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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 20909
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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feeding obesity cat

Customer Question

feeding obesity cat
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How much Royal Canin Obesity diet are you feeding him at the moment?

Dry or wet?

How often are you having his weight checked?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

100 g per days and and i check his weight.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

givng 100 g per days and checking each month.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you,

First, I am glad that you are trying to help Luckey with his weight. Obesity of the cat is becoming an increasing problem and can be quite a challenge to tackle. To start, the first step is to determine how obese Luckey is. To do this, we need to look at his weight but even more so we need to consider his body condition (since skeletal frame does play a role in how much weight might be too much weight. Therefore, I would advise having a wee peek at a body condition scorer (LINK) and getting a feel for how far off Luckey is from the ideal (3). Once you have an understanding of how severely overweight he might be, it will help you get a feel for how much he has to lose.

In regards ***** ***** weight loss foods, Royal Canin Obesity Control is a good diet and something we can work with. Jut to note some other options, we can also use Purina OM, Hills R/D, M/D or W/D. As you will see from their caloric density and nutritional information, these foods contain less calories per gram of feed so that we are able to allow the cats to feel full without over doing their daily caloric requirement.

Now with the RC diet on hand, the key to the feeding side of weight loss is to make sure you are not overfeeding (which looks to be the case actually).If he is 10kg (which I assume since you didn’t list a more specific weight) and we are needing to wean some weight off him, then we would want to feed him at a diet volume for a weight slightly under his current weight and feed the ration for that weight. Once he reaches that weight, then we can feed to a slightly lower rate and so on. We don't want to be drastic and only feed for our ideal weight at the start because this can cause illness (cats don't handle crash dieting, if you know what I mean). Its a case of gradually working them down as they lose weight.

To know how much you need to be feeding, you can check here:

Target adult cat weight (kg)/

Start/

After 4 weeks if the cat did not loose weight/

Maintenance

Grams

Grams

Grams

9 kg

71

56

75

9.5 kg

74

58

78

10 kg

77

61

81

Now as you can see, 100 grams of the diet is too much for a 10kg cat and would not help him lose weight. So, this is why he hasn't lost weight despite your efforts. In fact, if he weighs 10kg, I’d suggest feeding him for the 9.5kg level. Or since he has been on the diet so long and fed more then he was supposed to, you could try him at the 10kg feeding level for the next four weeks (and then drop to the 61g feeding volume if he still doesn’t lose weight). So, this feeding volume is the first problem here that you need to address if you are trying to get his weight down.

Further to that, the diet is only part of the issue. The other part of the problem is cats, like Luckey is that these cats often have a mismatch of calories in and calories burnt off with exercise. And if a cat has a sedentary life style it is an uphill battle to get them to lose weight. So, this is where exercise and the way we feed are just as important for any weight loss program.

Other steps to take once you have adjusted the diet volume, you can take that total daily diet volume and divide his dietary allowance for the day and feed two to four small portions daily and control the amounts fed so that over a period of time so he does not gain weight. As well, do make sure to get a kitchen scale and measure it out. Don't think in terms of "cups of food" and make sure to keep your thoughts on grams of food. As well, if you are struggling to get him to lose weight after you make the above adjustments, you can also consider switching him to a wet food diet, as they have less cereals/grains then dry (which means less instant components for fat). That said, if he doesn't like wet food or is intolerant to wet foods, then you will need to use a dry diet that meets these requirements as a happy medium.

And it goes without saying, that he should receive no other food, treats, cat milk, or anything edible besides his appropriate diet at its set daily volume. I know it sounds tough, but its kinder to his health in the long term. If you are desperate to give a treat, you can keep some of his daily allowance of kibble aside to use as treats. If he pouts and doesn't want it, that is his choice. Alternatively, offer him a catnip toy as a reward, then he has something he can enjoy and will get him moving and playing to help burn off calories.

Besides diet changes, just like us, a good way to get weight off is to improve your cat's physical activity. This can be achieved with the addition interactive play toys to the cat’s environment. You can get toys that simulate an escaping prey and that really interest the cat in play behaviors. It will be a case of trial and error to figure out what kind of toys he will play with, and it may take you getting down on the floor and initiating play to get him moving and motivated. Alternatively, if he is an indoor cat, you can even get a kitty harness and leash and walk him around your back garden. I do find that a lot of indoor cats do enjoy a chance to sniff the plants and mooch around, and this is a way to get them outside and moving.

If you are really fighting getting him to move around and burn some calories, you can consider trying more stimulating ways of feeding him. An example is putting his dry meal in a food ball, where he must roll it to get his food out. There are all sorts of variations on this, but if you make him work for his food, he will be burning calories while having his kibble.(LINK). And the longer it takes him to eat, the more time his body has to process the food and the less that will end up as fat.

Now it is an uphill battle and it is easy to feel daunted by the challenge. Therefore, speak to your vet clinic and see if they offer weight loss clinics. Many offer free clinics with a veterinary nurse who will be able to guide you on helping your cat lose weight, monitor Luckey's weight loss with you, help you adjust the diet, and be your cheerleader when the going gets tough.

At the end of the day, the responsible party for our pet's obesity is us. It is on us to help keep them from obesity and its associated problems (ie the inability to groom their girth, associated arthritis, diabetes). Sure, they are willing victims when they meow at the food dish but as their owners we have to make the right choices for them when we can.

So, in this case the diet is just one step. From there, you need to adjust the volume you are feeding as I have outlined for you above. Further to this, you want to take some of the above steps to increase his activity and liklihood of laying down fat. Finally, as you sound to be struggling, do check to see if your vet's offer free weight loss appointments with their nurses. Many practices do and this can be a great partnership for you to develop with your local vet nurse who can help you get Luckey's weight management under control. And with all of the above, you will be able to start making some progress on his weight loss and get him fit.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thanks for for ahe answer ,luckey is 60cm from above head to en of beggining of tail do you think how fat is he?

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome,

A measurement of that manner cannot be used to determine how fat a cat is (even if I could examine him in person). Instead, we need to look at his body condition. Now I just noticed my link above seems to have a glitch so I will correct the body condition chart link HERE. If you go here and look at the "Ideal weight (3)" you will be able to appreciate if he is fatter then he should be. If he is, then we want to proceed as I have outlined above and we'd want to wean his food down as we get him to lose weight until he is in that ideal body shape.

Take care,
Dr. B.