Cat nutrition recommendations?
Ok, my cat is fat. I engage him in exercise on a regular basis, I don leave food out. I give him small amounts throughout the day. It nothing is helping him lose. I got to thinking, the ingredients on his food is filled with wheat and corn and such. I use Iams, which I heard as a decent food as far as cheaper ones are concerned, but I don't think it's that great. If cats are carnivores, then all that useless wheat product is probably adding up as fat. What is a good food that is actually meat based? I don't want to just pick an expensive
One off the shelf, recommendations would be helpful
- 8 years agoFavorite Answer
- Ariane deRLv 78 years ago
You are thinking along the right lines. Cats are totally made to eat meat, they do not need carbohydrate, it's not what their bodies are adapted to get energy from, and it is more likely to go to body fat. My cat had a big problem with that, he got overweight even on a small amount of dry food that had corn & was high in carbs. He even ended up getting diabetes. That's when I finally belatedly started learning about cat nutrition.
So you are wise to think about this and make a change. See the links below for a vet's site with tips that have helped other people get their cat to a healthy weight.
*** IMPORTANT : A cat should not lose weight TOO fast !!! They can get liver damage and get very ill. They should lose only about 1 -2% of their body weight per week. Weighing your cat every few days on a scale that weighs in grams or ounces would be a very good idea.
The best thing you can do is to transition the cat to a high protein , moderate ( but hopefully not too high ) fat, very low carb canned food. Feed whatever kind you can afford as long as it is mostly animal protein not grains etc. Avoid food with corn, wheat, rice , including the gluten.
If you can afford a food with high quality meat, try Merrick. some I would recommend are Cowboy Cookout, Grammys Pot Pie or Surf & Turf . My cats like those and they are low carb and also lower fat & lower in calories than most of the other premium foods . Merrick Cowboy Cookout is a similar balance of nutrients to what is in a mouse. Right now on Petflow they are $31 for a case of 24 5.5 ounce cans. I have seen it a bit cheaper sometimes from some places.
Another food that seems good for cats who need to lose weight is Weruva. the one my cats like is the Paw Licken Chicken. I think it is more expensive than the Merrick.
& I think Blue Buffalo Wilderness ( the kind with no grains) is a pretty decent nutrient balance, lower in calories than some of the other premium foods..
Wellness is a very good food but it is higher in fat than Merrick or Weruva. I Cats do need more fat than we do -- but it is higher fat than their natural diet would be and it does make it higher calorie. It still may be a good choice you could try.
If you can only afford something low priced, you can feed canned Friskies. If you feed that or 9 Lives or some other cheap canned food , stick to the Paté style -- those are the lowest carb ones. The food from those brands that has chunks, slices, shreds etc of (fake) meat with gravy are higher carb/ sugar -- sometimes 6 times as much carbs as the paté ones.
Understandably it is not nearly as high quality meat as the ones mentioned above like Merrick . It's meat byproducts so you don't know exactly what you are getting --some of that may be nutritious organ meat that just isn't attractive to humans. but some may be meat declared unfit for human consumption. So some people have said you should not feed it, but hey, people have to feed what they can afford and I don't know your budget. I would sure rather feed a cat canned Friskies than any high carb dry food. At least it does fill 3 basic needs: -- protein from animal sources, low in carbs, and the right amount of moisture ( cats need to get their moisture IN their food since they have a low thirst drive) .
Something a bit higher quality that is easy to find is Fancy Feast. which has a mix of some muscle meat & some byproducts. In that , also choose the Classic ones like Tender Beef, Tender Liver & Chicken, Turkey & Giblets etc
You may be able to switch off & some days feed a higher quality kind, other days feed a paté style of a cheap canned food.
There are some canned foods that are in-between in quality and price. For example Petsmart's Authority brand may be OK but it's kind of high fat. . but you will have to read labels. and also here is a link that has 2 charts with info on protein, fat carbs calories etc for many kinds of cat food. http://binkyspage.tripod.com/canfood.html
Try to stay under 10% carbs. and then if possible under 170 calories per 5.5 ounce can or under about 90 calories per 3 ounce can. ....except I wouldn't feed fish more than once a week since it can be hard on the kidneys and urinary tract.
There is really no dry food that I could recommend. The grain-free dry foods are high fat & high calorie. and instead of grains they use some other starchy stuff like potatoes , to make the food into the kibble pieces. so they're not as low carb as low carb canned. It's true that he might be satisfied on a smaller amount than on the Iams, since it's protein and fat that signal to a cat he is full.
But it is still better for cats to eat wet food to get enough water.
