How Can I Help My Cat Gain Weight?

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Have you noticed that your cat is on the skinnier side? While cats should look slim, they should always be a healthy weight.

If your cat is a fussy eater or does not seem to be gaining weight regardless of what it is eating, this can be worrying.

Thankfully there are many things you can do to encourage your cat to gain weight.

In this article, we will be discussing the things that we have found helpful when helping your cat to gain weight. We hope that they will be as equally useful for you too.

thin gray cat

Ways To Help Your Cat Gain Weight

Rule Out Any Medical Problems

The first thing you should do if you notice that your cat is underweight is to pop them to your local veterinarian.

Low weight can be a sign of several different issues, such as cancers, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and even diabetes. 

To exercise caution, we recommend ruling out any medical problems first. If your cat is completely healthy, you can try our recommendations below.

Regularly Worming Your Cats

While this does go hand in hand with a vet check, it is important to ensure that you are regularly worming your cat, especially if they go outdoors.

As you can imagine, if your cat has worms, it can affect their eating habits and weight gain. Instead of your cat getting the food and nutrients it needs, worms steal this for themselves. 

If you worm your cat once every three months, you should be able to help prevent your cat from picking up any unwanted parasites.

Kitten Food

One of the best ways to help your cat gain weight is by feeding them kitten food. While kitten food is tailored towards young cats, it can be eaten by an adult and senior cats too.

Kitten food is particularly high in calories to help encourage a kitten’s growth and development. It tends to be a lot higher in fat content too. 

The extra calories in kitten food are great for a cat that needs to gain an extra bit of weight.

While kitten food is not recommended to be fed to adult cats for a long period, it is great in the short term to help encourage weight gain. 

We would recommend adding a small amount to your cat’s current food, to begin with, to get their digestive system used to the change in food.

Alternatively, you could choose an adult food that is particularly high in fat and calories instead.

If you would like to find out some more information regarding the best cat food for weight gain, you can check out our in-depth article here.

Heating Wet Food

Did you know that cats prefer to eat food that is room temperature?

If you place a half-eaten pouch of food from the refrigerator straight into the cat’s bowl, your cat may not eat it right away.

We recommend warming the cat’s food slightly before feeding it to them. You can only really do this with wet food unless you soften the dry food with water. Ensure that the food is not too warm. 

When the food has been warmed up, it releases more aroma and should encourage your cat to eat it. 

Food Bowl placement

If your cat is still uninterested in its food, it could be linked to where the food bowl is placed. To encourage your cat to eat its food, you will want to separate your cat’s food and water bowls.

This may seem like a strange concept, but most cats prefer to have their food and water separated. In the wild, a cat would not have its food and water in one place.

Given this, it is more natural for cats to “hunt” for their food and water. You may have noticed this if your cat drinks out of a glass of water on your bedside table in the middle of the night!

In addition to this, ensure that the cat’s food is not too near to its litter tray, after all, would you want to eat your food next to a toilet?

Food Toys

If you have moved your cat’s food bowl and they still are not bothered about eating it, try scatter feeding. Scatter the food on the floor instead of putting it all in one place.

You could also try buying a food toy. These toys are usually for treats, but you can put dry food in them too. The cat then has to figure out how to get the food. By turning it into a game, your cat may be more interested in the food.

Treats And Chicken

If you have a particularly stubborn cat, you could try giving them some treats or chicken. While the goal is for your cat to put on weight healthy instead of gaining fat, treats in small quantities are fine. 

Try mixing some chicken or cat treats in with your cat’s food. You can buy things such as gravy and food toppers that are tasty for the cat too. This may encourage your cat to eat more of its food and thus help it to gain weight.

Smaller Food Portions

Although this may seem counterproductive it is effective. If you feed your cat in smaller portions throughout the day, instead of in two larger portions, this can encourage it to eat more.

If the cat realizes that there is not a constant supply of food available, it will be more likely to eat the food as soon as it is placed on the floor.


We hope this article has helped you to discover some ways you can encourage your cat to gain weight.

While there is no single foolproof way to help your cat gain weight, you should find that some of these suggestions are helpful. 

All cats are different and what will work for one cat, may not work for another. It is always important to not place too much stress and pressure on your cat to eat.

While it can be frustrating if they are not gaining weight, you need to have patience with them.

As mentioned above, if you have any concerns, we always recommend speaking with your local veterinarian to ensure your cat does not have any underlying medical conditions. 

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