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Old August 26th, 2008, 11:33 AM
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Question Help for my FAT CAT!

My cat Luna is 6 years old, generally healthy, but 2-3 pounds overweight (15 lb at last weigh-in!) Can you help me help her slim down?!?

She lives alone with me in my small apartment so doesn't get much exercise... and I've been feeding her only 1/3 cup Orijen kibble each day... and about 1 small can a week of Wellness wet (chicken). But she's still FAT. I like Orijen because she likes it, its a GOOD food, and Canadian... but it does have a higher fat content than maybe she should eat (info?)

I can't feed her less quantity, won't do raw (sorry hardcore raw feeders!), and don't want to feed her foods with grains or by-products (ew!)...

Who has other suggestions for quality foods for weight LOSS?
Thanks! ~Scary & Luna
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Old August 26th, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Hmmm...my kitties all slimmed down when we changed them onto Orijen Maybe she needs more exercise...try incorporating a daily 20 minutes of really active play with her...
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:05 PM
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scary, I would go to your vet first to rule out any health issues such as thyroid problems. Is this weight gain sudden or has she always been a "curvy" girl? If the vet checks out ok, then I would go to a good pet food store and ask if they have any high quality low calorie food.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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I know she likes Orijen, but changing 100% feeding to a quality canned may be the answer and only giving Orijen as a treat (you can buy the sample bags so it doesn't stale). Playing more in combination with an all canned diet may do the trick.

I can't recommend a specific canned food as I haven't studied the calorie content. Perhaps a canned that is potato free, like Instinct by Nature's Variety or Organics, by Nature so there are no carbs.
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Ditch the Orijen. Don't feed any dry whatsoever and go with just the canned Wellness. Dry food is what makes cats fat. Here is more info on that: http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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Thanks so far...
I do try to play with her, but she's not really into vigorous play for more than 2-3 minutes anymore (not enough to work up a "sweat" anyway)!

As of her last vet visit she's all fine, thiroid checked out, just heavy... has been gaining slowly for the past 2-3 years. I will ask a local store, good idea... my vet still says Science Diet

Lastly - I tried her on Innova EVO for a couple of months... but couldn't stand the litter box stench!

Further tips still appreciated!!
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Old August 26th, 2008, 12:37 PM
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Hmm, just a thought for exercise. If you have a Zellers around ( well i guess any pet store sells them ) get a laser pointer. My cat would play with it all day if he could, i make sure to take breaks thoguh! or else he starts coughing up a bit, nothing comes up but its like a hairball sound. So start slow and build up with that..i think almost any cat loves them, and if not, they are cheap so oyu only wasted like $5..
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Old August 26th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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I got my guy slimmed down pretty easily just from taking away all the dry and feeding him exclusively a good grain free wet food. The website sugarcatmom gave you has a good run down of what the calorie count was per can. The best rule of thumb is to try and cut down her calorie intake by about 20% - then after about a week, weigh her - if she looks to be losing too much too fast, increase the amount, or vice versa. You can pick up a baby scale and weigh her at home if you don't want to take her to the vet each time.

Oriijen is a good grain free dry food, but it does have a high fat content, and cats don't need to be on dry at all, so you can save yourself some stress by just ditching it altogether. Jake was only on dry beforehand, but he made the switch fairly easily - I know some have some problems, but if your little lady is already eating wet it shouldn't be much of a problem.

As for exercise, a little bit at a time (just like for humans) makes a difference. My guy got more exercise because I had brought a kitten home - just running away from her got his heart rate up

I have a thread with pictures to show his weight loss on here if you are interested. Good luck!
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Old August 26th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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1/3 cup Orijen a day? Is that the amount recommended? Do you split it into two meals? I'd definitely look into grain-free canned and feed her the 'normal' amount.
There are some very cool toys around, but my cats are just as happy when I lob paper balls at them (I use old magazines, the paper is just the right weight), until they have to react .
I don't want to offend you at all, but 2-3 lb. is not something I would obsess about, some cats are just built that way. Does she have big feet?
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Old August 26th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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Can't give you any more advise except to say what Phoozles did. If you want kitty to get more exercise the perfect thing is a playmate! Lots of running around and playing then. Or, lots of running away from new playmate.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 01:15 AM
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If you can get her to play with some interactive toys like a cat dancer or a laser light start slow, you don't want to overdo it. Most cats will react to playing with these, sometimes it just takes a bit for us to figure out what they like to play with.

