When your cat is a little on the “fluffy” side, it can cause a huge number of health problems for him or her. It increases risk of disease, shortens lifespan, zaps energy. Here we’re going to discuss the best cat food for overweight cats. We’ll be taking a look at several options and talking about which one is the best for your specific situation.
Read on to learn how to help your cat get happy and healthy.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Favorite Picks…
- Hill’s Science Diet Weight Management
- Iams Proactive Health
- Purina Pro Plan Management
- Iams Proactive Hairball Solution
- 9Lives Dry Cat Food
Overall Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats
Hill’s Science Diet has our overall favorite pick because it helps cats feel full and lose weight. This cat food is packed with plenty of nutrients that your kitty needs while losing or maintaining weight.
Hill’s Science Diet’s cat food helps your cat lose or maintain weight by helping your kitty feel full. This food packs in a huge number of proteins that make sure your kitty leaves the dinner table feeling like the whole world has just been fed. High protein foods like this one help your cat stay full for longer as well and prevent your kitty from overeating at the next meal.
According to research done by Hill’s Science Diet, over 70% of cats who were fed this food went on to lose weight within 10 weeks. If weight loss was that easy for humans, we’d have a world full of healthier people.
A big perk of this food is the whopping amount of protein it contains. Hill’s packs in 40.1% protein into their cat food. That is quite a bit and higher than almost any other cat food on the market. As we mentioned before, protein helps your kitty get and stay full. It also makes sure that your cat doesn’t lose muscle mass when losing weight and feels plenty of energy to get active.
So yeah, your cat may start running around the house at full speed for no apparent reason again. That’s a good thing.
Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids (these guys are a lot nicer than they sound) are all over this food. Hill’s Science Diet makes sure that your cat is getting plenty of nutrients for a strong immune system, a healthy coat, and lots of energy.
This food gets a lot right. The only thing we may want to caution buyers about is that if your cat has problems in addition to weight like lack of energy, hairballs, or shedding, then there may be better options. We discuss all of these next, so read on.
What We Like
- Great all around cat food for overweight cats
- Good price per pound
- Helps your cat get and stay full with lots of protein
- Promotes a balanced diet
- Helps your kitty have a strong immune system, a healthy coat, and lots of energy
What We Don’t Like
- May not be the best pick if your cat has problems in addition to being overweight (hairballs, too much shedding, etc.)
Hill’s Science Diet has our overall favorite cat food for overweight cats. It stops overeating, helps your kitty feel full, and packs in all the nutrients your could could ever need. Great for weight loss and maintenance.
Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats With Hairballs, Vomit, Or Other Stomach Problems
Iams Proactive cat food is our favorite pick if your overweight guy or gal has stomach problems. These problems can include hairballs, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Iams works to solve all of these.
Iams helps with weight loss by attacking weight in a little different way than many other options. Competitors stock high protein, but Iams attacks weight at the source: the metabolism. Iams food includes a special nutrient called L-Cartinine that helps your cat’s metabolism burn hotter and faster. Faster metabolisms cook more calories and promote energy, so weight will fall right off.
Iams includes plenty of proteins as well, but less than other options. You’ll get 33% protein with this cat food. That’s about average with other cat foods, so the real weight loss perk of this one is the L-Cartinine fueled metabolism boost and extra fat burn.
This is also a great pick if your cat struggles with any kind of stomach problems. This food helps with hairballs, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Iams adds prebiotics and fibers extracted from beet pulp. These two ingredients together make sure that your cat’s stomach is healthy, thriving, and digesting well. It fixes a lot of tummy or poop related issues.
You’ll get plenty of other nutrients with this food as well. Lots of vitamins and minerals. Omegas 3 and 6 help your cat to have a soft, shiny, strong coat.
On top of it all, this sells at a great price per pound, so it’s a good pick for budget shoppers.
What We Like
- Burn more fat and boost your kitty’s metabolism with L-Cartinine
- Cat will be more energetic due to heightened metabolism
- Great pick for stomach problems – this food combats hairballs, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, etc.
