THE BEST FOOD FOR CAT WEIGHT LOSS
As we encounter an epidemic of tubby kitties, we must consider how to return them to optimal weight. Not only does the excess weight affect their appearance, it greatly affects their overall health and lifespan. The best food for cat weight loss encourages the cat to eat in a more natural way.
For too long now, our cats have been eating a steady staple of commercially produced, high carbohydrate, preservative laden brew of food. Pet food companies are masters at making this cereal taste as meaty as possible by spraying animal fats and animal digest (or stomach and intestine contents) all over dry kibble to make it more appealing.
Many of these cats have become addicted to the flavors and with little exercise or mental stimulation, find themselves eating all day long and in some cases, literally eating themselves to death.
According to Terri McGinnis, DVM in her book titled "The Well Cat Book", an overweight cat is at least 15% or more above what it should weigh, and when figuring a weight loss program for a cat, the goal should be for the cat to lose approximately 1% of body weight per week (175-176).
She has created a chart to help owners determine how many calories their cats should be eating in order to maintain a particular weight:
She notes that tomcats normally require about 10 calories more per each pound of total body weight.
You can use this table to help guide you in preparing a weight loss program for your cat. There are a few additional things to keep in mind as you create the plan:
- When you make your cat its homemade meals, keep track of the caloric content. Use a scale to weigh ingredients, read labels on any grains like brown rice, and know the caloric values of vegetables.
- You cannot reduce your cat's food too much or too quickly. You will need to slowly reduce the amounts by using the caloric chart above.
- Substitute lower calorie ingredients for some higher calorie items. For example, increase the amount of vegetables or brown rice in the diet to keep a similar total volume to keep him full, but it will have less overall calories.
- Use lean proteins like turkey, chicken, and fish for the majority of the meals. Add those fats that are high quality and easily assimilated.
- Feed your cat multiple meals to keep him feeling full. Dr. McGinnis indicates that studies have shown that multiple small meals may actually produce a greater overall weight loss than just one or two large meals for the day (175).
- Remember to incorporate exercise into your cat's daily routine to build muscle mass and encourage movement.
- The best food for cat weight loss is really a homemade meal that is tailored to its individual needs. Once it has regained its desired weight, it can return to a normal homemade meal and you won't have to be as conscious of the calories.
To see a multitude of recipes that can help you create the best food for cat weight loss and immediately begin changing your cat's health for one of vigorous health, vitality and bounce and a long life as well as for some free recipes.
Click here to find out more
McGinnis DVM, Terri. 1993. The Well Cat Book. New York: Random House Inc.