Have you ever found a stray that was a little underweight? Maybe your cat became sick and lost several pounds? Whatever your situation, sometimes our feline friends need some extra calories in order to obtain the proper nourishment they need.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to make your cat gain weight, offer some options for high calorie cat food and finish up with our recommendation on the best cat food to gain weight.
Why is your cat losing weight?
First, before adjusting your cat’s diet or feeding schedule, it’s important to check with the veterinarian to find out why your cat is losing weight.
If your cat at home is losing weight and you don’t know why, definitely check with the vet first. Your cat may have a health condition or the food you provide may not be nutritious enough.
Just as a quick reminder, here are a few reasons as to why your cat may lose weight:
- Worms / intestinal parasites
- Food / food allergies
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Anxiety, stress, etc.
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Cancer / cardiovascular diseases
How to make your cat gain weight
There are several ways you can help your kitty reach a healthy weight. Reminder, always consult a vet before making drastic changes to your cat’s diet. Moreover, if you’re ever unsure or have doubts, don’t hesitate to talk to your vet.
Select a healthy & nutritious food brand
Choosing a high-quality food is the first step. Make sure that the first couple ingredients include real, wholesome meat. Avoid food high in corn, soy, cereals, additives, meat by-products, etc., as these are difficult to digest and mostly not nutritionally-beneficial for cats (especially over the long-term).
Increase food amount + frequency
You can try to add a little weight on your cat by increasing feeding frequency and amounts. Cats would much prefer to eat smaller portions several times a day rather than one large bowl once per day.
It is actually more natural for their digestive systems and will encourage kitty to have an appetite. Try increasing the amount of food and spreading it out across the day. So instead of one lump of kibble once a day, split it into 3.
Dry cat food is often higher in calories than wet cat food (because of moisture content, etc). However, make sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water to ensure your cat is getting hydrated properly!
Give tasty treats between meals
Another way to fatten up your kitty is to give supplemental tasty treats in between meal times. It’s great for boosting your cat’s calorie intake. Just pay attention not to spoil him/her too often, otherwise they might lose excitement for their dinner.
H3 essentials offers a great line of healthy, freeze-dried cat treats that treat kitty to nutritious raw meat. A part of the proceeds helps support the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Florida.
Read about Yoda and his awesome treats to help spread the word about the “Little cats helping big cats” campaign.
Supplement kibble with “human” food
In addition to a healthy dry diet, consider adding wholesome cooked ingredients to their meal–such as unseasoned chicken breast or plain rice. Check out our handy article on human foods cats can eat (and foods that should be avoided).
High calorie cat food
A high calorie diet is not recommended for just any cat. As it’s packed with high calorie and fat content, it is aimed for cats who need lots of calories, and fast. This is typical for cats who have been seriously ill and have lost a lot of weight.
Kitten food offers a well-balanced diet for pregnant cats, and it’s recommended to get special senior cat food for older cats — but in either case, it’s always important to check with your vet first.
When looking for reliable cat food brands we recommend the following:
Each of these choices offers wholesome, rich-in-protein, nutritional ingredients.
Note: While these options are great for every day use to keep your cat healthy and maintain weight, these are not nutritional supplements especially designed for quick weight gain (for injured or ill cats, for example). Prescription formulas for weak or sick cats should be recommended by a vet, however, many vets and pet owners on the net recommend Hill’s Science Diet.
Before putting your cat on a prescription, calorie-dense formula, contact your vet. In cases where you have already spoken with a vet and you know your cat’s target weight, the above food brands are a great source of healthy nutrition for cats.
Final thoughts: How to Fatten up a Cat
Weight loss in cats can become a life-threatening issue. Always take note when your cat is losing weight as this is a sign of a physical, mental, or health problem. Sometimes simply changing their diet serves as a quick fix, however, don’t take any risks.
Weight loss can happen very fast, so it’s important to keep your cat’s health in check. Never hesitate to contact a vet if you have any doubts about your cat’s health.
For more information on cat nutrition, visit our ultimate guide here.