9 Cat Foods That Help Your Cat Lose Weight (Really?)

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​Uh-Oh …looks like kitty is a bit ​overweight!

Yes, you and I both have the same problem with our fluffy and frequently sleepy companions.

An estimated 48% of domestic cats are overweight, but if you ask your cat about this they will tell you it’s not a problem!

While the statistics may sound alarming, it is never too late to find solutions to reduce the girth of your obese cat.

The most common causes of weight gain in cats is overfeeding, and a lack of physical exercise.

In this article we review some foods formulated to help your cat lose weight, and we’ll also quickly look at the main reasons cats get overweight.

fat cat with food bowl

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Overweight Cat Statistics

A study by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention in 2011 revealed that 53% of cats in the United States were either overweight or obese.

This means that more than 50 million cats in the US alone are struggling with weight gain, an increase from a 2007 study that showed only 19% of cats were obese.

Just as obesity causes other health complications in humans, cats are not spared either.

Overweight or obese cats are subjected to other health complications such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, arthritis, etc.

If your cat is among the statistics, you should take quick action before the condition leads your cat to serious health complications.

The good thing is, you can help your cat lose weight in a healthy way.

What To Do About Your Cat’s Weight

Get Your Cat More Active

The first step in helping your overweight cat lose weight can be making your home more suited to your cat’s natural behavior.

By nature, cats love climbing trees and jumping, providing cat trees and other toys can help increase your cat’s activity levels. 

You can also play with your cat, and at the right times of the day or night they will love playing games with you, running around the house like fluffy little lunatics!

Find out more about how to get your cat to exercise for some great ideas.

Diet Is Most Of The Solution

From a dietary point of view, a meal rich in proteins and low on fats is the best way to help your cat start gradually shedding weight.

The best cat food for weight loss is formulated with overweight cats in mind, and it is formulated by vets to help cats lose weight without drastic changes to their diet. 

Although exercise certainly helps with weight loss, the main culprit is nearly always food.

Along with choosing a good cat food diet, it’s very important to feed your cat the correct amount of food daily.

Our Top Picks

Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Wet Cat Food

Editor’s Pick (Wet Cat Food)
Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat FoodBest Value
Natural Balance Fat Cats Dry Cat FormulaBest Budget (Dry Cat Food)

Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

1. Pro Plan Focus Indoor Cat Canned Food

Indoor cats spend most of the time indoors (duh!) either sleeping or walking around the house. 

The Pro Plan Indoor Care diet is a high protein, low-fat formula which helps indoor cats maintain an ideal body weight.

The high fiber component helps reduce the occurrence of hairballs, and the main ingredient is salmon.

It is a 100% complete and balanced diet meal containing powerful antioxidants to support your cat’s immune system.

Omega- 6 fatty acids are added to maintain a healthy, shiny coat, and healthy skin, and there are no preservatives, color, or flavors.

Feeding Instructions

  • Feed your cat with one can per 3lbs of body weight divided into 2 or more meals every day.
  • A 7-10 day transition period is recommended to avoid dietary upsets.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude protein 12% minimum
  • Crude fat 2% minimum
  • Crude fiber 0.9% maximum
  • Moisture 78% maximum
  • Taurine 0.05% minimum

2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Cat Food

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Liver and Chicken Entrée Minced Cat Food is a nourishing balanced diet which helps your cat get all the nutrients they need.

It helps maintain healthy body weight, lean muscles, and control hunger between meals.

This wet cat food for weight loss is prepared with pork, liver, chicken liver flavor, chicken, and fiber.

We recommend this diet for adult cats between 1-6 years that require fewer calories like less active, neutered or cats prone to obesity.

You should not feed this formula to pregnant, nursing cats and kittens.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude protein 8.0% Minimum
  • Fat 3.0% Minimum
  • Crude fiber 3.0% Maximum
  • Moisture 77.0% Maximum
  • Taurine 0.08% Minimum

3. Pro Plan Focus Healthy Metabolism Formula

This Purina Pro Plan formula is prepared in the United States, and it is made using chicken as the main ingredient.

It is prepared using high quality ingredients to help your cat meet the required nutritional needs.

L-Carnitine is added to the recipe to help convert fat into energy efficiently, and the extra energy produced will help keep your cat active.

It also provides an optimal balance of protein and fat to help support body composition.

Omega- 6 fatty acids help to maintain a beautiful, shiny coat and healthy skin.

This formula does not contain any added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Feeding Instructions

  • For weight maintenance, give one can per 2 1/2 lbs of body weight every day.
  • For overweight cats, feed one can per 3 lbs of body weight daily.

Divide the daily food allowance into two or more meals.

Keep adjusting the amounts as needed to maintain or achieve the ideal cat weight.

What’s Inside?

