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Choosing Light and Reduced-Calorie Cat Foods

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If you're looking to feed your cat a lower-calorie diet, three types of cat foods fall in this category:  light or lite foods, less reduced calorie foods and less or reduced fat foods.

Reduced calorie and reduced fat foods are recommended for weight loss while light and lean foods are usually recommended more for weight management or if your pet has a tendency to gain weight but is not yet overweight.

If you're looking to feed your cat a lower-calorie diet, three types of foods fall in this category:  light or lite foods, less reduced calorie foods and less or reduced fat foods.

Reduced calorie and reduced fat foods are recommended for weight loss while light and lean foods are usually recommended more for weight management or if your pet has a tendency to gain weight but is not yet overweight.

Foods that are labeled as light, lite, lean, low calorie, less, reduced calorie, low fat or reduced fat are regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and are defined as follows:

Light (also lite) and lean: Dry: 3,250 kcal/kg food, 10% fat. Moist, 950 kcal per kg food, 5% fat. These foods are lower in fat and calories and much higher in fiber than adult cat foods. They are especially appropriate for weight loss and can be used for more sedentary cats that require fewer calories.

"Less Calories" or "Reduced Calories": The label must include the percentage of reduction and the product of comparison along with other information. These foods have less calories and fat than adult foods, but more calories than light foods. They also have less fiber than light foods and are more suited for weight maintenance than weight loss.

"Less Fat" or "Reduced Fat": Labels must include the percentage of reduction, product of comparison and maximum crude fat guarantee after the minimum crude fat guarantee in the mandatory guaranteed analysis information. Similar to less-calorie foods, these foods have less fat than adult cat foods, but more than light foods.

Cats are particularly finicky eaters and as such, weight loss program should be instituted under the guidance of a veterinarian. Cats, especially those that are already overweight, that do not eat for two consecutive days are at risk to develop liver disease and should be checked by your veterinarian.

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Comments

25 Mar 2010 7:02 pm

shinigamisblade said:

This article makes it seem like there's only one appropriate food type to help cats achieve and maintain the proper weight. I would always recommend looking into a grain-free diet, like my holistic veterinarian suggested, and I've seen those results in my own cats. If you decrease the fat (and more than likely the meat protein content as well), the carbohydrate content HAS to be increased, which also increases their risks of diabetes and sluggish behavior. Always be informed consumers and at least recognize there's more than one side to this debate.

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