Best Diet Cat Foods

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Does your kitty need to lose some weight? If your cat is looking to slim down, check out our list of the best diet cat foods.

Has your veterinarian told you that your cat should go on a diet to lose weight? Is your furry companion a bit under the weather, or not as agile as before? If your kitty is becoming chunkier by the day, then it is time to think about what the right food would be to help your kitty slim down safely. Proper diet is very important for every cat, and it can cause plenty of positive changes in their health – besides the obvious one that is weight loss. After all, every cat has to be agile and energetic – it is in their nature.

Of course, we always recommend discussing these kinds of topics with your vet for personalized guidance, as you want to do what’s best for your unique pet, but we took a look at some of the best diet cat foods that are currently available, and we listed them, in no particular order, below. That way, you can talk to your vet about these options and work on gradually getting your feline friend down to her target weight. Your kitty’s best shape is just a few mouthfuls away!

Your Vet Can Be a Valuable Guide

First off, yes, cats can be diagnosed as overweight or obese. Your vet will help you figure out if your kitty is at an appropriate weight or not. Those extra few pounds can really put your cat in a bad situation. Excess weight can lead to lack of activity, and eventually to lethargy or apathy. And that’s a path to many other issues down the road. Every pet – cat’s especially – require daily exercise and plenty of action.

Then, because weight loss for felines isn’t the same as weight loss for people, it’s important to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best track to take to get your kitty down to the right weight. This might include steps like switching to a different food that will provide the right amount of calories, reducing the amount of food that you’re giving your cat throughout the day, and encouraging your pet to be more active through daily play sessions.

Keep in mind, too, that this is a process that requires patience. While carrying too much weight isn’t good for your cat, losing weight too quickly isn’t good either. You want to ensure your pet will lose the weight gradually and safely while getting the appropriate number of calories and the necessary nutrients for overall health. And a carefully planned diet is the ideal way for this gradual process.

Then, once your furry friend has lost the extra weight, your vet will help you figure out the best way to maintain that healthy weight for the long run. Healthy bites – in just the right measure – can be the ideal stepstone to perfect health!

Important note: If you’ve noticed your cat gaining weight, and you don’t think it’s merely because of a lack of activity or because she’s eating a lot, your veterinarian can determine if there’s an underlying condition that is contributing to the excess weight gain.

How Does Excess Weight Affect Your Cat’s Health?

Before we dive into our list of some of the top foods for cats that need to lose a few pounds, let’s discuss why excess weight could end up being a problem for your pet’s health. Remember that kitties are not the only one’s susceptible to these conditions – same goes for your dog too. Don’t allow yourself to confuse apathy and lethargy with general laziness or rest – the difference might be subtle, but the end results are critical!

According to experts, the risk of various conditions might increase when your kitty is too heavy, and those include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory problems
  • Compromised immune system

Excess weight might also lead to increased inflammation, which might then increase the risk of various ailments. That is because improper diet and excess weight can lower your cat’s immune system. Without a regular intake of healthy foods and all the vitamins they bring to the table, the immune system can become vulnerable, allowing for a variety of pesky issues to develop.

Also, in addition to boosting the risk of disease, being overweight or obese might reduce your furry friend’s quality of life. For example, your pet might find it harder to groom herself, and that may lead to skin and coat problems. Of course, a cat that is struggling with chunkiness won’t lead a normal life – they will want to run about, explore, and jump around – but that simply won’t be possible. And that will cause a sharp decrease in their mood. But what’s really scary is that being overweight or obese might even shorten your pet’s life, so it’s definitely something that should be taken seriously.

For kitties that prefer dry food:

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Weight Control Dry Cat Food

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Weight Control dry food formula for adult cats provides carefully balanced calories from fat and protein. And it also contains ingredients that support lean muscle development, digestion, immune function, and the health of your cat’s skin, coat, heart, and eyes.

This food is grain free, and its ingredients include chicken, probiotics, omega fatty acids, and the brand’s LifeSource Bits, which are a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A perfectly natural option, it has all the important components that are needed for a balanced diet.

2. WholeHearted Weight Control Chicken and Pea Recipe Dry Cat Food

WholeHearted Weight Control dry cat food is grain free, and it is balanced for adult cats. It contains low calories to help your kitty slim down, and it also boasts more fiber and less fat compared to the brand’s chicken recipe for cats.

