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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, last time I took Lily to the vet, her vet said that she was gaining a bit of weight, and could stand to lose a bit. She's been gaining weight since then and I want to switch her foods to see if that will encourage a bit of weight loss, or at least to stop gaining. I haven't gotten around to it before now because the whole food discussion intimidates me a bit. :lol:

Her current food mix is
- Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck (Duck as main meat)
- Solid Gold Katz 'n' Flocken (lamb as main meat)
- Wellness Indoor (chicken as main meat)

All three of them have a fat content of 12% minimum. I went looking through the food list and the websites of local pet stores to see what was available. So far I've been looking at taking out the Wellness Indoor (she doesn't eat much of it) and replacing it with Blue Buffalo Weight Control, which has 9% minimum fat, and also with chicken as the main meat.

I was also thinking about maybe adding a fourth food to her mix and was wondering if Nutro Natural Choice Indoor Weight Management would be okay to add. It's lower on the cat food list, and only has chicken meal as the first ingredient, but I figured it might fall under "junk food" category? It has only 10% fat, so I thought it might help, having a second lower fat food in her mix.

Also, I believe I remember reading about this on other weight loss posts, but if I were to offer her baby food veggies/fruit each night (1 tablespoon or so), would that possibly help as well?

I'm not really sure where to start with helping her lose weight, so I figured I'd change her food first, and if that didn't work, try to figure out the next step. If you can offer any tips or advice for food mix, exercise, or any other ways, that'd be great! :)
 

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I had the same problem with Chloe a while back, she just kept gaining slowly and was getting on the chunky side (600g at her highest at the vet).

What I did instead of switching out the higher fat foods for lower fat foods,was just add a few lower fat foods, and feed less of the higher fat foods. Natural Balance Calorie Control was a big hit, as was Blue Longevity (basically the same as Blue Buffalo).

Hiding kibble around the cage also seemed to work really well to get her active. I was thinking of trying the whole swimming thing but never got around to it. I also started feeding her vegetables before she went to bed to help her fill up on those.

I'm not sure how often you can feed veggies or fruit/veggie baby food though. I've heard it's not good to feed them every night, but I think 3-4 times a week should be okay? Maybe someone else knows better.

Eventually I did completely remove the higher fat foods so that her mix contained foods with 8-10% instead of 12%. The 2-4% doesn't seem like a lot but it did make a difference. It took about 4-6 months of very gradual weight loss but I eventually got Chloe down to a nice 550g, which seemed like an okay weight for her.

Mind you, once spring hit she started dropping a little too much weight and before I had a chance to get higher fat foods back in the mix she got sick with the URI, stopped eating all together and now, weighing in at 470-480g, she is practically on kitten food in an attempt to get weight back on her. That was just an isolated incident, but it is important to make sure they don't lose weight too quickly.

As for the nutro, I don't see a problem with the brand itself, I feed 8in1 hedgehog food in my mix and that's pretty "junky". However I googled the formula you were talking about and it looks like they changed it - its says it has "30% more protein than before" and now the protein content is 42%

http://www.thenutrocompany.com/natural-choice-cat/indoor-weight-management.aspx

So the high protein would be the only thing I'd be concerned about. Also because it contains a lot of corn fillers, it also means that they artificially boost the protein levels, which isn't a super great thing to have either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply Snufflepuff!

I was thinking of trying the hiding the kibble trick as well, I may start doing that until I can get her new foods next week. I have a few baby food veggies she liked, so I'll try offering those a few times a week, and see if that makes any difference in how much kibble she eats.

Thanks for pointing out the protein level! I forgot to check that before putting the food on my list of possible ones. :? I'll have to look later and see if I can find something different. Thanks again!
 

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No worries! :D I think the food list is a little outdated for all the formula changes. For some reason all these cat food companies are gung ho on "higher protein levels", I'm not really sure why, it just causes kidney and liver failure and cats don't actually need THAT high of protein. I'm hoping all food companies don't pick up on this trend, or we might be hard pressed to find food for our hedgies with low enough protein levels!

I just picked up a bag of Before Grain cat food (a higher fat food) and I was reading the back and it says this regarding elevated protein levels:

Last time we checked, a Siberian Tiger wasn't napping on your couch - you have an everyday extraordinary cat.
Haha I thought that was funny, and couldn't be more true. For our hedgies too, with all the posts lately of people dealing with liver and kidney issues, high protein is last thing we need.

IMO, sometimes I think feeding more veggies or fruit/veggie based baby food and just encouraging more exercise works just as well as putting in lower fat foods.

What kind of wheel is Lily currently on? Some hedgehogs run more on different wheels so that's also an option to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I remember others noticing changes in the foods on the list too. I was just going through the stores near me to see what they had available, and happened to find that one. I didn't notice it was on the list until after I found it, lol. With the elevated protein levels, I'll have to make sure I look carefully when I go searching again for a fourth food...I'll finally have time again on Sunday or Monday, I'm going to be super busy the next two days with my last day of classes, and a show I'm doing on Saturday. I plan to get the new foods probably on Monday so I can start working them into her mix.

SnufflePuff said:
What kind of wheel is Lily currently on? Some hedgehogs run more on different wheels so that's also an option to consider.
She actually has one of the Cakewalk Supreme wheels from Reaper. I've been wondering just how much she's been running on it lately, as some nights it looks like she gets on it, poops, and gets back off. :roll: I was thinking about trying the flour trick to see if she's really running at all. That could definitely be a reason for the weight gain, if she's not running. I'll update on Monday or Tuesday and let you know the foods I got. :) Like with Chloe, I'm expecting it may take awhile before there's really any results shown from the changes, but we'll see!

Last time we checked, a Siberian Tiger wasn't napping on your couch - you have an everyday extraordinary cat.
No...it's not. But I would sure love that! :lol: I'm a crazy person who adores big cats (regardless of the fact most could eat me in one bite), it would be amazing to have a tiger! :D
 
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