Increase/adjust Feeding Proportions & Amount
Getting cats to eat more might require an adjustment to their regular eating schedule. Cats tend to like to eat smaller portions throughout the day, so consider leaving a lump of food out across the day. If you have a full schedule and cannot commit to physically feeding your cat, say 3x a day, then consider investing in an automatic cat feeder that will make sure your cat gets fed on time throughout the day.
Always check on the back of the cat food bag for proportion recommendations and adjust as necessary.
Have You Had Trouble Getting Your Cat To Eat
Does kitty keep on losing weight whatever you do?
We would love to hear your stories in the comments below.
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How To Feed Your Cat So It Stops Begging And Starts Losing Weight
Cats receiving an adequate number of calories per day will be hungry . So feeding a cat until it is full is almost always overfeeding unless it is an actively growing kitten under eight months of age.
Naturally, cats eat multiple small meals a day by hunting and eating what they catch. Having a bowl of dry food available allows multiple small meals of a high caloric feed with no effort on the cats part, this is a recipe for weight gain.
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Help A Cat Gain Weight With A Different Food
A change in diet could be the answer to how to make a skinny cat gain weight.
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A new food that is tastier or even has a different texture may encourage her to eat more. The nutritional content of the food is important, too.
The best foods to help with weight gain in cats tend to be
- high in fat and calories
- formulated for kittens
- made with as many animal ingredients as possible
- made with limited amounts of plant-based products
Check with your vet before making a big change in your skinny cats diet.
It is also important that any changes are made slowly to avoid gastrointestinal distress.
So lets look at foods that should help with weight gain in cats.
Here are some popular choices:
Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food
Natures Variety Instinct* is high in animal protein, grain-free and low in carbohydrate.
It also contains freeze-dried raw meat to boost nutrition.
Other beneficial components are probiotics, omegas, and antioxidants.
Iams Proactive Health Kitten Dry
Kitten food contains higher levels of protein and fat than adult alternatives.
It is deliberately highly calorific to support kittens rapid growth.
This means it can play an important part in how to fatten up a cat.
This kitten food from IAMS* contains a decent 41% animal protein for great taste and aroma.
It is easy to digest with prebiotics and has omegas for brain and eye function.
What Are The Nutritional Requirements For A Growing Kitten
When choosing a diet for your growing kitten, it is important to understand three key nutrients: protein, fat, and calcium.
- Protein requirements for growing kittens are high during the weaning stage, but the amount of protein they need will steadily decrease thereafter.
- The recommended protein range for healthy kitten growth is 35-50% on a dry matter basis with at least 9% dry matter from an animal source. These levels support optimal growth, so it is not recommended to exceed them.
- Nutritional formulations for adult cats should not be fed to growing kittens. Although the dry matter protein level may be adequate, other nutrients and energy content will not be balanced for optimal growth.
- Fat is a source of essential fatty acids. It is a concentrated source of energy and it carries fat-soluble vitamins.
- Excessive energy intake is risky and can lead to obesity and developmental orthopedic disease. For this reason, the fat content for kittens should be rationed between 18-35% on a dry matter basis.
- Kitten growth formulations should contain 0.8-1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis.
Once an appropriate nutritional product has been chosen, no additional vitamin or mineral supplements should be given. You should also avoid foods that produce a urinary pH of less than 6.2. Your veterinarian can help you determine the pH levels for kitten foods you are considering.
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Talk To Your Vet About Appetite
There are a few medicines available from your veterinarian that can help stimulate your cats appetite.
An hour or so after talking the medicine, your cat will feel the urge to eat. You can even ask if your vet can get the medicine in a transdermal form , so that you can avoid having to give a pill.
Why Is My Cat Skinny
When looking at a very skinny cat, you may suspect he is malnourished.
Its unfortunate having your cat look and feel sick because of his lack of weight, especially if he doesnt have an appetite as well!
Youre probably wondering why your cat looks so skinny yet refuses to eat, despite all the food you give them.