This formula includes L-carnitine for metabolizing fat, protein for the maintenance of lean muscle mass, and various vitamins and minerals for balanced nutrition. L-Carnitine can be a crucial supplement to encourage weight loss, better recovery, and more energy. Ideal when those extra pounds need to go!

3. Solid Gold Grain-Free & Gluten Free Fit as a Fiddle with Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock Adult Dry Cat Food

Solid Gold is a holistic pet food company, and its Fit as a Fiddle dry cat food for adults is a weight control formula that is grain free and gluten free. It contains fresh caught Alaskan pollock as the main ingredient. Plus, this formula is high in beneficial omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, it contains probiotics, and it features the brand’s blend of 20 superfoods that help support your kitty’s overall health by providing various nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.

Made in the USA, this food is low in fat and low in calories, and free from fillers like corn, wheat, and soy and contains no artificial preservatives. It is designed for adult cats that are overweight, less active, and need to lose weight and keep it off.

4. Halo Holistic Healthy Weight Grain Free Wild Salmon and Whitefish for Indoor Cats Dry Cat Food

The Healthy Weight Grain Free Wild Salmon and Whitefish dry cat food from Halo features lower calories and fat to help support weight loss. It also contains fiber that can help your pet feel full, and it contains fatty acids, bioavailable nutrients, and non-GMO vegetables.

This brand only uses whole meat ingredients, rather than meat meal ingredients. It aims for digestibility, and the top ingredients in this formula are salmon and whitefish that have been sustainably sourced and are wild caught. Plus, it also contains L-carnitine for boosting metabolism to help your cat lose the extra pounds. Of course, what kitten wouldn’t go crazy after some juicy fish? This is an excellent way to promote a healthier diet with their favorite fishy tastes.

5. Blue Buffalo Blue Weight Control Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

Another diet dry food option offered by Blue Buffalo is their Weight Control Adult Cat food, which is formulated to help support your pet’s health in multiple ways. It works on promoting healthy digestion and lean muscle development, and it can help your cat reach a healthy weight with its carefully balanced protein and fat. Healthy GI tract is a big part of weight loss, and this dish is great for balancing it all out.

This food contains deboned chicken for protein that can maintain muscles, and there aren’t any chicken or poultry byproduct ingredients. It also contains whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, along with the brand’s LifeSource Bits (a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants). After all, chicken is a great source of balanced proteins and nutrients, with a reasonable amount of calories to boot. This dry cat food contains no chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, no corn, wheat ,or soy and nothing artificial – perfect for kitties with sensitive tummies.

6. Blue Buffalo Blue Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Weight Control Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

Yet another option from Blue Buffalo is their Freedom Grain-Free Indoor Weight Control dry food for adult cats. It contains carefully balanced calories from protein and fat to help your kitty lose excess weight, and it is grain free and gluten free.

Ingredients in this formula include deboned chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, cranberries, and blueberries. With reduced calories, L-carnitine, natural sources of fiber, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this food is designed to help with lean muscle development and healthy digestion, in addition to weight management. Fiber maintains healthy digestion, while the lack of grains keeps the carbs at the very minimum, ensuring balanced weight loss.

7. Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Grain Free Weight Control

Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Grain Free Weight Control dry cat food is a great option for cats who need to watch or maintain their weight. Grain-free is a perfect diet for cats, and coupled with high protein, moderate fats, and low-carb, this grain-free cat food from Merrick is one that matches those needs. It is made for adult cats and is highly digestible. It is a low calorie diet that is designed to support kitties who need to lose some weight.

Ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and peas, along with L-carnitine to support your pet’s metabolism and antioxidants to support the immune system. Plus, it also has prebiotics and probiotics that can support digestion. It also has plenty of Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s to help keep your kitty’s fur soft and shiny.

8. Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Indoor Healthy Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

The Wellness Indoor Healthy Weight dry cat food formula is a reduced calorie diet designed to help your kitty maintain a healthy weight, while ensuring she feels full and satisfied with the help of deboned chicken and fiber. Made in the USA using all natural, premium ingredients, this food does not contain any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors, and you won’t find any meat byproducts, corn, wheat, or soy in this formula either. This is an ideal balance of ingredients assembled with the purpose of healthy weight maintenance.

