Our customer asked:-
I have 2 cats and one of them is getting over weight, I have been using Royal canin moderate calorie intestinal wet and dry food as they have sensitive tummies. They have been on this for about 4 years but one has put on weight straight away after starting it. I was thinking of changing their food to try and get the weight down. We only feed them morning and night with the wet food but the dry is there all day but only a small amount. What else do you recommend?
Sorry to be blunt, but these are my thoughts:
If the dry food is there all day, then they can eat as much as they want. It makes no difference if you keep a little there, or huge mounds of it. If they never run out, then they have an endless amount of food available. If you offer wet food twice daily, and dry all day, then you are making their food as interesting as possible, which encourages them to eat lots. If they eat lots, they will get fat, regardless of the type of food. Some cats put on weight more easily than others, but essentially you are being too generous, and your feeding regime is exactly the method which is most commonly associated with obese cats. It is much healthier to give food twice daily and never leave any down at all. You can give some wet and some dry, but you should put down only the amount which is eaten in a few minutes, then take the rest away. It is totally unnecessary to leave food down all day, it just makes cats lazy as well as over-fed. In comparison, a person who eats a good meal twice daily and sits next to an open packet of crisps all day will be likely to be fatter than a person without the crisps. None of this is rocket science. As far as types of food is concerned, the best foods are usually the high protein low carbohydrate foods for cats, such as Orijen. They are more expensive, but they are a much more natural type of diet and cats get full more easily on them, are better sustained by the diet, and simply eat less. They are more likely to eat what they need, rather than eat to excess.
Sorry if this sounds mean, but it does make sense.
Sunday 20th January 2013