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Best Cat Food For Weight Loss (2024): 14 Weight Control Diet Picks

Posted in: Cat Food - Last Updated: July 16, 2024 - Author: Jennifer Bridgers
Posted in Cat Food 
Last Updated: November 18, 2023  
Author:  Jennifer Bridgers

It's true. Most of us overindulge our cats. This might be feeding them a little too much cat food on the regular, letting them have a little of what we're eating now and again (careful, some foods are an absolute 'no no'!), or perhaps giving them a cat treat whenever they ask.

But, if you do this too much, at some point your furry friend will be overweight and you will get a wake-up call. Overweight cats can develop several health issues that can shorten their lifespan.

However, switching to a diet cat food to lose weight can help your cat start to shed those pounds without them even realizing it. And, the best weight management cat food will make this journey to a healthier weight simple, healthy and successful.

Finding that best diet cat food for your cat, and their specific needs, isn't just about cutting calories. You need to strike a balance. Your cat needs a diet that's not only low calorie, but also still has all the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy, with enough protein to retain muscle mass and keep up your cat's energy.

Cat-food-for-Weight-Loss

In this guide, we have tested and rated the best weight management cat food to help you choose the best cat diet so that it is effective for weight control, but will still appeal to your cat’s taste buds.

Recent improvements in low calorie cat food have made it more appealing to picky eaters with a variety of flavors and textures. From the lowest calorie cat food that reduces excess fats to precise weight management formulas, there's something for every cat in need of losing a few pounds!

We've focused our test batch of recipes to the ones that we, our vets and our community found to be the best cat foods for weight loss based on our comprehensive testing and long term cat weight control experience.

Best Cat Food For Weight Loss

Best Overall

Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, Adult 1-6, Weight Management Support, Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 15 lb Bag

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food

Best Cat Food For Weight Loss

Best Overall Choice

Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, Adult 1-6, Weight Management Support, Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 15 lb Bag

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food is our overall pick for weight loss in cats because it is specifically formulated to provide balanced nutrition while promoting weight management.

This dry food is lower in calories and fat compared to regular cat food,to create a calorie deficit for weight loss. Crucially, it contains a controlled level of carbohydrates and increased levels of protein to support lean muscle mass and maintain energy levels during the weight loss process.

The high-quality ingredients in Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food ensure proper nutrient intake while satisfying the cat's appetite. It's our top overall pick, but we also consider it to be the best dry cat food for weight loss.

best cat food for weight loss

3 Top Cat Foods For Weight Loss Picks – Best, Value & Premium

As with all our cat food tests, we start with our overall pick and then we look at a budget and premium option that we also rate as excellent options, before digging into all the recipes we tested.

Our community of over 1 million followers on our social media channels includes many cat owners who have told us what worked for them when they needed to help their cat lose weight. We add their feedback to the expertise and advice from our vet advisors. This research helps us identify which weight management cat foods set a higher standard on effectiveness, taste, affordability, and overall nutritional quality.

So, in the chart below, you'll find our top three picks for diet cat food, recommended by those cat owners and veterinary experts, including budget-friendly and premium options.

Our Top 3 Choices

Best Overall

Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, Adult 1-6, Weight Management Support, Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 15 lb Bag

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food

  • Number one veterinarian-recommended dry food for weight loss
  • Supports metabolism and healthy weight loss, as well as supports lean muscles
  • Over 70% of cats lost weight within 10 weeks of eating this dry food

Best Value

Natural Balance Fat Cats Low-Calorie Dry Cat Food for Overweight Adult Cats, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas & Oat Groats Recipe, 15 Pound (Pack of 1)

Natural Balance Fat Cats Dry Cat Food

  • Effective weight loss specific low calorie formula
  • High in protein and fiber
  • Visible health improvements

Premium Choice

small human grade meat cat food

Smalls Cat Food

  • Perfect portion size for healthy diet and weight loss
  • Improved digestion aids nutrient and protein absorption
  • Human-grade food quality tested for pathogens

So that’s the chart showing our top 3 best weight loss cat foods, but now we'll take a deeper look at the best and all the others we tested to give you a range of options.

Later in this article, we'll look at how you can easily identify effective cat food to lose weight, as well as going over practical advice on how to switch your cat to a healthier diet. We’ll also share our vet's advice on how you can help your cat get down to and maintain a healthy weight.

