Just like people, cats can have a little trouble with weight from time to time. With all the tasty treats and foods available for your kitty, it’s not hard for their weight to creep up and up without their owners noticing. In fact, according to a 2003 study, as many as 48% of domestic cats may be heavier than their ideal weight.
Being overweight or obese can trigger a number of problems in cats, but, luckily, help is at hand. Many petcare companies have gone out of their way to formulate special foods to help fat cats shed that extra weight, leading to happier, healthier lives. With so many options springing up, it can be hard to know which one is best for your cat, so we’ve scouted around for the top 10 options on the market right now. To help you and your feline friend, we’ve also put together a handy guide to cat obesity; its causes, effects and how you can stop it in its tracks.
Best Cat Food for Weight Loss
Kicking off our list is Blue Buffalo’s natural weight control cat food. The tasty recipe has a protein-rich chicken base, combined with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The blend also includes omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, to promote healthy skin and hair, while Blue Buffalo’s patented Life Source Bits contain a mix of antioxidants and other vitamins.
The vitamin mixture helps to promote a healthy immune system, and overall health. To help felines slim down, Blue Buffalo have carefully balanced the calories in the food. Owners say that Blue Buffalo’s diet cat food helps cats lose weight gradually and sustainably. It’s great for sensitive stomachs too; it’s free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, as well as soy, corn, and wheat. Overall, we think Blue Buffalo have pulled off the best cat food for weight loss around.
Dry cat food with balanced calories for weight loss
Made from natural ingredients
Blend includes omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
Patented Life Source Bits contain a blend of vitamins and minerals to promote overall health
Antioxidants in the formula support cats’ immune systems
Free from soy, corn, and wheat
Free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives
- BrandBlue Buffalo
- Weight1 pounds
The next weight loss cat food to earn itself a spot on our list is this unique blend by Wellness Natural Pet Food. The formula features a high protein chicken and whitefish base, which satisfies your cat’s hunger without being too rich. An increased fiber content helps maintain a healthy digestive system, while also keeping hunger pangs at bay.
The light but satisfying blend also features a mix of vitamins and minerals to promote overall health. It’s made from all natural ingredients, placing it among the healthiest cat foods available for weight loss. It does not contain meat by-products, soy, corn, wheat, or artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. It’s manufactured in the USA, and backed by the Wellness Guarantee.
Dry calorie controlled cat food
Made from high quality, natural ingredients
High protein combined with additional fiber keeps hunger at bay
Features a vitamin and mineral blend to promote overall health
Free from corn, soy, and wheat
Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
Made in the USA
Backed by the Wellness Guarantee
- BrandWellness Natural Pet Food
- Weight12 pounds
Hill’s have nabbed the third spot on our list, with their Perfect Weight weight management cat food. Their formula, recommended by many veterinary professionals, helps cats to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. In fact, over 70% of cats who eat Hill’s diet lose weight within 10 weeks.
Like all the best cat foods, the recipe features natural, high quality ingredients. A real chicken base is paired with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to promote overall health and keep your cat fit and well as they reach their ideal weight. Antioxidants support your cat’s immune system, while essential fatty acids keep their skin and coat in excellent condition.
Dry cat food to promote weight loss
Real chicken base
Made with natural, high quality ingredients
Contains antioxidants to support your cat’s immune system
70% of cats on this diet lose weight within 10 weeks
Essential fatty acids promote skin and coat health
Nutritious but light formula helps improve cats’ energy and mood
- BrandHill’s Science Diet
- Weight13.8 pounds
Purina are well known for the quality of their foods, and their weight management blend is no exception. Their satisfying chicken and rice recipe contains 46% protein to help your cat lose weight without risking muscle mass, but contains 20% less fat than a conventional cat food.
Alongside this natural protein source, the blend contains prebiotic fiber, to help promote digestive health by looking after the good bacteria in your cat’s GI tract. As well as this, Purina’s formula contains a patented blend of vitamins and minerals necessary to your cat’s overall health, from vitamin C for the immune system, to calcium to support healthy bones. Meanwhile, B vitamins ensure their metabolism is in good working order, helping the weight loss to take hold effectively and sustainably. Overall, we believe Pruina’s formula could well be the best dry cat food for weight loss.
