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managing diet for two cats

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
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Member Since
01/03/2012
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 9:57am PST 
I have two cats, one tabby male, approximately 10.2 lbs., and one black and white female, approximately 6.7 lbs. They are brother and sister, 3.5 years old.

Chloe is very lean. Our male, Eddie, however is a little overweight. He doesn't have a low hanging belly, but his belly is not tucked up like his sister's. You can see his waist but it is not well defined. Chloe is very hyper and active on her own, and Eddie is very laid back...and a little lazy smile.

We have been giving them 1.5 oz of canned wellness for breakfast every morning since they were 12 weeks and free feeding solid gold katzen flocken. The vet recommended we increase the wet to 3 oz each canned plus 1/4 cup of dry for Chloe and 1/3 cup of dry for Eddie.

We are increasing the volume of wet food slowly, and right now they're at about 2.25 oz each per day. We've been measuring out the recommended dry and free feeding. We aren't even at the recommended amount of wet food and they haven't finished eating the pre-measured dry food. Every day there is probably about 1/4 cup of dry food remaining.

I am really confused about how to manage the weight of one slightly overweight cat and one thin cat, especially since together they are not even eating all their recommended food. Eddie is slightly dominant over his sister, but not overwhelmingly so. They have been finishing the increased volume of wet food almost every day. If we continue to increase the wet food until they're at 3 oz, I can't imagine that they'll come close to eating all the dry food we give them.

I think it is safe to say that Chloe is eating as much as she wants since there is plenty of dry food available all day. Am I worrying too much about Eddie's weight? I just want to make sure I do what I can to keep him from getting any heavier. Any tips on managing the weight of two very different cats? Does the amount of food recommended by my vet sound right?
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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 10:24am PST 
Are you feeding them seperate? Are you sure, one is not eating the others food? Are you aware of the urinary issues regarding Wellness? Are you open to feeding another feed, and feeding them seperate? waveway to go
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Eddie

Cuddlebug
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 10:32am PST 
We feed them together and when they eat it's side by side without any problems. Once in a while one of them walks away before being finished and the other finishes their food, but they both do it and it seems they do it equally.

As for the dry, they each graze a little bit at a time, at different times. It's hard to monitor because my husband and I work and can't watch them. During the wellness recall we switched them to natural balance and they hated all but one of the flavors and they had some upset tummies. The first time we switched foods (we transitioned them very slowly) they had diarrhea for 2 months straight. So we are hesitant to change foods unless it would make a significant difference, or if there was a reason to believe one food is vastly better than another. Our vet recommended we try to keep the food consistent even though he prefers natural balance to wellness.
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Ralphie & Randy

1201140
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 10:47am PST 
The Wellness recall was part of the reason we decided to put our cats on a rotation of different brands and flavors. If something is wrong with a particular food, at least they aren't eating it every single day, and the variety will hopefully ensure that their diet is well-balanced. Also, if a brand or flavor that they eat is recalled again or discontinued, it can just be removed from the rotation without having to worry about finding a substitute and dealing with resulting upset tummies from the sudden change. We still feed a few flavors of Wellness, along with Weruva, Nature's Variety Instinct, Merrick Before Grain, and Hound & Gatos.

I personally believe that a diet of all-canned food is preferable to one that includes dry. Dry food generally contains an excess of fillers and carbohydrates that cats don't need and can't process, which may lead to an overweight cat like Eddie. He might benefit from a high-protein, grain-free wet food diet. Likewise, a lean cat like Chloe woud get more of what she needs from the concentrated protein in wet food, and she doesn't need the extra carbs either. Wet food also provides moisture and helps ensure that they stay hydrated.

About the Natural Balance, there have been some recent posts in this forum about problems with that food. Your cats aren't the only ones that have had trouble. There are links in the posts to consumer complaint sites, and it seems to be a widespread, ongoing problem.
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Chloe

Champion Tail- Chaser
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 11:01am PST 
We actually considered doing the very same thing at the time of the wellness recall. We tried natural balance and when that didn't work we kind of gave up. Boo on us. I know we should try some other canned foods and keep a variety in rotation. I find the search for food always brings up so many questions...someone says it's great, someone says it stinks...ahh. We also gave them a sample of reconstituted stella & chewy's and they were both super excited by it and gobbled it up and then they both promptly puked it up. our vet suggested we avoid it because of the inconsistencies in processing, which I am unaware of, but am fine with his suggestion because it made them vomit. So right now we're in a frozen state in terms of canned food variety.