Here are some possible reasons why:
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Helping Kitten Gain Weight
Originally Posted by NekochanYes, a fecal sample was sent in but I don’t know if they got the results yet. I went with my sister to Petco for all the kitten’s vaccinations and they also gave my sister a box to mail in the fecal and took blood to test for FelV and FIV and a coupon good for the FelV and FIV vaccinations once those results came back The vet they took her to for an exam wants to wait at least 1-2 months before spaying because she is so small and skinny.
How To Feed A Cat To Help Them Gain Weight
Its important your cat feels stress-free and comfortable during mealtime so it starts to eat regularly and gain weight. Some of the ways you can do that include:Splitting their daily portion into smaller meals you put down regularlyHeating up their food to release the aromas and encourage their appetiteAvoiding watching your cat eating, as they can find this stressfulConsidering what they like to eat from and making it easily accessibleSeparating their food, litter, drinking and playing areas to mimic what they would do in the wildTalking to your veterinarian about appetite-stimulating drugs for your catYour veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best ways to make sure your cat gains the right amount of weight and maintains a healthy lifestyle. Make sure that you book an appointment with them if youre unsure of the best course of action.
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Is Kitty Really Losing Weight
Sometimes cats are simply slender. While they might look and feel too thin to their owners, they might be perfectly healthy.
If the cat has always been thin, keeps a stable weight and is showing no other symptoms, there may be no reason for concern. However, if you dont know the cats history, or youre just worried about it, talk to your vet. A professional can weigh the cat and provide a more accurate assessment of just how thin Kitty really is.
If your veterinarian cannot find a problem, you may simply have a cat with a petite build on your hands. This isnt a cause for concern. After all, every cats body is different!
How To Help Your Cat Gain Weight
mailIt can be difficult to know how to help your cat gain weight safely and healthily after trauma, surgery or sickness here are a few tips.
After surgery, illness or another difficult event, you may find your cat is below their ideal weight. Getting them back up to a lean, healthy weight is important for their wellbeing and for the vital functioning of their organs and it requires the right mix of diet and feeding routines to do so.
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Is There Anything Else Wrong
There are lots of reasons why cats lose weight or are unable to gain it. The four most common reasons for cats to lose weight are diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure and cancer, and none of these is going to respond to feeding more food.
If your cat has experienced recent weight loss, its a good idea to go to the vet for an examination and some blood tests to rule out these diseases before attempting to get your cat to gain weight.
This is especially true if theyve shown other signs such as drinking more, using the litter tray more, behavioural changes, vomiting or soft stools, as these are all signs of something more serious occurring.
If your cat hasnt recently lost weight, but has never been able to gain it, its also worth a visit to the vet. Cats can be born with conditions that cause them to be less able to digest food, resulting in poor weight gain.
Your vet will likely have to do some blood tests to rule out these diseases.
How To Fatten Up A Cat Summary
We hope we have helped you with how to fatten up a skinny cat.
We have learned that foods high in calories and fat are useful when considering how to make a cat gain weight.
Kitten foods are typically the most fattening cat food. So your vet might recommend them to help an elderly underweight cat, too.
It is important to remember that the best food for an underweight cat is one with as many animal ingredients in it as possible.
Plant-based products should be avoided or at least kept to a minimum.
Above all, if your cat is losing weight, take her to your vet for a comprehensive check-up before you do anything else.
Even the best when a cat needs to gain weight cant help if theres an underlying medical problem that still needs to be treated.
Make sure that you discuss any dietary changes with your vet as some conditions require a special diet.
If you work closely with your vet you are bound to find a way to help your cat gain weight.
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Your Cat May Have Trained You To Feed It
The act of feeding is a training exercise between the cat and the feeder. Cats often key on the behaviors and acts that are a preview to feeding them and try to get the feeder to engage in these. A good example is feeding the cats as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. The cats will very often try to get the person up in the morning so that they get fed earlier and earlier and earlier
Another example is the cat running into the kitchen every time the fridge is opened since that is where they know you store the canned food.
How To Make A Cat Gain Weight: Serious Illness
Usually a serious illness causing a lack of growth or weight loss would be accompanied by other symptoms. If your cat loses weight rapidly, take him immediately to a vet – it can be an emergency. If your cat has diarrhea, loses her appetite, is vomiting, feverish or has any change in his personality, take him immediately to the vet. Liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, pancreatitis and many other serious illnesses can all cause a cat to lose weight.
