Best Cat Food for Weight Loss

  • By:

    Vicki Smirnova
    Vicki Smirnova

    Author: Vicki Smirnova

    Vicki S. is a professional writer and editor who adores animals and helps readers get along well with their pets. Vicki has been working in digital media for more than 5 years and has great experience writing content about lifestyle, including pets. Vicki specializes in dog health and nutrition, cat feeding, dog training. She is an aquarium lover and is passionate to write about fish care at home. Also, Vicki headed several websites and worked as a news editor.

    View all 78 articles Learn about our editorial process and veterinary review board.
  • Vet reviewed by:

    Dr. Amanda Jondle
    Dr. Amanda Jondle

    Veterinary review
    by Dr. Amanda Jondle

    Dr. Amanda Jondle is an experienced veterinary who helping pets and educating clients through writing and editing articles to inform pet owners on how to best care for their pets. Amanda graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her husband currently have 4 rescue dogs and 3 cats of their own and are often fostering pets with health issues until they find their forever homes.

    View all 7 articles Learn about our veterinary review board
  • Viewed: 47

  • Updated on: 01/11/2021

Like humans, overweight cats are at an increased risk of various diseases that affect their life expectancy. In addition to liver disease and diabetes, overweight cats can develop arthritis, skin diseases, and respiratory disease and overall decreased life expectancy.

best cat food for weight loss reviewPhoto by @olgagudskaya from FreePik

Obesity can significantly shorten the life of a cat. To cope with excess weight, you should only use a high-quality diet. In this article, you will learn how to feed a cat for weight loss.

At a Glance: Our Favorite Cat Food for Weight control

Products

Benefits

Links

Our Top Pick
blue buffalo weight control natural adult dry cat food

1. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

  • The recipe is designed to maintain muscle mass.

  • Real meat as the first ingredient.

  • It contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Best Wet

2. Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Adult Cat Food

  •  Soft texture that cats prefer.

  • Contains L-carnitine.

  • Adapted protein content helps maintain muscle mass.

Best Dry

3. Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Recipe with Chicken Cat Food

  •  Chicken is the first ingredient.

  • L-carnitine helps burn fat to maintain a healthy metabolism.

  • Does not contain cereals, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy.

Best for Indoor Cats
halo spots stew cat formula grain-free hearty chicken recipe

4. Halo Spot's Stew Cat Formula Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe

  • The food contains L-carnitine to speed up metabolism.

  • Formula made without artificial colors, preservatives.

  • Highest digestibility.

Best Natural
avoderm natural indoor weight support recipe adult canned cat food

5. AvoDerm Natural Indoor Weight Support Recipe Adult Canned Cat Food

  •  Chicken is the # 1 ingredient.

  • Avocado oil provides omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health.

  • Unique formula for for overweight indoor cats.

Best Diet Cat Food Reviews

Our Top Pick

1. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food  

blue buffalo weight control natural adult dry cat food

BLUE Buffalo for Cats cat food is made from natural ingredients enriched with vitamins and minerals. The product contains natural meat, healthy cereals, vegetables, and fruits. The brand’s diet is enriched with antioxidants to support your cat’s overall health and well-being. The formula of this food is suitable for all life stages. High-quality sources of protein and fiber support digestive health. Besides, it perfectly copes with the function of weight control.

Pros

Cons

  • It is supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for a balanced diet.
  • This supports a healthy immune system.
  • It contains wholesome whole grains, garden veggies, and fruit.
  • Not found.

Best Wet

2. Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Adult Canned Cat Food

This food is specially designed to help to lose weight. This formula is designed to maintain an ideal body condition and muscle mass, and recommended by vets. Besides, it contains the perfect blend of vitamins and minerals to help keep your pet’s overall health and well-being.

Pros

Cons

  • Complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.
  • This consists of delicious thin slices in a sauce.
  • The formula professionally supports healthy weight loss.
  • Some owners complain they picky kitty don’t eat this food.

