One way to help your cat lose weight safely and maintain a healthy weight is by checking what they’re eating. If you failed to read our article about the 12 best dry and wet cat foods, then you probably had a hard time searching for the best food for your kitty.
Thus, we compiled this list of the best cat foods for weight loss. This ensures that you do not have to go through that nightmare twice.
We know that the choices are plenty when it comes to weight loss cat food. What’s more, is that each brand says that they are the best. To help you make a smart, unbiased decision, we’ve searched the web and gone through thousands of user reviews to come up with the list of the best cat food for weight loss.
As an added bonus, we have also added a comprehensive buyer’s guide about diet cat food. Not just that, we made it a point as well to provide in-depth information about cat obesity – its causes, dangers, and of course, a number of other ways to deal with this growing problem.
Top Rated Weight Loss Cat Foods
Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight
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Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management
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Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Wet Cat Food
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Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
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BLUE Buffalo Indoor Hairball and Weight Control Cat Food
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Reviews of the Best Cat Food for Weight Loss
- Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food
- Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Overweight Management
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Wet Cat Food
- Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
- BLUE Buffalo Indoor Hairball and Weight Control Cat Food
Is your cat a dry cat food lover or a fussy eater who prefers to eat wet or raw cat food? Or maybe you want your cat to eat all-organic cat food? Worry not.
Aside from doing the honor of putting into one list the best cat food for weight loss, we made sure to provide a variety of options.
All the products below are highly-rated by cats as well as cat owners. Take note, however, that although these are all top-rated, we cannot undermine that each cat is unique and would also have different needs and preferences. Thus, it is crucial as well to consult your veterinarian.
In case you are still unsure, it is best to go through our comprehensive buyer’s guide below to have a better understanding of cat obesity and the different types and qualities of the best diet cat food.
1. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight
Among all the cat foods in the market, this one has probably received the most 5-star ratings. An adult cat losing weight or neutered cats who are prone to weight gain may now enjoy the process, thanks to the tasty flavor of the Science Diet Perfect Weight by Hill’s Science. Clinically approved and proven effective, cat owners can expect visible results within ten weeks. Aside from losing weight safely, it also offers lasting weight support.
- Cats, even the hard-to-please ones, like its taste.
- Noticeable weight loss can be seen in a couple of months.
- Once cats lose weight, this dry cat food also helps the cats maintain it.
- It gives cats a boost in energy and keeps them alert.
- This cat food also works for kitties with mild digestive problems.
- It gives cats a shiny coat.
- Their poop does not smell so bad anymore.
- It seems like they do not feel satisfied after a meal since they keep on asking for more.
- It is slightly expensive.
2. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management
Considering that our overall best diet cat food is also the best dry food, we think that it is just appropriate to mention its contender – the Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Feline Formula from Purina.
Specially designed to help overweight cats achieve their ideal weight, this dry food is high in protein (min of 25%), low in fat (just around 10%), and high in fiber (max of 2.5%).
- Cat owners observe visible weight loss in their tubby cats.
- It makes the cats’ fur soft and shiny.
- Our feline friends love this dry food’s taste.
- This is especially great for cats who exhibit low activity levels.
- It is pricier, compared to normal cat foods.
- Check the ingredients since this may cause allergies.
3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight
Cat foods for weight loss do not have to be unappetizing. The Perfect Weight Wet Cat Food from Hill’s Science Diet proves this. Available in Liver and Chicken as well as Roasted Vegetable and Chicken varieties, this cat food, like its dry counterpart, ensures to give your pal quality nutrition that is great tasting.
- Expect to see positive results when it comes to your cat losing weight.
- Most cats gobble it down up to the last drop.
- While it is more pricey compared to other brands, it is still considered as good value for money.
- It effectively helps maintain weight.
- Check the ingredients since a few have experienced allergies and digestive issues.
- Its scent might be a problem for some.
4. Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe
If you are the type who values your cats’ health (which you should) and a believer of raw meat, grain-free diet plans, then you might consider this product from Instinct as among the best cat foods for weight loss and the best cat food to maintain a healthy weight.
Count on its main ingredient – cage-free, freeze-dried raw chicken – to supply cats with high amounts of animal protein. The addition of L-carnitine will make sure that your cat will feel full longer while burning unnecessary fat.
