I have a fat kitty in the house what can I do?

We work with problem cats all the time, but our experience is limited to the nutrient profile of diets with less than 6% starch. With this in mind, we can clearly state that there is seldom a need to restrict feed any cat. There are exceptions, but we only run into a handful of cases each year in thousands of cats. The feline that requires a restricted feeding regimen can usually be described as afraid of most things and found starving when they were rescued. These are tough cases, but with hard work, many of these cats can be taught to eat correctly when free fed. Remember, the following advice is for diets with LESS than 6% starch. Most cats overeat because of competition for food. They feel the need to eat the food before the other cat does.

In the wild, cats seldom share their food unless they have kittens. The best way to alleviate this instinct is to have a never ending supply of food available. This means you need one bowl of food for each cat in the house. No bowl should be allowed to be less than half full and each bowl should be large enough to hold 1-2 cups of food. It is best if the bowls are 8 inches across and about an inch deep to keep the cat whiskers from brushing the sides of the bowl. It is also very important that the bowls be placed in out of the way places. Rooms that you spend time in, like the kitchen, will only encourage your cat to overeat.

Cats are social, if you go to the kitchen to prepare and eat food, then they will hang out with you and if their food is there, they will mimic your behavior even if they are not hungry. It is important to make sure that each bowl is placed in a separate area of the house. When a cat is standing at any one bowl, they should not be able to see another cat at any of the other bowls. There is usually one dominant cat in every group and by spacing the bowls, you prevent him from controlling all the food. You can also rotate food from bowls that empty less frequently to bowls that empty more often. Rotation will maintain food freshness and prevent waste. How many times has your cat yelled at you and then dragged you to their bowl and it still has food in it. They are telling you they are worried about starving. Your cat cannot reason that you will fill the dish in time before they starve. They have to assume that you got hit by a bus and they need to eat as much as they can before the other cats in the house figure out that you were in an accident. Once your cats are confident that their food supply is secure they will stop overeating.

There are some cats that will gain weight on the less than 6% starch diet, but not on the less than 1% starch diets. There is no way to predict which will work best for your cat, but for problem cats our ZERO cat foods may be the better choice. Of course every cat and household is different, but some modification of the above recommendations usually work in most cases. Normal feeding behavior for a cat eating Young Again carnivore kibble is for the cat to eat small amounts of food 6-8 times a day to maintain their ideal weight. A cat is content is a better behaved and more social feline.

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