Dry cat food for weight loss
Made with natural chicken protein
46% protein formula for lean muscles and the satisfaction of hunger
Prebiotic fiber supports good bacteria in the digestive system
Recipe contains 20% less fat than standard cat foods
Contains a blend of vitamins and minerals to support overall health
- BrandPurina Pro Plan
- Weight7 pounds
The next cat food for weight management to make our list is this tasty formula developed by 9Lives. Their dry formula contains 100% nutrition to support your cat’s health, while allowing them to shed any extra pounds.
The recipe is available in two delicious flavors – chicken or salmon – and contains low fat ingredients, alongside all the vitamins and minerals they need to live a healthy life. B vitamins promote a healthy metabolism, while vitamin E helps keep their skin and coat in tip top condition. The formula contains plenty of fiber, which not only promotes good bacteria and overall digestive health, but also helps keep hunger pangs at bay, making the weight loss process far more comfortable for your feline friend.
Dry cat food for weight management
Available in two different flavors – salmon or chicken
Contains a vitamin and mineral blend to support overall health
B vitamins promote a healthy metabolism
Vitamin E helps keep skin and coat in good condition
Fiber supports good bacteria in the GI tract, and overall digestive health
Recipe designed to keep hunger at bay during the weight loss process
- Weight12 pounds
Nutro’s Wholesome Essentials range makes use of tasty natural ingredients in their carefully balanced weight loss formula. The recipe’s most prominent ingredient is farm-raised chicken, so you can rest assured your feline friend is getting all the natural protein they need.
Alongside the chicken, brown rice provides the fiber cats need to maintain a healthy digestive system, by promoting regular bowel movements and supporting the good bacteria in their GI tract. Nutro’s carefully blended recipe contains a staggering 28% less fat, and 13% fewer calories than conventional cat foods, helping your kitty to lose their excess weight without compromising on taste. Like all good quality cat foods, it’s also fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants support the immune system, while vitamin E helps skin and fur. The formula is easy on sensitive stomachs, too, being free from some of the most common cat allergens: soy, corn, and wheat. It’s also free from artificial preservatives.
Dry cat food for weight management
Main ingredient is farm raised chicken for healthy and natural protein
Brown rice provides fiber to promote digestive health
Contains 28% less fat and 13% fewer calories than conventional foods
Fortified with an essential blend of vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants
Free from soy, corn, and wheat
Free from artificial preservatives
- Weight14 pounds
Blue Buffalo have earned a second spot on our list with their Wilderness brand grain-free food. For cats with grain allergies or intolerances, finding a suitable diet food can be a challenge, as some manufacturers simply replace fatty ingredients with cereals to increase its bulk.
Fortunately, Wilderness have you covered. Each of their recipes is blended with more meat than a conventional cat food, more closely mimicking the natural feline diet. This particular blend features chicken as its number one ingredient, alongside easily digestible turkey meat. Rather than using grains, this food contains complex carbohydrates from vitamin-rich sources; peas, potato, and sweet potato. The tasty kibbles are interspersed with patented Life Source Bits, which contain a blend of vitamins and minerals to help cats maintain their overall health. The nutrients inside include B vitamins, for a strong immune system, and Omega-6 fatty acids to support a glossy coat and healthy skin.
Dry, weight control food
Grain-free formula is ideal for allergy prone cats and sensitive stomachs
Chicken and turkey protein are the main ingredient
Contains complex carbohydrates for slow release energy, rather than grains
Life Source Bits contain a blend of essential vitamins for overall health
- BrandBLUE Wilderness
- Weight1 pounds
The next weight control cat food to make our list is by Halo Holistic. Their natural, grain-free recipe is ideal for cats who need to lose weight but have sensitive stomachs. The food features real whole meat, never ‘meat meal’, giving cats the high quality, protein-rich diet they crave.