Best Dry

3. Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Chicken & Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Pieces Recipe Dry Food

Instinct Raw Boost grain-free food helps maintain a healthy weight. The feed contains a high content of animal protein, pieces of freeze-dried raw meat. The feed recipe helps maintain a healthy weight with fewer calories and fat. It contains l-carnitine, which helps burn fat to keep a healthy metabolism and an ideal fiber level.

Pros

Cons

  • It does not contain artificial colors or preservatives.
  • With high protein content.
  • Made in the USA with the best ingredients.
  • Sulfites are added.

Best for Indoor Cats 

4. Halo Spot’s Stew Cat Formula Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe

halo spots stew cat formula grain-free hearty chicken recipe

The quality feed manufacturer Halo uses real whole meat, poultry, or fish for food preparation. There is no “meat flour” in the feed. Grain-free pet food with reduced calories and fat is designed to support your cat’s weight control. This product is produced without GMOs. The diet is enriched with vitamin E, which helps maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Pros

Cons

  • The food consists of a whole chicken and chicken liver, chickpeas, and vegetables.
  • Non-GMO.
  • Uses whole meat (no meals) with 32% crude protein.
  • Contains potatoes and soy.

Best Natural

5. AvoDerm Natural Indoor Weight Support Recipe Adult Canned Cat Food

avoderm natural indoor weight support recipe adult canned cat food

Help your pet maintain a healthy ideal weight with the AvoDerm Natural Indoor Weight Control formula canned cat food. The food contains fewer calories and low-fat protein from chicken and tuna and fiber-rich oatmeal, oat bran, and flaxseeds. The extra fiber will help your pet feel full and happy. The food is also enriched with avocado Superfoods grown in California. Thanks to this, each piece of food contains vitamins and antioxidants for a radiant coat.

Pros

Cons

  • Lower calorie formula.
  • Protein-rich recipe.
  • It supports a healthy immune system.
  • Some users have noted their cats don’t like the taste.

Best Wet Foods for Overweight Cats

1. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic Weight Management Chicken Flavor Canned Cat Food

hills prescription diet metabolic weight management chicken flavor canned cat food

According to research, more than 50% of cats are overweight.[6] Hill’s nutritionists and veterinarians have developed a recipe for dietary food to maintain weight. 88% of Pets lost weight at home in 2 months, eating this food.

Key benefits:

  • Naturally works with individual metabolism.
  • Supports the excellent health of your pet.
  • Helps avoid weight regain after weight loss.

Pros

Cons

  • Helps your pet feel full & satisfied between meals.
  • Features multiple sources of protein.
  • Supports vitality & holistic health.
  • Relatively expensive.

2. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management

purina pro plan focus adult weight management canned cat food

This food from Turkey and rice is a high-protein, low-calorie formula that supports ideal body weight. The formula also helps your pet’s muscle health.

Key benefits:

  • Specialized high-protein low-calorie formula.
  • This preserves the muscle mass.
  • This contains taurine, which is necessary for protection against heart disease.

Pros

Cons

  • The food supports ideal body weight.
  • Made from natural Turkey.
  • The food contains omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Some cats won’t eat this meal.

3. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Adult Flaked Wet Cat Food

blue buffalo healthy gourmet natural adult flaked wet cat food

Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet grain-free canned food for indoor cats is designed to maintain ideal weight. Canned food does not contain gluten, which is known to cause allergic reactions in some pets. This food is made from the best natural ingredients, carefully selected by our nutritionists to meet domestic needs.

Key benefits:

  • The food does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • Made from the best natural ingredients.
  • Specialized high-protein low-calorie formula.

Pros

Cons

  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Chicken is the # 1 ingredient.
  • It is only for adult and senior cats and not kittens.

4. Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Loaf in Sauce Canned Adult Wet Cat Food

royal canin feline weight care loaf in sauce canned adult wet cat food

Royal Canin Ultra Light food is designed to help your pet maintain a healthy weight. The feed contains L-carnitine, which speeds up metabolism and helps burn calories.

Key benefits:

  • This product is ideal for maintaining a healthy weight for adult cats from 1 year and older.
  • It contains high-quality protein for an active lifestyle.
  • Enriched with L-carnitine to support healthy metabolism and weight control.

