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If you want to help your cat lose weight the right way, it's all about feeding them the right food. A good choice for the right food has a mix of quality, nutritious ingredients and less calories.
To help you select the one that suits your cat's needs, we've rounded up the best cat foods for healthy weight loss below.
Best Overall: Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
Primary Ingredient: Chicken | Amount: 15 pounds | Life Stage: Adult
Packed with natural and healthy ingredients
Contains a blend of antioxidants to support the immune system
One of their more expensive formulas compared to others
Blue Buffalo is a customer favorite when it comes to healthy pet foods. We love the Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food because it’s filled with healthy ingredients. It’s made with a mix of protein and calories that's designed to help your cat lose weight while keeping them full. The first ingredient in Blue Buffalo is deboned chicken, and it contains no by-products or additives. Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits contain a blend of antioxidants and vitamins to support your cat’s immune system and promote shiny, healthy skin and coat. Each serving contains 30 percent protein and only 10 percent fat.
Owners praise Blue Buffalo Weight Control because they say it’s enticing to even picky cats and has aided in weight loss when other foods have failed. It’s recommended that you transition your cat over the course of a few weeks to prevent stomach issues, but once they're fully transitioned, Blue Buffalo is a great choice.
"We didn’t notice any adverse effects from her eating this food—either in her eating habit itself, litter habits, or behavior changes. She liked this food about as much as any other she's had in the past!”—Product Tester
Best Raw: Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken for Healthy Weight
Primary Ingredient: Chicken | Amount: 10 pounds | Life Stage: All
Contains freeze-dried chicken
Contains added fiber to help keep your cat full
25 percent less fat than traditional cat food
Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight Grain-Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food is a dry cat kibble with added raw, freeze-dried chicken. Not only is this Instinct food incredibly enticing to your cat, but added L-Carnitine boosts your cat’s metabolism and to help them keep the weight off. It has 25 percent less fat than traditional cat food, but with added fiber to keep your cat full. If you've got a grazer on your hands, this is a great pick to keep them full throughout the day (because a hungry cat is not a happy cat). Chicken is the first ingredient, and this food is made without any added preservatives or byproducts. Each serving is made up of 37 percent protein and up to 16 percent fat.
Best High Protein: Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food
Primary Ingredient: Duck | Amount: 1 pound | Life Stage: Adult
Healthy blend of vitamins and minerals
Specifically formulated for indoor cats
Contains 40 percent protein and added probiotics
Not specifically a weight-loss formula, only low fat
For younger cats, extra protein can ward off hunger and provide much-needed energy for play. We love the Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food because it’s an incredibly healthy blend of vitamins and minerals, specifically formulated for indoor cats. With a whopping 40 percent protein, Nulo’s main ingredients are duck, chicken, and turkey. Nearly 82 percent of the protein in Nulo comes directly from real meat.
Made without potatoes or grains, this food also contains added probiotics, vitamins, and Omega fatty acids to keep your cat’s overall health in balance. Though it isn’t specifically a weight-loss diet food, with only 17 percent fat, it is a healthy choice for young to middle-aged cats who need to maintain a healthy weight.
Best Wet Food: AvoDern Natural Indoor Weight Control Formula
Primary Ingredient: Chicken and tuna | Amount: 5.5 ounces | Life Stage: Adult
Filled with lean protein
Rich source of fiber
Great for cats who are UTI-prone
Has a different texture than other AvoDerm food
Debating between wet or dry food for your overweight kitty? Cats that are UTI-prone are great candidates for wet food because it provides much-needed moisture to their diet. AvoDerm Natural Indoor Weight Control Formula Adult Canned Cat Food is a wet food specifically formulated to help shed pounds. It's filled with lean protein, such as chicken and tuna, and fiber-rich foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, and pea fiber. This helps them feel and stay full until the next mealtime. Each serving contains 78 percent moisture, 8 percent protein, and up to 5 percent fat.
Cat owners say AvoDerm is a great choice for cats in weight-loss mode. Feeding a wet diet discourages grazing, and most cats go wild for wet food, so picky eaters may not snub this pick.
Best Vegetarian: Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner Canned Dog & Cat Food
Primary Ingredient: Veggies | Amount: 13 ounces | Life Stage: Baby
Can be fed to both dogs and cats
Great for cats with a meat sensitivity
Contains plenty of fruits and vegetables
Loaf-like texture may not appeal to all cats
Evanger's Low Fat Vegetarian Dinner is a canned food that can be fed to both cats and dogs. It contains no meat, so it’s a good choice if your cat has allergies to certain proteins or is sensitive to meat. It is made with veggies and fruits, such as sweet potatoes, peas, and berries, along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to give your cat the healthy nutrients they need.
The formula contains 78 percent moisture, 7 percent protein, and just 2 percent fat, so it’s great for cats who need to lose weight. It can be fed alone or as a healthy topper to dry food.
Best Fish-Flavored: Solid Gold Fit as a Fiddle with Fresh Caught Alaskan Pollock
Primary Ingredient: Alaskan Pollock | Amount: 12.35 pounds | Life Stage: Adult
Free of corn, wheat, and soy fillers
Each serving contains only 9 percent fat
Contains pumpkin which may not appeal to all cats
Many foods formulated for weight loss contain high amounts of chicken or other lean white meats. Whether your cat has an allergy to chicken or simply prefers protein from the ocean, you’ll love Solid Gold Fit as a Fiddle food. Pollock is this dry food’s first ingredient, and it is free of fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy. Each serving contains just 9 percent fat and 31 percent protein, so it’s a great choice to reduce body weight while keeping your cat full and energized.
Cat owners love how enticing Solid Gold is, even to picky or aging cats. Many say it helps to keep their cat full, so they can still free feed without worrying about overeating.
Best Feeder for Weight Loss: Catit Senses 2.0 Digger for Cats
Primary Ingredient: Varies | Amount: 15.38 ounces | Life Stage: All
Slows down feeding time using a food game
Easy to disassemble
Helps your cat stay mentally sharp
No guarantee your cat will like the game aspect of mealtime
Whether a reduced-calorie food alone isn’t cutting it for your cat or you simply want to encourage them to eat a little more slowly, a food game is a great way to engage your cat during mealtime. This Catit Senses 2.0 Digger for Cats encourages natural pawing behavior and makes your feline work a little harder for her food. Made up of five plastic tubes, cats must paw to reach each piece of kibble, slowing down feeding time. It can be used with either dry kibble or as a toy with healthy treats during the day. It is also easy to disassemble and clean after meals.
On top of slowing down eating, food games are great for engaging with your cat and helping them stay mentally sharp. The Catit Senses 2.0 is just hard enough to be interesting to cats, but not impossible for them to solve. Adding a game to your cat’s dinner can be a great way to reduce boredom and encourage digestion.
Our best overall pick is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Cat Food, which is enticing even for picky cats and has deboned chicken as its first ingredient. If you're looking for a wet food option, we recommend the AvoDern Natural Indoor Weight Control Formula (view at Chewy). It's filled with lean protein and fiber, and works especially well for cats that are UTI-prone.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Ashley Knierim, a freelance writer who has written for The Spruce Pets since 2017. She's covered a variety of pet topics, from cat food delivery services to pet adoption agencies. To make this list, she considered each food's type and flavor.