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Do "Light" products help cats lose weight?


Obese cats gain vitality and health when they lose weight. "Light" products in cat food give the impression of helping. But is it really like that? If you are overweight, diet food helps better than a "light" product - Shutterstock / Dennis van de Water

Not only for people who want to lose weight, but also for cats, there are so-called "Light" products on the cat food shelf to buy. Is it a mere marketing strategy or is the appropriate feed really suitable for a diet?

"Light" products are not diet food

The problem with the term "light" is that it is not legally protected. The term is primarily used for marketing purposes and is no guarantee that your cat will lose weight as a result. Conversely, this does not necessarily mean that "Light" products are fundamentally completely nonsensical or even harmful. In certain circumstances, they can help reduce calories in cat nutrition.

If you want to be on the safe side, you should go to the vet with overweight cats and get a diet food there. In contrast to the "light" name, the term "diet food" is legally protected. This means that only feed that adheres to an EU directive on certain quality criteria can be called "diet feed". Your veterinarian will then recommend how much of the diet food you can give - the information is usually also on the packaging. If you stick to it exactly (a kitchen scale helps to keep the portion sizes), your cat will lose weight healthily. Not only is the energy density in the form of calories reduced in diet food, but the nutrient content of proteins and vitamins is increased, so that there are no symptoms of deficiency or muscle loss when you lose weight.

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Comparing calories helps with weight control

"Light" products can differ in calorie and nutrient content from feed brand to feed brand. The term simply means that the calories are reduced compared to other foods from the range or from a certain brand. So always check the nutritional information on the packaging to see how high the calories are and what is in the feed. If the calories have been reduced, for example, by increasing the carbohydrate content, this is not recommended for your cat. She hardly needs carbohydrates at all. Proteins are more important to avoid muscle breakdown.

It is quite possible that a normal feed of a product line has fewer calories and more important nutrients than a "light" product from another brand. So take a close look and take your time to compare. However, reduced calorie "light" food is more helpful for preventing overweight in cats or for keeping weight after a successful diet. If your fur nose actually needs to reduce weight, it is better to consult a veterinarian.