Pros

Cons

  • Supports healthy muscle mass.
  • 15% fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.
  • A balanced blend of vitamins and minerals supports the health.
  • Too liquid texture.

5. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain Free Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food

blue buffalo basics limited ingredient diet grain free natural adult wet cat food

Natural cat food provides your pet with all the essential amino acids and vital nutrients they need daily. Healthy whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and oats will provide your cat with the complex carbohydrates needed for energy. Organic vegetables and fruits such as whole carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley, and cranberries contain substances that help your cat stay healthy.

Key benefits:

  • It is a limited ingredient diet.
  • Specialized high-protein low-calorie formula.
  • It has pumpkin to support digestion.

Pros

Cons

  • Grain-free.
  • It uses duck is the # 1 ingredient.
  • This product has a smooth texture.
  • Some cats don’t like pumpkin.

Best Dry Low-Calorie Dry Foods

1. Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food

purina pro plan focus adult weight management chicken and rice formula dry cat food

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS contains 46% protein, which helps protect muscle mass during weight loss. Besides, this feed formula contains 20% less fat. The food is made from high-quality protein sources, including real chicken as the # 1 ingredient. Each ingredient is carefully selected. The natural prebiotic fiber in each serving of this food helps improve digestion.[1]

Key benefits:

  • It contains 46% protein, which helps protect muscle mass during weight loss.
  • The formula provides your cat with the necessary energy and stamina.
  • Chicken is the first ingredient.

Pros

Cons

  • It is rich in antioxidants that help strengthen the immune system.
  • The recipe contains natural prebiotic fibers to support healthy digestion.
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.
  • Some cats may want a higher moisture level.

2. Hill’s Science Diet Feline Adult 1-6 Chicken Recipe

hills science diet feline adult 1-6 chicken recipe

This product will help your pet lose weight and live a long, happy life. This nutritious recipe made from a healthy chicken. The product helps to reduce weight and maintain muscle mass. Produced in the United States, each ingredient meets strict requirements for purity and nutrient content.

Key benefits:

  • This helps maintain muscle mass during weight loss.
  • Antioxidants support a healthy immune system.
  • The feed does not contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Pros

Cons

  • Made from natural, high-quality ingredients.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Not found.

3. Royal Canin Feline Weight Care Adult Dry Cat Food

royal canin feline weight care adult dry cat food

This product is designed specifically for domestic cats to maintain a healthy weight. A recipe with a moderate fat content helps control weight. Optimal fibers help your cat feel full. The feed also contains L-carnitine, which helps the metabolism work hard to burn fat.[5]

Key benefits:

  • Enriched with L-carnitine to support healthy metabolism.
  • This helps maintain muscle mass during weight loss.
  • The food contains a unique blend of fibers, which helps cats to feed faster.

Pros

Cons

  • Reduced fat content by 33%.
  • This helps maintain muscle mass during weight loss.
  • It is only for adult cats and not kittens.

4. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Healthy Weight Recipe Dry Cat Food

merrick purrfect bistro grain-free healthy weight recipe dry cat food

This formula does not contain grains. The food is made from chicken and turkey mixed with healthy foods such as peas and sweet potatoes. Besides, it contains insoluble fiber, which helps maintain a healthy weight and prevents the appearance of lumps of wool. The product is enriched with antioxidants to support the immune system, omega-acids for healthy skin and hair, vitamins, minerals, and taurine.

Key benefits:

  • The recipe contains 60% animal protein from chicken and Turkey.
  • Contains antioxidants and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and shiny fur.
  • Does not contain gluten, wheat, corn, soy.

Pros

Cons

  • A blend of vitamins, minerals, and taurine.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Some pets may not like this meal.

5. Solid Gold Grain-Free & Gluten-Free Fit as a Fiddle with Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock Adult Dry Cat Food

solid gold grain-free and gluten-free fit fiddle with fresh caught alaskan pollock adult dry cat food

This recipe for grain-free and gluten-free food is nutritious, delicious, and safe for the body. This recipe is created from Alaskan Pollock with a unique blend of functional Superfoods that provide gut health and overall immune support and help control weight.

