Diet Dry Cat Food

If your cat is overweight, it may be time for diet dry cat food. However, don't pick up a low quality diet food, which can cause health problems. There are many high quality diet foods that can still meet your cat's nutritional needs.

Determining Obesity

To test if your cat is a proper weight, run your fingers down his side. If you can easily feel his ribs and see an hour-glass figure when looking at him from above, he is the appropriate weight. If not, or if you notice a protruding belly or extra weight around the hips, your cat may be overweight.

Selecting Diet Food

Since many cats are free-fed their dry food throughout the day, it's difficult to cut back the amount they eat. Thus, finding a food formulated to reduce weight is important.

However, many foods designed for weight loss remove valuable proteins and replace them with cheap filler that your cat can't digest. This isn't good either, because it reduces nutrients that your cat needs to maintain his health.

Avoid foods that contain meat byproducts, corn or wheat, which cats can't digest. Most diet foods reduce the percentage of fats and proteins, but those shouldn't be reduced too drastically because cats rely on proteins for the majority of their nutrients. In their natural environments, cats don't consume plant matter or grains, and they don't need them in their diet. They just need healthier protein sources.

High Quality Commercial Brands

While there are many quality brands of cat food from which to choose, there are some that stand out in consumer reports. When selecting the brand, choose a protein source that your cat likes. If your cat doesn't do well on a food, no matter how high quality, it's not the right diet for your cat.

  • Wellness offers several diet formulas that utilize high-quality protein sources, such as deboned and skinned chicken, turkey and salmon, as well as oat fiber, which contains nutrients without additional calories. The Healthy Weight formula utilizes chicken and oat fiber to reduce the calories by 11 percent and the fat by 44 percent.
  • Natural Balance's reduced calorie food consists of chicken, salmon meal, lamb meal, rice and potatoes, and reduces calories by 30 percent compared to its other dry cat food varieties. It also has a complementary reduced calorie wet food, to entice your cat's appetite.
  • Innova's diet cat food formula consists of 50 percent less fat than its other brands and adds L-carnitine, which helps cats metabolize fat and maintain lean muscle mass. The main ingredients are turkey, chicken, barley, rice, potatoes and herring, all of which are quality protein and grain sources.

Most high-quality diet dry cat foods have low calorie wet foods as well, in case you like to feed your cat a mixture. Home cooked diets can also be reduced in calorie by using leaner meat and adding oat fiber and potatoes.

If your cat is becoming obese, he may face additional health problems. In addition to providing him with a healthy diet food, increase his play and exercise, which will help him shed some extra pounds.