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Last August we adopted a 10 y/o from a shelter.
She's wonderfully sweet -- affectionate and placid.

But, she has an appetite!
She weighed 9 pounds at our vet in August, when we took her for an exam; now, she's up to 20, and we're concerned about diabetes developing.[We previously had a 22 pounder diabetic who made it to 18]

We feed her 2 3oz cans/day of IAMS Purrfect, plus about 2 tbs [total] of dry food [Hill's adult], for which about 1 can/8 lbs is IAMS's recommended amount. So, we're not exceeding IAM's recommendation.

My question is this:

Are there other foods we can give her that has even fewer calories or carbs, and which can help trim her weight?

Schvitz
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We feed her 2 3oz cans/day of IAMS Purrfect, plus about 2 tbs [total] of dry food [Hill's adult], for which about 1 can/8 lbs is IAMS's recommended amount. So, we're not exceeding IAM's recommendation.

When she was at 9 lbs, IAMS' recommendation would have been for slightly more than 1 can - so 1 can, plus a little dry food would have been appropriate, if she wasn't too skinny at 9 lbs.

I would suggest as a first step, gradually cutting back the food to the amount IAMS would recommend for her ideal weight, not her current weight.

Are there other foods we can give her that has even fewer calories or carbs, and which can help trim her weight?

Yes, there are lots of weight control foods. If cutting back on her current food doesn't help get her current weight more towards her ideal weight, you could ask your vet for recommendations, or just google for "weight management cat food" or something similar.

AJ
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From 9 pounds to 20 in six months??!!??

That's a bit alarming. I'd be headed in for another visit with the vet to discuss the issue.

In addition to looking at diet, I'd see if she's getting enough exercise. Is she running around and playing? Did she play when you saw her at the shelter? Will she chase any of the usual cat things, like strings or anything tied to the end of a stick, or a small object dropped on the floor? If not, she might be developing a bit of arthritis.

10 years is middle age for a cat. It wouldn't be unusual to see some early signs of aging.

Do you know any of her history - how she ended up at a shelter? If she was chronically under fed, she might be pre-disposed now to over eating whenever there is food around.

Speaking of food around, is she snacking on anything? One of our cats will lick dishes clean if we don't put them in the dishwasher immediately. (Fortunately, he's also very active, so his weight is just fine.)

Good luck!

--Peter
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When she was at 9 lbs, IAMS' recommendation would have been for slightly more than 1 can - so 1 can, plus a little dry food would have been appropriate, if she wasn't too skinny at 9 lbs.

I just checked the feeding instructions on the can: "For adult cats feed 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 containers per 8 lbs."

Even at 9 lbs, we would have been overfeeding her.

So, I'm puzzled.

But, thanks.

Schvitz
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From 9 pounds to 20 in six months??!!??

That's a bit alarming. I'd be headed in for another visit with the vet to discuss the issue.

In addition to looking at diet, I'd see if she's getting enough exercise. Is she running around and playing? Did she play when you saw her at the shelter? Will she chase any of the usual cat things, like strings or anything tied to the end of a stick, or a small object dropped on the floor? If not, she might be developing a bit of arthritis.

10 years is middle age for a cat. It wouldn't be unusual to see some early signs of aging.

Do you know any of her history - how she ended up at a shelter? If she was chronically under fed, she might be pre-disposed now to over eating whenever there is food around.

Speaking of food around, is she snacking on anything? One of our cats will lick dishes clean if we don't put them in the dishwasher immediately. (Fortunately, he's also very active, so his weight is just fine.)?


Alarming, yes.

We did take her to our vet[who treated three prior cats of ours] one week after we brought her home. She pronounced Tilly healthy.

She has been abandoned in an apartment [her owner had been arrested] and without food for some time, according to the shelter.

She has her mad minutes, when she dashes around our apartment [she has a 40ft unobstructed stretch] and she is fairly strong [she can easily propel her substantial weight onto a counter-height surface], but she does what most cats do -- sleep.

Schvitz
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I just checked the feeding instructions on the can: "For adult cats feed 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 containers per 8 lbs."

Even at 9 lbs, we would have been overfeeding her.


So, for 9 lbs, the recommendation would be 1.6875 cans - 2.51325 cans/day. Given that the pet food industry is set up to sell pet food, so they could have a bias toward recommending more food than necessary, I would definitely say that you should be on the low end - especially since your cat has more than doubled her weight in only 6 months.

AJ
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A lot depends on her frame. 20 lbs is probably not unhealthy for a Maine Coone. Very unhealthy for a small boned domestic cat. Talk to your vet and get recommendations for food and exercise. Also, going to mealtimes and not leaving food out all the time would help. Putting her dry food in a puzzle ball, making her work for it.
JK
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Remember ,if you feed her the amount for her ideal weight,she should stop ganging weight,but won't lose any.You need to feed less then that (start with 10 to 15% less) so her body has a reason to tap into that stored fat for calories.
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To respond to recent posts

Tilly is a big-boned critter, with easily more than twice the frame size of our previous cat, Chloe, who weighed just nine pounds. Chloe made it to 19.

Since we brought her home, we have been feeding Tilly with 2 3 oz cans of Iams Purrfect wet food, 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening. She gobbles each can down within minutes, always licking the plate clean.We did, however, leave down 1/2 cup to a cup of Hill's adult dry food. Last week, we cut her dry food ration to no more than two tablespoons a day.

Schvitz
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