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I feed my cat a measured amount only once a day, but she is usually pretty good at conserving food throughout the day instead of eating it all at once. Twice a day, portion-controlled feedings versus free-feeding are a really good idea though.

To figure out how much they each need, look at the nutritional info on the back/side of the cat food bag. It should have a chart that has amounts in cups according to the cat's age and weight. Once you figure out how many cups of food each cat needs per day, divide this amount by two, and that's how much you should feed at each feeding. For the overweight one, if she does not slim down on this regimen, then you can decrease the amount of food she gets slightly.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Julie
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn.Movement View Post

The back of the bag is a good start, but it should be used as a high number usually. The amounts there are for intact (not spayed or neutered) cats that are already at a healthy weight. If you want them to lose weight, try making that amount a little smaller. Weight them weekly to see if you need to adjust their portions. It's important to have them loose weight slowly because they are prone to something called hepatic lipidosis. It is caused by not drinking enough water (which cats don't drink a lot to begin with) and the breakdown of fat essentially flooding the liver and somewhat poisoning it. To avoid it, make sure your kitty has plenty of fresh water and you should aim for a loss of 0.5-2.0% of its body weight per week.
I agree, the numbers on the back of the bag are for maintenance of an already healthy body weight. She said only one of the cats was overweight though, which was why I suggested slightly lowering the recommended amount for that cat if switching from free feeding to controlled feeding wasn't enough for the cat to lose weight (which it often is). You should be safe following the formula on the back of the bag, but obviously if you see them losing or gaining weight when you don't want them to, you can increase/decrease the amount slightly.

Hepatic lipidosis isn't actually caused by drinking too little water... it's caused when an overweight cat completely stops eating for whatever reason, and the cat's body goes into starvation mode and starts breaking down excess fat proteins for energy via the liver, which does overload the liver and causes it to stop functioning in some cases. There's probably little chance of this happening to young, healthy cats unless some other disease process is present, but I totally agree that they should lose weight slowly to avoid any complications.

Julie
 
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