This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about adding canned food to a dry diet and the feeding for a multi-cat household.
Q: I have 2 dogs and I feed them both Wellness dog food. One is on Wellness Simple Food Solutions Rice & Duck Formula and the other on Wellness Super5Mix Whitefish and Sweet Potato Recipe. Can I use the new Wellness Stews canned food in place of these foods or as a topper?
A: The Wellness Stews (chunks and gravy recipes) are complete and balanced for all life stages; they can replace a current Wellness diet that you are feeding. When changing diets always measure the current amount of calories being fed per pet per day. Adjust the pet’s caloric intake on the new feeding program as needed. If your dog is overweight and less active, feed fewer calories. If your dog is very lean and highly active, feed more calories.
- Wellness Whitefish and Sweet Potato canned food is about 335 kcal per 12.5 ounce can.
- Wellness Beef Stew with Carrots and Potato is about 362 calories per 12.5 ounce can.
Q: I have two kittens one is 11 months old and approx 11 lbs and the other is 8 months old and approx. 6 lbs. I’m currently feeding them the Wellness Kitten Health Recipe. I know that once they hit a year old to change them to adult food. My question is when should I switch them? My older cat is 11 lbs. he’s not exactly fat (just a big boy) whereas the other is just naturally small and younger. I obviously have to change them over the same time because I wouldn’t be able to monitor who was eating what. When would you recommend making the switch? Thanks!
A: After about 10 to 12 months of age, a cat food designed for kitten growth (Wellness Kitten Health Recipe) often is too calorie dense- and can lead to weight gain when overfed to less active adult cats; whose calorie needs are less. Therefore, adults are often transitioned to more specialized cat food for their particular adult lifestyle (Wellness Health Weight Recipe) and unique nutrient or ingredient need (Wellness CORE Fish & Fowl Recipe).
It is impossible to monitor and regulate calorie intake in individual cats when free choice feed is available in a multi cat household. You will have to feed your cats separately to assure that the small cat receives enough calories to maintain a healthy body weight and the larger cat doesn’t overeat and become obese.
Measure the amount of food you are offering and weigh the cats on a scale. Keep a record of feed intake and of body weight over time.