Is Your Cat Getting More and More Chubby?

This is Raja, our overweight cat!

Raja started out a reasonably svelte 12 lbs when we got her from a local shelter at age 7. Then, barely 2 years later, she was up to a hefty 15 lbs!

Diet cat foods were no help. Then, I happened to read a book: "Your Cat, Simple New Secrets To A Longer, Stronger Life" and it changed everything.

We invite you to follow our quest for a healthy weight-loss plan for this funny, personable and very talkative cat.

Hopefully, together we can help all our cats live healthier and thinner lives!

*Disclosure: I am compensated for sales from this site. Click for details.

2012-10-18

Important! Reader Comments About "Young Again" Low Carb Cat Food...

Since mentioning "Young Again" low and no carb cat food in the previous post: New to try... "Young Again" Low Carb Dry Cat Food, I have received many comments from readers who's cats have tried this new food.

But, instead of leaving these very useful comments with the above mentioned post, I decided to consolidated all the comments into a new post for easier reading.

I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to all who tried this new food and who were willing to share their experiences. It really was very helpful and a real eye-opener for all of us!

Thank You!


Reader comments and replies to prior post:
New to try... "Young Again" Low Carb Dry Cat Food:


Comment from Anonymous April 3, 2012 10:19 PM

I've just ordered a bag for my diabetic cat. Use promo code 104817 when ordering for 10% off. (As of 4-3-12, it still works.) I will let you know how it works out.

-Jesse and Miss Bunny

Reply from tom-thomas April 4, 2012 9:22 PM

Thanks Jesse and Miss Bunny!

I'm sure everyone would like to know what you think of this new food.

Like the 10% off deal too!

Comment from Anonymous April 10, 2012 9:02 PM

We just received our Young Again zero-carb dry food and introduced it to Miss Bunny and Rodent this afternoon. They love it! This is great stuff; the cats love it, I don't have to get up early to feed starving cats as they free-graze all they wish now, and if Miss Bunny comes up under 200 on her glucose testing this weekend, we plan to celebrate by throwing the insulin and needles into the trash.

Everything I read indicates that they will lose the excess weight with a zero-carb diet as well. I could not be happier. This is the HOLY GRAIL I've been waiting for. Order with confidence.

Jesse, Miss Bunny and Rodent

Reply from tom-thomas April 11, 2012 9:38 AM

Thanks so much for the comment!

Please let us all know how her glucose tests go.

Wouldn't it be great if this food solves the weight and diabetes problems we all face with our kitty pals?

Comment from Anonymous April 22, 2012 2:29 PM

I also just ordered and the coupon code still works as of 4/22. Thanks Jesse! Will come back to let everyone know how Jupiter votes on Young Again Zero Carb.

Cynthia

Reply from tom-thomas April 22, 2012 5:12 PM

Thanks Cynthia! Please do let us know if your Jupiter likes the food.

It would be great to know if this healthy food is also tasty to our kitties

Comment from Anonymous May 5, 2012 10:17 AM

Hi everyone,

Today was the day to give Jupiter his first taste of Young Again Zero Carb and he LOVES it. I should add that he has LOVED every dry food I've ever given him -- to the tune of weighing in at over 19 pounds as of last summer.

Since then we've been through a saga of a weight-loss plan that included a very distressing and expensive diabetes scare. At the end of 2011 I began reading everything I could find online about feline nutrition and became pretty cynical about and unhappy with vet-prescribed diets as well as most of what's commercially available.

I switched Jupiter to a canned-only diet in Jan (had read SO many articles about the evils of even the best dry food) and that's when the finicky-ness began which led to a 3-month ordeal of putting loads of food down the drain because he wouldn't eat it, him losing weight too quickly, and then just the general hassle of dealing with canned food rather than dry. (Everyone who has enjoyed the convenience of free-feeding a cat with kibble knows what I mean about canned cat food hassle.)

