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Pet Food Calorie Mis-Information

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  1. Lisa Lewandowski

    Will you please help me calculate how much I should feed my overweight cat in order to help him lose weight?

    I’ve been feeding him costly weight management foods all his life and all they ever did was make him gain more weight. He is an indoor cat, almost 7 years old, and weighed in at 25.4 pounds last June =( I finally did added research and switched to Tiki Kat canned chicken (puka puka luau and Koolina luau . . . I offered many other brands and types, even raw, and these are the only ones he will eat) and Nature’s Variety Instinct original chicken meal formula (to free-feed inbetween 1/2 can of the Tiki Kat cans). Since June he has lost 3 pounds!

    I would like to stop the free-feeding and ween him off the dry food, but I’m so afraid of doing it incorrectly. I’m not good at math but it looks to me like you are and that you really know what you’re talking about . . . So I trust you.

    Will you please help me and Lydapus?

    I have two other small females that I inherited, one is 8 years old and the other is almost 6 years old, who are not overweight and I have finally come up with a household change plan to be able to feed them separately in order to help Lydapus lose weight. All are indoor cats and Lydapus is the least active. The only other food they will eat is Tuna from a can.

    Thank you, in advance!


  2. Tree

    Is it possible that the AAFCO’s calorie calculations are different because the Atwater system is based on HUMAN metabolism? I still can’t get most foods to add up consistantly (have been doing this for 20 years), as I can find several foods that are 32/16/10/4 (protein/fat/moisture/fiber) and each will report a very different kCal/Kg, and of course the feeding recommendations don’t relate to their stated calories vs weight of pet, etc.

    I’ve seen estimates of anything from 5% to 10% used as ash (or non-caloric minerals, etc), and perhaps some companies subtract the fiber component of the carbs before figuring the calories? I’ve tried to add these ‘variations’ up and I still can’t get to the sometimes 400 Kcal/Kg difference in two foods that have the same stated percentages in the analysis.

    Confusing at best – wish there were better info out there or at least some kind of standard. This “feature” isn’t limited to the cheap/poor quality stuff either. Since our pets can’t get the same benefit as we can out of carbs, and they may be better than us at fat and protein, this seems like a reasonable explanation…

    Best method is to teach people to evaluate body condition, and pay attention when you pick up the yard…the reco on the bag/can/box is at best a starting point…

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