If you can substitute a little more canned for a little less dry food this will also help or even cutting out the dry all together & just meal feeding canned.

Innova Evo is also fairly high in fat content, stick with the Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Eagle Pack Holistic Select.

Remember while you want her to lose a couple of pounds you don't want her to lose it quickly you don't want to put her at risk for liver complications. So start slow, the results may not show for a little while.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Hey if it doesn't work out don't feel bad. My one cat is a fat cat too. I've tried everything everyone has told em on here but she has zero interest in doing anything other then sleeping, pooping and eating any time she can. I've got 200+$ worth of different kinds of toys and the only one she will even THINK about playing with is Da Bird by Go Cat! Otherwise she would rather sleep.



She makes me look like an awful cat mommy but she's healthy yeah, but she just doesn't like to move.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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First - Thanks to everyone so far for your time and thoughts! A few responses are below:

To those commenting on exercise - I do have a laser pointer which I'll use more often, but she knows she can't actually catch the red dot... so won't give chase after about 3 min.

I've considered getting her a younger cat... but I probably should have done that a few years ago. I didn't want more than one for a long while, still unsure...

As for wet food... I'll try her on less Orijen, more wet.... I can't get rid of dry altogether as I'm away from home 1-2 days per week, so that's always available for her. She's used to that and portions herself somehow.

Badger: At her weight she's supposed to get about a cup, but she doesn't need/eat that much. I feed her once a day and she's used to grazing. I'm not home on any schedule for twice-daily feedings. ** LOL on your "until she HAS to react!" **

Badger and Kathryn - Lol K, you DO make me feel not alone! Its my vet warning me about the extra weight - its 20% she doesn't need to carry, and as she ages I worry about uneccessary health badness... maybe I'm paranoid too. 3 years ago I lost MY extra 20% weight (about 35 pounds to us, which I think all would agree is a fair bit) and felt so much better - I want the same for her.

I guess I'll give her wet once a day for a while and see how that goes, keep some (less) kibble down for her so she stays used to eating it.
Brand suggestions are appreciated!

THANKS for aaalllllllllll the advice, keep it coming, and I'll let you know what happens...
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Old August 27th, 2008, 07:46 PM
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To those commenting on exercise - I do have a laser pointer which I'll use more often, but she knows she can't actually catch the red dot... so won't give chase after about 3 min.
If you click the light off when she pounces on it or puts her paw on it to try to catch it, this may peak her interest more - she'll think she caught it & it slipped away on her so she's more likely to try and catch it again
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Old August 28th, 2008, 07:41 AM
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I have heard of kitties that get frustrated when they can't catch their "prey" and give up playing. How about a string with a mousy tied to it, that she can catch and run away with it in her mouth. Or my cats like a tennis ball that is rolled for them and they "catch" it then grab with their front paws, lie down and kick it with their back paws.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Thanks again for the suggestions... I'm using the laser toy again (letting her "catch it" kinda works but only a couple of times.) I didn't think of typing a string to a mouse and she does love those... will try it. Every bit helps!

Anyone have specific low-fat wet or dry food recommendations that are still good (ie no by-products)?
THANKS!
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Old September 5th, 2008, 02:43 PM
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Thanks again for the suggestions... I'm using the laser toy again (letting her "catch it" kinda works but only a couple of times.) I didn't think of typing a string to a mouse and she does love those... will try it. Every bit helps!

Anyone have specific low-fat wet or dry food recommendations that are still good (ie no by-products)?
THANKS!

You got suggestions from the two best food gurus on this forum.

SCM gave you this site.........
http://www.catinfo.org/feline_obesity.htm

growler gave you this info.........
stick with the Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Eagle Pack Holistic Select.

