Helping Your Cat Lose Weight
Vet Tech Becky here! I am going to tell you about my cat’s weight loss journey in hopes that it will help someone who is going through the same thing with their kitty.
A typical indoor cat should normally get ¼ cup of their food twice daily, however, that can sometimes be too much for some cats. I was feeding my cat Aggie Purina One Urinary Tract Health for prevention of urinary issues. She was getting fed ¼ cup twice daily with 2 Greenies Dental Treats per day and carrots (yes, my cats are weird and like their veggies). I noticed she was gaining weight so I became a little concerned. Extra weight can bring a lot of health concerns such as anal gland issues, diabetes, heart disease, etc. I initially cut back the amount of food I was giving her and increased her exercise, but she was still slowly gaining weight. To rule out any medical conditions, I brought up her weight gain at her yearly physical exam, but everything on her exam came back great.
I decided to try feeding her Hill’s Science Diet Metabolic, since cutting back the amount of her regular food did not help. When introducing a new food, you want to make sure to do it gradually over the course of at least 1 week. Check out our blog article Transitioning Your Pet’s Food to learn about how to safety transition your pet’s food.
Now my two cats are on two different types of food. They are both meal fed, meaning that I do not leave their food out all day and let them eat when they want. They get fed at specific times, and if they do not eat their food within the time frame, I pull the food up and they have to wait until the next meal time. This did take some time for them to adjust to. Another benefit to feeding your cats this way is that you can quickly tell if one is feeling under the weather.
Month one of having Aggie on the metabolic food she basically maintained her previous weight. I still kept her on the food even though there were no drastic changes. In her second month on the metabolic food Aggie lost 0.3 pounds, which for a cat is a large amount (3% of her body weight).
Her third month on the metabolic food she lost an additional 0.1 pounds.
To help your pet lose weight, you can also try no bowl feeding systems, food puzzles, or Kongs. This will make your pet work for their food and also give them some mental stimulation.
Every pet loses weight differently, so don’t become discouraged if your pet doesn’t lose weight quickly. You also want to consult your pet’s weight with their Veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions first.
Wish us luck as we continue Aggie’s weight loss journey!