SO, that brings us to today when Jupiter is a little over 14 pounds, very active and happy seeming, with no diabetes symptoms (as has been the case since late Jan). Honestly, I'm afraid to free feed him Young Again -- he went at the small portion I gave him as a taste test a little too eagerly. :-)

I'll be reading all the postings online to see how other previously-overweight cats do on Young Again Zero Carb. For now, I'm still going to feed J mostly canned with YA as "sprinkles." I'm guessing that over the coming weeks I'll gradually take the plunge to 100% YA. I'll come back in a few months to let you guys know how it's going!

Tom (do I have your name right and is this your blog?), thank you so much for the "new to try" post. Now that I know the Young Again name, I'm finding stuff online but your post here was the first I'd heard of it. THANK YOU. As Jesse said, this could be the holy grail.

Best,
Cynthia and Jupiter

Reply from tom-thomas May 5, 2012 10:32 AM

Cynthia and Jupiter,

Thanks so much for keeping us informed about your "Young Again" experience!

I know I will be looking forward to your Young Again results in the coming months.

Hope Jupiter stays healthy and happy!

Tom Thomas (and yes, this is my blog)

Comment from Anonymous June 4, 2012 6:37 AM

Hi again everyone,

Jupiter initially went after the Young Again Zero Carb (YAZC) with such gusto (see above), I was worried he'd lose ground with his weight loss efforts. I finally took the leap of faith and started feeding him only YAZC. The weirdest thing happened: over a 48 hour period he went from LOVE IT to fuggedaboutit. He also had very soft (and VERY stinky) poo.

I tried for another week mixing the YAZC with other foods to no avail. I was in the process of requesting a sample of the 50/22 (less than 5% carb) Young Again food and when emailing them mentioned that the Zero Carb "disagreed" with Jupiter and that he didn't like it. The sales manager called me and we talked for an hour! She gave me loads of info, including why his stool was soft (and that it would be temporary).

I got a sample of the 50/22 food and a new formula from Young Again, Mature Health. Jupiter seems to like both of them given the constraint of the small sample size. The zero carb he just doesn't like.

So, I'm ordering a bag of the 50/22 today. (The Mature Health isn't available on the website yet, it's too early to call them, and it will be "a little more expensive" so I'll just go with 50/22 for now.

Will post again once I know more!

Cynthia

Reply from tom-thomas June 4, 2012 12:22 PM

Great Information, Cynthia!

I'm sure everyone will be waiting to see how Jupiter likes the 50/22 formula over time.

Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us what's happening!

Tom

Comment from Anonymous July 19, 2012 8:21 PM

Hi there,

I hope this helps everybody out there considering the Young Again Zero Carb cat food.

I have several cats, one is diabetic, another has urinary tract issues, and a few are over weight.

After a lot of investigating on low carb cat foods, I came across Young Again Zero Carb. I was so excited, I ordered 2 bags right away!

They all loved it right away except for my maine coon. I started by putting a small bowl of YAZC next to their regular food and gradually added it to their regular food bowls until that was all that they ate.. except for the occasional can of wet food in the evening.

The first week I noticed that our house was much smellier from their litter box odor, and we were getting several spots on our floors due to runny poop. I was not happy about this as I have a lot of cats and there was a lot of poop being cleaned up from carpet and wood floors...

I contacted the company and told them that I wanted to return their food because it wasn't agreeing with my cats. They told me that somebody would call me back.

Somebody did call back the next day and tried very hard to convince me to keep the food and not give my cats any wet food because the occasional wet food that I was giving them was the problem, she said the smell and pooping problem was from undigested protein.

Soooo, I did what she suggested, kept the food and only gave them the Young again zero carb, no wet food.

It didn't work. I tried for 3 months, the smell in our house was unbearable and I had to clean poop off the floors everyday, not to mention my cats rear ends.

There is something in this food that just does not work with a cats digestive system. I don't have the bags anymore, but I noticed a yeast ingredient, maybe that was the problem...