- Easy to digest for your kitty
- Soft, strong coat with omega fatty acids
- Great price per pound
What We Don’t Like
- Doesn’t include as much protein as other options on this list
Iams is our favorite pick if your overweight cat is having any stomach problems. Iams helps fix hairballs, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation at the source.
Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats Who Need (Or Want) More Energy
Purina’s Pro Plan Management cat food is our favorite pick if you have an overweight cat who needs some more energy. This is a great pick for cats that used to be energetic and lost their mojo as they got older or gained weight.
Purina’s food helps cats lose or maintain weight by packing in the proteins. Protein helps your cat get and stay full while eating. Many cat food companies put in “ash” that takes up space but has almost no nutritional value. Ash makes cat food less expensive, but makes it less healthy for your kitty. This food takes out the ash while keeping the price per pound very reasonable.
We’ve reviewed a lot of cat food and never seen a cat food put so much protein in their formula. This is great news for your kitty – his or her natural diet is almost all protein. Purina makes sure that their weight management formula is 46% protein. That is enormous.
All of that protein also works to make sure that your cat has more energy than ever before. This is a great pick if your overweight cat lost energy as the pounds packed on or as the years rolled by. The protein in this cat food makes sure that your cat gets active and enjoys life like he or she used to. There’s not much that makes us as fellow cat owners happier than that.
This cat food has a ton of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids as well. Purina placed a special emphasis on digestion health with their food. They threw in prebiotics that help your cat eliminate hairballs, stop vomiting, end diarrhea, and get over constipation.
You can expect your cat’s immune system to be strong, skin to be healthy, and coat to be shiny if you go with this cat food. There’s a lot here, so Purina sells it for a little bit higher per pound than other products on this list. In comparison to what most cat foods price per pound, it’s still reasonable.
What We Like
- You cat will get and stay full with tons of protein
- More energy to get off the couch, run around, and burn more calories
- Can be used as weight loss or weight maintenance food
- Tons of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids
- Eliminate digestion problems with prebiotics in the food
- Healthy immune system, coat, and skin
What We Don’t Like
- Slightly higher price per pound than other foods on this list, but still reasonable
Purina’s Pro Plan cat food for overweight cats if our favorite if your cat needs a metaphorical double espresso. This cat food returns energy to overweight or older cats, helps your cat get and stay full, and is great for weight loss or management.
Best Cat Food For Overweight Cats Who Struggle With Hairballs
Iams has our favorite option if your overweight cat is struggling with hairballs. If these hairballs or common or just won’t stop with other treatment, Iams has a great solution.
Iams helps with your cat’s weight loss regimen because this food includes a chemical called L-Cartinine. L-Cartinine (as discussed with the other Iams food reviewed above) turns your cat’s metabolism into a rocket ship. When your cat’s metabolism is running high, your little furball will burn more fat and feel more energetic.
This attacks weight loss on both ends by getting rid of more calories and making your cat more active which gets rid of more calories.
While this food is similar to the Iams reviewed above, there is a key distinction. The other Iams food had prebiotics to help with your cat’s overall gut health. This cat food passes on the prebiotic and goes all in on dietary fibers. These proprietary beet pulp fibers help your cat pass hairballs into the stool (and then the litter box) better than the other Iams.
This is a good pick for cats who have a lot of hairballs and haven’t been able to get a solution anywhere else.
Like the other Iams food, this one doesn’t pack much protein. There is under 30% protein in this food. That’s low among any cat food. It’s not a be-all-end-all or a deal breaker, but it makes the food a less geared towards your cat’s natural diet.
Lots of vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids find their way into this food. There’s plenty to boost your cat’s coat health, immune system, and overall organ health.
