This article comes from daily Free Kibble (yes, I am hooked on the trivia questions!). Consider this statistic: 53% of cats, in the U.S. I presume, are overweight or obese. This is sad but also frustrating that veterinarians aren't educating animal guardians about diet and that guardians themselves aren't taking responsibility for their kitties' health. Unfortunately the extent of a vet's diet recommendations sometimes exists solely and conveniently on the products sold within their practice. As a raw food advocate for cats for the past 15 years, my views are based on Dr. Richard Pitcarin, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, Diane Stein, and Dr. Don Hamilton. Many naturopathic and homeopathic vets support raw diets while those practicing Chinese medicine believe cooked foods are better for digestion.
Regardless of what you choose to feed your feline, free feeding of dry food is rarely a good idea. Kittens and cats who are not food oriented might do fine for limited periods on such a regime but from my experience this is how cats gain too much weight. It's like having a big bowl of chocolates or cookies at your desk every day - you'd become chubby too! Food is comforting, food is love; there are lots of emotions involved with food but when you feel guilty for not being available for your cat and start substituting too much food you aren't doing what is ultimately going to help your cat live the longest, healthiest life. Most of us have to go to work or leave our cats for periods of time. Fortunately cats sleep a lot and probably don't mind having some time away from us to catch up on their sleep. I have seen some cats who simply cannot regulate how much they eat and have to be fed separately from other cats they live with for every meal. Find a solution that works with your household, inluding some form of interactive play or walking on a leash to achieve your kitty's ideal weight.