Best Cat Food For Weight Loss

diet cat foodIt’s safe to say that the majority of indoor cats can stand to lose a few pounds. With living the typical sedentary life of a house cat, it becomes quite easy for cats to become overweight. Though some excess weight on your cat can seem harmless, there are actually many reasons as to why weight gain in your feline friend can be dangerous for their overall health.

In this article we’ll discuss the basics of obesity in cats and the foods we recommend to help your cat lose weight.

Quick Review: Top-6 Cat Foods For Weight Loss

Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice 7-lb
Bestseller #1

Blue Buffalo Weight Control

  • Lean chicken is the first ingredient
  • Low fat content
  • Omega fatty acids for coat and joint health
Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature's Variety, 10 lb....
Bestseller #2

Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight

  • Grain free
  • Low fat content
  • Added fibers to keep them full longer
IAMS PERFECT PORTIONS Adult Grain Free Optimal Metabolism Healthy Weight Wet Cat Food Paté Chicken Recipe, (24) 2.6 oz....
Bestseller #3

Iams Perfect Portions

  • Perfect portion sizes
  • L-carnitine for a faster metabolism
  • Vitamins and minerals for immune support
Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Adult Dry Cat Food, 3 lb bag
Bestseller #4

Royal Canin Weight Care

  • Low fat content
  • Fibers to help cats feel more full
  • L-carnitine added for promoted metabolism
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management, Chicken Recipe, 7 lb Bag
Bestseller #5

Hills Science Diet Perfect Weight

  • Veterinary trusted brand
  • Low fat content
  • Cats love the taste
Solid Gold - Fit as a Fiddle with Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock - Grain Free & Gluten Free - Holistic Weight Control...
Bestseller #6

Solid Gold Adult Cat Food For Weight Control

  • Grain free
  • Low fat content
  • Probiotics for digestive health

Is it dangerous for a cat to be overweight?

It may be common for house cats to be a bit overweight, but that does not mean there aren’t dangers that come along with this weight gain. Just like in humans, obesity can lead to a number of concerning medical complications.

Some dangers of obesity in cats include:

  • Higher risk of developing diabetes
  • Excess weight can place a burden on joints leading to pain and stiffness
  • Overweight cats can develop high blood pressure which can put stress on their heart
  • Due to the stress that excess fat puts on the body and its organs, overweight cats have a shortened life span
  • Overweight cats are more prone to liver complications
  • Overweight cats can experience respiratory difficulties, or difficulty catching their breath when they are active
  • Cats with excess weight can experience complications while anesthetized if your cat ever has to undergo surgery.
  • When a cat is overweight they can experience overall immune depression, meaning they may be more at risk to bacteria and infectious agents

What can cause weight gain in cats?

There are multiple reasons behind weight gain in cats, but some of the most common reasons include:

  • Imbalance between food intake and activity
  • Eating high calorie foods
  • Aging and becoming less active
  • Consuming a high number of treats
  • Being spayed or neutered
  • Hypothyroidism

weight loss for cats
Though many causes of weight gain in cats involve their diet or their amount of daily exercise, it’s still best to see your vet before making any diet changes in case their weight gain is due to a medical condition.

How To Know If Your Cat Is Overweight

Since we see our cats each day, it can be difficult to know if they are gaining weight. With being used to seeing their figure each day and the standard of the average house cat being quite chunky, it may be confusing as to what is a healthy weight range for your cat.

If you are unsure of the ideal weight range in a cat, here is a diagram explaining body score.

How To Safely Help Your Cat Lose Weight

When you’re helping your cat lose weight, it’s important to do so in a safe way that won’t put any stress on their body. When you start your cat’s weight loss journey, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Things To Do

  • It’s time to stick to three small meals a day and stop free feeding. Free feeding gives your cat access to as many calories as they would like. This could be a reason behind their weight gain.
  • Increase their daily activity. This can be done by playing with a ribbon, chasing a laser, going on a walk if they enjoy the outdoors, or chasing around their favorite toy.
  • If you are switching their diet, gradually introduce their new food. An abrupt change can cause gastrointestinal upset.
  • If you give your cat treats, switch to a low fat treat and only offer 1 treat a day, and at least toss the treat so they have to run or hunt for their snack.

