Last summer my cat, Cheetah, got ill and lost weight. The illness started with Cheetah's tilting his head to the left, then he was walking like he was drunk. He missed trying to jump up on the couch. He kept scratching his left ear and I was sure he had a bad ear infection. However, the vet exam was negative. A run of antibiotics helped, then a couple of weeks later he was worse. Another antibiotic and some steroids helped. But again he had a relapse. During this time he went from a normal 15 pounds to 11 pounds, a 27% body weight loss.
With dedicated thoroughness, the vet discovered that Cheetah had a severe infection in his left sinus that had migrated to his brain. With one final push of a third antibiotic for the infection and steroids to give him stamina and an appetite, three months after the first symptoms, Cheetah recovered. His left eye, which had dilated during the 8th week, is still dilated and he drinks and passes so much water that the vet checked him for diabetes. That test was negative, thank goodness.
I'm what some people might call a life-long dieter, with occasional success but not the result I'd like, I confess. However, I've gained a bit of knowledge about body weight and calories. I did some research and found that a cat's calorie requirement is 25 calories per pound. A little more research and I found that his kibble (Purina Complete) has 300 calories per cup. His canned food (Friskies Pâté, various flavors) runs 165 to 185 calories per 5.5 oz can. So an average of 175.
To raise his weight back to 15 pounds, he needed to eat 375 calories/day. 25 cal x 15 lbs = 375.
I set out 1 cup kibble each morning and gave him 1/3 can of food two to three times a day as he wanted it. A little over the 375 cal/day. Now, almost four months later he weighs 16 pounds, one over his best weight. Since his illness I don't want to let him out. And being winter he doesn't want to stay out long on the few occasions I have let him out. So he doesn't get as much exercise as he did before being ill. Now he gets 1 cup kibble as usual, but only 1/3 can in the morning and evening. Hopefully, he'll be back to his best weight in a month or so.
So that's cats, calories and weight watching.
Do you know how many calories your cat or dog needs to maintain a healthy weight?