If they could fix whatever the problem is, I would try it again even though it costs an arm and a leg because it would solve a big problem of finding a good diabetic dry food that all of my cats can eat.

Reply from tom-thomas July 22, 2012 5:00 PM

Wow, what an experience!

It's really too bad the Zero Carb version is so hard on their digestive systems especially since they liked it and it held such hope for those of us with overweight cats.

Thanks for the heads-up about YAZC

Anybody else have positive or negative results with this food? Please comment and let us all know.

Thanks,
Tom

Comment from Anonymous July 19, 2012 8:37 PM

Well, unfortunately Young Again zero carb food did not work out for Rodent or Miss Bunny. Same problem as the other poster - horrible diarrhea. So bad in fact, that Bunny ended up dehydrated and in need of medical attention and IV fluids.

We all went back to Fancy Feast Classic, and all problems have gone away. Her glucose levels have remained low, and diabetes is officially in remission. She has also lost 5 POUNDS in 3 months, as a result of getting off the high-carb food.

My advice to those who want to try Young Again zero-carb dry food for diabetic/overweight cats: please, do give it a try. If it does not work out, consider a good, low-carb canned food instead.

Miss Bunny has always had a fragile digestive system, but I don't mind the expense and time to find what works well for her. She is my friend, and friends are hard to find these days.

To any/all cat owners out there, please, don't poison your pets with commercial dry pet food. This stuff is like junk food for cats. Any decent canned food is so much healthier, as is Young Again, if your cat's tummy is more tolerant than Miss Bunny.

We wish you all a happy and long life...

-Jesse, Rodent and Miss Bunny

Reply from tom-thomas July 22, 2012 5:05 PM

Again... Wow! I didn't realize the diarrhea issue with YAZC could be a genuine health problem in addition to the obvious mess.

I'm sure I speak for all of us with chubby cats when I say thanks for letting us know about your experience.

Especially the dehydration problem... It's very bad for any pet, but dangerous for cats, so thanks again.

Tom

Reply from Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz July 22, 2012 4:25 PM

I found your page while Googling for a carb calculator and thought I'd let you know of my experience with Young Again. My Sphynx, Disco NoFurNo has been on the diet roller coaster for almost 2 years now, with very limited success, until YA.

I picked up a bunch of samples at a cat show and of course, since Disco never saw a kibble he didn't like, I knew he would go for it. BUT I was still reluctant to feed it free choice, so started out slow. Maybe that is why he had no issues with diarrhea (and he is prone to that as he had Toxo as a young cat and even though he was treated and is clear now, he does have sensitive stomach.

But when I switched to YAZC, he did have bad diarrhea. We put him on Metronidazole and he straightened out. If I didn't work for a cat vet, am very proactive, and treated him right away, I would have probably stopped feeding the YAZC.

But each cat is different and there may be some out there that just can't tolerate the ingredients in YA for some reason. If you are interested in following Disco's Diet, here's a link to my blog page about it:
http://furrydancecats.blogspot.com/p/discos-battle-of-bulge.html

Reply from Anonymous September 5, 2012 9:42 PM

Teri, I'm curious if you are still feeding the YAZC even after the diarrhea incident. I have a cat with Irritable Bowel Disease AND Diabetes. He is on daily steroids so he can actually tolerate foods that he used to have issues with (i.e. chicken).

I'm very knowledgeable about feline diabetes and he eats mostly Fancy Feast Classic and raw food. But even after a year, he is still obsessed with wanting dry kibble.

I am longing for a dry food I can give him as a treat and leave a little in a timed-dish so he doesn't wake me at 4:30 in the morning!! I'd be curious of any more feedback you have.

Thanks!
Amy

Comment from tom-thomas September 6, 2012 12:18 PM

Amy,

If you are worried about YAZC upsetting your cat's IBS, have you considered Innova Evo Cat and Kitten Dry food?

