HomeCat FooddietHow much should an inactive cat eat?

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How much should an inactive cat eat? — 5 Comments

  1. This is round #2 with my two being overweight; thankfully, not by much. Abby (Maine Coon) is a big cat, but I recall the vet saying “Yea, she should be big, but yours is round like a basketball!” Seems funny now, but it’s a great visual guide – she needs to lose 1.5-lbs. Shadow (Chartreux) is very muscular, but I can tell just by picking him up. He’s 1-lb overweight.

    What’s working for me is a high quality wet food, mostly 3-oz pouch-style that I split between the two of them. I cut the morsels in half for each dish so it looks like more. They love the food so there’s no issue. I cut way down on the dry to just a few kernels in each dish (and I make them wait for it) twice/daily rather than measured amounts.

    In the beginning, they both complained LOUDLY, but I held firm. Instead, I fussed them up, lavishing love and kisses and engaging in play time. Now they’ve gotten used to less food and don’t mind so much knowing they’re going to get extra special attention afterward.

    Sometimes I may capitulate a tad if I have rotisserie chicken for dinner. They come sniffing but don’t beg. They know they get nothing if they misbehave. They’ll excitedly wait and when I say “want a treat?” their bodies vibrate with excitement. It’s far and few in between, which is the point. They always have fresh water too; in the hot weather their water gets a couple ice cubes that they love. Their bodies are beginning to show the difference.

    • Thank you for telling this story about weight loss. It is useful because it drives home the point about how easy it is for a cat to gain weight. I think you’ve done very well to stand firm and provide a strict diet for your cats. I know how difficult that can be. It is very hard for me to say no to my cat. I am well trained as they say and he normally wins the arguments. Your comment is useful about weight loss. My cat, for a long time, was what is described as “fighting fit”. He was quite slender but not underweight. Now he’s approaching about six-years-of-age he is putting on a bit of weight which I like as long as it doesn’t go too far. Perhaps it’s a kind of middle-age spread. It’s a sign that he has moved on from being a young man to a middle-aged man to use human language. I’ll watch out for his expanding waistline and make sure he doesn’t become overweight.

      • Even prior to their recent vet visit, I could tell they were becoming chunky monkeys. Abby was having difficulty jumping up onto a foot locker that has a plush kitty rug on it. Shadow was becoming a little slower in his ‘craziness’ which is always funny to watch. The vet confirmed the weight gain I surmised. COVID didn’t help either, as well as moving from a 2/bedroom unit to a studio – less room to run and play.

        Since the diet change, Abby can now jump onto the foot locker again, but sometimes pulls the rug off in her effort. Shadow has started his crazy play again. Both seen to have forgotten they’re seniors and behave like squabbling kittens. A beautiful sight to behold.

  2. Get a veterinary exam, ask whether your cat is overweight, and if so, by how much. Ask your vet for food recommendations. Keep in mind that the “feeding guidelines” on the food packaging are written by the same people who want to sell you more cat food. Also, cats are obligate carnivores, which means their metabolism needs animal protein and doesn’t process carbs as efficiently as we do. Several years ago, my vet convinced me to switch my cat to a wet food, high protein diet, and the extra weight disappeared.

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