To start with, let’s look at the top 3 in a little more detail.

1. Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weigh Dry Cat Food - Best Overall

Hill's Science Diet Perfect Weight, Adult 1-6, Weight Management Support, Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 15 lb Bag

The Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food is like a super efficient gym trainer for cats! Just imagine our never-ending efforts to eat salads and fitness regimes to stay in shape; well, this cat food is that type of routine but for our feline buddies. 

This food is great, and it has been proven that loads of cats have slimmed down in just about the time it takes for our summer break when they tried this. Crazy, right? In fact, over 70% of cats lost weight over a ten-week period when eating this formula.

Equally, our community feedback held this as the overall best diet cat food with the largest number of respondents saying that this had made a noticeable difference to their cats over a medium length period.

This isn't just a diet, though. It's a healthy diet. Inside that bag is some serious nutrition. There's protein, which is like the kitty version of gym workouts – helping them maintain muscle mass so that they can jump higher and play harder. 

The there is the fiber content. That's a pretty big deal too; it's like when we eat a big healthy meal and don't feel like snacking right after. 

Cats get that exact same full belly feeling, which ultimately makes them less likely to be begging for treats or left-overs five minutes after dinner.

Now, here's a fun twist with this food: it contains coconut oil. This oil is like giving your cat a tiny burst of energy which is ideal for the "zoomies" around the house or those playful pounces at toys.

And the flavor? They love it. Think of it as a gourmet meal – chicken and veggies that even the fussiest cats will love.

But let's chat a bit more about the long game when it comes to this type of nutritional diet.

Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food isn't just for those looking to get their feline weight down.

If your fur ball is already in pretty good shape, has a bundle of energy and health, this food will certainly help them stay in tip-top condition.

So whether your kitty is a couch potato dreaming of "Dreamies" or the energetic sprinter of the house, this weight loss food's got them all covered.

A bowl of this low fat cat food, and you're setting them up for the purr-fect day ahead. Which will probably involve a huge amount of, you guessed it, sleeping! 

Pros

  • Number one veterinarian-recommended dry food for weight loss
  • Supports metabolism and healthy weight loss, as well as supports lean muscles
  • Over 70% of cats lost weight within 10 weeks of eating this dry food
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Good for cats of all ages
  • Cats experience more energy and playfulness

Cons

  • This cat food is on the expensive side

2. Natural Balance Fat Cats Low Calorie Dry Cat Food - Best Value

Natural Balance Fat Cats Low-Calorie Dry Cat Food for Overweight Adult Cats, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas & Oat Groats Recipe, 15 Pound (Pack of 1)

Our budget pick comes from Natural Balance, who our community generally think of as a trusted cat food manufacturer. They often tip them for their limited ingredient cat foods of various formulas, and our vets also regularly recommend their recipes.

Whilst they are a premium brand, the fact that you can buy in 15lb bags makes the per-meal cost good value, especially when you may be feeding a little less per meal to your portly feline pal.

This Natural Balance Fat Cats Low Calorie Dry Cat Food helps your overweight cat shed those extra pounds. Crucially, it should also satisfy their needs and taste buds- all while not being too expensive.

The packaging and the name of this recipe really puts it right in front of you - it's for 'fat cats'!

This low calorie cat food formula is a blend of chicken, salmon, garbanzo beans, peas, and oats. It's formulated to be high in protein and fiber, so that a correct meal portion will keep your cat feeling full but still with plenty of energy. The nutritional profile is also properly crafted, so whilst your cat will be dropping the pounds, they will be doing so with health and happiness!

I've personally seen a remarkable transformation in feeding this food. When one of my cats was first an adult (about a year and a half old) he was getting a touch on the heavier side (too many treats!), and I was worried about his health if I didn't fix it. After switching to Natural Balance Fat Cats, he started to slim down, and his energy levels went up.

The bulk of the weight loss happened over just a 4-month period, which means I'd only bought two of these 15-lb bags for that whole time. That means it cost me about 75 cents per day to help my cat be healthier. Not bad!

However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Some cats turn their noses up at this low-calorie cat food. Like all cat food, some cats just don't take to a taste!

The balance of cost, health benefits, and taste makes this food a solid cheap weight loss cat food choice.

