Regardless of the cause, obese cats have many health issues, such as development of diabetes mellitus, joint disturbances or lameness, feline lower urinary tract disease, hepatic lipidosis, and nonallergic skin conditions. While limiting calories plays an important role in the avoidance of the weight gain that leads to obesity, the form of those calories is probably even more important. Diets high in carbohydrates stimulate regular spikes in circulating insulin levels that lead to the storage of circulating fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue. This process is a major factor in the weight gain that leads to obesity. Because protein and fat consumption lead to relatively minor fluctuations in insulin, low carbohydrate diets are optimal for avoiding weight gain and/or promoting weight loss. Canned foods are generally the best choice when seeking to provide a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. Dry foods tend to be energy (read calorie) dense. Also, because starch is necessary to make the kibble, dry foods tend to have greater carbohydrate concentrations (carbohydrate > 25% on a dry-matter basis).
Feline Obesity: How To Help Your Cat Slim Down | HuffPost
For many cats, the best way to lose weight is with a canned diet food fed several times per day, rather than leaving food down all of the time. One of the reasons canned diet foods work better is because our finicky felines often prefer wet food to dry. Eating meals rather than nibbling all day long discourages eating out of boredom or just for the sake of eating. It is vital that you count calories and measure the amount fed when entering into a weight reduction program. Feeding too much will result in no weight loss and feeding too little can result in serious health consequences such as hepatic lipidosis.
Getting Your Cat to Lose Weight - All Feline Hospital
High-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are my preference for weight loss in cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they must have meat in their diet in order to obtain key amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary for normal body function. Canned foods, especially the grain-free variety, generally meet the requirements of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet better than dry foods. This is because the manufacturing process for dry diets requires higher carbohydrate content. Cats can use carbohydrates in their diets quite efficiently. However, excess carbohydrates in a cat’s diet are not burned as energy, but are instead converted to triglycerides and stored as fat. Protein is THE key nutrient in a carnivore diet, so canned food is the best option. In addition, cats do better with two to four small, controlled portions daily.
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