I don't think anyone else can give you any more recommendations for specific low-fat foods.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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scary, I would go to your vet first to rule out any health issues such as thyroid problems. Is this weight gain sudden or has she always been a "curvy" girl? If the vet checks out ok, then I would go to a good pet food store and ask if they have any high quality low calorie food.
I agree, but I would ask the vet about a quality food and probably would not go to a pet food store. My vet advised me on a food (which of course you can only buy from them) but it worked.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 02:53 PM
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just make sure you don't get those 'light' or 'weight control' foods.. they're usually made up with a bunch of extra carbs that your kitty doesn't need.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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just make sure you don't get those 'light' or 'weight control' foods.. they're usually made up with a bunch of extra carbs that your kitty doesn't need.
yeah...my cat actually got fatter on 'light' food and his fur was such a mess

Our resident gurus helped me to control and slowly but surely get some weight off my chubby kitty
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Old September 11th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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APOLOGIES!!!

I'm part way through the article link, but missed growler's Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Eagle Pack Holistic Select line entirely (hides face behind hand!)
I'll try those brands, and get at least 1/2 her food intake to be wet - she'll LOVE it, its been a twice-monthly treat til now! Kibble will have to stay for when I'm away Fri & Sat each week. I'm sure that will help some at least.

THANKS ALL!!
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Old September 11th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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APOLOGIES!!!

I'm part way through the article link, but missed growler's Wellness, Nature's Variety Instinct, Eagle Pack Holistic Select line entirely (hides face behind hand!)
I'll try those brands, and get at least 1/2 her food intake to be wet - she'll LOVE it, its been a twice-monthly treat til now! Kibble will have to stay for when I'm away Fri & Sat each week. I'm sure that will help some at least.

THANKS ALL!!
Nature's Variety posts the calorie content on their website, they vary greatly.


http://www.naturesvariety.com/instinct_cat_can

I know somebody who has had their cat on vet "light" food for years, the cat hasn't dropped a pound. I do know of several cats who have gone from kibble to quality canned (Wellness and Instinct) and have lost their excess weight naturally.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 04:30 PM
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My Chubby cat Vinnie,is losing weight slowly by eating only Wellness canned 3 times/day,he gets one third of a small can each meal and it seems like he has enough.
The other 2/3 goes to my two other cats,breakfast,lunch and dinner.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Exclamation Fat cat - update!

HI all,
Its been a few months and I have more advice questions (please!) and an update on Luna.

For October and November I had Luna on 1/3 can wet Wellness once a day, and less than 1/4 cup of kibble. NO weight change. :sad:
For December and January I put her on two feedings a day of wet Wellness, and only kibble when I was away 1.5 days a week. No change - but no gains either. She's still 15.5 lbs.

NOW: I had a vet appt 2 wks ago and he strongly recommended the food she's now eating - you won't like it (I didn't!) but he says for 2-3 months it could work to take off 1-2 lbs. Its Hills "Precription MD". 1 can/day, split in two meals. She eats it, but we'd BOTH prefer she didn't... we're willing to do it only long enough if it works to drop weight.

ADVICE: As alternates to the MD, the vet also suggested raw as an option (not for me), or "those pucks you can get" - healthy pre-made good food. ANY idea what 'those pucks' could be???

THanks for your continued interest and help!
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Old February 12th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Those pucks are probably these things. Its NV Pre packaged Raw. It comes in Patties, chubs, And medallians. The pucks i am assuming are the medallians. I call them mini pattis. lol..

