Humans and cats share this common issue. Cats are animals and if they are hungry, regardless of whether they should eat or not, if there is food, they will eat. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dangers that come from a cat being overweight, included but not limited to:
- Overweight cats can develop diabetes, heart issues, hypertension, and cancer;
- It shortens a cat’s lifespan; and,
- Overweight cats often have urinary and bladder stones.
“Cats should have that hourglass figure when you’re looking down at them,” Melissa Mustillo, DVM, a veterinarian at A Cat Clinic in Maryland advises, “They shouldn’t have a saggy belly hanging down, and you should be able to feel their ribs.”
And skipping your cat’s meals is not the solution. Skipping meals for cats is different from skipping meals for humans (or dogs). It is a lot more dangerous for cats to skip meals because their bodies are not built to store energy. Cats need a regular supply of protein to survive or their organs will start to shut down.
So that’s where their diet comes in! Specially formulated diet cat food is a good option for your overweight cat, in addition to exercise. If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight, just ensure you consult with your vet first to know if the food is still meeting your cat’s nutritional needs. If you’re not sure how much your cat should weigh either, check with your vet also. The breed, age, etc. of a cat makes a difference.
Otherwise, below are some of our top products and features to keep in mind while shopping for the best cat food for weight control!
Cat Food Labels
Look out for guaranteed nutritional labels, specifically food that has the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) label. After that, look for cat food labelled with “reduced calories”, “less fat”, or “light”. These phrases indicate fewer calories or less fat than another version.
Healthy Ingredient Composition
Observe the protein and carbohydrate composition, as this will determine a lot in regards to weight loss potential. Feeding high protein and low carbs is the best approach. This is because, crude protein is the most necessary ingredient for your cat’s energy and health. Furthermore, if your cat is consuming more carbs than protein, they won’t be able to intake sufficient protein levels that help in maintaining healthy muscle mass.
There are studies demonstrating the positive effect of a high protein, low carb diet resulting in cats being able to sustain weight loss and feel full longer. Therefore, aiming for this composition is a good approach to weight loss and muscle mass preservation.
But always check the ingredient list – opt for true, protein rich food that is given to them in controlled portions throughout the day.
Just because you are feeding your cat a high protein/low carb diet doesn’t always equate to a healthy number of calories. That’s why it’s essential to pre-determine the appropriate daily calorie intake with your cat’s vet. Then you can ensure that the protein rich foods you are perusing don’t have too many protein calories, as this can still cause weight gain.
When it comes to indoor cats versus outdoor cats, this factor is significant to weight gain prevention. This is because indoor cats don’t naturally expend as much energy as outdoor cats, therefore, they don’t need as many calories.
Canned Wet Food is Better
Compared to dry food, canned food is a more optimal product for cat weight loss. This is because it generally contains more protein and moisture. Ultimately it keeps your cat full longer, and that means they are eating less! Portion control is just as important as content.
Of course, everything else is important, but if your cat doesn’t enjoy the food, it won’t eat it. Strive for a protein your cat will lick its lips for!