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With cat obesity on the rise, feeding your cat the right food becomes increasingly important. And it is no surprise that the indoor cats are most susceptible to this condition because of the lack of exercise and excessive eating from a constant food supply.
Regardless of the cat and its lifestyle, obesity in any cat can lead to several health problems and significantly affect the animal's quality of life. While cats, like any other pet, will eat almost anything offered to them, you want to make sure you do your part to prevent obesity by feeding your indoor cat right.
In this article on the best cat foods for the overweight indoor cat, we will look at some of the best cat foods formulated for overweight indoor cats. We will also discuss the ideal indoor cat weight, why your cat can be overweight or obese, and other ways to help apart from the diet.
The “Ideal” Indoor Cat Weight
How do I know if my indoor cat is overweight? First, while you want your indoor cat within a healthy weight range, you also want to make sure that it is not underweight. One way to tell is by looking at the average weight range of domestic cats, basing it primarily on their size, age, breed, and gender. Generally, most domestic cats weigh between 8 – 10 pounds. However, bigger species such as the Maine Coon and the Savannah cat naturally weigh more.
Keep in mind that some cats naturally have more lean muscles than others. You should have no concern about obesity with these cats as the "weight" is muscle weight, not fat.
Why Is My Cat Overweight?
Reasons for obesity in indoor cats can vary, but it is usually due to their diet. Many cat owners with overweight indoor cats feed their fur babies excessively. Granted, you want your pet to be well-fed at all times, but you also want to remember that it could be damaging to the animal in the long run when overfed.
Most domestic cats only need around 200 calories daily, but many overweight ones get way more than that amount. Also, letting your cat eat nonstop can cause weight gain. And they will eat if there is unrestricted access to food. With indoor cats, you want to be mindful of how much food you allow. These cats mostly lead a "sedentary" lifestyle, and if you feed it as if it were as active as a feral cat, it would eventually become overweight.
An underlying medical condition can be another reason for weight gain. If you feed a cat its food in the right amount and quality and it is overweight, it might be as a result of an underlying health issue. And it would be best if you had a vet examine it for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Getting too little or no exercise can cause obesity in cats. Felines need exercise, and when there is a decrease in it, and they become less active, obesity becomes inevitable.
Is My Cat Really Overweight?
How do I tell if my feline is overweight? What are some of the ways to know if a cat is obese? We will discuss some of them in this section. However, keep in mind that some of these "obesity markers" can result from other factors such as an underlying health condition. Ensure you rule those out before concluding with any of the criteria below.
How do you describe your cat's current activity level? Has it decreased? When cats become more sedentary than before, it may be a sign of their increasing weight.
Do you feel the cat's ribs when gently squeezed from both sides? If not, your cat may be overweight.
How does your cat look? Is he visibly plumper than before? If he is, then your cat may be overweight.
These are just some of the ways you can tell if your cat is overweight. You may still need a pair of trained eyes, e.g., your vet or an expert cat handler.
How Do I Help My Cat Lose Weight?
Thankfully, we can manage feline weight gain effectively in two simple ways.
If you overfed your feline, then it is time to cut down on the amount of food he consumes and, if possible, switch to a low-calorie diet. You can start by cutting back to around ½ cup of your cat's current food instead of ¾ for about four weeks. Monitor his progress, and if you notice a drop in body weight (about 1% or 2%), stick to this feeding quantity. If you observe no weight loss, you should consider cutting back his portions further.
Increase Daily Calorie Burn
One sure way to increase your cat's daily calorie burn is through regular exercise. While you should not want to force your overweight feline to undergo strenuous fat-burning activities like running up and down the street, you also want to place him on an exercise routine that allows him to lose weight. Some exercises you can add to your cat's fat burn routine include playing with a laser pointer, playing with a ball, or even placing the cat on a harness and training it to walk on a leash. There is a raft of indoor toys available for cats to help them lose those extra pounds and we have reviewed the best here.
Buying Food for Overweight Indoor Cat: Things to Look Out For
Before you buy food for your overweight cat, check that they meet the following requirements to help your cat lose weight and keep it away.
The food you pick should be rich in protein from natural sources like chicken, beef, salmon, and plants. Proteins are essential for building strong and healthy muscles, and a cat on a diet needs them.
Any food for obese cats should provide balanced nutrition. While calories are necessary, what is even more important is that the food meets the recommended ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. You want to opt for foods with no less than 30% protein and between 10 – 12% fat for overweight cats. Also, check that the food contains essential vitamins and minerals for overall good health.
Free from filler ingredients
You want to make sure that the food you pick for your overweight feline is entirely free from filler ingredients/animal by-products, artificial flavors, and colors. Preservatives are also another ingredient you want to avoid. These are nutritionally worthless and could cause severe health problems in the long run.