- Say hello to less hairball and shinier coats.
- Most cats love this kibble’s taste.
- Improvements were observed on the cats’ overall health.
- It is value for money.
- It didn’t really help with stinky poos.
5. BLUE Buffalo Indoor Hairball and Weight Control
Ready to give up cause your indoor cats who need to lose weight refuses to exercise? BLUE Buffalo’s Indoor Hairball and Weight Control might just be what your lazy fat cat needs to lose fat and gain some lean muscle.
BLUE Buffalo is known for its natural, holistic diet plans. The Indoor Hairball and Weight Control is just among BLUE Buffalo’s top products.
Made with deboned, high-quality chicken and carefully formulated to provide the right amount of calories, your cat achieving healthy weight loss is just within a hand’s reach. What is more, is that this kibble is made with wholesome, natural ingredients.
- This indoor dry cat food effectively reduces cats’ weight and keeps their energy up.
- Its taste is liked by many cats, including the finicky eaters.
- This food is also recommended for cats with sensitive stomachs.
- It is filling. Cats seem to get satisfied even with less food
- Softer and shinier fur can be observed.
- It is a bit pricey.
- There are limited choices when it comes to flavor.
What is Weight Loss Cat Food?
As the name suggests, weight loss cat food (also known as diet cat food or cat food for weight management or weight control) is a type of cat food that is specially made for cats who need to reduce weight. More often than not, cats who require weight management are those who are overweight or obese.
One might say that reducing the portion or volume of your cat’s food should be enough. While this might be true and might work for some, one should take note that dramatic or sudden weight loss in cats can actually cause more harm than good.
When it comes to cat weight loss, our priority should be our cats’ health, and weight loss in cats should be achieved in a safe manner. Typically, overweight or obese cats will require a special diet. This is where the best cat foods for weight control will come in handy.
What to Look for in the Best Weight Management Cat Food?
Cats are predatory in nature. They also have a biological need for meat. Known as obligate carnivores, our feline pals actually require a diet high in protein in order to stay healthy. Diet cat foods are designed to help attain this.
Cat foods for weight loss would ideally provide everything our fat cats need to lose weight – a macronutrient ratio that shows a balance in the level of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fats. All would say that they offer the right amount of each and everything.
When you look closely, though, each one will be slightly different than the other. So, here’s a checklist on what you should keep an eye on when on the hunt for the best weight control food for your kitty.
Rich in Protein
As a rule of thumb, the best cat foods for weight control are those that have at least 35% to 45 % protein content. By nature, cats use protein (apart from fat) as their main energy source. Protein also gives the feeling of fullness, retains lean muscle mass, and stimulates metabolism.
Low in Fat Content
Excess fat makes us humans gain weight. The same goes for our feline friends. A side by side comparison between weight loss cat food and “high-protein” or maintenance cat food would show the former having a significantly lower fat content.
High in Dietary Fiber and Moisture
Fiber has been known to be a quick fix for constipation, but this also helps cats achieve a healthy weight. While fiber provides little energy, this is essential in boosting cats’ metabolism. Fiber, as well as water or moisture, also satiates cats’ cravings for more food preventing the cat from feeling hungry after a meal.
A Dash of L-Carnitine
A supplementary amino acid, studies have shown that L-carnitine plays an important role in weight loss for cats. Aside from turning fat into usable energy, it may also help build muscle and protect the liver of a cat losing weight.
Reduced Carbohydrate Content
The debate on whether carbohydrates should be part of our overweight cats’ diet continues. While some state that cats can live without carbohydrates due to its evolutionary design, a couple of studies have shown otherwise.
Although the optimal amount of carbohydrates required in a feline’s diet remains a mystery, we can safely assume that dietary carbohydrates are an excellent energy source. Too much of it, though, may lead to unhealthy weight gain due to the possible reduction of protein intake that eventually leads to loss of lean muscle.
Decoding Weight Control Cat Food Labels
We know that there are a lot more questions on your mind and that at this point, you may still feel clueless. Well, just sit back and relax.
Checking your cat foods’ nutritional content is one thing, but what is adding more to the confusion is that each product is labeled differently. So, here is a quick guide on how you can decipher the labels.