Is it likely that Eddie will loose weight because we're increasing his wet food intake? Do you have any links for really helpful canned food reviews?
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Ralphie & Randy

1201140
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 11:36am PST 
I totally understand your confusion about what to feed! I went through the same thing, and I still sometimes worry about whether or not they're getting what's best for them. There are such widely divergent opinions and advice on the subject of food, and the industry doesn't make it any easier with the confusing and sometimes deceptive labeling. I had to stop obsessing about it and just do the best I can.

As far as types of food, I looked for foods that were specific about the meat content, as that is one of the labeling issues I believe to be decpetive. Nature's Variety Instinct is 95% meat and liver, Merrick Before Grain is 96%, and Hound & Gatos is 98%. I kept Wellness in the rotation because they like it, even though the labeling isn't clear about the meat percentage. I added Weruva because of the shredded texture, and I wanted to make sure there was variety in the texture of their food as well as the other reasons I've mentioned. I did internet searches for the foods to make sure I couldn't find any horrible complaints or a really off-putting history with any of the foods, and I tried to make sure to get brands from independent manufacturing facilities so their foods don't all come from the same plant, again thinking of possible future recalls. I don't remember finding any specific sites with comprehensive reviews of all the foods we've chosen to feed.

I don't have any personal experience with helping an overweight cat shed pounds. I just know that cats, as carnivores, don't need the extra carbs and can't process them as energy. I'm sure there are lots of other posters that can help you with Eddie's weight loss goals!
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Shade

My name is not- Kittyfloss!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 2:11pm PST 
Hi Eddie and Chloe, welcome to Catster! In my opinion, you should stop feeding the kibble and transition completely over to canned food. It doesn't sound like they are enjoying the kibble very much anyway. Dry food isn't the best for animals that are obligate carnivores, like cats. It has too many carbohydrates, too many plnat based proteins, and too little moisture. If you are interested in these issues you can check out catinfo.org.

A really good list of grain free canned foods can be found on ibdkitties.net which is run by Catster kitties Alex, Finnegan, and Laceys' mom. She's very picky, so only good foods, without recent recalls are on her list.

I personally feed the boys raw, but they do get canned for breakfast on the weekdays. I buy Nature's Variety Instinct, EVO (they'll only eat the venison of this brand now for some reason), Merrick Surf & Turf, Weruva 9 Liver, Ziwipeak, and an occasional odd can on NB L.I.D. Duck & Green Pea.

Unfortunataly, the only way you can be sure that Eddie eats only what he is supposed to is to feed them seperately or to stand there and monitor what they eat. I think this would be a lot easier if you cut the kibble out too, since you say that they eat their canned food up right away.

Purrs,
Shade
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Alex (sweet- angel girl)

Angel on a- mission!
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 2:25pm PST 
Thank you Shade! wave Everyone here has given very good advice. And I do agree with the suggestions for Nature's Variety and Merrick frankly. I particularly like NV because it's a higher, better quality protein which means your kitty gets the right amount it should be getting, they eat less because they fill up much faster and I also agree with getting rid of the kibble. Nothing good really comes out of that stuff unless you have no choice at all. Maybe when you tried the Stella & Chewy's you had given them kibble within that same day? That may be why they threw it up. You can't feel kibble within 12 hours of raw food because they are digested at different rates in the system. You'd be much better off going to all wet first, seeing how they do for a bit and then trying S&C again, they're a good brand, one of the better ones. For many kitties they have to be slowly transitioned to raw. Some like it and do well immediately while some take some time to get their systems regulated. Check out my switching foods page and you'll see what I mean: http://ibdkitties.net/switchingfoods.html. Merrick is also one of the better foods. But start with NV first, get them used to it and yes, if you can get them on a rotation of canned foods eventually, that's even better. I guarantee with higher protein and less carbs, the weight will transfer from fat to muscle. My Finnegan and Lacey eat that and they do very well. big grin
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Eddie

Cuddlebug
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 2:50pm PST 
Thank you all so much for the advice and the welcome. I agree that ideally they should be on a canned food only diet. They do enjoy the dry, but they love the wet. If we're not getting breakfast ready when the sun comes up we get woken up for it. I know we have it easier than some parents who have never given their kitties wet food at all.
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Eddie

Cuddlebug
 
 
Purred: Tue Jan 3, '12 2:55pm PST 
Oh and it is likely they had some dry food within 12 hours of eating the Stella & Chewy's since we free feed them dry food.
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