Things Not To Do

  • Never attempt to fast your cat or substantially decrease their food immediately. Putting them on a crash diet or fasting your cat can result in a liver condition called hepatic lipidosis. This condition can be fatal if not treated properly.
  • Do not change their diet overnight. You will need to gradually introduce a new food if you plan to change their diet.
  • Don’t give up if you don’t see results right away. Weight loss in animals is a slow process, and it’s safer to take this process slowly.

cat food for weight loss

What To Look For In A Cat Food For Weight Loss

Just because you are cutting back on the calories in your cat’s food does not mean they should lack in terms of nutrition. When you are beginning your search for a cat food for weight loss, there are a few things you should look for in a quality diet:

  • Lean animal proteins that will help to build lean muscle. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they rely on protein from animal tissues for their energy and metabolic functions
  • Balanced nutrition, meaning proteins from animal sources as well as fruits and veggies for minerals and additional antioxidants
  • Low to moderate fat content
  • Digestible fibers and carbohydrates for optimal digestive and hairball health

Brand With The Best Cat Food For Weight Loss in

With the task of finding a healthy way to help your furry companion lose weight, it’s important to find a quality brand that you can trust. We put together a list of brands that offer a cat food for weight loss, that delivers nutritious yet low fat options.

  • Blue Buffalo
  • Instinct
  • Royal Canin
  • Science Diet
  • Solid Gold
  • Nulo Freestyle
  • Purina Pro Plan
  • Iams
  • Wellness
  • Halo
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials
  • Natural Balance
  • Avo Derm

Best Cat Food For Weight Loss Product Breakdown

  1. Blue Buffalo Weight Control
Sale
Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice 7-lb
$25.99 −$4.01
$21.98
822 Reviews
Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice 7-lb
Blue Buffalo brings a supreme option for cat owners in need of a trustworthy food for weight loss. With deboned chicken as the first ingredient, this food offers lean protein that will help build lean muscle and keep them slim and trim. This food has the perfect blend of protein, fruits, veggies, and low fat content that will help your cat lose weight in a safe way. Even though they are taking in a food with lower fat content when consuming this diet, they will not be lacking on any other aspects of balanced nutrition. In addition to the fat loss benefits of this diet are the addition of omega fatty acids to help promote a healthy coat and optimal joint health for your furry friend.
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Pros

  • Lean chicken is the first ingredient
  • Includes a blend of fruits and veggies for minerals and antioxidants
  • Low fat content
  • Omega fatty acids for coat and joint health

Cons

  • Does include chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume this diet
  • Some pet owners say this option is more expensive than others on the market
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
This is a high quality and trustworthy option for weight loss for your cat. This diet includes lean protein for lean muscle mass, as well as vitamins and minerals for overall nutrition.
  1. Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight
Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature's Variety, 10 lb....
$39.89
121 Reviews
Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken Natural Dry Cat Food by Nature's Variety, 10 lb....
Instinct Raw Boost offers a grain free kibble filled with raw, freeze-dried chicken. The freeze dried chicken is not only tasty for your furry friend, but the L-carnitine in the chicken helps to boost their metabolism for optimal weight loss. In addition to the added nutrients for weight loss are the fibers included that help keep your cat full longer. By keeping their bellies full, you can help to decrease their need for snacking. Even with all of these added bonuses, this food still has 25% less fat than other cat foods on the market.
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Pros

  • Includes freeze-dried chicken for taste and added nutrients
  • Contains L-carnitine for boosted metabolism
  • Grain free
  • Low fat content
  • Added fibers to keep them full longer

Cons

  • Includes chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume.
  • Some purchasers say the cats love the freeze-dried chicken so much that they consume the chicken bits and leave the rest behind.
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
This is a unique option for cats who need to lose weight. With the added chicken chunks and the addition of metabolism boosting ingredients, this food stands apart from the rest.
  1. Royal Canin Weight Care
Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Adult Dry Cat Food, 3 lb bag
$19.79
249 Reviews
Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Adult Dry Cat Food, 3 lb bag
Royal Canin is one of the most trusted brands in the eyes of veterinarians. Royal Canin focuses on overall nutrition versus specific ingredients, so they make sure to hit every metabolic need for each individual cat. With recommendations from veterinarians around the world, you can rest assured that their weight control food is one you can trust. With a reduced fat content of 33% from their other diets and the addition of L-carnitine for metabolism, this food is sure to help your cat shed those unwanted pounds.
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Pros

  • Veterinarian recommended brand
  • Low fat content
  • Fibers to help cats feel more full
  • L-carnitine added for promoted metabolism

