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Feed your cat fewer calories for weight loss.
Wet cat food is best, due to having fewer calories. Avoid free-feeding.
Here’s our 3 best wet cat food for weight loss picks:
- Sheba Perfect Portions | Best Overall
- Tiki Cat After Dark | Best Quality
- Friskies Pate | Value for Money
Overweight cats are at great risk of early death.
The best way to help weight loss is to stop free-feeding cat food. Portion controlled wet cat food is best.
In this article, I’ll help guide you through what to look for. Then I’ll go through the best picks.
Finally, I’ll answer frequently asked questions and share taste test results.
I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. This article is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Look for low calorie wet cat food.
Wet cat food is 4 x less calorie dense than dry cat food.
If your cat has a body condition score over 5, adjust diet. Here’s the body condition score chart.
Use an online calculator to find your cats calorie needs.
The average cat needs ~300 kcal per day to maintain a healthy weight.
Cat’s at most risk of weight gain include:
- Middle aged cats (8-10 years)
- Neutered cats
- Indoor bound cats
- Free-fed cats
- An ‘all dry cat food’ diet
- Mixed breed cats
Here’s our buying tips:
Choose Low Calorie Wet Cat Food
Wet is best.
It’s less calorie dense than dry cat food.
Any wet cat food is a better choice.
Free-feeding is unique to dry cat food and a key reason for weight gain.
What to look for?
Check the calorie content.
Compare different cat foods to see what’s lower. Usually this is a better choice.
Choose High Protein Cat Food
High protein diets also decrease insulin requirements in diabetic cats. Overweight cats have a higher risk of diabetes.
Cats also prefer a high protein diet. A low protein diet can result in food rejection.
Aim for at least 40% protein on a dry matter basis. Use an online calculator.
Use the guaranteed analysis on the back of the label and pop that into the calculator.
Example: Using Meat Mates (see website):
- Protein: 7.5%
- Fat: 7.5%
- Carb: 0.3%
- Fiber: 0.7%
- Ash: 2.0%
- Moisture: 82.0%
The calculator doesn’t have ash and carbs. Combine both into ‘others’.
Based on the calculation, Meat Mates has 41.67% protein (dry matter).
This cat food meets our protein target.
Choose Low Carb Cat Food
Low carb diet improves the health of diabetic cats.
Cat’s have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates.
When lowering calories, you have to cut calories from either or all macronutrients:
Both fat and carbohydrate provide energy (calories) in the diet. Fat is more calorically dense than carbohydrates.
So why not cut out the fat instead?
When given a choice, cats prefer a moderate-fat diet (25%) over a low-fat diet (10% energy).
Animal fats like tallow are the tastiest fat sources for cats.
Interestingly, there’s some evidence (from the late 1990’s) that economy dry food is associated with leanness in cats. Budget dry food is usually higher in carbs (not always).
Why would high carb diets help?
Cat’s can reject high carb foods due to the ‘carbohydrate ceiling’ effect. This might protect a cats body, which is sensitive to high carb intakes.
The problem is this creates shortfalls of protein, a nutrient critical to a cats health.
So it’s an interesting idea in theory, but in practice maybe not ideal.
Aim for less than 25% carbs dry matter, or even less in diabetic cats (15%).
Look for a Sole Feeding Option
Cats don’t just need protein and fat.
They need micronutrients. Important for overall health and metabolism.
There 25 recognized micronutrients needed for health. These regulate metabolism to structure.
A deficiency of micronutrients leads to disease.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defines nutrient recommendations for cats.
Most cat foods include a statement of nutritional adequacy:
[insert food] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profile for [insert lifestage]:
There’s sole feeding and supplemental options.
- All life stages: Sole feeding option for all life stages
- Growth: Sole feeding option for kittens and lactating cats
- Maintenance: Sole feeding option for adults (1-7 years)
- Supplemental feeding: Only for treat or toppers. Not a complete meal.
Choose cat food for your cats life stage.
Growth is good for kittens. Maintenance for adults.
3 Best Wet Cat Foods for Weight Loss
Food were chosen from a database of cat foods.
I opted for the lowest calorie cat foods with good quality.
Here’s our top picks:
1. Sheba Perfect Portions
Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss
Sheba is a great all round choice for weight loss.
It has portion controlled packaging. It’s low in calories. It’s affordable.
It isn’t the best choice for senior cats, with a low calcium content. And the tubs are hard to open.
Read More: Sheba Cat Food Review
2. Tiki Cat After Dark
Best Quality Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss
Pros and Cons
Tiki Cat After Dark is the best quality choice for indoor cats and weight loss.
At around 750 kcal/kg, this cat food is low calorie. It’s chock full of animal protein to keep your cat healthy.
You get real authentic shreds and variety of flavors.
It’s very pricey though.
Read More: Tiki Cat Food Review
3. Friskies Pate
Best Value Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss
Pros and Cons
Friskies are reliable and tasty choice.
They offer a huge variety, and are low calorie for weight loss. It’s a complete meal for adult cats.
The main downside is the carb content. At 16% it’s not optimal for diabetics.
Read More: Friskies Cat Food Review
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Wet Cat Food Better for Weight Loss?
Wet cat food and raw diets best.
Canned food has a lower risk of obesity (63% vs dry cat food).
Human-grade raw meat, organ, and bones diets are also protective.
Ultimately, wet cat food is less calorie dense than dry cat food. It’s easier to control total calories, which is the key to weight loss.
Why Can’t I Get My Cat to Lose Weight?
Too many calories.
Some things make it harder.
- Lack of exercise
- Calorically dense diet
- Free feeding
Eating more calories than used causes weight gain.
Some things decrease calorie burn:
Neutering lowers testosterone and increases food intake. Not much to do here.
Middle-aged cats (8-12 years) burn fewer calories. Lower the calories in these guys.
Indoor cats don’t get a chance to forage and play.
Environmental enrichment increases your cat’s play to help burn calories.
- Cat trees
- Scratching boards
- Cat toys
Is It Ok to Give Cats Wet Food Everyday?
Choose a complete meal. Check the statement of nutritional adequacy.
Is Wet Cat Food Better for Weight Loss?
It’s a lower calorie compared to dry cat food.
How Do I Know if my Cat is Overweight?
Check the body and muscle condition chart.
Signs of excess weight include:
- Can’t feel ribs
- Fat on the face and neck
Ask a vet if you’re unsure.
Why is Cat Obesity a Health Problem?
Obesity increases the risk of many diseases and may lead to an earlier death.
More than half of US pets are overweight or obese.
Obesity decreases your cat’s quality of life and increases health-related expenses.
How Much Should I Feed My Cat to Lose Weight?
Use an online calculator.
This helps you get a precise number.
Weigh your cat.
Use the Cat Plus Person (CPP) method.
- Weigh yourself (person weight)
- Hold cat and weigh (person + cat weight)
- Subtract person weight from person + cat weight
Example: Joe wants to weigh his tabby cat
- Joe weighs himself. He is 70kg.
- Joe holds his cat and weighs. The scale reads 75kg.
- Joe’s tabby is 5kg (75 – 70 = 5)
Why Is My Cat Gaining Weight but Not Eating More?
Middle aged cats have lowered metabolic rates.
A cat between 7-11 years is at higher risk of weight gain.
Less activity also decreases energy output.
To lose weight, give cats a low calorie diet.
A high protein wet cat food is the best choice for weight loss.
Weigh your cat and use a calculator. Portion the right amount by checking the label of cat food.
Add toys and other items for play. This helps your cat burn more calories.
>> Our best cat food for weight loss is Sheba Perfect Portions.