Pros

  • Formula designed for significant weight loss in cats
  • Nutritious ingredients including chicken and salmon
  • Priced reasonably for its quality and quantity
  • Premium brand reputation and focus on holistic cat health
  • High-quality ingredients ensure superior nutritional value
  • Affordable cat food for weight loss, especially if you are feeding many cats

Cons

  • Although good value in bulk this is not the cheapest
  • Some picky eaters won't go for it! 

3. Smalls Cat Food - Premium Choice

small human grade meat cat food

If price is not an issue, then this is the one for you. No arguments.

Let’s chat about the "VIP lounge" of cat foods – Smalls cat food! If your wallet's feeling generous, then this is where the party's at.

Smalls cat food is  pretty much like that fancy meal preparation plan you see fitness gurus talking about online.

They've got these clever portion-controlled recipes, so your cat gets just the right amount to eat. 

No more guessing games or overfeeding problems – Smalls cat food is like having a personal chef for your kitty! In short, if you can afford it, Smalls means that you're giving your cat the best cat food possible in the perfect amount - so it's the best weight management cat food you can buy. But it's also super healthy.

And it's all because of the human grade high quality ingredients.

They are the best in any cat food. Imagine serving your cat a dish made of the best human grade ingredients around.

This means they get all the important nutrients without all the extra and unnecessary calories. Think of it like us munching on a tasty salad and healthy chicken instead of a giant fatty burger and fries.

With different protein options, your cat can maintain their lean muscles even while losing weight. It's basically like them having a gym membership but with a super high grade diet!

The natural ingredients in Smalls make sure your cat's tummy feel healthy and full after every meal. 

Plus, with no fake stuff or artificial fillers, it's like giving your cat a clean diet. Imagine us eating fresh farm-to-table food every day. That's what Smalls brings to the table.

So, if you're not too bothered about price and want the best of the best for your furry friend, Smalls cat food is like rolling out the red carpet for them at dinner time! 

Smalls isn't just the best wet cat food for weight loss, it's the best wet cat food, period!


Pros

  • Perfect portion size for weight control and nutrition
  • Improved digestion for cats
  • Human-grade food quality tested for pathogens
  • Organically and sustainably sourced ingredients

Cons

  • This food can get expensive

Best Cat Food for Weight Loss: Alternative Picks

While the options outlined above were picked by us, our community and our vets to suit the needs of various pet parents, you may still find none of them appeal to you or your cat.

Fortunately, there are a handful of other great alternative weight control cat foods you can still consider. Here are some of our other favorites on the market today:

4. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Food for Adult Cats, Weight Control, 7-lb. Bag

Feeding your cat Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural dry food is a great way to help them lose weight while also providing highly valuable nutrition.

Just like other Blue Buffalo formulas, their weight loss cat food formula includes no by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

To help your cat lose weight, this dry food contains optimally balanced proteins and fats, as well as high-quality veggies and protein, for the best nutrition possible. 

In fact, Blue Buffalo designed each individual bite to have the optimal amount of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.

Besides aiding in weight loss, this Blue Buffalo Weight Control cat food contains antioxidants to keep your cat’s immune systems strong, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to keep their coats healthy and shiny, and plenty of fiber for healthy digestion.

One cup of this dry food contains 346 calories.

Pros

  • Includes no by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Safe for cats with allergies because it contains no corn, wheat, or soy
  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • Supports healthy weight loss through carefully balanced nutrition
  • Also aids in digestion and supports healthy skin and coat
  • Provides important antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
  • 346 kilocalories per cup

Cons

  • This dry food is somewhat expensive

5. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control - Best Hairball Control Option

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Indoor Weight Control & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food with Chicken & Turkey Cat Kibble, 22 lb. Bag

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control is a great option if you are looking for both a weight loss cat food and a hairball control solution.

This dry food provides a complete and balanced diet in a tasty chicken and turkey flavor.

Chicken is the first ingredient in this dry food and it helps keep your kitty’s muscles nice and strong.

This cat food also includes a fiber blend that includes beet pulp to reduce hairballs, L-carnitine to help burn fat, nutrients like calcium and potassium to aid in heart health, and omega fatty acids to keep their skin and coat soft and shiny.

The IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control is a great dry weight loss cat food that aids in multiple areas of your cat’s health, especially if you have both hairball and weight maintenance concerns.

Pros

  • Aids in both weight loss and hairball reduction
  • Provides a complete and balanced diet
  • Fiber blend with beet pulp reduces hairballs
  • L-carnitine burns fat
  • Calcium and potassium aid in heart health
  • Omega fatty acids aid in skin and coat health

Cons

  • Some people have reported that the recipe changed in 2018 and their cats no longer like it

6. Purina ONE Indoor Advantage - Best Indoor Cat Option

Purina ONE Natural, Low Fat, Weight Control, Indoor Dry Cat Food, +Plus Indoor Advantage - 7 lb. Bag

Specifically designed for weight loss in indoor cats, the Purina ONE Indoor Advantage is a great option for a cat weight loss control diet.

This dry food blend helps cats achieve and maintain a healthy weight and it's another formula that also reduces hairballs. This cat diet food helps with weight loss by comprising 10% less fat than other Purina formulas.

This type of cat food for weight loss contains no fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives and the number one ingredient is turkey. In fact, this cat food is very high in protein at 42 grams per cup which helps build lean muscle and aids in weight loss.

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage contains a natural fiber blend that aids in digestion and reduces hairballs.

It also includes omega 6 fatty acids that keep your cat’s skin and coat soft and shiny, antioxidants and vitamin E to keep their immune systems healthy, and other essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Pros

  • High in protein with 42 grams of protein per cup
  • Natural fiber blend reduces hairballs
  • Antioxidants help support immune system health
  • Protein helps maintain a healthy weight and builds strong muscles
  • Omega 6 fatty acids make skin and coat soft and shiny
  • Taste and crunch appeal to picky eaters
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Since it was made for indoor cats, you may need to find a different option if you have an outdoor cat

7. Purina Beyond Grain Free - Best Grain Free Option

Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural Dry Cat Food, Simply Indoor Salmon, Egg & Sweet Potato Recipe - 5 lb. Bag

Purina Beyond Grain Free is a great way to feed your cat a diet that aids in weight loss, especially if you do not want to feed them grains.

Made for indoor cats, this dry food provides several solutions for different problems they may experience whilst using cat foods for weight loss.

First, it helps cats maintain a healthy weight. Second, it helps reduce the amount of hairballs they have.

And third, it contains essential nutrients that help support their immune system. Overall, this cat food for weight loss provides a complete and balanced diet for your cat.

Purina Beyond Grain Free contains no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and fish or poultry is always the number one ingredient. 

It also comes in several flavors, and a couple of high protein options, including salmon, egg, and sweet potato, ocean whitefish and egg, chicken and egg, high protein Icelandic arctic char, and high protein pacific tuna.

Pros

  • Grain-free and contains no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Fish or poultry is the number one ingredient
  • Has some flavors that are high in protein
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduces hairballs
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • More affordable than high-end brands

Cons

  • The pieces of kibble are larger than other brands and may not be a good option for cats with teeth problems
  • Made for indoor cats, so it may not work for outdoor cats

8. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Weight Management - Best Low Fat Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Weight Control Dry Cat Food, Chicken and Rice Formula - 7 lb. Bag

The Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Weight Management dry food is a great cat food for weight loss, especially if you are concerned with your cat’s fat intake. This dry food is a genuine low fat cat food because it has 20% less fat than other dry food formulas.

Not to mention, chicken is the number one ingredient in this cat food and it has 46% protein.

Protein is great for building and protecting muscles while also burning fat and maintaining strength and energy. It also contains no artificial flavors or colors.

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Weight Management also contains prebiotic fibers to help with digestive health, linoleic acid, which is an omega 6 fatty acid, to help with skin and coat health, and antioxidants to support immune system health.

As a bonus, this cat food for weight loss also appeals to picky eaters.

Pros

  • Contains 20% less fat than other cat foods
  • Contains 46% protein to protect muscle mass and encourage weight loss
  • Includes prebiotics to support digestive health
  • Includes linoleic acid to support healthy skin and coat
  • Includes antioxidants to support a healthy immune system
  • Has no artificial flavors or colors
  • Appeals to picky eaters

Cons

  • Not cheap, however, it is not too expensive

9. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free - Best High Protein Option

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food, Indoor Hairball Control and Weight Control Formula, High-Protein and Grain-Free Diet, Made with Natural Ingredients, Chicken, 11-lb. Bag

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free dry food is a great option to deliver a large amount of protein to your cat while still encouraging the use of a cat food for weight loss and feeding them a natural, grain-free diet.