Cons

  • This diet does contain chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
  • Some pet owners claim that this food is higher in price than other foods on the market
Our Verdict: 4/5
Royal Canin is a veterinary trusted brand for a reason. Royal Canin always provides quality nutrition for every cats need, and this weight control diet works to hit every cat’s weight loss needs.
  1. Hills Science Diet Perfect Weight
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management, Chicken Recipe, 7 lb Bag
$24.99
1,450 Reviews
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management, Chicken Recipe, 7 lb Bag
Science Diet has had so much success with this weight loss diet that they state that 70% of all cats lost weight within 10 weeks of switching to this food. Hills is another veterinary trusted brand along with Royal Canin, so you can trust that your cat is consuming quality ingredients when you trust in this brand. This diet offers a chicken and vegetable medley that’s delicious to cats, even with its low fat content.  This diet is also filled with natural minerals and antioxidants that help promote joint, skin, and coat health.
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Pros

  • 70% of cats who ate this diet lost weight within 10 weeks
  • Veterinary trusted brand
  • Low fat content
  • Cats love the taste
  • Ingredients that help to promote skin, coat, and joint health

Cons

  • This food does contain chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
  • This food is more expensive than some of the other brands on this list
Our Verdict: 4/5
Science diet is a well trusted brand in the veterinary community, so you can rest assured that your cat is in good hands when they eat this diet. With a tasty chicken and vegetable medley, your cat will love their new diet even with the reduced fat.
  1. Solid Gold Adult Cat Food For Weight Control
Sale
Solid Gold - Fit as a Fiddle with Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock - Grain Free & Gluten Free - Holistic Weight Control...
$34.99 −$1.70
$33.29
272 Reviews
Solid Gold - Fit as a Fiddle with Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock - Grain Free & Gluten Free - Holistic Weight Control...
Solid Gold offers a diet with the first ingredient of omega rich alaskan pollock. With a lean protein as the shining star of this food, this is the perfect option for weight loss with a delicious taste. This brand prides themselves for their holistic approach, meaning they focus on natural ingredients. In this food your cat will enjoy premium fish, grain free kibble, probiotics for digestive health, low fat content, and fatty acids for skin and coat health. With all of its low fat ingredients, this seems like a great option for the less active house cats of the world.
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Pros

  • Premium fish as the main ingredient
  • Grain free
  • Low fat content
  • Probiotics for digestive health
  • Fatty acids for skin, joint, and coat health

Cons

  • Though fish is the main ingredient, this food does contain chicken meal. This could irritate cats with allergies to poultry.
  • Some purchasers state that their cats with known urinary problems had more UTI’s while consuming this food. In this food’s defense, a cat with a known history of UTI’s should be on a specialty prescription diet anyways.
Our Verdict: 4/5
This food is packed with superfoods. There are so many beneficial nutrients that it’s hard to keep count of how many whole and nutritious ingredients your cat will consume when eating this diet.
  1. Nulo Freestyle Adult Trim
Nulo Adult Trim Grain Free Dry Cat Food With Bc30 Probiotic (Salmon & Lentils Recipe, 5Lb Bag)
$22.99
429 Reviews
Nulo Adult Trim Grain Free Dry Cat Food With Bc30 Probiotic (Salmon & Lentils Recipe, 5Lb Bag)
Nulo Freestyle offers a grain free diet that is sure to help your cat get slim and trim. With their high meat to carb ratio, they focus on a high amount of animal based protein with a low fat content. This combination benefits your cats weight loss process while also helping them to put on lean muscle mass. This diet also offers a specific set of probiotics that help to promote gut health, aid indigestion, and promote a healthy metabolism. This food has got all of your cats weight loss goals covered.
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Pros

  • Salmon and lentils as the first ingredients
  • Grain free
  • Low fat content
  • Probiotics for gut health
  • Tiny morsels shaped like discs for easy consumption and teeth cleaning

Cons

  • Some purchasers with picky cats seem to think that the odor of this food deters them. Though some cats don’t like the smell, there are more cats that are just fine with it.
Our Verdict: 3.5/5
This is a great option for cats with a sensitive stomach, as this diet has multiple different ingredients to help promote gut health and reduce sensitivities.
  1. Purina Pro Plan Weight Management
Sale
Purina Pro Plan Weight Control High Protein Dry Cat Food, FOCUS Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula - 7 lb. Bag
$22.89 −$2.91
$19.98
702 Reviews
Purina Pro Plan Weight Control High Protein Dry Cat Food, FOCUS Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula - 7 lb. Bag
Purina has been providing quality food to the animal public for quite some time. With being around for so long, this brand has become a staple in many pet loving households. Their weight management formula offers lean chicken as the first ingredient, and a low fat content that has 20% less fat content than their other food options. This diet focuses on building up your cat’s lean muscle during their weight loss process, so they remain as active and healthy as possible.
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Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Low fat content
  • Probiotic fibers that promote digestive health

