do that, then keeping her on a good dry food is the next best option. I would highly recommend Merrick's Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Senior or Weight Loss Formulas. They won't do much in the way of weight loss, but they are excellent kibble (as far as dry food goes) and also have some salmon oil in 'em, which works wonders on the cats fur. Again, it's not as good as wet food, but if the cat has to be stuck on kibble, that is my #1 go-to brand.

Otherwise, feeding the kitty on a schedule is the only other thing that will help. Portion wise, she shouldn't be getting more than 1 cup per day, if that. (I give my obese girl 3/4 cups per day, of which she only eats maybe 80% of)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,636 Posts
Wet food is definitely going to be the best solution. Heck, raw would be even better. I didn't suggest it because it's highly unlikely that someone who can't stand the cat begging for food is going to be able to stand the transition to canned food. Kibble addicts generally have a hard time transitioning and it can take months to convince them wet foods are even edible. Wellness CORE, Innova EVO, and Nature's Variety Instinct are all very low carb dry foods, but sadly are still inferior to wet. Blue Buffalo Wilderness is pretty good as far as kibble goes, but it's very calorie dense - it's just the amount she's being fed that's the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Blue buffalo wilderness is exactly what she's being fed now. It's very good quality, but I think that's part of the reason why she's so fat, is that it has such high protein and high quality and it's really the portioning that's the problem.

They feed the dog wet food (he doesn't like kibbles), so it wouldn't be hard I think to convince them to try giving the cat wet food too. But I just wonder how finicky she will be to try the new food. She never begs for treats or accepts anything really other than the kibbles, so it's a very real possibility that she will have a hard time transitioning to wet food.

Thank you for the suggestions and links! I'll share those with my boyfriend and see if he thinks his parents will go for it. If not, I guess we'll just have to wait only a few months before we can handle it 100% on our own!

What are some other good quality wet cat foods? And how much do cats need per day for the average sized cat food can? 1 can per day split into two meals? Or is that maybe not enough?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
My cat is a healthy 15lbs and gets 1/2 6oz can of wet food and 1/3 cup of dry food (a mix of taste of the wild and authority adult chicken / rice) dally. We feed on a schedule.

Something else to try with their cat, is to use a feeder that makes her work. There are treat balls out there that will do this and some food dishes that are "puzzle" feeders, so that the cat has to use it's paws to get food out. I used one of these with my cat for a while (treat ball) and it worked.. he ate slower, got full, so often left some in the ball. The downside was that there were food crumbs all over... I would highly suggest a puzzle-type stationary feeder, which would have a similar effect.

Amount of food you have to feed depends highly on the calorie content. I can't remember now what the formula is, but they require so many kcals per pound of weight. The higher the calories in a food (i.e. evo) the less you feed. I would avoid feeding a total grain free high protien dry food (i.e. evo) as some cats develope kidney problems on it. EVO makes a grain free canned food that is great, but I couldn't get mine to eat it, so he gets friskies special diet (for urinary issues) for his wet food. TOTW is a good grain free that isn't as high in calories and not as harsh on their liver, but I mix it about 1/5 to mostly regular good dry food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Our cat gets two cans of Fancy Feast a day (breakfast and dinner) and a treat in between. In my experience, cats usually love canned food, though for our cat it took her a while to get used to (she likes some of the flavors better than others).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
Canned food Is better for cats esp If you add a little water to each can. Cats are not known to drink water so the liquid content helps prevent kidney issues and UTI etc. I feed holistic high protein diet no carbs! I feed Party Animal, Addiction, Weruva, Wild Calling, and freeze dried raw Primal with water added. These brands are not easy to find for most unless you have a specialty store.

Just comparing Wilderness dry to a few other cans found at Petco there is a major difference in fat content.

Wilderness Dry has an 18% Crude Fat
http://www.petsmart.com/cat/food/bl...ar_id=36-332&_t=pfm=category&pfmvalue=faceted

Wellness Can has 8% crude fat
http://www.petco.com/product/115493/Wellness-Cubed-Cuts-Adult-Canned-Cat-Food.aspx

Soulistic Can has 10%
http://www.petco.com/product/110264...spx?CoreCat=LN_CatSupplies_CatFood_CannedFood

Wellness Core has 11%
http://www.petco.com/product/119559/Wellness-CORE-Indoor-Canned-Cat-Food.aspx

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Can has 8%
http://www.petco.com/product/125793...ld-Delights-Chunky-Canned-Adult-Cat-Food.aspx

Halo Can 6%
http://www.petco.com/product/104975/Halo-Spots-Stew-Canned-Cat-Food.aspx

Hope that helps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I would try to talk them into going with a can food. One cats need more moisture to prevent UTI or kidney issues. I even add water to my cats canned food as cats are not known to drink a lot.

Also compare fat content in foods.

Blue Wilderness Dry has an 18% Fat content while canned is only 10%
Wellness can has a 8%
Soulistic can has 10%
Halo can has 9%
Core can has 10%
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
I'm not sure if anyone has suggested this yet or if it's already been tried, but I'd put the bowl away when it's not feeding time. I did this with my dog when transitioning her from grazing at her previous household to two meals a day in my home. Eventually the cat will get the point and the complaining will stop, but I feel like hiding the bowl will likely cause less complaining since it's not there as a reminder that there's no food.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top