Obesity in Cats & How to Put a Cat on a Diet | petMD | petMD
Low fat diets are not healthy for an indoor cat. Rather than carbohydrates, cats readily convert fat into their primary energy source. One of the major fatty acids that your cat thrives on is omega 3, which unsurprisingly can be found in fish products. This acid is essential in maintaining a healthy immune system, avoiding allergies, the health of your cats skin and joints and the development of their muscles. Look carefully at the fatty acid content of the food you are giving your indoor cat, especially omega 3, to help with all of that. It is recommended that an indoor cat get at least 250 mg of omega 3 daily. If the food they are used to is not able to provide that, supplement their diet with krill or salmon oil, or add some sardines to their plate.
Feline obesity is on the rise, especially among indoor cats. If your kitty tipped the scale at her last checkup, your veterinarian may have recommended a low fat, high fiber diet to help her shed a few pounds and reduce her risk for developing future health problems.
A study comparing the effect of a HC/low-protein food vs. a LC/high-protein food on glucose and fat metabolism in lean and obese cats before and after weight loss. Obesity, but not dietary protein or carbohydrate content, led to severe insulin resistance in cats.Cats require protein as an energy source, even when fat and carbohydrates are available. Muscle mass needs to be preserved to control obesity and to maintain better insulin resistance. This is done by increasing protein intake while reducing calorie intake. There are very limited choices to accomplish this in dry cat food. A dry food diet only does not resemble that of a natural, true carnivore. Therefore, it is in the cats best interest to ADD canned cat foods to their diets. Labels still need to be read when purchasing canned cat foods to ensure they are in fact a higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate and moderately lower fat food.This can be improved by adding canned food to their diets. The brands of canned foods recommended are the ones made by Hills, Purina, Iams and Proctor & Gamble due to their long standing history, research and reliable food sources. Dry food most often is lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what cats need. Cats are true carnivores which means they must consume animals that are rich in protein and fat to meet their needs. The mouse is the perfect cat meal because of its size and nutrient content. One mouse is about 30 to 40 calories and has all the vital nutrients a true carnivore needs. By no means am I suggesting a raw meat diet or a mouse diet, for that matter. I am merely stating that cats require a high protein, low carbohydrate and moderately low fat diet which means low calorie.Diabetic cats that are switched to a high-meat-protein, moderate-fat, low-carbohydrate grain-free canned or raw food, will oftentimes no longer need insulin injections. For those that do still need insulin, the doses are much lower than previously required. Please work in conjunction with your veterinarian on any diet change. Diabetic cats often need their insulin dose decreased within a day or two of beginning this type of diet. If their insulin dose is not evaluated, they could become hypoglycemic (low blood glucose ) and die. When ingesting a high carbohydrate diet, the cat's pancreas responds by releasing more insulin which may cause low blood sugar, which in turn causes the cat to feel hungry, requiring more food. Also, low meat protein diets, where the cat cannot down regulate hepatic enzymes, will cause the cat to feel hungry, also requiring it to eat more food to attain its protein requirement. Unfortunately, this cycle causes the accumulation of fat in the cat's body which leads to obesity as calories consumed, exceeds calories burned. Cats synthesize protein and fats for energy so carbohydrates are turned to fat in the cat. Cats have limited ability to convert high loads of glucose into energy and no ability to convert sucrose and fructose.Cats with pancreatic insufficiency (malabsorption) generally do best on low-fiber diets. While a low-fat diet seems to work best for dogs and humans with pancreatitis, there’s no scientific evidence to indicate the same for cats. However, some caregivers report that a lower-fat diet seems to benefit their cats. As carnivores, cats are most suited for a low-carbohydrate diet, and tolerate animal fats well. As pancreatitis occurs so often in conjunction with diabetes, and diabetic cats do best with an all-wet low-carbohydrate diet, and cats with pancreatic insufficiency do best on a low-fiber diet, it may be best to feed cats with pancreatitis a highly-digestible all-wet (canned or raw) low-carbohydrate/low-fiber diet. Monitor your cat to see what foods it seems willing to eat and seem to make it most comfortable.