Cons

  • This food contains chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
Our Verdict: 3.5/5
This is a great weight loss option for the cat owner who is on a budget. Though this food is more cost friendly, it is still a beloved brand in the pet food industry.
  1. Iams Indoor Weight and Hairball Care
Sale
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Indoor Weight Control & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food with Chicken, Turkey, and Garden...
$32.99 −$3.02
$29.97
3,670 Reviews
IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Indoor Weight Control & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food with Chicken, Turkey, and Garden...
Iams is another brand that has stolen the hearts of pet owners for years on end. Though Iams is considered a budget friendly brand, it has started to gain recognition as a veterinary approved brand. Iams’s weight management diet helps to take care of your cat’s excess weight as well as their hairball problem. With added fiber for optimal digestion, you can rest assured that your cat has everything they need in terms of gut health. This diet has a low fat content along with added L-carnitine for a boost in metabolism. With all of these qualities combined, your indoor cat will be staying slim!
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Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • L-carnitine for a boost in metabolism
  • Digestible fibers for hairball control and reduction in litter box odors.
  • Low fat content

Cons

  • The main ingredient in this diet is chicken, so cats with poultry allergies cannot consume
Our Verdict: 4/5
This is an impressive weight loss diet for the cat owners that are looking for a budget friendly diet. This diet is not only beneficial for weight loss, but cats seem to love the taste.
  1. Natural Balance Fat Cats
Natural Balance Fat Cats Low Calorie Dry Cat Food, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas & Oat Groats, 6...
$18.78
347 Reviews
Natural Balance Fat Cats Low Calorie Dry Cat Food, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas & Oat Groats, 6...
This is a well known budget friendly weight loss food for the overweight house cats of the world. With its multiple sources of protein paired with the low fat index of this diet, this food will help your cat shed those extra pounds. Cats are known to love the taste of this food with its robust chicken and salmon flavor. In addition to the tasty ingredients are the added probiotics for optimal gut health.
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Pros

  • Chicken and salmon taste that cats love
  • Low fat content

Cons

  • In comparison to the other food options on this list, this food is of lesser quality.
  • This food does contain chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume.
Our Verdict: 3/5
When looking at this option from a budget standpoint, you do receive adequate quality for your buck. This is by no means a poor quality product, it just does not stand out in comparison to the other diets on this list.
  1. Wellness Complete Health Healthy Weight
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food, Healthy Weight Chicken & Turkey Recipe, 12-Pound Bag
37 Reviews
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food, Healthy Weight Chicken & Turkey Recipe, 12-Pound Bag
This tasty weight loss diet features chicken and white fish as the main ingredients. Wellness focuses on providing cats with a food filled with natural ingredients, so they pride themselves in the addition of their added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for optimum health. This Wellness diet also features the WellFlex system, which are added ingredients for joint and mobility health. In cats attempting to lose weight, this is an important feature.
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Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient in this diet
  • Low fat content
  • Focuses on natural ingredients and added nutrients for overall health
  • WellFlex system that helps to improve joint and mobility health

Cons

  • Chicken is the first ingredient, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
  • Though many purchasers say their cats loved this food, there are quite a few reviews that state their picky cats turned their nose up tp this food
Our Verdict: 3.5/5
This diet stands out in its offering of the WellFlex system. If you have a cat with joint pain, this may be a great option for you.
  1. Halo Indoor Grain Free Healthy Weight
Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Cat Food, Indoor Healthy Weight Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe, 6-Pound Bag
$28.22
131 Reviews
Halo Grain Free Natural Dry Cat Food, Indoor Healthy Weight Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe, 6-Pound Bag
Halo is a holistic brand that stands against any artificial ingredients, antibiotics, factory farming, artificial colors, or any ingredients that are not considered natural. With such a passion for nutritious and natural ingredients, you know your cat is getting only the best when they eat this diet. This grain free option features salmon and white fish as the main ingredients, meaning your cat is sure to love the taste. This food has a reduced fat content along with the addition of L-carnitine for increased metabolism. With these two features combined, your cat will shed their unwanted pounds in no time.
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Pros

  • Salmon and white fish as the main ingredients
  • Low fat content
  • L-carnitine for a faster metabolism
  • Grain free
  • Natural ingredients

