Best Weight Loss Cat Food For Overweight Cats
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The best weight loss cat food for overweight cats is made for lean, trim carnivores—it’s meaty, hydrating, and doesn’t have too much fat or fluff.
After researching the market, I’ve found that NomNomNow Chicken Chow Meow provides all that and more. Each pouch of food is portioned out for your cat’s weight loss needs, taking some of the guesswork and stress out of calorie control. We’ll talk more about Chicken Chow Meow and the other top five best foods for overweight cats, but first, let’s talk about the basics of good food for weight loss.
Weight Loss Cat Food. What Do You Imagine When You Read Those Words?
I think of the feline equivalent of low-fat Hot Pockets or lite ice cream—something that looks like the unhealthy stuff but less tasty and more tinged with some mix of shame and hope. For cats, it’s brown, bland, and possibly purchased at the behest of and with a prescription from a veterinarian.
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Most so-called weight loss foods are loaded with fiber in an attempt to fill your cat up without filling her out. Many are moisture-depleted dry products. They’re often high in carbohydrates, compounding the diabetes so common among overweight cats. A species-inappropriate diet is likely responsible for your cat’s weight problem, but most weight loss foods stray far from that predatory diet.
What if weight loss cat food didn’t have to be like this? What if the best way to help your cat lose weight was by letting her eat what cats are naturally adapted to eat?
If you want your cat to look and feel like a lean, mean carnivore, feed her like one. Focus on a prey-inspired diet, providing plenty of animal-sourced protein and other nutrients without a ton of added plant matter.
Best Weight Loss Cat Food For Overweight Cats: Our Top 5 Picks
All of these foods are moisture-rich, satisfying, and carnivore-appropriate foods that will help your cat become a lean, sleek carnivore.
This food covers all the basic requirements for a good weight loss cat food—it’s rich in moisture, has plenty of protein, and at under 10% carbohydrates, won’t spike your cat’s blood sugar. It’s even appropriate for cats with diabetes. But what earns it the top spot on this list isn’t its ingredients. It’s the fact that the company helps you out with portion control.
When you sign up for NomNomNow’s cat food delivery, you’ll enter your cat’s weight and weight goals.
Based on that information, the NomNomNow staff will portion out each meal to deliver just the amount of calories your cat needs. This way, you won’t have to worry that you’re feeding your cat too much or too little.
NomNomNow’s delivery service, human-grade ingredients, and order-driven manufacturing system all translate to a higher-priced food, but if you want the comfort of custom portion sizes and expert staff at the ready to answer your questions or customize your subscription, it’s worth it.
You don’t need to feed your cat an expensive diet to help her lose weight. Even economical foods like this Fancy Feast recipe can be a great option. This canned food is rich in moisture, primarily made from meat ingredients, and has low carbohydrate content.
With animal by-products and vaguely-named generic meats dominating the ingredient list, we can assume that this food’s ingredient quality and digestibility isn’t quite as high as that of NomNomNow, but it’s all species-appropriate and a decent option for cats on a diet.
If you’re on a tight budget, this Fancy Feast canned food will be worlds better for your cat’s waistline than any comparable kibble.
One way to help your cat lose weight is to feed her an extremely low-calorie food like this recipe from Tiki Cat. It’s a very brothy food, and like anything that’s mostly water—think cucumbers and celery—it’s not very high in calories. On top of high moisture content, this food has hardly any fat, further bringing the calorie content down.
The food’s primarily made from chicken that’s shredded and set in broth. Sunflower seed oil adds a touch of fat, but again, not much.
One downside of such low calorie content is that you’ll need to feed your cat more of it, even while cutting back on her food intake. This means you’ll have to buy more cat food and ultimately, spend more money.
If you’d rather cheaper food, you can opt for a more calorie-dense food and water it down with warm tap water.
With just over 20 calories per ounce, this is the lowest-calorie food on our list.
It’s a good option for those who prefer food in pouches and cats who like food with a chunky, flaky texture.
Water is the first ingredient, followed by chicken, duck, and tuna, all nourishing sources of animal protein. Unlike some of the other foods on this list, the food is lean without avoiding animal-sourced fat. The food contains salmon oil as a nourishing source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to keep your cat feeling—and looking—her best.
If you can stomach this food’s price and peeling open pouch after to pouch to feed your cat, Weruva Love Me Tender might be a good choice for you.
Let’s say your cat has some food sensitivities—maybe she gets itchy after eating certain foods or has chronic diarrhea. While she may well be able to eat some of the other foods on this list—and they’re worth a try even if your cat has food intolerances—a novel-protein diet may be in order.
A diet like this gives your cat a better chance of avoiding the ingredients that irritate her.
This is a freeze-dried food which, while not at all hydrating straight out of the bag, can be just as moist or dry as you want it to be. You can dial the juiciness up or down by adding more or less warm water during rehydration.
The food is primarily made from rabbit, lean meat that is, for many cats, a novel protein source. It’s not one of the most common cat food allergens.
As a freeze-dried food, it’s minimally-processed and retains a lot of the inherent nutritional value of raw muscle meat, organs, and bones.
Tips For Successful Weight Loss
While all of the foods listed above are great options, there’s no magical diet that will make your cat lose weight. When you put all the gimmicks aside, it’s all about achieving a negative calorie balance. The right food, portion control, and regular exercise will help you to get there.
To lose weight at a safe, controlled pace of 1-2% of her weight per week, your cat should take in about 60%-80% of the calories she did when maintaining her weight.
How do you know how many calories your cat is taking in?
If you want to get your cat’s weight under control, you have to get her eating habits under control. When a cat is free to eat everything she wants at any time and you have no idea how much she’s eating every day, there’s no way of managing the situation.
If you’re free-feeding your cat, one of your first steps towards weight management—perhaps before you even switch to a new food—is weaning your cat off her grazing lifestyle and switching to small, controlled meals.
Switch to high-moisture food to keep your cat fuller for longer.
Think of a cat free-feeding on dry food like a person slowly eating a few cups of granola over one day. You won’t get too full if you eat a lot of granola, especially if you’re just eating little handfuls now and then. Yet after just three cups, you may have already gone over your calorie budget for the day.
Now imagine that you stop free-feeding and instead eat a few small bowls of granola each day.
You’ve solved part of the problem by taking control and limiting yourself to two and a half cups a day, but that’s not a lot of food in terms of bulk.
Chances are you’ll end up hungry. You’ll probably break your diet by the end of the second day. Small, calorie-dense meals aren’t the best option. Larger, less calorically-dense meals keep your cat full and they’re a more nutritious, wholesome option anyway.
No matter how slowly you try to make the transition, changing to a new food is usually met with resistance. Your cat may start meowing at all hours of the day and night.
You might want to pull the kibble back out of the closet and tell your cat she can live obese if she wants to—but be persistent! It is possible to change a kibble addict into a healthy eater. Having a slim, healthy cat is worth every pitiful meow.