When you have an overweight cat, there’s just more to love right? Technically, that might be true.
On the flip side, those extra pounds mean a lot more to a cat's health than it would to a human. When cats get older it can be especially hard for them to lose weight, even if they’re still active.
So what can we do to help our overweight cats lose weight? Start with the best food for overweight cats, and work on healthy habits.
Of course, cats aren’t always fans of foods targeting weight loss, so you need a formula that satisfies you, and your cat.
Now, we know that every cat is different, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t guidelines you should follow when you look for weight loss cat food.
Likewise, there are things you should know before you buy the first food for overweight cats on the shelf.
We’ve considered the most important things to consider to put them in this guide for you.
What to look for in cat food for weight loss
The first part of putting your cat on a diet is understanding what makes a food for weight loss in cats good. You still need a balanced formula with all the nutrients they require.
That’s why simply feeding your cat less of their regular food doesn’t work as a healthy solution. Your cat still feels hungry, and they’re not getting the full dose of all the vitamins and minerals they need (not to mention protein, carbs, and healthy fats).
Ultimately, this can cause more issues than it solves.
The right fiber and carbs
Most cat food includes some kind of fiber and carbohydrates. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s the right type for your cat.
Look for carbs your cat can digest easily. Healthy fiber also helps keep your cat’s digestive system healthy and can help balance their weight.
It’s not enough to cut calories and fat. Your cat still needs essential nutrients to stay healthy. Make sure you’re buying a balanced formula that caters to all of their nutritional needs.
Looking for a life stage specific formula can also help you keep them on a balanced diet.
Protein and fat ratios
One of the more tedious, but no less necessary, things you need to look at is the amount of protein and fat within your cat’s food.
Protein translates to longer lasting energy, but less active cats might not use the amount they consume. Cats all need a certain amount of fat to stay healthy, but if your cat is overweight, they don’t need as much.
Aim for a formula with about 10 to 12% fat, with at least 30% total protein content per serving.
Don’t rely on animal byproducts to provide the protein they need, either. It’s important to make sure the protein you feed your cat is high quality, and from actual meat sources (not just the junk they can’t sell to humans).
How can I help a cat lose weight?
Cutting calories isn’t usually enough to help cats lose weight, especially when they reach adulthood or become older.
Just like humans have their metabolism slow down with age, so do cats. Unlike humans however, cats don’t have the motivation for swimsuit season to get them up and going.
So what can you do to help your cat lose weight?
First, be patient and persistent. Weight loss for cats isn’t an instant process. It takes time. You might have to try a couple different cat weight loss foods to find one they’ll eat.
Next, make sure you bring up any weight concerns with your vet. They’re the most qualified professional to advise you on your cat’s health. Stop feeding your cat extra treats and goodies on a whim.
For most cat parents, frequent treats are more about making you feel good than actually rewarding your cat.
One of the last things you can do is help your cat get active. Older cats especially like to sleep and lounge more, but they haven’t lost their instinct to play.
You might need to spice up play time with some new and exciting toys, or just try to incorporate more frequent play sessions throughout your day.
Best Cat Foods for Weight Loss
Your vet is always the best person to help you figure any issue with your cat’s health. But when you get the go-ahead for cat food for weight loss, these are some of the best ones you should try out.
Best for senior cats: Royal Canin Aging Spayed/Neutered cat food
As we’ve certainly mentioned, as cats get older, they have a lot of trouble losing weight. This Royal Canin formula goes a step beyond and caters to cats that are at least 12 years old or older.
When your cat enters the ‘senior’ stage of their life, a proper diet is absolutely crucial to their well-being and longevity. Not only does it cater to their life stage, it also caters to the hormonal changes cats experience when they’re spayed or neutered.
If nothing else, we can say that very few cat foods consider both of these factors, whether they’re made for weight loss or not.
It’s easy for them to eat, and won’t harm their kidneys. Not only that, cats of any age seem to love the flavor.
- Ideal for senior cats
- Caters to hormonal changes with spaying/neutering
- Easy to eat and digest
- High protein content
For younger cats: Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food
Younger cats naturally have more energy, and whether they’re overweight or not, they need more protein than older cats. This is a high protein formula, and it’s perfectly balanced for young, indoor cats.
It has all the minerals, vitamins, and amino acids your cat needs to stay healthy. Not only that, but it also contains zero grains, which really helps your cat stick to their natural carnivore diet.
Another bonus? It contains a special strain of probiotics which keeps your cat healthier, and can help regulate their weight.
- High protein percentage
- Quality animal meat
- Includes probiotics for better digestions
- Ideal for younger cats
- Balanced with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
Best kibble and freeze dried mix: Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Dry Cat Food
Freeze dried food is a great way to preserve meat’s protein content and flavor. However, it’s not always cost effective to use that as your cat’s only source of food.
Still, there are undeniable advantages to feeding your cat freeze dried food. This Instinct formula combines the best of both worlds.
While it does incorporate some kibble in the mix, it still has plenty of raw freeze dried food that we can feel good about.
Add to that the complete lack of animal byproducts, grains, and artificial ingredients, and you have the raw fuel your cat needs.
- Combines freeze dried meat with kibbles
- Reduced fat and calories
- Keeps cats full longer
- Includes nutrients to support cat metabolism
Best fish based formula: Solid Gold - Fit as a Fiddle
There’s no question that cats practically flock to anything fish flavored. And when you need your cat to lose weight, you also need a food they love. This formula has everything your cat wants, and needs.
It’s primarily made from fresh caught alaskan pollock, so you can feel good knowing you’re not sacrificing flavor for a healthy blend.
We love how this formula combines both prebiotics and probiotics, which help cats with digestion, and weight loss as a result. It’s packed with superfoods and nutrients to keep your cat safe on their weight loss journey.
- Includes prebiotics and probiotics for weight loss and digestion
- Grain free and all natural
- Low calories and low fat
- Includes a ton of superfoods
Best grain-free formula: Merrick Purrfect Bistro Healthy Weight Dry Cat Food
We always love a grain free formula, especially because cats are carnivores, and they’re not meant to consume many grains.
Not only that, a lot of cats are sensitive to grains, which can exacerbate existing health problems. When you have an overweight cat with a sensitive stomach, you’ll want to check out this cat food.
It’s balanced to cater to the nutritional and caloric needs of adult cats, ensuring they don’t get too much, or too little, of anything.
Even if you’re trying to prevent weight gain, this formula keeps your cat right on track.
- Helps maintain healthy weight
- Ideal for sensitive stomachs and food allergies
- Grain free formula
- Includes antioxidants
- Helps prevent hairballs
Our Top Picks
We’ve gone through cat foods for overweight cats that cater to any taste, as well as any food sensitivity.
While you should always talk to your vet about a drastic diet change or concerns about your cat’s weight, and change in their food can make a big difference.
So, which cat weight loss food was rated highest in our book? The Instinct Raw Boost formula is everything we’re looking for. It’s high in protein, low in carbs and fat, and our cats absolutely love it.