Easily digestible chicken protein forms the basis of the food, while chickpeas and vegetables introduce the fiber and vitamins cats need to maintain optimal health. All the meat that goes into Halo Holistic’s food is carefully sourced too, never raised with growth hormones or antibiotics. As well as being free from grains, this natural formula contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives – nothing to interfere with your cat’s natural chemistry.
Dry cat food for weight control
Grain-free formula is great for sensitive stomachs
Features real meat as its number one ingredient – never processed ‘meat meal’
Easily digestible chicken protein forms the base
Chickpeas and vegetables provide cats with all the vitamins and minerals they need
Carefully sourced meat is never raised with antibiotics or growth hormones
- BrandHalo, Purely For Pets
- Weight6 pounds
Instinct have also earned a spot on our list with their grain-free Raw Boost formula, free from soy, corn, and wheat, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. As its name suggests, this recipe stands apart from other options on the market because its ingredients are always raw. Foregoing the cooking process helps to preserve the natural nutrients within the food.
Instinct’s recipe features a base of cage-free chicken, raw and freeze dried for maximum preservation. Alongside the chicken, real fruits and vegetables provide the additional nutrients cats need for overall health. The food also contains naturally occurring probiotics, promoting a healthy digestive system and regular weight. Omega fatty acids ensure your cat’s coat and skin stay in great condition, while antioxidants promote a properly functioning immune system. Owners report that cats love the tasty raw pieces, and find that it helps them maintain a healthy weight.
Grain-free dry cat food
Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
Features freeze-dried raw chicken, raised cage-free
Real fruits and vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals cats need
Contains naturally-occurring probiotics to support a healthy digestive system
Antioxidants support your cat’s immune system
Omega fatty acids maintain a healthy coat and skin
Helps cats maintain an ideal weight
- Weight10 pounds
If your cat is prone to hairballs as well as a little excess weight, this versatile formula could be for you. It’s designed specifically for indoor cats, who may be a little less active than their outdoor counterparts. The recipe features fewer calories and less fat than conventional foods, helping your cat to achieve a weight that’s healthy for them. It contains chicken as its number one ingredient, alongside whole brown rice to provide the fiber your cat needs to maintain a healthy digestive system.
The unique recipe hinges on avocados; a natural source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. THese nutrients promote healthy skin and hair, so help cats to stop over-grooming, hence experience fewer furballs. Alongside avocado, other fruits and vegetables provide the rest of the vitamins and minerals your cat needs. B vitamins support a healthy metabolism, while calcium helps your cat maintain strong bones and teeth. Customers who’ve tried this food report that it performs exactly as promised – cats experience fewer hairballs, have healthier skin, and lose excess weight.
Dry weight control food formulated for indoor cats
Contains avocado, which improves skin and coat condition to prevent fur balls
Natural chicken protein is the number one ingredient
Fruits and vegetables provide a natural source of the vitamins cats need to stay healthy
Supports cat’s immune systems
- Weight3.5 pounds
Best Cat Food For Weight Loss Buying Guide
With these 10 quality foods to choose from, we’re confident you’ll find the solution that’s right for you and your cat. Maintaining a healthy weight can be a tricky balancing act for both us and our feline friends, but giving them access to healthy, high quality foods is a step in the right direction.
To help your cat achieve and maintain a healthy weight, we’ve compiled the useful guide below. Here we address some common questions and concerns about excess weight and obesity in cats, how you can tackle it, and how it can be prevented in the future.
What to Look for in Cat Food For Weight Loss
When choosing a weight loss food for your cat, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities
When selecting a weight control food for your cat, the first thing to consider is whether they suffer from any allergies or intolerances. Many cats are allergic to ingredients such as soy, or wheat, and it’s important to check that their new food doesn’t contain anything that will upset their stomach or trigger an immune response. Luckily, there are plenty of grain-free foods on our list to choose from.
- Dry or Wet Food?
Although your options are usually limited to dry foods, with a little research you can also find the best wet cat food for weight loss. However, purchasing special diets tends to be more expensive when you need to buy wet food. As a compromise, you can feed your cat a blend of wet and dry foods.
When selecting a new diet for your feline friend, nutrition should be one of your top concerns. Look out for foods that contain a high proportion of protein, as this should comprise the bulk of a healthy cat’s diet. Also look out for B vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, to promote overall health.
