cat weight loss
Be Skinny,Think Healthy

Cat Weight Loss: Sam & Sophie Slim Down

You may know by now that I, myself am pretty fit. And if you pay really close attention, you might also know that I have two overweight cats. Actually, one of them is now technically obese. Yikes! But they’re not alone, 58% of the cats in the US (62.4M!) suffer from being overweight or obese and it is the number one death threats to all pets in the US today.

Now, I’m not a terribly irresponsible pet owner either. I do not overfeed my cats nor do I feed them junky food. While they have grown up free-range, indoor kitties their whole lives, they don’t actually over-eat. In fact, they eat about half of what the cat food bag says they should. So what the heck happened? And now that they are about to turn 10 years old, entering their senior years, it’s quite dangerous for them to stay this way.

cat weight loss

What is the Sam & Sophie Slim Down?

Since I’ve found success with my human weight loss efforts over the past 15 years, I’m up for this cat weight loss challenge. Starting June 1st, we are going on a 90-Day Cat Weight Loss Challenge. Cats can lose weight at the same rate as people, about 1-2% of their body weight per week. But these kitties weight less than 20 lbs, so we’ll have to track it all in ounces (oh the math!).

Our goal is to get Samson (white kitty, 16 lbs) down to a really healthy weight and Sophie (grey kitty, 18.6 lbs) off the cat obesity bus. We’re going to do this by shifting their diet from dry to wet, potentially move to meal time feedings (vs. free-range feeding) and definitely up their activity level.  Welcome to “Catercise!” — ha! I think I’ll snap a FitBit collar on each one to see what we’re working with.

cat weight loss

Meet the Sam & Sophie Slim Down Team!

What’s Different About Cat Weight Loss?

You should know that I take weight loss at all levels very seriously, and even thought this sounds a little goofy, it’s not really a joke. Cats have completely different metabolic make up than we do. And while I’m far from an expert (at this point) from what I’ve learned, there is little need for carbohydrate in their diet.  Energy does not come from sugar like it does for us humans, it’s actually from fat and they need massive amounts of protein (like more than 45%). It’s also a delicate process, and if they lose weight too quickly, they can end up with hepatic lipidosis, which is actually fatal. So fear not, I will work closely with my vet to make sure we’re doing this the right way.

sam and sophie slim down cat weight loss

How Can you Follow Sam & Sophie’s Journey?

I won’t flood this blog with weekly updates, so don’t worry too much if you find this anything but interesting. I can’t imagine all of you will be as fascinated by my four-legged-furry-pawed-friends’ weight loss journey as I am. But if you are curious about the process, what we’re doing and how it goes, feel free to check out the project brief page where all the details I have to date live. You can also check out the Skinny Kitties FaceBook page for updates and fun facts and if you subscribe here, I’ll be sure you get all relevant news as it becomes available.

Do you have an overweight pet? If so, join in our journey or follow for inspiration!

As you know, support and accountability does make a difference! 

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  • Michelle

    Hi! I recently started following your blog. I had a cat that developed diabetes due to being overweight and through that whole process I learned so much about cat nutrition. Dry cat food is like feeding your cat processed food. It contains a lot of calories and fat. I switched to all wet food and it made a huge difference. Fancy feast offers many low carb varieties. Try to stay away from wet food that has a lot of gravy which adds more calories and try using pate varieties. Good luck and feel free to massage me if you have any questions!

    • Teresa

      That is VERY helpful Michelle — thank you!! I’ve got a month to figure out exactly what we’re going to do to slim these guys down. Really good to hear about the Fancy Feast Low Carb options. My preliminary research made it look like fat wasn’t so much the problem as carbs/grains. Much more to learn, but looking forward to helping my little furballs get a pep in their step and slim down!