This food contains a high concentration of animal protein, as well as superfoods. The top ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, potatoes, ground flaxseed, lentils, tomato pomace, and chicken fat. All those tasty bits and pieces that will leave your cat happy and healthy.

1. Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food

Some cats simply prefer wet food and straight out refuse kibble if it’s not, at the very least, mixed with some kind of gravy- which can make their weight loss journey so much more difficult. Luckily, there are canned wet foods available that are formulated in a way to reduce your pet’s caloric intake while still offering the taste and texture your pampered pet prefers. Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food is made in the USA from natural ingredients and is available in roasted veggies and chicken flavor or liver and chicken. The formula is clinically proven to support long-term weight loss- over 70 percent of kitties eating this food have lost some weight within 10 weeks.

The high-quality protein will help your pet build lean muscle and important vitamins such as Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D3 that are contained in the formula will support your cat’s overall immune system. Tasty and nutritious, this food is perfect for picky kitties that have to go on a diet!

2. Purina Pro Plan Healthy Metabolism

This specialized wet formula has the optimal level of protein to create and maintain the ideal feline body condition. Made from real chicken, your cats will love it. It contains L-Carnitine that helps to convert fat into energy. There is the right amount of protein in the formula and it also contains all the necessary amino acids your cat needs. Cats have 11 essential amino acids their body needs to maintain health including taurine and an amino acid cats cannot make themselves. For overweight cats, feed one can for every three pounds of body weight daily. If there is any unused portion of the food, refrigerate after use. Purina Pro Plan has been created with both delicious taste and extraordinary nutrition in mind so your cat’s full potential can shine through. The best review for this food though will come from your cat, as Purina guarantees your cat will love the taste.

3. Chicken Soup for the Soul for Weight and Mature Cats

Chicken Soup For The Soul Classic Ocean Fish, Chicken & Turkey Recipe Pate For Weight & Mature Care is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for the maintenance of adult cats. For a cat food called soup it lives up to its name using a lot of broth to flavor the soup without adding a lot of calories. They also use plenty of meat protein like chicken that provides important omega 6 fatty acids and chicken liver that provides high quality fat, and essential vitamins and minerals. They use a dried egg product which is given the highest biological value when measuring. They add salmon for omega 3, is this suddenly sounding like a soup you wouldn’t mind dipping your spoon into? They add low fat turkey and then they move on to the vegetables to add vitamins, minerals and fiber. This meal provides the highest of protein content, with all of the amino acids your cat needs while chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. This thoughtful recipe will certainly make your cat feel full and never resent you for making them eat “diet” food. It is the perfect complement to your aging cat that maybe doesn’t chase the laser the same way they used to, but a cat’s still gotta eat! We love how Chicken Soup for the Soul truly feels like they are carefully making your cat a bowl of yumminess filled with wholesome ingredients just that way a mama should make it.

4. Instinct Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food

The Instinct Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food in real turkey flavor is carrageenan free, and it doesn’t contain no grain, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, artificial colors, or preservatives. It boasts high-quality protein, along with chelated vitamins and minerals.

Designed to help your pet maintain a healthy weight, this product doesn’t include any filler ingredients. Rather, it contains real turkey and turkey liver, along with other natural ingredients like turkey broth and peas. Perfect when you want natural meals for your kitty.

5. Castor & Pollux Organix Canned Wet Cat Food

Certified organic, Castor & Pollux Organix Canned Wet Cat Food is packed with protein and healthy natural ingredients, which works to help your kitty reach and maintain a healthy weight. This food contains ingredients like ingredients like organic free range chicken, organic chicken liver, and organic peas. It is also enriched with superfoods such as organic flaxseed, organic coconut flour, organic dried egg, and organic cranberries. Best of all, the formula is completely clean and free of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, artificial preservatives, growth hormones, or antibiotics in organic ingredients. On top of all that, this food is prepared and cooked in an organically certified USA kitchen. Only the best for your pet!

This is a great choice if you want to avoid ingredients like animal byproducts, and if you want to steer clear of artificial ingredients. Filled with certified organic ingredients and essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids, this food is made to support your pet’s overall health, not just her weight.

6. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+U Weight Management + Urinary Care Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Yet another food from Blue Buffalo that is worth considering is their Natural Veterinary Diet W+U wet food. W stands for Weight Management, while U stands for Urinary Care, so this grain free food is formulated to help your kitty lose weight and avoid urinary tract issues. And since being overweight or obese might raise the risk of urinary problems, that’s a plus!

