Weight loss diets for cats will always be controversial in the debate between regular food and diet food.
However, before you make this decision as an owner, it is very helpful to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both.
While there is a major hype in several circles for diet food for your cat, is important to understand that in some situations these diets can be extremely dangerous.
It is only common sense that the most effective weight loss diets for cats involves the reduction of their calorie intake, but the key cognitive is by how much.
Most all weight loss diets for cats will recommend feeding them only about 75% of their actual energy needs, but in doing so, it is also very important to still maintain the correct amount of nutrients.
However, for anyone or any company to make the claim that this works in all cats is not only wrong; it is way off of some basic facts.
No one cat, just like no one person, burns energy in the same way, and in most cases the variability as high as 20%.
This will include your cat’s actual metabolism rate, their age, and their activity levels, just to name a few.
For this reason, you should monitor the progress very closely, and make the adjustments as needed.
Weight loss diets for cats have two basic techniques.
The first is to feed your cat less than what they are currently eating, and the second is to place them on a weight reduction cat food.
Both methods have pros and cons, but whatever method you decide on, table scraps cannot be part of either program.
Table scraps are not good for cats to start with, and it most cases they may be the actual cause of your cat’s excessive weight.
Treats do not have to be totally eliminated, but they will have to be drastically reduced.
However, with either choice of weight loss diets for cats, there are also other factors to consider.
This will include the amount of fat in your cat’s diet, the amount of fiber, as well as the amount of protein.
Vitamin and mineral supplements should also be considered in either diet, simply to ensure your cat does not become deficient of either one of these critical components of their diet.
There are several advantages of feeding commercial cat food in weight reduction diets for cats.
The first factor is that most all brands will be higher in fiber and lower in fats, and as a result, will have a lower energy density.
With this lower density, it will naturally allow for a greater reduction in body fat. It is also much safer than just reducing the amounts of fat in their diet.
The reason for this is that fat contains almost twice the amounts of calories as does protein and carbohydrates, and as a result, your cat will still be satisfied.
They will have a feeling of fullness, but with a lot less calories going into their bodies.
However, there are some real drawbacks to placing your cat of this type of a program. If it is not monitored very closely by both you and your veterinarian, your cat may lose weight too fast.
When any cat, regardless of their body makeup and activity levels loses weight too fast, you may be placing them in danger of what is referred to as hepatic lipidosis.
This disease, also referred to as fatty liver, has several potential causes, but rapid weight loss is at the top of the list.
It is a life threatening situation where a rapid loss of proper nutritional or metabolic functions causes your cats liver to accumulate large amounts of fat, and as a result, it cannot function properly.
However, there are still some other dangers with this weight reduction program.
If your cat is already on a special diet, especially for any type of bladder stones or cysts, this diet may reverse any of the benefits achieved.
There are several very good brands available that are marketed as lite or diet cat foods, as well as several private label brands form various retailers.
Before you select any of them, you should consider all of the factors.
Fat is the most calorie intense nutrient to be considered in weight loss diets for cats, however, your cat still needs some fat to survive.
The proper levels of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are all considered essential fatty acids and must be maintained to ensure your cats overall health.
There have been several incidents where cats in weight loss diets that did not supplement these vitamins, developed dry and flaky skin.
All of the premium brands of diet foods have added additional fatty acids.
However, you should check and compare this very carefully before making a selection.
Providing your cat with a fish oil supplement can very easily protect against this deficiency.
Weight loss diets for cats in almost every case will contain higher fiber contents. Fiber helps to stimulate your cats chewing process, as well as their overall metabolic energy process.
When this occurs, it helps to slow the rate of movement of any food into your cat stomach, which helps to stabilize their blood glucose level and in turn, improves the insulin levels.
For this reason, it will naturally help to make your cat feel full for longer periods of time. However, there are also some drawbacks with this as well.
It may decrease the actual digestibility of other nutrients in your cats diet, and can easily cause flatulence as well as increasing the amounts of feces material produced.
Weight loss diets for cats must still maintain the correct amounts of protein, vitamins, as well as minerals in your pets body.
For this reason, you should have your cat checked regularly by your veterinarian.
They can monitor the correct amounts of protein to insure against the loss of lean body mass during the weight reduction, as well as help to protect against the loss of precious vitamins and minerals.
Even with fish oil supplements, in most all cases, it is recommend giving your cat a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement as added protection.
Reducing Your Cats Regular Food Intake
This form of weight loss diets for cats is much safer especially if your cat has any type of specialized dietary needs.
It also has the advantage of being much more economically feasible to certain owners.
This method produces the best results by feeding your cat not only reduced portions, but more frequent portions.
This helps to level off you casts hunger, as it mentally appears to them they are actually getting more food.
However, this method also has some drawbacks. With this method, you are also decreasing your cats levels of protein, vitamins, minerals, as well as fat.
Supplements are also very effective in combating this, but in most cases, it will be much harder to achieve the correct balance.
With either method there are other techniques that you must use to be successful. The first is making sure that your cat has a full and fresh supply of water at all times.
Feeding your cat before you eat is also very important.
If you have another cat or pet, it will also be very important to feed the overweight cat in another room, as they will naturally want to eat some of the other pet’s food if possible.
Limiting treats are also the key to either program, and if you do not, both will most likely be unsuccessful.
Both methods of weight loss diets for cats have advantages as well as drawbacks, and you should carefully decide together with your veterinarian which method is the best for your cat.
However, there is another approach you may want to take with an overweight cat as a long term solution.
Raw diets for cats have several extremely strong benefits for any cat, and perhaps the strongest is the ability to control your cat’s weight for the inception.
If you have never considered a raw diet for your cat, it might be time to look at this as a both a preventive step as well as a long term solution.