Rich in fiber
Fiber-rich cat foods make digestion better and help keep hairball minimal and the weight under control. Ensure any food you settle for has an adequate amount of fiber to help keep away all of the conditions mentioned above and reduce the extra weight. If your cat currently struggles with hairballs, you may also want to look for foods formulated to cater to this condition.
The Top Rated Cat Food for Overweight Indoor Cats
- Features wholesome grains, garden veggies and fruit.
- Made with LifeSource Bits.
- Helps maintain a healthy weight with an optimal blend of calories and protein
- 100% free from grains and gluten.
- Specially crafted for weight control.
- Features probiotic support for your furry friend's gut health.
- Powered by a pure probiotic strain that supports gastrointestinal health.
- Dried chicory root, dried kelp, vitamin C and vitamin E promote overall health.
- Boosted nutrition for indoor cats with high-protein kibble.
- Highly digestible protein plus probiotics helps control stool odor.
- Helps indoor cats get to an ideal weight.
- Superfood source of vitamins, minerals and health-supporting phytonutrients.
Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews
This indoor weight control formula is made by a known pet food manufacturer and contains lean protein from chicken and tuna. It also contains fiber-rich ingredients like pea fiber, oat bran, and oatmeal, so your pet feels full for longer. With each serving, your feline gets adequate moisture, protein, and fat making it an excellent food for felines on the weight loss journey, and one even picky cats will enjoy
Lastly, the meal is rich in omega fatty acids from avocados, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients for healthy skin, fur, and generally better health.
- Has chicken and chicken broth as main ingredients
- Perfect for overweight indoor cats thanks to its low calorie and high fiber content
- High in omega fatty acids from avocados for coat and skin health
- Boasts vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential amino acids, taurine, and other health-improving phytonutrients
- The chicken broth provides your feline with adequate hydration
This cat food for weight loss is high in animal protein and a mix of nutrients your cat requires for his overall health. It is made with cage-free chicken as the main ingredient and low in calories to help support your cat's indoor lifestyle. The meal is enriched with digestible protein and probiotics for gut health and stool odor control.
- High in beneficial nutrients for the indoor/overweight cat
- It contains chicken as its first ingredient for strong and lean muscles
- Free of grains, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- It contains probiotics for gut health
- Just enough calories to support the indoor feline lifestyle
- Made in the USA
Excellent food for overweight cats, Nulo grain-free food, contains 82% protein from real meat. Its key ingredients are deboned duck, chicken meal, turkey meal, deboned cod, and peas. One thing that stands out os that the food is made in the good old USA and free of additives like artificial flavors and colors. It is also enriched with probiotics to support your feline's gut health and immune system.
Vitamins contained include vitamin A, E, and C and then plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy eyes, skin, and fur health. The meal is also rich in taurine, essential for feline health.
- Rich in animal-based protein
- It contains a blend of omega fatty acids for your cat's skin and fur health
- It contains ingredients like dried kelp, chicory root, vitamins C and E, all known to help improve overall health, and then taurine and vitamin A for eyes and heart health.
This cat weight loss food is made with fresh-caught Alaskan Pollock as its main ingredient. With just 9% fat and over 30% protein, it is undoubtedly a great choice for weight reduction while also keeping your cat satisfied and happy.
The meal is free of grain, gluten and rich in omega fatty acids, probiotics for gut health, and a blend of 20 superfoods. Weight control isn't the only thing this meal does for your feline; all of the ingredients are carefully selected to support the immune system and improve skin and fur's overall appearance.
- It contains a blend of ingredients specially formulated for weight control
- Gluten and grains free
- High protein content and low carbs
- Free of filler ingredients, artificial flavoring, coloring, and preservatives
Blue Buffalo weight control cat food is rich in protein, a small amount of fat, and beneficial nutrients. The meal is completely free of animal by-products commonly used in many commercially-made foods as filler ingredients.
And so far, the food reviews have been mostly positive, with many buyers saying that the meal actually lives up to their expectations and truly helped their overweight felines lose weight.
- It contains no meat meals or other filler ingredients
- It contains real ingredients such as chicken and vegetables
- Nutritious and flavorful to keep your cat interested and hungry for it, unlike many other commercially made cat foods for weight loss.
- Gluten-sensitive cats may not do well on this meal due to its whole-grain content
Cat Foods for Overweight Indoor Cats: Conclusion
Indoor cats are prone to obesity, but it is usually because of their feeding habits. Obesity could slow them down and even cause chronic health issues if left unchecked. Thankfully, you can reverse cat obesity with exercise and diet changes. In this article, we reviewed our top five foods for overweight cats. We carefully selected these foods for their high protein, high phytonutrients, and high fiber content, among other qualities.
Our top pick is the Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food. This food meets many of the diet requirements for the overweight indoor feline. The meal enjoys mostly positive reviews from cat parents who bought it for their kitty on many retail sites.
That said, you should notice a significant change in your cat's weight and overall health when applying the methods discussed here. If your pet remains overweight even after, it may be time to get professional help to rule out any possible underlying issue causing the weight gain.