Key benefits:

  • Made from omega-rich fresh-caught Alaskan Pollock as the 1st ingredient.
  • It does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • Omega-fatty acids support gut health and overall immune support.

Pros

Cons

  • It contains prebiotics and probiotics.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Some pets may have allergies.

*All ratings are formed by the article’s author based on own research and combined with customer reviews.

How to put a Cat on a diet?

how to put a cat on a dietImage by @laurenhudgins from Pixabay

The program for weight loss in cats is multi-stage and includes the following steps:

  • Analysis by a veterinarian. It is best to consult your veterinarian before putting your pet on a diet since there are many health considerations. Your veterinarian will assess your cat and determine if there are any underlying diseases causing obesity or if your cat is at risk for any illnesses caused by obesity. They can then recommend the best foods for your cat. Rapid weight loss can affect the health, so the veterinarian will help you set the optimal program that is suitable for your animal. A cat with excess weight should not be abruptly transferred to a diet with a limited number of calories or lose weight too quickly. This can cause serious and even fatal hepatic lipidosis. 
  • Changing the diet. Choose the most appropriate product. Naturally, to reduce weight, you need to limit the number of calories. Most programs recommend giving the cat 75% of the calories it would need if it had the ideal weight. 

There are two ways to reduce the number of calories. The first is to give the cat less food. The second is to switch to a diet containing fewer calories.

READ MORE: Kitten Health Issues

Limit the amount of food. If your cat is losing weight according to the program that allows feeding it with regular food, its amount should be reduced by 20-40%. For example, if your furry friend usually eats 3/4 сup of dry food, you should now give it 1/2 cup. After 3-4 weeks, you should see positive results. You may have to cut the portions even more. Essential fatty acids are beneficial for any cat however, not just those on a weight loss program.  

If your cat has switched to a portion of best weight management food, you can save the standard part, but it contains less fat and calories. Some diets include carnitine, as it affects the body’s absorption of fat. Studies conducted on rats have shown that another chemical, pyruvate, fruitfully affects the metabolism of obese individuals and causes faster weight loss. It has a similar effect on people. Chromium picolinate encourages the body to produce insulin more actively. The effectiveness of its effect on weight loss in obese animals is currently being studied. The herbaceous plant Garcinia cambogia contains hydroxylimonic acid, which is considered a substance that prevents fat cells’ formation. Coenzyme Q10 (also known as ubiquinone) provides the body with energy at the cellular level. It is beneficial for people with various heart and muscle diseases, but its effect on animals suffering from obesity is still under study. Finally, as a supplement to the diet, chitin or chitosan, a substance that can inhibit fat absorption, is being investigated. [2] 

  • Сat it should be fed smaller, more frequent meals to make sure the cat stays full and doesn’t feel like it is starving. this will allow you to control the feeling of hunger. It is usually recommended to give 2-4 small portions of best low-calorie food during the day. Feed your fat pet separately from other animals so that it does not eat the other pet’s food. Usually, overweight cats are not as agile as others, so you can feed it on the floor, and others – at a higher level, for example, on the cat “tree.”
  • Physical exercise. In addition to reducing incoming calories, you also need to increase calories burned. It is more difficult for obese cats to develop an exercise program than for dogs. For some cats, walking on a harness is already a good exercise. Even a simple walk in the yard under your supervision can encourage the pet to move a little more. Buy some new toys and start playing with it. In addition to the fact that the game will help burn extra calories, it will also distract the cat from the food bowl.

READ MORE: Cat Emergency Kit

best cat food for overweight catPhoto by Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

Buying Guide

Cat foods aimed at weight loss usually have a lower energy value than other products of the same line. This is achieved by reducing fat percentage and including additional sources of fiber (indigestible fibers). The fibers swell in the stomach, providing the animal with a feeling of satiety, while they are removed from the body unchanged and practically do not give calories.

Cellulose

In high-quality food, fiber is usually represented by vegetables, root vegetables, unsweetened fruits, and other plants. When there are many fillers, they excessively irritate the intestines, cause digestive disorders, stool disorders, and prevent food absorption.

Additives

Sometimes special supplements are used in fitness feeds to normalize weight. For example, the introduction of L-carnitine allows you to limit fat deposition if we are talking about preventing obesity and preserving muscle mass in the process of losing weight.