Our cat loves it and no bowel or digestive problems. We feed her mostly wet food but leave a tablespoon or so of the Innova Evo dry in her bowl overnight or when we are out all day.

However, Innova Evo Cat and Kitten Dry food is NOT zero carbs. The makers claim it has only 7% carbs, but as you can see in my blog post: Low Carbohydrate Dry Cat Food Does Exist! BUT Is It Right For Your Cat?, it may be closer to 13% carbs due to the potatoes in the ingredient list.

That being said, it is still very low in carbs for a dry food and may work for your cat if you don't feed him much and you maintain the low carb wet food as his main food.

The nice thing is it's readily available at Pet Supplies Plus if you have one nearby.

Good luck!

Tom

Reply from Anonymous September 9, 2012 1:24 PM

Hi Tom and everyone,

I haven't checked in here in awhile but thought I'd just "wrap up" my observations with YAZC and YA 50/22. Plus, zip to the bottom for "new" canned food ideas.

Jupiter did ok with both Young Again foods "poop-wise" (the soft, very stinky poop did revert to "normal" once he adjusted to eating less). However, ultimately, he just didn't like the food (either version). The 50/22 also was so crumbly the 3 pounds I have left is about half dust.

I sort of gave up on Young Again partly because I discovered Wysong Epigen 90. It isn't no carb but it is low carb, is 90% meat, and is "starch free." (Most grain-free foods replace the grain with potato or other starch.) Jupiter liked it just fine until I discovered some "new" canned foods.

Probably like many on here, I was looking for a no or low carb dry food because I couldn't seem to get Jupiter to eat canned very well. Right after his brush with diabetes, I started feeding him Fancy Feast classic but I had to jump through so many hoops to get him to eat. Dry food "crunchies on top," tried forti-flora, on and on. Plus I was traveling for work and needed the convenience of dry. I tried so many different brands and flavors of high-quality canned food to no avail.

Fast forward through the months with Young Again and then Wysong Epigen 90 with at least the result that he'd eat pretty regularly. Even though I felt fairly comfortable with the Wysong Ep 90 being good for him (considering), I'd by that point continued to read about how canned is just better for him. (I'm just not ready to go the raw route.) So I decided to try again with canned food.

I hit 2 jackpots! Nature's Variety Instinct chicken or beef and Hound & Gatos chicken or beef. H&G is 98% meat! NVI is 95% meat. (But do read the ingredients -- each of them has something I wish it didn't but Jupiter is fine -- some conditions might make these foods problematic.) For the first time ever, he cries for canned food, not dry!

It's only been a month or so but I now feed him about half dry and half canned.

Good luck to everyone and thanks for all the great info here!

Cynthia

Reply from tom-thomas September 10, 2012 12:50 PM

Cynthia,

Thanks for the great information! I'm sure we all appreciate your hard work and the helpful comment.

I did some calculating based on the Guaranteed Analysis and came up with these carbohydrate percentages for the foods you mentioned.

Wysong Epigen 90 dry food: 15% carbs (pretty good for a dry food!)

Nature's Variety Instinct Dry Chicken: 17% carbs (also pretty good for a dry food!)
Nature's Variety Instinct Dry Rabbit Meal: 28% carbs (wow, not good)
Nature's Variety Instinct Dry Duck & Turkey: 31% carbs (wow, not good)
Nature's Variety Instinct Dry Turkey Meal: 31% carbs (wow, not good)

Nature's Variety Instinct Wet Lamb: 10% carbs (OK for a wet food)
Nature's Variety Instinct Wet Chicken: 12% carbs (starting to get a little high for a wet food)
Nature's Variety Instinct Wet Beef: 16% carbs (very high for such a high-quality wet food)
Nature's Variety Instinct Wet Duck: 18% carbs (very high for such a high-quality wet food)

Hound & Gatos Wet (all varieties): 31% carbs (wow, not good)
Note: The Hound & Gatos Guaranteed Analyses did not include a percentage for ash. So the carbs may be high for that reason. (If anyone knows the ash percentage for these Hound & Gatos wet foods, please let me know.)