- Other Health Issues
Food can go a long way towards resolving many health issues in cats, so it’s important to choose a food that supports them as much as possible. For instance, if your cat is suffering from itchy skin or a dull coat, it’s a good idea to select a food that contains plenty of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, to help combat it. If problems are severe or persist, it’s not enough to simply change your cat’s diet, however, and you should seek advice from your vet.
Health Risks for Overweight Cats
Just like humans, excess weight puts cats at greater risk of developing a number of health issues, including:
- Fatty liver Disease
- Skin issues, such as feline acne or dryness
- High blood pressure
- Bone and joint damage
- Decreased immune function
- Lethargy and trouble maintaining an active lifestyle
How to Tell if Your Cat is Overweight or Obese?
Clearly, carrying extra weight comes with huge risks for cats, so it’s important to know whether or not they are above their ideal weight.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell - cats come in all shapes and sizes, and the ideal weight for one cat might be under or overweight for another. There are, however, a few signs to watch out for which indicate an above-ideal weight:
- Looking at your cat from above, you can’t see a ‘waist’ between their rib cage and hips
- Looking from the side, you don’t perceive an upwards slope from your cat’s rib cage to their back legs
- Gently squeezing your cat’s torso, you can’t feel their spine and ribs clearly
If you believe your cat is overweight, it’s a good idea to confirm with your vet before attempting to put them on a weight loss regimen. This is especially important when you consider that the excess weight could be the result of an underlying health condition.
What are the Contributing Factors for Obesity?
So, what exactly contributes to obesity in cats? We can break down the triggers into two categories: lifestyle, and health issues.
- High calorie foods
- Fatty foods
- Too many treats or human foods
- Lack of exercise
- Changing diets too often
Health Issue Triggers
- Hyperthyroidism (an overactive gland that results in an altered metabolism)
- Insulinoma (a pancreatic tumor that can trigger abnormal hunger)
- Cushing’s Disease (a tumor in the pituitary or adrenal gland leading to excessive eating)
Best Cat Food For Weight Loss FAQ:
Q: What is a healthy weight for a cat?
A: This apparently simple question is surprisingly tricky to answer in practise. What constitutes a healthy cat weight can vary with size and breed.
The average cat weight is around 10 pounds, but smaller breeds such as Siamese cats could be healthy at just five pounds, while the Maine Coon and Siberians can be in good condition at up to 25 pounds.
If in doubt, it’s best to consult with your vet.
Q: How do I get my indoor cat to lose weight?
A: Just like humans trying to shift a some pounds, the best way for a cat to lose weight is a combination of dieting and exercise.
We’ll discuss how to change their diet in the next section, but for now, here are some tips to get your overweight cat more active:
- Provide plenty of toys
Cats tend to be more solitary than dogs, so it can be difficult to entice them to play for exercise. Luckily, toys will help them to do just that! Try to set aside some time for play every day, using something your cat can chase.
- Cat Towers
If you have the room, consider purchasing a multi-tiered cat tower for your feline friend. Leaping and climbing about the tower is a great form of exercise, and you can encourage them to explore the device by placing small treats on each tier if they seem reluctant at first.
- Go Outside
Many cats take well to walking on a lead with a harness, just like dogs. It’ll take some patience and perseverance, but walking is great exercise for both you and your cat, plus it’s gentle enough to act as a good starting point for overweight felines.
Q: How can I put my cat on a diet?
A: Putting your cat on a diet is the single best way to promote weight loss, but it’s important to consult a veterinary professional and do so with caution. Cats who don’t get enough vital nutrients can develop a number of health issues.
To place your cat on a diet, you’ll need to gradually replace their current food with the weight control option you’ve selected. Individual makers will provide guidance about how to do this - just remember to be patient, as sudden changes in diet disagree with a cat’s stomach.
Feed your cat only the recommended amount for their size, and weigh them on a weekly basis. Your vet will be able to provide an ideal weight for your cat, and once this weight is reached, you may need to up their calorie intake slightly to maintain it.