This food contains ingredients like chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, whitefish, carrots, and potatoes. It is formulated with the optimal amount of calories and fat to help promote weight loss and the maintenance of lean muscle mass. This prescription-only food boasts increased fiber to help your cat feel full and satisfied for longer after eating and contains no grains, making it great for sensitive tummies. And, on top of that, to support urinary health, it contains controlled levels of minerals like sodium and magnesium.

7. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Hearty Cuts in Gravy Indoor Shredded Chicken & Turkey Recipe Canned Cat Food

Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts is a grain-free formula that features shredded pieces of meat in a rich gravy, so this is a great option if your cat doesn’t like the pate texture of many wet foods, or if you want to provide her with more variety. With ingredients like turkey and chicken, as well as spinach and carrots, this is a recipe that is lower in calories to help indoor kitties lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

Made in the USA, this food contains plenty of protein and nutrients that can help support your cat’s muscles and energy level. It also contains healthy fatty acids from ingredients like salmon oil and flaxseeds, along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for overall health. And, like all high-quality canned cat foods, it has a lot of moisture, too.

8. Solid Gold Flavorful Feast Indoor Recipe with Chicken Pate Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Solid Gold Flavorful Feast Indoor Recipe with Chicken is a holistically formulated, grain free canned food for adult cats. It boasts a low calorie, high fiber formula that can help your cat reach and maintain a healthy weight. And it contains lean protein that satisfies your kitty’s appetite, along with fiber to help her stay full for longer. Plus, it has plenty of water to help ensure your pet stays hydrated. This is a great combo to give your cat some much needed energy.

Chicken is the first ingredient, followed by water, tuna, and dried egg product. Other ingredients include apple, spinach, carrots, and pumpkin, along with various vitamins and minerals. But maybe even more importantly than what it does contain is the list of ingredients that are not in this formula – it is free from fillers like corn, wheat, gluten, soy, artificial preservatives, carrageenan, and meat by-product meals. As healthy and natural as can be!

Help Your Kitty Stay Slim and Healthy!

As you can see, there are a lot of different cat foods to choose from when you are searching for one that will help your furry friend lose some excess weight in a safe and nutritionally balanced way. Whether your pet prefers wet food or dry food, pate or chunks of meat, there is something for every feline. Just look for foods that are specifically formulated for healthy weight maintenance, and those that are made with indoor cats in mind.

The bottom line is this: maintaining a healthy weight isn’t just important for humans, it’s also important for cats. So if you’re noticing that your kitty is heavier than she should be, work with your veterinarian to determine the best way to help her slim down safely. Perhaps one of the weight control foods above, or another prescription diet food for cats, will be part of your vet’s recommendations.

Why is my cat overweight?

As is the case with humans, cats also gain weight when they have an increased caloric intake but don’t burn those calories off – in other words, your couch potato is eating more than they manage to spend through exercise. It might be that the amount of food you’re giving to your cat is excessive, or the food itself might not be healthy: pet food laden with fillers and byproducts is nutritionally poor but rich in calories. A good balance between a healthy diet and optimal amount of activity is what it takes to avoid cat obesity.

How can I help my obese cat lose weight?

A good starting point for weight loss in cats is diet – opt for a weight management formula that is optimized to provide all the essential nutrients but cut back down on the calories. Feed this food according to the recommendations which will be based on the cat’s weight, if you want to get the best results. In addition to a healthier, leaner diet, you will have to get your cat moving: exercise is so helpful for cats trying to lose weight. This doesn’t have to be a major change in the routine – a simple interactive toy that will motivate your cat to chase around will do the trick.

How can I tell if my cat is overweight?

There are a few telltale signs of obesity in cats you can easily spot if you know what to look for. If you can’t feel your cat’s ribs or you can’t see a defined waistline when looking at their body from above, it’s highly likely your cat is overweight. A healthy, adult cat should be able to run around with ease and won’t get easily tired during playtime – if that’s not the case with your pet, it might be excess weight that’s affecting them. Finally, a good way to determine if your cat is overweight is to simply check the numbers: an adult cat should weigh between 8 and 15 pounds (unless you have one of the large breed cats).

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Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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