While all the foods have very good ingredients, you have to pick and choose the varieties to make sure your cats get the lowest carbs.

Thanks again, Cynthia!

Tom

Comment from Anonymous September 20, 2012 1:45 PM

Thanks Tom!

The Nature's Variety Instinct I feed Jupiter is canned, not dry. With 95% meat, I don't see how it gets to 12% carbs. The Wysong Ep90 is dry but it's 90% meat and organs so I'm confused about how it can be 15% carbs. I'm assuming some of the 11% moisture (in the Ep90) is in the meat and organs so that muddies the calculation.

But I don't think hounds and gatos can be 31% carbs when it's 98? meat. I had concluded that calculating carb percentages from just what a manufacturer chooses to list on their label just doesn't seem to work.

Thanks!
Cynthia

Reply from tom-thomas October 17, 2012 5:34 PM

Cynthia,

Thanks for your great comment. I'll try to make sense of the manufacturers' claims and the carbohydrate percentages computed using the Guaranteed Analysis (GA).

When Nature's Variety says their Instinct Chicken Formula contains 95% meat and 5% vegetables and fruits, it appears they are leaving out the 75% moisture which is OK since water isn't a real nutrient.

But don't forget, we compute the carbohydrates using all of the basic ingredients in the GA: protein, fat, fiber, ash, moisture. The food may be 95% meat compared to the other dry ingredients, but meat is not all protein. As you correctly pointed out, meat contains water and some meats have carbohydrates too. For example, while chicken doesn't contain carbs, chicken liver does.

So when looking at the guaranteed analysis for Nature's Variety Instinct Chicken Formula we see:
Crude Protein (min): 11.0%
Crude Fat (min): 8.0%
Crude Fiber (max): 3.0%
Moisture (max): 75.0%
Total percentage: 97%, which leaves 3% carbohydrates.

So far this sounds low. But wait. To get an actual carbohydrate percentage, you have to see what the ingredient percents will be on a "dry matter" basis. That is, with the moisture removed from the equation. Then you can tell what your cat is really eating in a can of food, besides the water. By computing the "dry matter" percentages, you also eliminate the moisture contained in the meat and other seemingly "dry" ingredients.

To remove the moisture from the equation, we subtract the moisture percent (75%) from 100% which gives us: 25%. Then, we divide each of the nutrients in the guaranteed analysis by the 25% just computed.

For example, if you divide the protein % by 25 you get: 11 / 25 = .44 which equals 44% dry matter protein (just move the decimal point 2 places to the right to get %). That means the 95% meat translates into 44% protein when ALL the moisture is removed.

To compute the actual carbohydrate % in this can of cat food, divide 3 by 25 and you get .12, which is 12% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis. Suddenly what looked like a very low-carb canned food is not as low as it originally appeared.

I know it can be confusing, but feel free to verify this method of computing carbs by checking the book: "Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life" by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M.

One last thing... As you correctly noted in your comment, there is an inherent problem with using the Guaranteed Analysis (GA) percentages to compute nutrient percentages for any pet food. The problem is that just because the percentages are guaranteed to not be below the minimums nor over the maximums as stated in the GA, you really don't know EXACTLY what percentages of protein, fat, fiber, ash and carbs are actually in the flavor you buy.

To get a more accurate computation, you would need the "As Served" percentages which the cat food manufacturers are not obligated to provide. However, I have heard from various readers of this blog, that if you ask the manufacturers for the "As Served" breakdown of ingredients for cat foods they sell, they will send you the percentages.

Here's an example of the difference between Guaranteed Analysis and "As Served" percentages from Wellness for their canned Chicken Formula: (I got this information from their website, but oddly, they list the "As Served" numbers for only some of their cat foods.)

