What Is the Best Dry Cat Food for Weight Loss and Maintenance?
If you have an overweight cat or cat that you want to keep at a healthy weight there are many brands competing valiantly for your purchase. So many colorful, interesting bags of cat food promising low calorie, low fat, and many other perks. You may consider grain free or gluten free. You may consider natural, or organic food. You may agonize over wet vs. dry cat food. Each is supposedly better than the other. Some people and vets claim dry food helps keep cats teeth clean. Some claim the opposite and that wet food is better. So how do you choose the best cat food for weight loss or maintenance?
There is no single food that is best in all cases since individual cats have different needs, sensitivities and preferences. However,…after trying many of them, researching many of them and seeing the results, I can share some that are exceptional. In my case, I wanted a grain free food ideally though that was not a deal breaker. I also wanted a food with good, natural ingredients. I had to find a food that would work for all three cats as it was too much of a hassle to feed them different foods. Pie was very overweight, Tigger has a sensitive stomach and possible food allergies so getting the wrong food resulted in many a stinky mess! Mouse is the normal cat when it comes to food. Slightly pudgy but not by much, no food sensitives that we know of and as a Norwegian Forest Cat who is still growing, has a voracious appetite. Large breeds like Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats don’t stop growing until they are 3-5 years old! Most cats are long since grown at that point! He really does need more food than the others. So, what food can meet ALL these requirements?
We tried many medium to higher quality brands. The bottom of the barrel like Friskies, Meow Mix and regular Purina were not even options as they are very poor nutritionally. Eating that every day would not be nutritionally complete and the fillers and grains would contribute to health problems and weight gain. We also couldn’t afford the most expensive, high end foods. We give the cats wet food as well, since they love it and it serves as a vehicle for their supplements which help with health issues like Tigger’s propensity toward bad teeth and gums. You can see my review of this awesome product for tooth and gum health here and the supplement for additional weight control here.
Purina makes a higher quality line of food called ‘Beyond’, some of which are grain free. It comes in several different grain free varieties such as ‘Ocean Whitefish and Egg’ and ‘White Meat Chicken and Whole Oat Meal’. If you don’t need a grain free food, Beyond comes in ‘Salmon and Whole Brown Rice’, ‘Superfood Blend Barley, Egg and Cranberry’ and other interesting flavors. These foods are a great mid level food. In the search for a food that met our extensive list of requirements we kept looking. We still had problems with Tigger’s digestion on these foods. At the time I did not know what was causing his digestive problems. With this additional knowledge, perhaps the Purina Beyond line would work for us now but we had already moved on to try others and ultimately find our favorite brand.
In the interim we tried Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. This food has great ingredients but it must have had something that Tigger was sensitive to as his digestive issues got much worse and we ended up with a VERY stinky litter box on this food. Other reviewers comment on this as well so beware if you try this food. Many cats are sensitive to it. Some varieties were worse than others. The Rabbit one was the worst for us.
We finally ended up finding the food we have stuck with that meets all our many requirements. This is Solid Gold brand cat food. For a long time we fed the cats the ‘Indigo Moon with Peas, Chicken and Egg, Grain and Gluten Free’. This food worked for all three cats, however they still tended to gain weight if we let them eat as much as they want. Eventually we decided to try a weight control variety also by Solid Gold brand. This is ‘Fit as a Fiddle: Low Fat/Low Calorie With Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock, Grain and Gluten Free’. All three cats love the flavor, it is full of healthy ingredients and best of all they started to lose weight when we switched to this variety in conjunction with the PetAlive Slender Pet supplement. Pie still needs some quantity restriction, but at least she can eat it. We had to try to keep her from having any dry food at all with the other varieties.
The Indigo Moon with Peas, Chicken and Eggs food has some questionable ingredients such as Chicken Meal, which I am not crazy about, but overall the ingredients are good. There are some wild things in the ingredient list that you would not see on a low quality cat food. This variety has ingredients including: Cranberries, Blueberries, Broccoli, Almond Oil and Apples. Other ingredients you would expect to see such as Ocean Fish Meal. This variety like the others by Indigo Moon also contains probiotics!
The Fit as a Fiddle food which we use now, has even higher quality foods including Pollock as the first ingredient! It also contains Salmon Oil and Olive Oil which is great for their coat, berries, broccoli, watercress, beets, pumpkin, spearmint and many, many more great foods. Like the others it has probiotics. Somehow even with so many ingredients, this does not cause digestive issues for Tigger. All three cats love it!
This food is expensive, but not as bad as many, since it comes in fairly large bags. Especially if you buy it on sale it is not too bad. In any case the food is well worth the price, as it is so completely superior in terms of quality and the resulting health of your cat. In my opinion, Solid Gold cat food is the best cat food for weight loss and general health. I would find the Purina Beyond line to be the next best for an overall good cat food. I am sure there are other great dry cat foods available and it is hard to generalize what is best for different cats so these two brands are not the only foods to try. In my experience Solid Gold and Purina Beyond brands are exceptional. Our three cats eat Solid Gold every day, and love every bite.
Even with high quality dry food cats can gain weight. They should ideally have wet food too to increase water intake and get exercise. Here is a great, tall, affordable cat tree to get them some exercise, fun and sense of security being up high.
A cat food puzzle feeder is another great way to help your cats lose weight. I have reviewed two unique puzzle feeders here, Cat Food Puzzle Feeders.
Do you have thoughts about this or a favorite dry cat food for weight loss or maintenance? Please let me know in a comment and share your experience to help other pet parents!