It also works to help control the number of hairballs your cat has. Every bite has a precise blend of vitamins and minerals that helps maintain a healthy body weight.

The best part about Blue Buffalo is that their foods never contain any by-products, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives and flavors.

This high protein formula contains 30% high-quality protein including deboned chicken, chicken meal, and fish meal.

The healthy complex carbs in this dry food include peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Other fruits and veggies included, like carrots, cranberries, and blueberries have antioxidants that protect your cat’s immune system.

Also included is natural fiber which aids in digestion and hairball control and a taste that makes this a cat diet food that appeals to picky eaters!

Pros

  • No by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavors
  • Helps with weight loss and hairball control
  • High in protein for weight loss and muscle protection
  • Vitamins and minerals help with immune system health
  • Natural fibers included for healthy digestion
  • Appeals to picky eaters

Cons

  • Not cheap, however, it is not too expensive

10. Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends - Best Superfoods Option

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Premium Natural Dry Cat Food with Added Vitamins, Minerals & Other Nutrients, Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe, 6 Pounds (Packaging May Vary)

The Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends dry food is a great way to deliver essential nutrients to your cat while also encouraging weight loss. Real chicken is the number one ingredient in this blend and it contains no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Formulated with indoor cats in mind, this cat food for weight loss contains plenty of fiber, prebiotics, and antioxidants.

The high fiber content from the lentils aid in digestion, the natural prebiotics from pumpkin also aid in digestion, and the antioxidants from cranberries and blueberries provide support to your cat’s immune system.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends is high in fiber and protein to help your cat reach a healthy weight and metabolism.

Not to mention, it has small pieces that are bite-sized and great for cats that have teeth problems.

Pros

  • Chicken is the number one ingredient
  • Includes no corn, wheat, soy, by-products, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • High in fiber and protein and low in fat
  • Helps support weight loss and a healthy metabolism
  • Antioxidants support healthy immune system
  • Natural prebiotics support healthy digestion
  • Bite-sized pieces are great for cats with teeth problems

Cons

  • Formulated for indoor cats, so it may not be ideal for outdoor cats

11. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Light for Healthy Weight and Weight Management

Hill's Science Diet Light, Adult 1-6, Weight Management Support, Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 16 lb Bag

The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Light for Weight Management blend is a a mouthful if you give it its full name, but it's a great cat food for weight loss if you are trying to focus on the number of calories they consume. This dry food has 20% fewer calories than other formulas.

This dry cat food for weight loss was made with indoor cats in mind, specifically cats aged 1-6 years old who are less active than others.

It contains natural ingredients. In fact, chicken is the number one ingredient and there are no by-products.

On top of ingredients that aid in weight loss, the Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food contains L-Carnitine, omega 6 fatty acids to promote skin and coat health, and antioxidants that support immune system health.

Pros

  • Contains 20% fewer calories than other formulas
  • Formulated with less active cats in mind
  • Contains L-Carnitine to help promote a healthy body weight
  • High-quality protein and natural fibers keep cats full for longer
  • Omega 6 fatty acids promote skin and coat health
  • Vitamins and antioxidants help boost immune system health
  • Chicken is the number one ingredient and it contains no by-products

Cons

  • This dry food is expensive
  • Made for cats ages 1-6, so it may not work as well for older cats
  • There appears to be a formula change in 2018 that left some long time customers displeased

12. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 7+ - Best Option for Senior Cats

Hill's Science Diet Indoor, Senior Adult 7+, Easy Litter Box Cleanup, Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 7 lb Bag

The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food provides essential nutrients for senior cats ages seven and up. It provides much-needed energy for the indoor cat, as well as other essential nutrients and vitamins that aid in other areas of your cat’s health.

First and foremost, this dry food is high in fiber with aids in digestion and leads to a better litter box cleaning experience.

It also includes other high-quality ingredients, like protein, which helps your cat build and maintain muscle mass and keeps them full between meals.

Chicken is the number one ingredient in Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats 7+ and it contains no by-products. It is also highly recommended by veterinarians.