http://www.naturesvariety.com/raw_products_lamb

You can see them on the bag, inthe silver bowl
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Old February 12th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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I tried those"pucks"with my cats,there was no way they were going to eat them
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Old February 12th, 2009, 05:30 PM
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NOW: I had a vet appt 2 wks ago and he strongly recommended the food she's now eating - you won't like it (I didn't!) but he says for 2-3 months it could work to take off 1-2 lbs. Its Hills "Precription MD". 1 can/day, split in two meals. She eats it, but we'd BOTH prefer she didn't... we're willing to do it only long enough if it works to drop weight.
There is nothing magical in M/D to make a cat lose weight. The reason vets are now "prescribing" it to fat cats is because it's a bit higher in protein and lower in carbs than some other foods and some vets are finally clueing in to the fact that it's the carbs that makes cats fat. Thing is, canned M/D isn't even as low carb as it should be, at 14% (Wellness is under 10%). Soooo, instead of paying too much money for the poor ingredients in M/D, just use portion control with a better quality food. Something else to consider might be supplementation with L-carnitine, which supposedly helps with weight loss.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:17 PM
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Hills MD

BabyMomma - Thanks for the link, I'll look into them at my local store! I'll also call my vet and ask if that was the brand he meant.

Sugarcatmom - When my vet suggested MD I asked about content etc - and cause he knows I try to feed high quality appropriate food his reaction was "I know your concerns Terry, we've just had great luck with this food dropping extra pounds in cats... maybe just don't read the label." (He meant it well, but what a funny answer!)
Sooooo - to clarify, as I don't have the product breakdowns here (and most cans just have 'minimums' stated, not too helpful), Wellness Chicken wet food is both better quality overall (which I knew) and ALSO lower in fat / carbs than Hills MD? Can you confirm?

I can see how pet parents that feed Friskies and crap like it would have weight-loss for their cats on MD... if its comparably better. But if Welness wet is even better yet (that rhymes!), I'd rather feed that, and she loves it...
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Old February 17th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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Sugarcatmom - When my vet suggested MD I asked about content etc - and cause he knows I try to feed high quality appropriate food his reaction was "I know your concerns Terry, we've just had great luck with this food dropping extra pounds in cats... maybe just don't read the label." (He meant it well, but what a funny answer!)
One of the reasons M/D can be successful for weight loss is because the cats who are being switched over to it were probably on some high-carb dry food before that. Merely increasing the protein and decreasing carbohydrates can be enough in many cases. But to go from something like Wellness to M/D is a step backwards. Here are the main ingredients in canned M/D:

Quote:
Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Water, Corn Starch, Powdered Cellulose, Soy Protein Isolate, Chicken Fat .....
No quality muscle meat, but lots of by-products and a bunch of filler (corn starch, powdered cellulose) to make a cat feel full. It's lower in fat and calories than Wellness, but then so is cardboard. Cats need fat. And protein. They don't need carbs, which is what makes them fat (along with too many calories in and not enough calories out, of course).

Here are the main ingredients for Wellness Chicken:

Quote:
Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Carrots, .....
This one gets only 4% of its calories from carbs. It is higher in calories, so it would be a good idea to practice portion control, but that can be said about any food. There are other quality foods out there that are lower in calories if you have a cat that is satiated by the food volume and not the caloric intake (some of the Merrick flavours come to mind). You could also add some extra protein in the form of plain lightly cooked chicken or turkey, or some extra soluble fiber like cooked green beans or zucchini. If Luna's ideal weight is 12 lbs, then she should technically lose weight eating only 1 can of Wellness per day.

For those days when you're away and you leave kibble out, what kind and how much does she eat? Even though it's only for a day and a half a week, eating a bottomless bowl of dry at those times could be enough to hinder her weight loss. Can you get a pet sitter to come in and feed her wet food instead?
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Old February 17th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Forgot to add some info on L-carnitine supplementation:

Quote:
There has also been some preliminary investigation into the effects of l-carnitine on facilitating rapid weight loss in dogs and cats. L-carnitine is a co-factor of fatty acid metabolism. It is obtained through both the diet and synthesized de novo. Center et al., investigated the effects of supplementing l-carnitine (250 mg/cat) in a randomized double-blinded placebo controlled study involving two groups of obese pet cats that were placed on a rapid weight loss regimen for 18 weeks (see above). Cats in both groups lost significant amounts of weight with no adverse effects. The cats that received the l-carnitine lost weight at a slightly more rapid rate than the cats that received the placebo.
From this somewhat dated (2001) WSAVA article: http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB...00/PR00174.htm
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