However, if your cat is not used to eating canned, you could first switch to a grain free dry food like Wellness Core, Merrick Before Grain or Blue Buffalo Wilderness.Source(s): I recommend you check out this vet's site with good info on cat nutrition including things like tips for transitioning their diet , helping fat cats get to a healthy weight, how to figure out how much to feed, etc. She also has an article discussing commercial canned food. and an artcle on making your own cat food, including the recipe she uses. http://catinfo.org the main article Feeding Your Cat http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felineobesity article on Feline Obesity ( more details on weight loss) You can order food from sites like Petflow or Petfooddirect. sometimes they have good sales & promotions w/ free shipping.
- ThecowsaysmooLv 58 years ago
I also use Blue Buffalo its great food you can buy at Petsmart
- 8 years ago
Wellness is the best food I could find on the market. It comes in wet and dry. Real whole meat is the number one ingredient and has great nutritional vitamins and minerals. Contains NO grain, all natural, no processed chemical crap, no fillers, no by-products.
Compare ingredients next time you go to the store with Wellness. Don't be fooled. Purina, Iams, Science Hill, Friskies, 9lives, etc are all garbage filled by product foods with tons of grains, and next to no real meat if any. Wellness can run about $1.20 or so per can but is worth it once you compare. And think the bad foods listed above are the equivalent of McDonalds. The healthy Wellness will make your cat healthier in the long run and should help reduce risk of disease as he ages.
Your cat may also be naturally large. Cats do get thyroid problems and its possible that it may be a reason he can't lose weight but only a doctor can determine. Persistent and daily exercise is good for physical activity and to stimulate his mind. Its good that you play and exercise with him, keep it up.
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- helenaLv 58 years ago
this happened to my cat. She is 9 yrs old now and it's clear to see that she is a big cat anyway, not in the overweight sense. When we took her to the vets they insisted that she was overweight and gave her some very healthy biscuits, it was like an 'atkins' diet., the biscuits smelt great and were really meaty. they were more expensive & we had to measure it out all the time.
Yes some biscuits are just full of fillers, we use iams now too which seem okay. The 'Hills' food is quite good too, you can buy it off the shelf at the vets or in pet shops. Also 'Royal Canaine' is good.
Wet food is not much better, full of sugar bits and no real meat. Cat's will not starve remember, so maybe limit the food even more and weight it out. They might meow and complain but it's not because they are starving as cats are actually quite greedy creatures by nature.
Good luck! x
- ElizabethLv 78 years ago
You are right about your cat not needing grains, chicken by-product meal or vegetables. For years I have fed my cats a raw food diet that I make. It is obviously a good recipe because my cats have lived to be into their late teens and early twenties.
We invested in a meat grinder and do our own grinding but your butcher should be willing to grind it for you. Small grind.
This recipe is for 3 lbs. We make 12 lbs at a time, freeze it in muffin tins or mini loaf pans, store it in zip locks until needed.
3 lbs chicken thighs - meat, bones and skin
4 oz chicken livers
2 eggs - use the yolks raw but lightly cook the whites. I put them in the micro wave to cook but do not let it get as hard as a hard boiled egg.
Grind the thighs and livers. I usually put the whites in the grinder with th meat.
1 cup water - more if your cat will take it. I use 6 cups in 12 lbs.
2,000 mg wild salmon oil - use an ice pick or the tip of a sharp knife to pierce the capsules. It is a little messy and you lose some of the oil so I use 2 extra capsules in my large batch.
400 IU (268 mg) Vitamin E - powdered E in capsules is easiest to use
100 mg Vitamin B-complex - powdered in capsules
2,000 mg Taurine - powdered in capsules. Do not leave this out cats can not manufacture it on their own.
3/4 tsp Lite Salt with Iodine
mix the egg yolks and vitamins in the water. Whisk lightly. Pour it into your pan of meat and stir well. Keep stirring as you transfer the food to you containers. If you do not the water and vitamins will settle to the bottom and result in uneven distribution. Vitamin B has a strong smell and if it is not well mixed your cats will not want to eat the food.
Don't worry if it takes a day or two for your cat to start eating.. Put it out twice a day - pick it up after 30 - 45 minutes. Your big boy will catch on.
I am so glad that you are taking your cat's obesity seriously. I had a male that dropped dead from heart failure at 10 years old. He weighed 22 lbs.
That was a hard way to learn a lesson.
- 8 years ago
Blue Buffalo is great. I started my cat on it, but be careful. It's about $12 a small bag and some cat won't eat the freeze dried bits. So it may be a waste.
Solid Gold Katz-N-Flocken is another good one. That's what I currently feed Tobi. The main meat is Lamb and it's not too much. I pay $32 for a 15lb pound bag and it last Tobi for about 6 months.
California Natural is great. It's pricey at around $15 a bag.
Evo and Innova are great too. Basically the good food doesn't have Corn, Wheat, or Soy. Trust me, after switching from Iams, you'll see the difference in your cats fur, teeth, and all around healthiness.Source(s): Tobi, currently eating Solid Gold.