What We Like
- Promotes weight loss by use of amino acid L-Cartinine to boost metabolism (it’s safe and healthy. We checked)
- Your cat will feel more energetic
- Great pick if your cat struggles with hairballs – lots of fiber included
- Promotes soft, shiny, healthy coat
- Helps keep your cat’s immune system strong
What We Don’t Like
- Very low protein
This Iams food is our favorite pick if your cat is overweight and has a really tough time with hairballs. This food puts that issue to rest.
Best Budget Cat Food For Overweight Cats
9Lives cat food is our favorite pick if you’re on a budget. It has all that your cat needs to lose weight without missing out on too much.
9Lives cat food helps your cat lose weight by boosting your cat’s metabolism and restricting the caloric value on their food. The boosted metabolism helps your cat burn more fat and feel energetic. The restricted calories helps your cat to feel full and stay full.
The restricted calories come by way of low protein and low fat content. Low fat sounds nice (and it’s a good thing for humans) but this cat food has over 50% carbs or “ash” food in it. Ash food is made of ingredients that provide little to no nutritional value. The high carbs makes this food a little bit more difficult for your kitty to digest. Proteins and fats are more in line with a cat’s natural diet.
9Lives combats the digestion problem of high carbs by tossing in extra fibers in their food. These fibers work to prevent hairballs, constipation, or other stomach issues.
This cat food has quite a few vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids, but less than other options on our list due to ash foods. You can expect the 9Lives brand to help your cat keep a strong and healthy coat as well as an immune system that’s in good shape.
All in all, this is a budget buy. It works, it’s good, but it’s not the best nutritional value on the list (it is the best price per pound though).
What We Like
- Helps with weight loss by boosting your cat’s metabolism
- Restricts calories so your cat feels full but still loses weight
- Extra fibers help with digestion, hairballs, and stomach issues
- Strong and soft coat for your kitty
- Helps your cat keep his or her immune system strong
- Great budget buy and great price per pound
What We Don’t Like
- Lower proteins than many other options
- Lots of carbs
- Lots of “ash” foods with low nutritional value
9Lives has our favorite food if you’re wanting your cat to lose weight and want it done on a budget. This food doesn’t have the best nutritional value, but it’s a great budget buy and will get the job done.
Things To Know Before You Buy…
Whatever cat food for weight loss you go with, you’ll need to make sure that your cat isn’t getting too much of it.
Some of these foods we’ve listed above work by making your cat feel extra full faster. That’s great and it works super well for weight loss. You will still need to make sure your cat isn’t eating too much though.
For overweight cats who have gotten into a habit of overeating (much the same as humans do), you’ll have to be a little bit more strict. We are all about choice feeding and allowing your cat to choose when to eat, but you may have to go into parent mode for a few weeks. If your cat is a consistent overeater, you’ll need to do what’s best for him or her and restrict the portions.
If you’re trying to get your cat to lose weight, we recommend portion control in all situations. It helps the cat stick with his or her diet and helps you get your cat to the place you know that he or she needs to be weight wise. It may lead to an uncomfortable few weeks, but your cat will be healthier, happier, and will thank you for it afterwards.
The Correct Portions For Your Cat
Portion control is important, but how do we know how much to feed our cats?
This varies by animal. How much to feed your cat with change depending on his or her age, current weight, and activity level. Your mileage will also be different if you’re looking to maintain weight versus lose it.
If you go with any of the foods we’ve listed above, they all include a little chart that shows you how much to feed your cat. These charts base your cats portions off of his or her current weight, so they may need adjusting. But these charts are a great starting point. The charts give numbers for weight loss and weight maintenance.
Since the caloric content of all the foods are different and your situation is unique, we recommend taking a look at the food you buy for portion recommendations. If in doubt, start low and work your way up until your cat is losing weight at the speed you want or maintaining.
Your Guide To Your Kitty’s Nutrition
When buying cat food, one of the great hold ups is when we know our cat needs something, we just don’t know what. It seems like all companies are hailing their brand new, record breaking, earth shattering formula. “This is what your cat needs to be healthy!” they say.
But how do we really know?