  • 978 kcal/kg, 83 kcal/can of calories.
  • Crude protein 11% minimum.
  • Crude protein 2% minimum.
  • Crude fiber 1.5% maximum.
  • Moisture 80% maximum.

4. Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management formula is a high protein, low-calorie cat food that helps cats achieve an ideal body weight, while providing all the essential nutrients.

It is prepared using real turkey as the first ingredient, with the other key ingredient being rice.

The optimal protein content helps strike a balance in the cat’s body weight, by helping maintain lean muscle while helping them lose weight.

This formula contain essential antioxidants, which helps boost your cat’s immune system to fight common illnesses.

It also contains taurine, an important nutrient that helps in heart health and eyesight.

Feeding instructions

When introducing this formula to your cat, plan a gradual transition of 7-10 days to protect your cat from dietary upsets.

Feed one can per 3 lbs of body weight, divided into two or more meals daily.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude protein 12% minimum.
  • Crude fat 2% minimum.
  • Crude fiber 1.5% maximum.
  • Moisture 78% maximum.
  • Taurine 0.05% minimum.

5. AvoDerm Natural Canned Cat Food

AvoDerm’s main ingredients are tuna and tuna broth, and it provides plenty of protein for your fluffy little carnivore.

It also contains Californian-grown avocados, so this meal has plenty of vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients and omega oils for a healthy coat, and overall wellbeing.

Using real broth as one of the cores ingredients provides much-needed hydration which helps to support urinary health.

It is suitable for cats with sensitivities because it free of grains.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude protein 10% minimum
  • Crude fat 2% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1% maximum
  • Taurine 0.22% minimum.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids 0.45% minimum
  • Omega-3 fatty acids 0.03% minimum.

Dry Cat Food For Weight Loss

6. Natural Balance Fat Cats Dry Food Low Calorie Formula

This formula is manufactured by Natural Balance Pet Foods, one of the most trusted pet food manufacturers in the United States.

The company prepares these pet foods in its US Kitchens, using hygienically sourced ingredients from North America and Europe.

The Fats Cats diet contains real animal proteins, with organically grown vegetables and fruits as part of the ingredients.

This formula has the lowest calorie content when compared to other Natural Balance cat food formulas, making it the best cat food for weight loss in the dry cat food category.

The main protein ingredients in this formula are chicken meal and salmon meal, which are both rich sources of real animal proteins. 

This formula has a special blend of special proteins and fibers that helps your overweight cat lose weight in a gradual healthy way.

The fiber keeps your cat feeling full, as well as helping with digestion.

Top Five Ingredients

Chicken meal, salmon meal, pea protein, garbanzo beans, and peas.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude proteins (min): 35%
  • Crude fat (min): 9.5%
  • Crude fiber (max): 9%
  • Moisture (max): 10%
  • Taurine (min): 0.15%.

7. Nature’s Variety Instinct Healthy Weight

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost is a product by Nature’s Variety Pet Food Company.

The company prepares cat formulas in their US kitchens using high quality ingredients sourced from the US and from around the world.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost formula is made with cage-free chicken as the first ingredient.

This diet has 25% less fat and 15% fewer calories than the Instinct Raw Boost adult cat food, making it a popular choice for pet owners looking for a solution for their overweight cats.

It also has crude fibers that help in digestion, and that keep your cat feeling full for longer.

This formula uses fresh fruits and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals.

One of the ingredients that we love about this brand is L-Carnitine that helps burn fat for a healthy metabolism.

Supplementation with L-Carnitine helps produce positive metabolic effects that help cats lose weight safely by preventing the development of hepatic lipidosis in dieting cats.

Top five ingredients

Chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, salmon meal and menhaden fish meal.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude protein (min): 37.5%
  • Crude fat (max): 16.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 5.5%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%
  • Zinc (min): 120mg/kg
  • Vitamin E (min): 120IU/kg

8. Blue Buffalo Blue Weight Control Natural

Blue Buffalo has a rich past that we discuss in our blue buffalo cat food review.

The Blue Line of products has two types of weight control formulas: Blue Weight Control Chicken and Brown Rice, and the standard Blue Indoor Hairball and Weight Formula.

Blue Buffalo weight control chicken and brown rice is made with the delicious de-boned chicken that is protein-rich to provide the real animal proteins that cats crave for.

This formula has lower calories compared to the standard blue indoor formula, making it a perfect option if you are looking for a diet that will maintain an ideal body weight.

A unique feature that distinguishes Blue Buffalo weight control dry cat food with other brands is the anti-oxidant rich LifeSource bits, which is a blend of 7 powerful ingredients that support your cat’s wellbeing.

It also has wholesome whole grains and vegetables.

This formula does not contain corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives.

This formula comes in a ziplock style resealable bag that helps maintain the freshness of your cat’s food.

If you prefer buying in bulk, this bag keeps the food air-tight, preventing it from going stale within a short time.

