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3 Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

Disclaimer: As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons.

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:

  1. Sheba Perfect Portions | Best Overall
  2. Tiki Cat After Dark | Best Quality
  3. 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.

Buying Guide

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)
  • Males
  • 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.

The calorie content of a cat food.
Check the calorie content.

Choose High Protein Cat Food

It helps maintain muscle and keep the metabolic rate high.

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.

A cat eating wet cat food.
A high protein wet cat food helps cats maintain strength if losing weight.

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:

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrate

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.

Micronutrients include:

  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

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.

This includes:

  • 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.

A statement of nutritional adequacy on a cat food.
Choose cat food formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO as a sole feeding option.

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

Pros and Cons

  • Low calorie
  • Affordable
  • Portion control tubs
  • Hard to open tubs
  • Not the best for senior cats

Review

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

Sheba Perfect Portions dry matter nutrition analysis
Sheba Perfect Portions dry matter nutrition analysis
Sheba Perfect Portions cat food review score
Sheba Perfect Portions cat food review score

2. Tiki Cat After Dark

Best Quality Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

Tiki Cat After Dark

Pros and Cons

  • Low calorie
  • Real shredded texture
  • No fillers
  • Not for underweight cats
  • Pricey

Review

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

Tiki Cat After Dark dry matter nutrition analysis
Tiki Cat After Dark dry matter nutrition analysis
Tiki Cat After Dark cat food review score
Tiki Cat After Dark cat food review score

3. Friskies Pate

Best Value Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

Friskies pate wet cat food

Pros and Cons

  • Low calorie
  • Great for picky cats
  • Complete meal for adults
  • Carbs borderline high
  • Uses meat by-products

Review

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

Friskies Pate dry matter nutrition analysis
Friskies Pate dry matter nutrition analysis
Friskies Pate cat food review score
Friskies Pate cat food review score

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wet Cat Food Better for Weight Loss?

Yes.

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.

Wet cat food.
Wet foods decrease the risk of obesity in cats.

Why Can’t I Get My Cat to Lose Weight?

Too many calories.

Some things make it harder.

Includes:

  • Neutering
  • Lack of exercise
  • Age
  • 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.

Try:

  • Cat trees
  • Perches
  • Scratching boards
  • Cat toys

Is It Ok to Give Cats Wet Food Everyday?

Yes.

Choose a complete meal. Check the statement of nutritional adequacy.

Is Wet Cat Food Better for Weight Loss?

Yes.

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
  • Bloated
  • Fat on the face and neck

Ask a vet if you’re unsure.

A cat carrying excess weight.
A cat carrying excess weight. Note the distended abdomen and visible fat around the face and neck.

Why is Cat Obesity a Health Problem?

Obesity increases the risk of many diseases and may lead to an earlier death.

Problems include:

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.

CPP Method:

  1. Weigh yourself (person weight)
  2. Hold cat and weigh (person + cat weight)
  3. Subtract person weight from person + cat weight

See example:

Example: Joe wants to weigh his tabby cat

  1. Joe weighs himself. He is 70kg.
  2. Joe holds his cat and weighs. The scale reads 75kg.
  3. Joe’s tabby is 5kg (75 – 70 = 5)

Learn More:

Just don't get your cat to calculate your finances.
Don’t get your cat to calculate your finances.

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.

Conclusion

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.

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