Cat nutrition isn’t too difficult to understand once we take a look at it. You don’t need to be a certified vet to get a good grasp on what’s best for your cat. You just need to remember a single fact:
Being a carnivore means that cats can get all of their nutrition from meat. They don’t need peas and carrots, won’t appreciate collards on New Years, and can even go without avocado-laced superfoods.
Here’s why that’s important. All calories come from 3 sources: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Humans need all 3 to have a balanced diet. Cats get by on just fats and proteins. Fats and proteins are all that some cats eat since meats often do not contain carbs.
A lot of modern cat food doesn’t follow a cat’s natural diet and preferences though. Many cat foods include carbohydrates since carbs are an easier and less expensive way to give your cat some extra nutrients. This isn’t a problem since carbs aren’t usually bad for cats.
The only time that carbs are bad for cats is when carbs don’t allow your cat to eat enough proteins. Not enough proteins and too many carbs can lead to overweight cats, lazy cats, and even diabetes. Being overweight for a cat is much like being overweight for a human: mortality and chronic problems rise across the board.
This isn’t to tell you to make sure your cat doesn’t get carbs. This is to say that you’ll want to make sure your cats get a high amount of protein. All the items we’ve reviewed above cover this requirement, but some do it better than others. High amounts of protein help your cat to stay trim and energetic. Protein has a higher chance of giving your cat all the nutrients he or she needs.
When it comes down to it, just remember: cats are carnivores. You don’t have to feed him or her like a carnivore. But you can’t go wrong if you do.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will this cat food help my cat gain weight?
No. You’re on the wrong post. Here is the best cat food for weight gain 🙂
What if my cat doesn’t like his or her new food?
Cats can be picky eaters and it’s not guaranteed that yours will fall in love with his or her new meal.
Have no fear. The same skill that made the steam engine can help your cat change his or her diet: we just need a little creativity.
If your cat isn’t loving the new meals you’re putting on the bowl, you can try to change your kitty’s diet a bite at a time. First, start with something like 90% of the original food and 10% of the new. Over the course of a few weeks, change that percentage at a rate your cat will eat. Go to 75% original and 25% new, then 50% and 50%, then 25% original and 75% new, all the way until you’ve made the full change.
Cats, like people, enjoy the feeling that they are having a bit of input in a decision. As long as you’re making the change gradual for your special guy or gal, he or she won’t mind it too much over the long run. Just give a little extra affection and be patient. Good things come to those who wait (and our cats are worth waiting for).
Can I feed this to my kitten?
You can, but it’s best to buy a kitten specific food. As cats grow older, their dietary needs change. These changes are never so pronounced as they are during the first year of life.
Hill’s Science Diet
As you could guess by the name, Hill’s Science Diet wants to be a leader in the field of science. Since the 1930s, Hill’s Science Diet has been led by the mission of enriching the relationship between people and animals. They think that when we give our cats good nutrition, we give our cats a better life. Hill’s wants to provide that life for your cat.
Purina started all the way back in 1894 when Willam Danforth began feeding farm animals. Since then, they have expanded to take care of all our home pets. Purina strives to lead the charge in helping animals of all shapes and sizes live their happiest and healthiest lives. They back their products with the top notch in scientific research so that your cat can be healthy.
9Lives started back in 1959 and in the 21st century, want to provide everything that your cat could ever need. They go out of their way to provide the best nutrition, the best taste, and do it all at a great price.
Thanks for reading out post on the best cat food for overweight cats. When it comes down to it, the best food for you is going to be the one that suits your unique needs best.
Take a look at your kitty and determine if there are any additional problems. If he or she having stomach issues, hairballs, or a lack of energy? If so, we recommend looking into a food that’s specific for your needs.
If your cat doesn’t have anything else going on and just needs to lose weight, Hill’s Science Diet is our favorite pick. It’s affordable, packed with nutrition, and helps your cat feel full. This food makes weight loss as painless as it can get, so it’s gentle with your kitty. It also packs in nutrients to help with digestion, immune system, coat health, hairballs, and energy.