Lite/Light Cat Food vs. Cat Food with Reduced Calories
Cat food labeled “Lite” or “Light,” contains low-level calories per gram. Compared to cat foods labeled “Less Fat” or “Reduced Calories,” the former would often contain fewer calories compared to the latter.
So, if your fat cat just needs to lose a few pounds, then you might want to try cat foods with reduced calories. If your cat, however, is overweight or obese, then Lite cat foods might work best since they contain fewer calories. Then again, it is still best to consult your vet.
Grain-Free Cat Food
Some pet parents think that when the pet food is grain-free, it means that it contains zero carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is important to study the label. As confirmed by Pet MD, some grain-free cat foods still contain potatoes and veggies that are loaded with carbohydrates.
Let’s face it. Many sheltered, indoor cats have been used to a sedentary lifestyle. Used to being provided with plentiful amounts of food, the tendency for these unknowing kitties to be overweight or obese is high.
As a quick fix, cat food manufacturers came up with a bright idea of creating an “Indoor Formula” cat food. Compared to regular cat food, this is formulated with lower calories. It also has lower fat content compared to “High-Protein Formula” cat foods.
Wet Food vs. Dry Food – Which One Works Better for Overweight Cats?
Dry food for weight control is cheaper, creates less mess, and some offer dental care benefits. Many of this type of diet food for cats are branded as high in protein and low in carbohydrates. When it comes to calories, however, we can expect these to offer higher levels considering how these are manufactured.
You’ll encounter some vets, however, who will recommend canned or wet cat food for weight management. Known to be high in moisture content, these leaves cats a feeling of fullness which helps control a cat’s food intake. It has also helped cats suffering from urinary and digestion issues.
Now the question is which one is better for your cat to remain in good health?
This is another matter in the cat food realm that leaves many scratching their foreheads. Needless to say, both have their pros and cons. So, we will have to leave the decision to you and your feline friends since this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Your veterinarian’s advice will also play a big role in your decision-making.
All About Cat Obesity
Garfield, Chesire Cat, and Heathcliff – what do these three felines have in common?
Apart from being downright adorable, all of these famous furballs have a pot-belly that we think looks cute. Pictures of tubby or fat cats have garnered a lot of likes from the mass public, making a lot of these chubby kitties internet sensations. Little did we know, however, that many of them are actually suffering.
Cat obesity may sound so trivial for many of us, but this is actually a serious condition that needs to be dealt with utmost importance. The number of overweight or obese cats, especially in industrialized countries, also continues to grow. Sadly, many are unaware that their seemingly normal cal, might already be overweight.
What is Feline Obesity?
Obesity in cats, like in humans, is the unhealthy accumulation of fat. An easy way to determine feline obesity is by checking your cat’s body weight. If your cat’s weight is 10% to 20% above its ideal weight, then we can consider your cat overweight. However, your tabby will be considered obese once its weight goes over 20% above its ideal weight.
How to Determine the Healthy Weight for Your Cat?
The best person to ask about your cat’s ideal weight is your veterinarian. A healthy weight for your cat is determined by a couple of factors. This includes your cats’ breed, age, and body type.
For most domestic cats, though, you can expect them to weigh around 8 to 10 pounds.
How Can I Tell if My Cat is Overweight or Obese?
An extra flab or two on humans is an obvious sign of being overweight or obese. Cats would also exhibit the same. Aside from the visible signs of excess body fat. Here are other ways to identify if your cat is a possible candidate.
Low Activity Level Leading to Lethargic Behavior
You might think that an extra 2 pounds in your cat’s weight are alright and that his or her laziness is just normal. Think again!
While an extra 2 pounds is not something to worry about for us humans, this extra weight is, in fact, hazardous for cats. Think proportion.
On a human that weighs 140 pounds, the 2-pound excess in a cat’s weight is actually equivalent to 28 pounds. Imagine that same amount of weight being carried around by our four-legged pals. Now you understand why they would prefer to sit around.
Try Giving your Cats a Hug
Feeling for your cats’ ribs is another method you can use to check if your cat is possibly overweight. If your cat is obese, you will have a hard time feeling her ribs due to the thick layer of fat that covers it. A bulge on her tummy will also be visible.
