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best cat food for weight loss

14 Best Cat Foods For Weight Loss 2020

We love our furry companions and oftentimes, we are quick to overindulge them. We feed them too much food they love and treats just for asking. However, this could get to be a problem if they start gaining weight so it's important to understand what's the best cat food for weight loss.

When a cat is overweight, it can lead to several health issues that could shorten their lifespan. Switching their food to diet cat food made for weight loss can help your cat start to shed those pounds without them even realizing it.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight

Our choice is Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, the best Best Dry Cat Food for Weight Loss you can buy for your cat!

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management, Chicken Recipe, 15 Lb Bag

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” or “weight management,” 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 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. And high protein cat food includes a ton of protein, especially since large amounts of protein have been scientifically linked to weight loss.

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 Formulas

Weight Control Cat Food

Naturally, weight control formulas have fewer calories per cup than indoor and high protein formulas usually do. This is because the 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 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 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 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.

Guide to Buying the Best Cat Foods for Weight Loss

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.

Does That Depend on Breed?

The amount of domestic cats 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.

weight loss 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 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 Surefeed Automatic Microchip Pet Feeder is a great way to make their feeding interactive, while also making sure each cat eats their own food if you have more than one!

The Best Cat Weight Loss Food

1. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight - Best Dry Cat Food for Weight Loss

The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight is a great food to encourage weight loss in a healthy way. In fact, the manufacturer states that over 70% of cats studied lost weight within 10 weeks of switching to this dry food.

This dry cat food for weight loss is made from natural ingredients and also helps support weight maintenance in cats who aren’t overweight so they don’t become obese. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food is high in both protein and fiber and contains other ingredients, like L-carnitine and coconut oil, that support their metabolism.

Many cats who have transitioned to this cat food for weight loss not only lose weight but gain energy as well. Owners have even found that their older cats are more playful than before. Between the roasted vegetable and chicken flavor and its long-lasting effects, this food for weight loss is a great option.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Healthy Weight & Weight Management, Chicken Recipe, 15 Lb Bag

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. Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food - Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

The Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food is a great option if you are looking for a cat food for weight loss. It comes in flavors liver & chicken and roasted vegetable & chicken and each can only contain 71 calories.

This wet food is the number one veterinarian-recommended wet cat food for weight loss and produces results in your cat that are visible within 10 weeks. It is a safe and effective way to encourage weight loss in your overweight cat. It also provides weight maintenance and lean muscle support in cats that are not overweight.

The effects of Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food are long-lasting and very healthy since it is made with natural ingredients. However, this canned wet food can get pretty expensive, especially if this is the only food you are feeding your cat.

Hill's Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food, Adult, Perfect Weight for Weight Management, Liver & Chicken Recipe, 2.9 oz Cans, 24 Pack

Pros:

  • Number one veterinarian-recommended wet food for weight loss
  • Results visible within 10 weeks
  • Supports weight loss and weight maintenance, as well as supports lean muscles
  • Made from natural ingredients
  • Only 71 calories per can

Cons:

  • This wet food can get expensive

3. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural - Best Natural Option

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, Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural dry 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 kilocalories.

Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice 7-lb

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

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

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 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.

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

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

5. Purina ONE Indoor Advantage - Best Indoor Cat Option

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 while also reducing hairballs, especially since it contains 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.

Purina ONE Hairball, Weight Control, Indoor, Natural Dry Cat Food, Indoor Advantage - 7 lb. Bag

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

6. Purina Beyond Grain Free - Best Grain Free Option

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.

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

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

7. Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Weight Management - Best Low Fat Option

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 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.

Purina Pro Plan Weight Control High Protein Dry Cat Food, FOCUS Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula - 7 lb. Bag

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

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

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 appeals to picky eaters!

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Dry Cat Food, Chicken 11-lb

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:

  • This dry food is pretty expensive

9. Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends - Best Superfoods Option

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 Fiber 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.

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

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

10. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Light for Weight Management - Best Light Food Option

The Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Light for Weight Management blend is 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.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Light for Healthy Weight & Weight Management, Chicken Recipe, 16 lb Bag

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

11. 9Lives Dry Cat Food - Best Value Option

9Lives Dry Cat Food is a decent dry cat food for weight loss that works well to help your cat maintain a healthy weight and metabolism. It has several vitamins and nutrients that are essential to your cat’s overall health and provides a complete and balanced diet for adult cats.

This is an affordable option, especially if you are feeding multiple cats, and it comes in a chicken and salmon flavor that even appeals to picky eaters. Besides weight and metabolism maintenance, this dry food also aids in digestion and the preservation of lean muscle mass.

However, the one downside to this dry food is that it does not have as many high-quality ingredients as other brands or formulas. This may not be an issue for you though if you are more concerned with price as this dry food is rather affordable.

9 Lives Lean And Tasty Dry Cat Food, 12-Pound

Pros:

  • Provides a complete and balanced nutrition
  • Helps cats maintain a healthy weight and metabolism
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Helps support lean muscle mass
  • Contains come important vitamins for overall health
  • Affordable cat food for weight loss, especially if you are feeding many cats
  • Chicken and salmon flavor that appeals to picky eaters

Cons:

  • Does not contain as many high-quality ingredients as other formulas and brands
  • Helps more with weight maintenance than weight loss

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

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.

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 7+ for Senior Cats, Indoor, Chicken Recipe, 7 lb Bag

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 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 calories formula is highly recommended by veterinarians.

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.

Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Light, Liver & Chicken Pack of 24

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 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 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.

Purina Pro Plan Hairball, Healthy Weight, Indoor Dry Cat Food, FOCUS Indoor Care Salmon & Rice Formula - 3.5 lb. Bag

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
  • Antioxidants support their immune system
  • Contains no artificial colors or flavor
  • Affordable

Cons:

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

Final Thoughts on the Best Cat Food for Weight Loss

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 Dry Cat Food, Perfect Weight. 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!

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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