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein Not Less Than 10.0%
Crude Fat Not Less Than 5.0%
Crude Fiber Not More Than 1.0%
Moisture Not More Than 78.0%
Ash Not More Than 1.95%

As Served Per Can (percent per can)
Protein: 12.0%
Fat: 11.0%
Fiber: 0.27%
Ash: 1.9%

As you can see the GA and "As Served" numbers can be quite different and therefore yield different carb percentages.

If you are concerned about the foods your cat is eating, please contact Nature's Valley and Wysong and ask them for the "As Served" percentages for the flavors your cat likes and please let us know how they respond.

Hope this helps at least a little.

Tom

Comment from Anonymous October 25, 2012 1:45 PM

Tom,

Thanks for taking so much time on your reply!

Cynthia


END OF COMMENTS to prior blog post:
New to try... "Young Again" Low Carb Dry Cat Food

PLEASE, FEEL FREE TO ADD A COMMENT BELOW!

If you try "Young Again" cat food, please let us all know about your experience (actually, your cat's experience!)

How? The best way is to simply leave a comment to this blog post by clicking here.

Thanks!

4 comments:

  1. Hi, I have two cats--one small and thin, the other really overweight. The little one is a nibbler--if she eats too much at once, she just pukes it up, so I have to leave a bowl of dry food for them. (I'm also gone all day at work, sometimes late.)

    So I was glad to find out about YAZC cat food. I've been feeding it to both of them for about a year, as well as 1/4 can each of low-carb, high-protein canned food (Instinct brand) each morning. I prefer dry food because the wet makes the cat box smellier, but they really loved the canned stuff.

    My cat's don't love the YAZC food, but they do eat it. They like the small size of the pellets. They have not had problems with diarrhea, and the stuff does seem to be healthier than commercial brands like Friskies and Purina.

    Unfortunately, my fat cat has not lost any weight. She still looks like she swallowed a basketball. I can't easily restrict her food access without depriving the little one of food that she needs. (If I don't stand over them when they're eating the canned food, the fatty will steal all the little one's food.) So I'm resigned to having one fat cat and one skinny. I plan to stick with the YA dry food, though, because it does seem to be less starchy and overall good quality.

    Eve

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eve,

      Glad to hear your cats like the YA dry food. It looks like it's a good choice since you're away a lot.

      As far as splitting the food between the two cats, I heard about an idea that might work for you.

      Since your "chubby" cat probably can't jump very high, you might try putting your little cat's food up high enough so that the big cat can't reach it, but the little one can easily jump up and eat.

      Probably a table or counter top would be just about the right height.

      This has worked for many people and I'll bet it will work for you.

      Good luck and please let me know if this helps.

      Tom

      Delete
  2. Thanks for putting all these emails in one place. I was hoping to read more positive results on YAZC. I am about to try that cat food on my 3 cats.

    For several years I've been using a combination of raw and Nature's Variety Instinct Rabbit, but all 3 of my cats have developed problems: one has had regular vomiting from canned food; another now has significant upper respiratory allergies; and the third cat just got out of the hospital with a bowel obstruction from her own fur!

    I think I will try the YA product, but not free feed, so as to head off the diarrhoea. Wish us luck.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Update on the change over to dry food. I mixed several dry foods together: Evo, Young Again, left over Science Diet k/d, and Wysongs Epigen. A breeder of cats I knew used to do this to keep kittens from getting used to just one food. Also, I am NOT free-feeding like the Young Again people suggest. They get a quarter of a cup in the AM and again in the PM.

    Well, all 3 cats love the food; no one is throwing up; bowel movements are all normal; the sneezer is sneezing a lot less. Also, they are not attacking in the morning to eat, and they seem to know to drink water. Some raw food advocates say that cats don't have a thirst drive. I would have to disagree. Everyone is visibly drinking water, and their urine does not smell strong. Everyone seems real happy.

    ReplyDelete

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