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Reader Questions

Food For An Overweight, Elderly Cat

Last Updated : 11-Nov-2022

I  have just purchased PET Plus. I have a 7 kilo female cat of approx 13 years of age and I would like your advice on what to feed her and how much, in order to reduce her weight.

We live on a marina and she is basically an indoor cat. I have started to carry her some distance away and let her follow me home so that she is having some regular exercise each day.

I would like to feed my cats organic raw meat but am afraid it may cause kidney problems given her age.

I am taking her for a blood test next week for a kidney check up as she does seem to drink any water. But having said that, she is on dry food. I don’t know what is excessive drinking for a cat hence the blood test.

Whatever food you recommend I would like your opinion on the amount she should be eat per day. I am looking forward to some good results from your powder – they seem to really enjoy it.

PET Plus Vet Reader : Christine

Dr Susanna's Response

Feeding fresh, raw meat and bone mince is the best to start with.


Part of the purpose of eating is to hydrate the body. Our bodies are all about 80% water. In the wild, cats get a lot of their fluid from the animals they eat. Feeding dry food is the quickest way to stress the kidneys, so definitely get her off that.

What Is Body Fat For?

You could read my blog post about fat and how to lose fat, but basically, fat is storage of toxins.  Toxins are anything the body can’t deal with, namely anything that isn’t what they’d eat in the wild, so anything that isn’t raw meat and bone.

Problems With Dry Food

Dry food is the worst as it’s full of grains and carbohydrates which are useless for cats. Also, it’s so heat treated and processed, the molecules are unrecognisable to the cat’s digestive system, causing digestive leukocytosis and so on.

There are no toxins in raw food and it is 100% recognisable to the cat’s digestive system as it is what cats are biologically adapted to eat.

Save Her Kidneys

To save her kidneys, get her onto raw meat and bone as soon as you can. The whole low protein for old cats stuff fails to take into account the quality of that protein.

Raw is high quality, easily digested protein. Cooked and processed is impossible to deal with and causes no end of problems.

So I guess you can see that raw is the way forward! Once she’s used to raw minced meat and bone, you can give her whole sprats and little sardines, raw, from the fishmonger, NOT from a tin!! Then offer her chicken wings … yummy crunchy mmmm!!

Raw egg is excellent too. Cats usually only want the yolk, so I guess you’ll be making a lot of meringues!! Offer the whole lot and see what she does.

I usually have to break open the yolk or they seem unable to see that it’s there in amongst the translucent ‘white’ albumen (now there’s a fine example of how protein is severely damaged by heating! Raw egg versus cooked egg).

I wouldn’t bother with the blood test as it will show elevated levels of everything because she is so dehydrated.

I would give her about 150 – 200g raw minced meat and bone in divided servings daily. Don’t leave the food down if they leave any but take it up as soon as they’ve finished. Some cats are trickle feeders, so need the equivalent of about 10-14 mice a day. Mice don’t weigh much! Others have a feast then sleep it off for the rest of the day.