Protein source

The protein content of food for weight control should be high (at least 32-35%). This contributes to rapid saturation, weight loss due to fat, and not the muscles and internal organs. Pay attention to the sources of protein: it should be meat and the entrails of animals.

When using food, it is essential to observe the daily dosages recommended by the manufacturer. If dry pellets are always in the bowl, and the cat continues to eat according to appetite, weight loss will not occur, despite the special diet. [3]

READ MORE: How much protein does a Cat need

FAQ

ᐈ How to help your cat lose weight?

  • Ensure a balanced diet. Choosing a balanced nutrition system with the correct protein, fat, and fiber content will ensure weight normalization and further control over body weight. There are special nutrition programs to help pets achieve the desired effect. It is always beneficial to seek help (or consult) a veterinarian.
  • Carefully measure each portion. Carefully follow the recommendations on the back of the packages and accurately measure the portions, use an accurate measuring cup. 
  • Reduce the number of treats. If you give your cat treats in addition to the main diet, consult a veterinarian and set limits, for example, the energy value of the treat should not exceed 10% of the total daily calorie intake.
  • Stimulate physical activity. You can help the cat lose extra pounds by stimulating regular physical activity. Here are some actions that will help the animal lose weight.[4]

ᐈ How do I get my indoor cat to lose weight?

To answer this question, a veterinarian should examine your cat and, based on the characteristics of its physique and size, determine what weight will be ideal for it. Specially designed formulas and graphs will help him in this, thanks to which it is also possible to calculate calories per day to achieve the desired weight without harming health.

ᐈ How to put a cat on a diet?

Give the cat a week or two to get used to the new diet. First, mix ¼ of the new feed with ¾ of the usual one for 2 to 4 days. Then increase the amount of new food to half, and in the last 3 – 5 days before the final transition to a new diet — up to¾.

To improve the taste, you can warm up the food and add flavoring additives, for example, based on fish oil containing omega-3 fatty acids.

If the cat refuses a new diet or has any questions about the process of training it to a new feed, do not hesitate to contact the veterinary clinic for advice.

ᐈ How much should I feed my cat to lose weight?

Your cat’s diet’s main purpose should be lowering calorie intake and increasing activity and burning more calories. A veterinarian should determine exact xly how many calories per cat should intake be. For the first step in diet, you should try to play more with your pet increasing with it burned calories.

ᐈ What is a healthy weight for a cat?

Most domestic cats weigh about 10 pounds. But breed is a fundamental parameter that determines the ideal weight of an adult cat. For large breeds, such as Maine Coon, Norwegian forest, British Shorthair, cats’ weight can be about 25 pounds. Small breeds may weigh as few as 5 pounds.[2]

Article Sources:

  1. “What Is Average Cat Weight?” Purinapurina.com/articles/cat/health/what-is-average-cat-weight.
  2. “Small Cat Breeds: 6 Breeds That Stay Small – Wildernesscat.” Wildernesscat, 27 Mar. 2019, wildernesscat.com/small-cat-breeds/.
  3. “​Keeping Your Cat at a Healthy Weight.” Royal Canin, 17 Nov. 2020, royalcanin.com/us/cats/health-and-wellbeing/keeping-your-cat-at-a-healthy-weight
  4. “How Can I Promote a Healthy Weight for My Cat?” Purinapurina.com/articles/cat/health/help-my-cat-lose-weight
  5. “Health Risks of Overweight and Obese Cats – Royal Canin.” Royal Canin, 17 Nov. 2020, royalcanin.com/us/cats/health-and-wellbeing/health-risks-of-overweight-and-obese-cats.
  6. “Share of Obese and Overweight Cats in the United States in 2018.” Statistastatista.com/statistics/524790/obese-and-overweight-cats-share-in-the-us/.

ThePets is an informational website that features articles written by qualified veterinarians and professional writers. You can learn more about our editorial process. When selecting food for your pet, use Pet Food Finder, and search for the clinic to treat your pet using Vet Clinics Locator.

7 people found this helpful.

helpful not helpful