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My 10 month old male British Shorthair, neutered since 6 months old, looks more and more like an adult cat. I believe however that he still hasn't reached the peak of his body development and certainly doesn't look like it. More or less I keep feeding him liberaly, like I used when he was a small kitten. Even though he is quite active I have started to worry about the obesity dangers of his breed (a previous British Shorthair I lived with had since a very early age developed a "hanging belly")

So, while making sure he gets enough exercise, are there any cat diets available that will help him develop fully and in the same time avoid obesity?

  • possible duplicate of What are the healthiest foods I can feed my cat? – Spidercat Sep 19 '14 at 16:22
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    @MattS. not sure it is duplicate. To me this question reads more like when and how do I transition from kitten diet to adult cat diet (a question we don't seem to have currently). I think it might be reworded to make this point more clear and focus more or the general question than this specific animal. Then again I might be completely missing the OP's point... in which case it might be a duplicate. – James Jenkins Sep 19 '14 at 18:51
  • @james-jenkins is right, the question concerns more the development issues a young cat may have if we try to protect him from obesity. I'll try to rephrase the question to better express this – George Sep 20 '14 at 17:13
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    A "hanging belly" doesn't necessarily mean the cat is overweight. A cat who has been overweight and lost weight can have a hanging belly from the excess skin they grew at the higher weight. – Zaralynda Oct 24 '14 at 15:05
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Hooray for British Shorthairs! I've got two of them, a brother and sister pair, since they were 5 months old. Like yours, they were neutered at 6 months old, and they're 3.5 years old now. On recommendation of the breeder, we always fed them BARF-food - fresh meat frozen into a sausage-like shape, which we had to thaw before feeding it to them (BARF stands for either 'Bones and Raw Food' or 'Biologically Appropriate Raw Food' - the idea is that cats naturally eat fresh meat plus a few bones, and that this diet provides all they really need). Additionally, they always had a supply of dry food. We never gave them kitten food, nor did their breeder, since BARF is very close to what a cat would eat naturally. So I guess it really depends more on what type of food you're feeding than whether you're feeding kitten or adult food.

Unfortunately, though, about 1.5 years ago our tomcat developed urinary tract problems a short while after we had switched to a new brand of dry food (and I'm pretty sure it was the dry food). Ever since then, he's on a vet-prescribed special diet, and he gained loads of weight (he's 7 kg right now, even though he only gets tiny portions). We kept his sister on BARF, but gave her more wet food and less dry food (of another brand), and she is doing absolutely fine, she's not fat at all. My point is that the food prescribed by the vet is chock full of grains, and while it guarantees that he won't have any urinary problems anymore, it doesn't seem to be very healthy on a very different level (I'm just too scared to take him off the diet food and switch him back to BARF because I'm afraid I might notice too late).

So whichever food you choose for your cat, make sure it's as natural as possible, contains very little or preferably no grains at all, nor any sugar, and lots of water. That should go a long way in providing him with all the nutrients he needs, while it will at the same time prevent him from consuming calories that he can't process (grains and sugars) and that will make him fat.

This page gives a lot of good information on feeding cats: http://www.catinfo.org/

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  • Oh, there's no additives or anything in it? Just meat? That's not a complete diet, it's lacking important suppliments that cats need (like taurine) – Zaralynda Oct 24 '14 at 15:43
  • I added a bit more info about BARF. Fresh raw meat contains taurine naturally, though it's important to feed several types of meat; dry food is depleted from it, which is why taurine needs to be supplemented. For more info, see this page: blog.barfworld.com/2008/02/14/…. As far as I know, this also holds up for other supplements. – Little Ms Whoops Oct 24 '14 at 15:53
  • Thank you so much for such informative answer. I didn't know about BARF, so this will certainly be much help. Enjoy life with your British Shorthairs! – George Nov 21 '14 at 9:59
  • Glad to hear you found it helpful! As you have a tomcat as well, make sure he drinks enough (I always add water to their wet food because I never saw them drink, not even from a fountain). Try to give little dry food (full of grains), but it's actually good for their dental health if they can chew on something hard every day, either dry food large enough that they have to chew on it, or snacks (dried fish or meat, that kind of stuff). What I started recently is that I give them a little dry food before going to bed, ... – Little Ms Whoops Nov 21 '14 at 18:23
  • (continued) but I throw them one by one, and into different rooms, making them chase them - and they love it! Also works great to get them some exercise.. – Little Ms Whoops Nov 21 '14 at 18:24

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