Top Five Ingredients

De-boned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, menhaden fish meal (source of Omega 3) and brown rice.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude Protein (min): 30.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 9.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 9.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%
  • Magnesium (min): 0.08%
  • Taurine (min): 0.15%

9. Nutro Weight Management Chicken & Whole Brown Rice

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Nutro company is a United States-based company that produces holistic pet food, with two lines of cat foods – Nutro, and Max holistic cat foods.

Nutro cat foods are made for all life stages, and there are special formulas that help manage certain conditions like hairballs, seniors and sensitive stomach and vomiting.

The Nutro Weight Management Adult Chicken & Whole Brown Rice recipe is made with farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient.

This formula has 28% less fat and 13% fewer calories compared to the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Turkey and Brown rice recipe.

Another addition to this diet is dietary fiber that keeps the cat feeling full for long, thus discouraging them from eating more that is necessary, also helping with digestion.

Other essential ingredients include antioxidants such as vitamin E, that boost your cat’s immune system and overall health, and calcium to strengthen bones and joints.

Nutro Weight Management Chicken and Whole Rice recipe does not contain artificial flavors, colors, and additives.

  • Apart from helping their cats manage weight, some customers who used this formula mentioned that their pet’s coat became more soft and shiny.
  • Others cat parents also mentioned that the cat poop was less smelly compared to when they used other brands.

Top 5 Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken meal, Pea Protein, Whole Brown Rice, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal and dried beet pulp.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude proteins (min): 33%
  • Crude fat (max): 11.50%
  • Crude fiber (max): 8%
  • Moisture (max): 10%
  • Calcium (min): 0.90%

10. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight

Hill’s Science diet is produced by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., a leading producer of dog and cat food in North America.

The company produces three lines of cat foods – Science Diet, Prescription Diet, and Ideal Balance.

Prescription diets are designed to help in the management of clinical conditions such as hairball prevention, seniors, and urinary tract issues.

The Science diets are the most popular among cat parents since they use high quality ingredients and are available for all life stages.

Hill’s Science Diet Cat Food for Weight Management is prepared with overweight cats in mind and is formulated to help cats achieve the ideal weight.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition claims that an 2011 in-house study on the efficiency of this diet showed that 70% of cats that were given this formula shed off excess weight in just 10 weeks.

This formula is made with real chicken as the first ingredient, which is a rich source of real animal protein that cats enjoy, and it helps in maintaining lean muscle.

This formula has fewer calories than other formulas, and contains a blend of antioxidants (vitamin C and E) that improve the immune system.

Other ingredients include essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and amino acids.

The food is prepared in the company’s US kitchens, and ingredients are sourced from the USA, Europe, and New Zealand.

First Five Ingredients

Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, cranberries, and oat fiber.

What’s Inside?

  • Crude proteins (min): 36%
  • Crude fat (max): 11.50%
  • Crude fiber (max): 10%
  • Carbs (max): 32.6%
  • Vitamin C (min): 85mg/kg
  • Vitamin E (min): 500 IU/kg

Causes of Excess Weight Gain in Cats

Eating More Calories Than Your Cat Burns

The major cause of obesity in cats is taking in more calories than they burn.

While most cat parents will deny it, most cats are treated to free choice feeding where food is available all the time and the cat eats whenever they want.

After their stomach is filled to the brim, kitty then spends most of the day lazing around waiting for a refill when the sucker (you!) is back.

The effect? Packing on the pounds and increasing gradually in weight every…..single……day.

Sounds like the typical indoor cat! Right?

Little To No Exercise

Indoor cats are more likely to gain excess weight because they have little room to run and climb like their outdoor counterparts.

Usually, indoor cats spend most of the time sleeping, with fewer opportunities to exercise and lose some pounds of fat.

Spayed Or Neutered Cats

Spayed or neutered cats are also at risk of becoming obese.

The effect of neutering or spaying on the physiology and behavior of your cat increases the chances of your cat becoming obese.

The weight gain in spayed or neutered cats is mainly caused by increased food intake.

Ideally, neutered or spayed cats should consume fewer calories than cats that don’t undergo the procedure.

Conclusion

Overweight cats are at risk of developing chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, cardiac problems and diabetes.

Helping your kitty maintain a healthy weight ensures they lead a full and healthy life.

Giving your cat wet cat food keeps them cat feeling full on fewer calories due to the high moisture content.

Make sure to talk to your veterinarian regularly to monitor your cat’s weight loss journey.

A strict commitment to your cat’s diet is significant in attaining the desired body weight.

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Sources:

https://icatcare.org/advice/obesity-in-cats/

https://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/nws_multi_US_pets_obese_too

https://www.royalcanin.com/us/cats/health-and-wellbeing/health-risks-of-overweight-and-obese-cats

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