Cons

  • Though fish is the main ingredient, it does contain chicken fat. Cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
Our Verdict: 4/5
This is a great option for the cat owners who would like a more holistic and all natural food option for weight loss.
  1. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Weight Management
DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER:NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Weight Management Natural Dry Cat Food for Weight Control...
240 Reviews
DISCONTINUED BY MANUFACTURER:NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Weight Management Natural Dry Cat Food for Weight Control...
Nutro Wholesome Essential’s Weight management diet aims to provide cats with a diet made with lean protein and low fat content. With a high protein to low fat ratio, this diet focuses on weight loss while still helping to build lean and healthy muscle. In addition to the quality protein this diet offers is the minerals, vitamin E, and antioxidants that fight together to support a healthy immune system. This food is also packed with omega fatty acids that help to promote skin, coat, and joint health. This is an all around great option for any indoor cat.
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Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Low fat content
  • Added nutrients for immune support
  • Omega fatty acids for skin, coat, and joint health

Cons

  • Chicken is the first ingredient, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
  • Some customers feel like this food is priced too high for what is offered, though others say their cats really enjoy the food.
Our Verdict: 3.5/5
This diet seems like a great option for those with gut sensitivities, since it showcases bland ingredients such as chicken and brown rice.
  1. AvoDerm Indoor Weight Control Wet Food
Avoderm Natural Indoor Weight Control Cat Food, 5.5-Ounce Cans, Case Of 24
$33.01
16 Reviews
Avoderm Natural Indoor Weight Control Cat Food, 5.5-Ounce Cans, Case Of 24
AvoDerm is another brand that focuses on natural ingredients. This wet food is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help to support immune health. Aside from the addition of multiple beneficial nutrients is the overall low fat content. Though your cat may feel like they are indulging in a tasty treat, they are actually enjoying a low fat meal when they dive into this AvoDerm product.
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Pros

  • Low fat content
  • Natural ingredients
  • Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for immune health
  • Omega fatty acids for skin, coat, and joint health
  • Chicken, liver, and tuna flavors that cats will love

Cons

  • This diet does contain chicken, so cats with poultry allergies may not be able to consume
Our Verdict: 3.5/5
This is a tasty option for cats who would like to feel like they are indulging in a delicious treat. Even though cats dive into this food, it has a low fat content that’s needed to help your cat lose weight.
  1. Iams Perfect Portions
IAMS PERFECT PORTIONS Adult Grain Free Optimal Metabolism Healthy Weight Wet Cat Food Paté Chicken Recipe, (24) 2.6 oz....
$23.32
786 Reviews
IAMS PERFECT PORTIONS Adult Grain Free Optimal Metabolism Healthy Weight Wet Cat Food Paté Chicken Recipe, (24) 2.6 oz....
Iams puts a unique spin on weight loss wet food by offering this food in the perfect portion. Though this food seems like a treat to your furry friend, it is low in fat and contains L-carnitine to promote a faster metabolism. The chicken pate flavor is a crowd pleaser, and while your cat snacks, they are taking in several vitamins and minerals that help to support a healthy immune system. This is an ideal wet food for any cat that’s in need of a low fat treat.
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Pros

  • Delicious chicken pate flavor that cats love
  • Perfect portion sizes
  • L-carnitine for a faster metabolism
  • Vitamins and minerals for immune support

Cons

  • Since chicken is the main ingredient, cats with allergies to poultry may not be able to consume.
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
This is a delicious wet food option for indoor cats needed to lose a few pounds. Cats seem to love this flavor, and they benefit from added vitamins and minerals while eating it.

If you are looking for a recommended lean treat to offer your cat as a reward for their effort in their weight loss journey, below is a low fat treat we trust.

  1. Butler Lean Treats
Sale
Butler Lean Treats Nutritional Rewards for Cats (3.5 OZ)
$4.59 −$2.20
$2.39
385 Reviews
Butler Lean Treats Nutritional Rewards for Cats (3.5 OZ)
Made with real skinless chicken, these treats are perfect for cats on a weight loss journey. Though you should limit how often you offer the treats, you can feel safe about a once a day offering of this tasty and low fat snack.
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FAQ

Is an overweight cat really something to be concerned with?

Yes, an overweight cat is something to be concerned with. Obesity puts your cat at risk to several medical conditions that can wreak havoc on their health. Aside from the medical conditions is the general discomfort of an overweight cat. Keeping your cat at an ideal weight is the best way to improve their lives in all forms.

How can I avoid an upset stomach when I switch my cat to a new food?

When you switch your cat to a new food, it’s important to take this process slowly. If you abruptly switch them from one food to another, you risk causing them to have diarrhea, vomiting, and a number of other gastrointestinal symptoms. Start by slowly combining the food over the time span of two weeks. Each day add more and more of the new food to their old food until you have completely transitioned to the new diet.

Do cats need to eat protein from meat sources?

Yes, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they depend on protein from animal tissues. Cats depend on animal sourced protein and taurine to perform their metabolic functions, and will not be able to survive on plant proteins alone.

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