One of the biggest problems with getting cats to lose weight is realizing why they are gaining it. It is wrong to assume that it is only because they are eating too much food, particularly if fed free choice. Limiting carbohydrates is the number one weight loss and weight control tactic.
Many cats fed animal protein and animal fat with limited to no carbohydrates, may actually be fed free choice. Since their protein and fat requirements are reached, these cats will typically stop eating when sated.
Water is essential for feline health and regulation of body functions. Flushing the kidneys and bladder are also important to reduce or negate urinary crystal formation.
Cats that are placed on a wet diet consisting of high meat protein and fat and low carbohydrates will feel full and begin to lose weight. Slow steady weight loss must be adhered to, to prevent hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver). If the cat is losing weight too fast, its body releases large amounts of fat that travels to the liver where it settles and clogs it so much that the liver no longer functions normally.
Proper weight loss occurs at about 1-2% of its body weight per week. If your cat is losing too much weight too quickly, feed more food.
Calculating Percent Body Weight
12 pound cat
Convert pounds to ounces first (16oz in a pound)
12 pounds x 16 ounces = 192 ounces
1% of 192 ounces
192 oz x .01 = 1.92 ounces per week weight loss
2% of 192 ounces
192 oz x .02 = 3.84 ounces per week weight loss
Your 12 pound cat should not lose more than about 2-4 ounces per week.
To easily monitor your cat’s body weight purchase a baby scale from any department store. After weight loss is attained, it is a good idea to weigh your cat at least every few months to monitor his weight.