For most cat-owners, our fur babies are the center of our world.
It’s almost as if they are our children, and like with kids, all you want is for your cat to be happy and healthy.
If your cat is underweight, it can be difficult to find a food that can help reverse this.
The majority of cat food is tailored to cats who carry excess weight, not felines that are below the healthy weight bracket, so it’s not as easy as buying a packet of ‘weight gain’ food from the grocery store.
As there are not many weight gain foods available, it can be difficult to find them.
But there’s no need to worry because we’ve put together this helpful guide to the best cat food for weight gain.
It’s packed full of suggestions for the best products available and gives you all the information you need to know about your cat being underweight and how to encourage them to gain it.
In a hurry?
If you think your cat needs fattening up, but you can’t decide which cat food to buy them, we’d recommend the IAMs Proactive Health High Protein Food.
As most weight control cat foods are tailored towards weight loss, the best way to encourage weight gain in your fur baby is through a high-calorie diet.
This range by IAMs offers high calories and a variety of other features which we think make it the best option for your kitty, including:
- It comes in chicken and salmon flavor so it will appeal to your cat’s cravings for both fish and meat.
- The recipe is high in protein which promotes strong muscles and nourishes a healthy heart, among other organs.
- It also includes a variety of prebiotics with natural beet pulp to encourage digestive health and normal bowel function.
- The recipe excludes common allergens and contains no artificial preservatives, promoting a healthy, natural diet for your cat.
1. Iams Proactive Health High Protein Food
This formula is incredibly high in protein which will provide your cat with strong muscles and a healthy heart, as well as encouraging weight gain.
If your cat is experiencing weight loss due to poor digestion, this food will also help as it contains prebiotics to regulate their digestive system. This cat food contains natural ingredients and flavors only with no artificial preservatives and common allergens excluded from the recipe.
Finally, this recipe contains calcium to promote healthy teeth in your cat and prevent this from stopping them from eating. With all this considered, it’s clear this is one of the best on the market.
- Chicken and Salmon flavor to appeal to their cravings
- High in protein for strong muscles and healthy heart
- Prebiotics for better digestion
- No artificial preservatives or common allergens
- Calcium for healthy teeth
- Natural flavors only
- No notable drawbacks
2. ZiwiPeak Air-Dried Cat Food
This process locks in the nutrition of the natural meat and also retains the natural taste of raw ingredients which can be more appealing to our felines.
This cat food mirrors your cat’s natural cravings for prey and is available in a variety of flavors from beef to mackerel to venison. Its ingredients supplement your cat’s joints, skin, and coat, and it contains a variety of minerals and vitamins for digestive health.
With a high-calorie build and no unnecessary fillers, it’s clear why this is one of the best choices if you want your cat to gain weight.
- Lots of flavor options
- Mirrors your cat’s cravings for natural prey
- Locks nutrition and taste of raw ingredients
- Supplements for joint health, skin, and coat
- Contains minerals and antioxidants
- Doesn’t contain unnecessary fillers
- No notable drawbacks
3. Blue Buffalo Healthy Living Adult Food
Blue Buffalo is a leading brand when it comes to healthy recipes, and this is a great option if you want high-calorie cat food. Their recipe contains real chicken as the main ingredient which provides your cat with lots of protein for healthy muscles and organs.
The recipe also includes lots of fiber which can provide your cat with lots of energy. As well as this, you will find the Blue Buffalo recipe also includes omega 3 & 6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a healthy coat for your fur baby.
It provides your cat with vitamins and antioxidants which regulate and improve digestive health and excludes artificial flavors and preservatives from the recipe to encourage your cat to eat it. Making this option, without a doubt, one of the best on the market.
- Contains chicken as the main ingredient
- Lots of protein and fiber
- Omega 3 & 6 for healthy coat and skin
- Antioxidants and vitamins for immune health
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- Fussy cats may not like it
4. Purina One Tender Selects Blend Food
Similarly to the Blue Buffalo recipe, Purina One uses real meat as the main ingredient and gives a variety of options for you to choose from.
As well as being high calorie, this recipe is also high in protein guaranteeing strong muscles for your cat as part of its balanced diet. If you want a recipe that is proven to work, Purina One might be the one for you.
This recipe has proven results with 28 days of exclusive use with cat owners reporting brighter eyes, a shinier coat, better energy, and all-around better health in their cat.
With a delicious crunchy texture built with completely natural ingredients, it’s clear to see why this is a favorite for weight gain.
- Real meat is the main ingredient
- High protein for strong muscles
- 100% balanced diet
- Proven results within 28 days
- Natural ingredients
- Consistency changes from batch to batch
5. Wellness Core Pate
If your cat is older, you might prefer to feed them wet food as it can be easier to eat as their teeth deteriorate with age. Wellness Core is a great option if you want a recipe that is made in the USA with natural ingredients for your feline.
If you have a fussy cat, this recipe could be a great choice as it is available in lots of different flavors, allowing you to choose the one that your cat likes best.
It comes with a variety of vitamins and minerals which encourage better health in your cat, from weight gain through to better skin and coat.
This is also a great option if you are concerned that your cat might be dehydrated, wet food contains a lot of moisture which can supplement the water intake that your cat needs to remain healthy.
With all this considered, there’s no doubt that this is one of the best options available.