Pros

  • Made for senior, indoor cats
  • Provides indoor cats with energy
  • Includes fiber for easy digestion and better litter box cleaning
  • High-quality protein helps your cat maintain lean muscle mass and keeps them full between meals
  • Chicken is the number one ingredient and contains no by-products
  • Number one veterinarian recommended

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive
  • No necessarily formulated for weight loss
  • Made specifically for senior indoor cats so if your cat is outdoors or under 7 years old, this may not be the food for them

13. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Light, Adult 1-6, Weight Management Support, Wet Cat Food, Liver & Chicken Minced, 5.5 oz Can, Case of 24

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food has a great formula for encouraging weight loss and control in your cat. It contains plenty of high-quality protein to help burn fat and build lean muscle.

With just 147 kilocalories in a 5.5 ounce can, this low calorie cat food formula is highly recommended by veterinarians (including our vet advisors).

Besides high-quality protein, this wet cat food for weight loss includes natural fiber that keeps your cat full and satisfied between meals. It also has antioxidants and vitamins like vitamins C and E to support their immune system health.

However, this canned food can get somewhat expensive and a formula change a few years ago was not loved by many cat owners.

We recommend Smalls as the best wet cat food for weight loss but if you don't want a subscription or that cost, then this Hills Science Diet wet formula would be our alternative pick.

Pros

  • Low-calorie formula is great for encouraging weight loss and control
  • Only 147 kilocalories in a 5.5 ounce can
  • Natural fiber keeps cats full between meals
  • Contains antioxidants and vitamins that boost immune system health
  • Made of natural ingredients
  • Number one veterinarian recommended

Cons

  • This wet food is pretty expensive
  • Some owners claim that a formula change caused their cats to get diarrhea

14. Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care

Purina Pro Plan Hairball Management, Indoor Cat Food, Salmon and Rice Formula - 3.5 lb. Bag

Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care is an affordable and quality cat food for weight loss option for indoor cats in need of losing a little weight. It contains 40% protein and has salmon as the number one ingredient. All that protein helps your cat burn fat and build lean muscles.

There is also plenty of natural fiber in this dry cat food which helps with digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as reduces the number of hairballs your cat has.

Also in this dry food is prebiotics which also helps with digestion, omega 6 fatty acids like linoleic acid which support skin and coat health, and antioxidants for immune system health.

As an added bonus, the Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care dry food contains no artificial colors or flavors and is an affordable way to provide your cat with essential and quality nutrients.

Pros

  • Made for indoor cats
  • Helps with weight loss and maintenance
  • Helps control hairballs
  • Contains 40% protein for lean muscle mass
  • Natural fibers and prebiotics aid in digestion
  • Omega 6 fatty acids support skin and coat health

Cons

  • Made for indoor cats, so it may not be a good match for outdoor cats

Weight Loss Cat Food Buyers Guide

Navigating the world of cat food can feel like solving a puzzle, especially when you're trying to find the best way to help your portly feline friend shed a little extra weight.

With an array of labels screaming "weight control," "high in protein," or "indoor formula," the choices might seem endless. And which ones are actually effective?

But fret not, for every label, there's a reason and understanding these can be the key to unlocking a healthier lifestyle for your pet.

It really is quite simple: to lose weight, kitty must burn off more calories than are consumed. It is simple maths. 

Just as we humans are conscious about our calorie intake, carbs, and proteins, your cat's diet requires similar attention.

But with the never ending choices out there, how do you actually know which one is best? 

Cristina Vulpe PhD

Weight Loss Food For Cats: Our Vet's Advice

Cristina Vulpe, PhD, Certified Veterinarian

You can rely on different strategies if you’d like to help your cat lose weight -- without too many complaints from their end.

Weight loss food for cats is available these days from prescription brands such as Hill’s Science Diet, or Purina, and you can start by replacing 10% of your cat’s normal dry food with the new diet once every two to three days.

Aim for 20% per week to make the switch gradually and safely - but keep in mind that a cat’s palate is a lot more complex than a dog’s, which means that your pet also has a high chance of refusing to eat the low-calorie kibble. 

Another strategy is to look at the label of the food you’re giving your cat to see if you’re not overfeeding them. Use a scoop or a scale to determine whether the amount is right; if not, bring it down gradually. 

