When it comes to diets for our cats, to be quite honest, most are doing it wrong. Simply cutting down the amount of food may actually cause unwanted behaviors for your cat. Have you been free feeding and now you aren’t? How often do you feed your cat now? Twice a day?
When cats eat, their bellies are only full for a few short hours. That is why you will see them graze throughout the day. A hungry belly will not make a happy cat. Unfortunately, other behaviors may arise from even the mildest of hunger such as scratching on unwanted surfaces and even loud vocalizations tothe point where you can’t sleep.
Did you know for safe weight loss, your cat should specifically be on certain number of calories per day? So cutting down on food without doing math can hurt them in the long run. Instead, 3-4 meals throughout the day should be given so our feline friend doesn’t have a hungry belly for hours at a
So, how do we do this? Here comes the math part so I’ll give you an example. You may have turned that bag around or the can of cat food, and instead of seeing “calories” you now see “kcals”. What in the world is that? Well, it’s calories for cats and they are way different than human calories so please don’t get them confused.
Here we go:
Total Calories. Kcals (cat calories)
- Daily kcals for a 24lb cat should be 338
- As the cat drops 2lbs, kcal intake decreases by 12kcals. (example: 24lbs-338kcals, 22lbs- 326kcals, 20lbs- 314kcals)
- Maintaining weight is about 20 calories per lb., so we are decreasing that amount to achieve weight loss.
- Upon losing 10lbs and being approx 15lbs, kcals should be steady with 168kcals daily.
- Any treats given must be added to kcal total.
*Please know 1lb for a cat is about 10lbs for a human. It’s a lot. For safe weight loss about .1lbs should be shed weekly, resulting in 1lb loss after 10 weeks. This is the safest way. We can’t be drastic and omit nutrition the cat’s needs. Be patient. Just like for us, it’s a process.
As being responsible “pawrents” for our felines, it’s very important we educate ourselves on the
what and how, and proceed in a safe manner. Diet plans are very important and that is why your
feline behaviorist is certified in nutrition as well. If you are unsure or have questions, ask your veterinarian
or a behaviorist.