- Lots of flavor options
- Vitamins and minerals for wellness
- Natural recipe
- Provides extra hydration to your cat
- Made in the USA
- Tin cans are prone to damage
If your cat is underweight, the best way to encourage them to gain it is through a high-calorie diet.
This can be easier said than done as there are not many ‘weight gain’ foods advertised on the market. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide.
The foods that we’ve highlighted above are some of the best options for weight gain in your cat, but if you’re still unsure we’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you.
It’s packed full of information, including how to identify if your cat is underweight and how to help them gain it. So if you want to find out more, please read on.
Is my Cat underweight?
Before you place your cat on a diet that encourages weight gain, you must determine that your cat is actually underweight. Some cats are just a naturally slimmer build than others, and what you perceive as underweight could actually be your cat’s ideal weight.
The best way to determine if your cat is underweight is by taking them to the vet. But if you don’t want to do this, there are some other ways you can determine if your cat is under their ideal weight, and how underweight they are.
The best way to monitor your cat’s weight is to weigh them regularly. If your cat has annual vet appointments for their vaccinations, they will be weighed then, but you should try and weigh your cat more regularly than that.
It could be easy for your cat to lose a lot of weight without you noticing, particularly if they have a fluffy coat, so regular weighing allows you to keep track. You can do this by using your household weighing scales and writing down your cat’s weight within a notepad to keep track.
Another common way that people use to measure their cat’s weight is by simply feeling their ribcage.
If you have to apply significant pressure to be able to feel your cat’s rib cage, this could be a sign that they are overweight, as you should be able to feel your cat’s ribs through their skin.
That being said, you should not be able to see your cat’s rib cage through their skin, so if you can this means that they are underweight and a change to their diet is needed.
Why is my Cat underweight?
There are lots of different reasons why your cat might be underweight, some are as simple as them not eating enough, while some reasons can be a lot more dangerous.
If your cat is underweight, there will always be a reason behind this which will affect how you help them gain weight.
One common reason that your cat is underweight could be because they are not eating enough. this might be because they don’t like the flavor of food you are giving them, or if you have more than one cat it could be because they are the less dominant cat so they are being pushed off of the food.
In older cats, it could be because they are struggling with their teeth, and the food that you are feeding them is difficult to chew.
If you notice that your cat has lost weight around the time of a significant change in their life, for example, the loss of another furbaby or your moving house, they might not be eating because they are stressed.
There are lots of simple reasons why your cat could be losing weight, however, if you think it might be due to something more serious, you should take your cat to the vets.
Change what you feed your Cat
Once you have determined that your cat is underweight, the best way to encourage weight gain is through a high-calorie diet. For rapid weight gain in your cat, you should change to high-calorie cat food and feed them more regularly.
However, if you think that high-calorie cat food is not making a difference, you could feed your cat kitten food for a small amount of time.
Kitten food is full of nutrients and calories to help kittens gain weight, and these nutrients will have the same effect on your adult cat.
However, it will encourage extremely quick weight gain so you shouldn’t feed your cat kitten food exclusively.
Alternatively, you could add supplements to your cat’s diet instead of changing the food that you feed them.
Supplements add more flavor to your cat’s food and can make it more appetizing to them, it will also boost their appetite and encourage them to eat more once they start.
Supplements usually come in a liquid design that can be mixed in with your cat’s regular food. You could also supplement your cat’s diet with cat treats, or cat-friendly milk.
Cats are lactose intolerant so dairy milk is not good for their stomachs, however, cat-milk can help them gain weight when used to supplement their diet.
Finally, if you take your cat to the vets they might recommend an appetite-stimulating drug. These are not commonly used and are only given as a last resort if your cat does not gain weight through the other methods.
Alter your Cats feeding pattern
Finally, you could alter the feeding pattern of your cat to encourage them to eat. Cats are curious animals and are easily distracted, they can also grow bored easily, and can be fussy when and how they eat.
All of these could impact the amount that your cat eats which will directly impact their weight.
Some cats can find large meals intimidating. So while it might be tempting to simply place a whole bowl of food down to feed your cat throughout the day, they might prefer to be given smaller meals more frequently.
We recommend feeding your cat roughly 4 times a day if you use this method.
Cats also don’t like to be distracted while they are eating. If you feed them near a window, they might become distracted by road-noise or people passing by outside, because of this we recommend feeding your cat in a quiet room.
You should also try and keep the different areas of your cat’s life separate from one another. Your cat is not going to want to eat right next to their litter tray, similarly, they might not want to eat their food next to where they sleep.
To encourage your cat to eat as much food as possible, you should keep their food area separate from the other areas of their life and try to limit the distractions in that area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What human food can cats eat?
It is vitally important that the majority of your cat’s diet is formed with shop-bought cat food, however, you can supplement their diet with human foods.
You should only supplement your cat’s diet with fresh meat, cooked fish, or tinned tuna. However, this should only be done in moderation as human foods can be very fattening for cats.
Does dry food make cats gain weight?
On a base level, neither dry food nor wet food is better at allowing your cat to gain weight as they both have similar nutritional values.
However, some brands of dry food will be better for weight gain than wet food.
This is because some brands of dry food contain a higher amount of calories than some brands of wet food.
What meat is best for cats?
Cats are carnivores, so a large amount of their diet has to be built up of meat otherwise they will become unhealthy.
However, you should avoid feeding your cat raw meat as this could put them at risk of food poisoning.