Feeding recommendations and strategies
for overweight cats:
Plan on once daily feedings of dry food. Refill their dry food bowl in the evening approximately 1 hour prior to the household bedtime. We need to feed a limited quantity of dry food, approximately 1/4 cup or less! (Make all changes very slowly).
There should ideally be one dry food bowl for each cat. The location of the bowls should be visually separated from one another.
Start with 3 to 6oz per day, but we may increase this to 12oz per day (as we decrease the dry food available). Canned food can be offered according to any schedule you want, perhaps 3 times daily. Good times might be just before leaving for work in the morning and when you get home from work, or perhaps again when you re-fill the dry food bowl.
Canned foods contain fewer calories than dry (bite for bite). On a volume basis canned foods contain about 25% of the calories that dry foods contain! Canned foods are 75% water! Canned foods contain more meat-based protein compared to dry foods, which have more cereal-based proteins.
Because canned foods contain more meat-based proteins, it is suggested that canned food is more satisfying to a cat's appetite center. Higher protein/lower carbohydrate diets (compare to the "Atkins Diet") are normal for cats and much more satisfying to their sense of appetite and fullness.
Cats are also by nature meal eaters, not grazers. They evolved by eating meals (when they could catch them) rather than having food available all day long. They also tend to be nocturnal eaters so getting their dry food in the evening leaves them with a full belly during the very early morning hours when we are sleeping.