Weigh your cat regularly to ensure that you’re seeing some progress, no matter how little it might be.

To do so, start by weighing yourself. Pick up your pet, weigh yourself again, and then subtract the difference to determine how heavy your cat is. Keep a diary to ensure the weight is decreasing and you don’t forget last week’s number. 

Treats have calories, too, so try to choose a low-calorie option. Greenies treats are particularly popular among people with cats with hairball problems, and every snack has just 1.3 calories.

While free-feeding is a great option for most pet owners, it is not for those with overweight cats. Invest in an automatic pet feeder to ensure a time release on your cat’s dry food and prevent them from eating all day long, while you're at work.

Have your cat work for every treat using interactive feeding toys like food puzzles. 

Exercise is a great way of ensuring your cat loses weight, and it needs to be entertaining to have your cat be interested in it. Switch between their toys regularly (every two weeks) to prevent them from getting bored with the same accessories. 

In the end, while diet and exercise are the best tools you have at your disposal, don’t expect your cat to lose more than 3-4% of their body weight in the first month after you’ve made these changes.

 More often than not, it’s not even healthy for cats to lose weight fast - and it can put them at risk of developing other health conditions, especially if they’re seniors. 

For weight management, monitor your cat’s food intake and ensure they get plenty of fiber from healthy sources like sweet potatoes or pumpkin.

Your vet can help you come up with a plan or choose the right diet for maintaining your cat’s weight loss results over time. 

What is The Best Cat Food for Losing Weight?

When shopping for the best cat food for weight loss, you will run into several different kinds of labeling. Some will say “weight control cat food” or “weight management cat food”, and some will say “indoor formula,” and others will say “high in protein.”

Or, you may run into some foods that have a combination of these labels. But what do they mean?

Cat foods for weight loss all have different pros and cons, but what they all boil down to is what the food was designed for. 

Weight control cat food was specifically made to help cats lose or maintain their weight. Indoor formulas are made specifically for indoor cats because they often do not have the same amount of activity or nutrients as outdoor cats. That means that they need less calories, so those indoor formulas tend to be low calorie cat food.

And high protein cat food includes a ton of protein, especially since large amounts of protein have been scientifically linked to weight loss. And, that's as true in cats as it is in humans!

At the end of the day, what you should really pay attention to in the food you feed your cat to lose weight is the number of calories in one serving.

Comparing Calories in Weight Control, High Protein, & Indoor Formula Cat Foods

Weight Control Cat Food (Low Calorie Cat Food)

Naturally, weight control cat food formulas have fewer calories per cup than indoor and high protein formulas usually do.

This is because the lowest calorie cat food formulas have weight loss specifically in mind. If you are really trying to cut back on the amount of calories your cat consumes, opt for a weight control formula.

Indoor Weight Loss Cat Food

Indoor cat food formulas fall somewhere in between weight control and high protein formulas as far as calorie count goes.

However, just because it may have more calories than weight control formulas doesn’t mean it’s bad for weight loss. They often provide several added benefits specific for indoor cats, such as hairball control and easy digestion.

If you choose an indoor formula for all the benefits combined, just be aware of the number of calories in a serving and make sure not to overfeed your cat.

High Protein Weight Loss Cat Food

Finally, high protein cat food formulas tend to have more calories than weight control and indoor formulas. While that’s not always optimal for weight loss, high amounts of protein can be.

Protein helps build muscle mass which helps burn more fat. Protein can also help keep your cat full for longer, reducing the amount you need to feed them.

Since high protein weight loss cat food formulas are higher in calories than the other two, you need to be very aware of the number of calories you are feeding your cat so you don’t overfeed them.

Check the label and opt for high protein blends that are also low in carbs.

large cat that needs diet cat food

Health Risks for Overweight Cats

Just like in people, obesity in cats can put them at risk for several health problems. First, the excess weight can take a toll on their bones and joints and make them more prone to developing arthritis faster.

Not to mention, it can wreak havoc on cats’ organs and make them more prone to diabetes, heart disease, and liver disease. In the most extreme cases, it could even cause cancer in cats.

The gist of the matter is obesity could shorten a cat’s lifespan dramatically if not taken care of.