Determine Your Cat’s Body Condition Score
Identifying a cat’s body condition score would involve a careful assessment of its body composition. This may come on a scale of one to five where a score of 3 is normal, and a score of 4 or 5 is considered overweight.
Some like icarecat.org use a nine-point scale where a 5 is considered ideal and those who are overweight and obese will get a score of 7 to 9. You might try this at home based on the chart provided, however, consulting your veterinarian is still highly recommended.
Risk Factors for Cat Obesity
While we love our cats to the moon and back, it is sad to say that pet parents are the primary culprit. However, don’t put all the blame on yourself just yet.
There are other factors that can also put a seemingly normal cat at risk. We will discuss a few here. The health of our cats should always be a primary concern. Thus, if in case you see yourself doing one or two of the risk factors mentioned below, addressing it would be ideal so that you can help your cat lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
1. Unhealthy Eating Habits
More often than not, weight gain in felines is caused by overfeeding or the excessive intake of calories.
Unknowingly, pet parents are shortening their cat’s life span with their’ free-feeding practices. Add to the equation the energy-dense, palatable diet and treats, and viola! You got yourself an overweight cat.
2. Cats Age
A cat under two years old is less likely to be obese. It’s a different story though for middle-aged and older cats.
Cats aged 5 and above, because of age, would show a significant decrease in activity levels. Despite the lower levels of activity, they are still fed with same type and amount of food.
This imbalance in energy intake and usage will likely lead to unneeded fat being stored in their bodies.
A cat’s breed may also have a say on this growing problem. Unknown to some, there are specific cat breeds that are more susceptible to obesity. Included in Pet MD’s list of cats that are prone to gain unwanted weight than others are the Birman, Persian, and Peke-Faced cats.
There are types of drugs that cats take that decrease metabolism or boost their appetite. If your cat is taking medication like cyproheptidine, amytripyline, or corticosteroids, then you can partly blame these drugs for your cats’ weight gain.
Neutering refers to the process of removing a male cat’s or dog’s reproductive organs. For cats, this often leads to the reduction of their physical activity including their desire to roam around.
Neutered cats’ metabolic rate is also reduced to 20%. In order for these cats to maintain a healthy weight, the quantity of their food must be reduced.
Dangers of Obesity in Cats
No good and loving pet parent would like to put their cat’s health (or should I say life) at risk. However, if you are the type of owner who gives and gives in order to satisfy your cats’wants, you may be shortening your cat’s life.
If you are someone who is still doubtful about the life-threatening effects of excessive weight and imbalanced diet on cats, the risks below will hopefully change your mind.
- Mobility problems
- Degeneration of joints or osteoarthritis
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Anesthetic complications
- Different types of cancer
- Heart disease
Tips on How You Can Successfully Help Your Cat Achieve a Healthy Weight
We enter into different exercise programs and go through a special diet to lose weight. The same goes for our feline friends. Considering the cat’s biological nature, helping a cat lose weight can be a bit tricky. But, as always, people find ways and here are a few:
1. Talk to your Veterinarian
While this is the most obvious, this is also the most important. Talking to an expert will ensure that proper steps are done to address the issue. Remember that your vet is most capable. Count on this person to provide you with your cat’s target weight, steps on how to safely achieve this and also prescribe the proper diet that is appropriate for your cats’ needs.
2. Count Calories
Based on your vet’s recommendations, one would then have to monitor your cat’s food intake. This involves adjusting the volume or amount of food you’re feeding your cat and counting calories.
Feeding the cat too many calories will lead to no weight loss. A sudden reduction in the amount of food you feed your cat, however, may result in a severe liver disease known as hepatic lipidosis (also called fatty liver syndrome).
3. Introduce Interactive Feeding
You might decide to give your cat a diet that consists of high fiber and fewer calories like Blue Buffalo’s Weight Control food, but without exercise, your attempts to help a tabby cat lose weight and achieve a healthy weight might fail. Introducing interactive feeders to your cat might just do the trick.
Your goal here is to make mealtimes more challenging for your cats. Aside from providing physical and mental stimulation, interactive feeders slows them down a bit when eating and also leaves them feeling satisfied after a meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
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