Why Your Cat Could Be Overweight

There are several reasons your cat could be overweight. Just like when humans are overweight, a combination of factors could be involved, especially when it comes to food and exercise.

Indoor cats are often not as active as outdoor cats. If they are not staying active enough, they could start to gain weight, especially if their diet does not reflect their level of inactivity.

Feeding your cat too much or too frequently could also result in their weight gain. Sometimes the food they eat has too many calories, their portion sizes are too large, and they get too many treats.

Also, if you just leave dry food down for them all day long, they may become little gluttons and pig out too frequently.

We know it’s hard to resist that cute, furry face when they’re begging for treats or more food, but putting your foot down and monitoring their diet may just be what helps keep them healthy for a long time.

Weight Loss Tips for Cats

There are plenty of simple things you can do to help your cat lose weight. First is getting them to move more. More movement means that they burn more calories. Make sure they have plenty of cat toys that they are interested in and even take the time to play with them to keep them moving. 

You could even be sneaky and move their food or litter box further away so they have to move more to get where they want to be.

Next, control what they eat. Feed them smaller portions and change their diet to a food that helps with weight control. A great way to reduce the amount they eat without them getting angry at you is to use interactive feeding.

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Automated feeders and even treat dispensers make them work for the food instead of just leaving it out for them to graze on all day long. The Petlibro Automatic Pet Feeder s a great way to make their feeding interactive, while also making sure each cat eats their own food if you have more than one!

FAQs

How Much Should Domestic Cats Weigh?

As a general rule of thumb, domestic cats should weigh approximately 10 pounds. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Often a range of weights work for domestic cats and your cat could very well be healthy at 15 pounds.

Is Cat Weight Breed Dependent?

The amount a domestic cat should weigh really depends on their breed. Several breeds of cats are bulkier and naturally heavier than other breeds. For instance, Siamese cats could be healthy at just 5 pounds while Maine Coon cats can be healthy at 25 pounds.

What is an Obese Cat?

Cats are considered obese when they are 20% heavier than their ideal weight. They are considered just overweight if they are 10-19% heavier than their ideal weight. You can also usually tell if a cat is obese by the way they look. If it is hard to palpate a cat’s ribs and spine and it is hard to see their waist due to fat, they are more than likely considered obese.

How do I Know if My Cat is Overweight?

Check if their belly sags or hangs down, if they have difficulty grooming hard-to-reach areas, or if they struggle with activities like jumping and climbing. When you run your fingers along their side, you shouldn't have trouble feeling their ribs; if you can't, it might be a sign of excess weight. Additionally, an overweight cat might have a waddling walk instead of a sleek stride.

How do I get my Lazy Cat to Exercise More?

Try starting with interactive toys, like feather wands or laser pointers, to trigger their hunting instincts. Provide climbing spaces, such as cat trees or shelves, for climbing and exploring. Set aside daily playtime for interactive games to keep them engaged and moving. Use food puzzles or treat-dispensing toys to stimulate their mind during mealtime. With these simple strategies, your feline friend will stay active, healthy, and happy!

Best Cat Food for Weight Loss: The Verdict

As you can tell, getting your cat to lose weight doesn’t have to be a hard, stressful experience. Simply changing their food can put your cat on the right track to living their best kitty life!

The best cat food for weight loss is Hill’s Science Diet Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food. Not only does it help your cat maintain muscle mass and boost their metabolism, but it is also made from all-natural ingredients and is the number one veterinarian-recommended cat food. Not to mention, over 70% of cats lose weight in just 10 weeks when eating this dry food!

As we have often pointed out, if budget is not an issue, it's well worth at least testing a trial of Smalls cat food because we are blown away by the overall ingredient quality and healthy formula. It's great, natural food for your cat and helps mange weight as well as many other issues and conditions.

Overall, as long as you monitor what your cat eats and encourage them to be more active, it should be rather easy to help them lose weight.

Before you know it, you will have a healthy, happy kitty that will surely be there for a very long time!

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About the author

Jennifer Bridgers has been a freelance writer for several years. As a cat mom to two adorable cats herself, she loves diving into the world of cat care. When she isn’t busy dressing her cats in ridiculous outfits, Jennifer can be found crocheting, bingeing true crime documentaries and podcasts, reading fantasy novels, or writing a novel series of her own.

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