If none of these options seem to fit with your cat’s weight loss or failure to thrive, please contact your vet. Your vet should be able to help you answer the question of how to make a cat gain weight.
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Golden Oldies And Bodyweight
Cats are known to gradually lose weight when they become seniors at around 12 years of age. Even though this is common, you should still book in yearly appointments with your veterinarian to ensure that your cats health is on track. As cats enter their golden years, they may have a reduced ability to digest and acquire the nutrients in their food.
You may want to choose a food with a higher caloric content and protein content to counteract any decreases in digestibility and loss of muscle mass. Another thing to consider in older cats is that they may have a decreased ability to smell and taste their food. One adjustment that can overcome this is the use of a high-moisture canned diet which readily releases aromas and is more flavorful than a dry kibble.
Provide A Nutritious Wholesome Diet
Cats need a blend of healthy meat protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Your skinny cat will need a proper, nutritious diet in order to gain weight. Dont expect a skinny cat to magically gain weight by feeding the same boring dry kibble over and over again.
Invest a little more money into a high-quality cat food your cat cant wait to devour. You might spend an extra few bucks a month, but by doing so you could save hundreds or thousands of dollars in future vet bills. The health and well-being of cats always include a delicious, nutritious diet.
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My Kitten Is Getting Chunky
Hello all! I was wondering if anyone has some advice for me. I have a kitten who is approximately 8.5 months old, and it seems to me that she is getting a little chunky arounds the middle. I used to just leave out a big bowl of IAMS dry kitten food so she could eat when she was hungry- now I give it to her 1 cup at a time, and she usually only eats about 1/2 cup per day. I also give her wet food once a day, in the evening when I have dinner. She usually eats about half or 3/4 of it. When there are leftovers, I put them in the fridge, and she gets them for breakfast. Based on the suggested portions on the back of all her food, I am actually under-feeding her. She is very rambunctious, runs around all the time, gets plenty of excercise I think. I haven’t taken her to the vet since she seems completely healthy in every other way, and she isn’t due for her next exam and annual shots until May.
I got her spayed when she was 5 months old, and I noticed her gaining weight about a month or so after that. I have gotten mixed information as to whether spaying a female cat will cause her to gain weight. My vet assured me it won’t, but some websites and friends have said otherwise. I am wondering if maybe my getting her spayed is a partial contributer.
In any case, I don’t want to end up with one of those overweight, lazy, unhealthy cats who have to be on a specail diet, so if you have any advice let me know. Thanks!
Make Sure Your Skinny Cat Is Healthy
Healthy adult cats tend to stay pretty much the same weight over the years. Therefore, if your cat is losing pounds, they may have an underlying medical problem.
A checkup with the vet is the first step in fattening up an underweight cat. The vet will check for:
Gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroenteritis, diarrhea, constipation, and pancreatitis are common in cats. Many can be cured easily over a few days.
Others, though, may require long-term management.
Internal parasites are also common in otherwise health cats. Parasites can be wormlike or single-cell microscopic organisms.
Wormlike parasites include roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Isospora and giardia are examples of microscopic organisms.
Just like us, aging cats are prone to dental disease. Sore teeth and gums are likely to put your puss off of her food.
This disorder is very common in older cats and is caused by an overactive thyroid gland.
Symptoms usually include increased appetite, sometimes with vomiting, along with weight loss.
Also often seen in aging cats, diabetes can have symptoms similar to hyperthyroidism, such as increased appetite and weight loss.
Increased thirst and urination are also commonly seen.
Kidney disease is another cause of weight loss in aging cats. Symptoms for this condition also include increased thirst and urination.
Arthritis and Visual Impairment
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Weigh Your Cat To Ensure A Healthy Rate Of Weight
Regardless of diet, limiting access is the key. And a scale to accurately weigh the cat on is handy. Peoples digital scales can be used by weighing the person with and without holding the kitty. Monthly weights at the same time of day are sufficient.
We want about a pound a month of weight loss, not more. Sudden weight loss in a cat can result in serious health issues. Weight loss is hard to accomplish in a cat, no short cuts exist, and it takes an active process to achieve.
Just like people, it is an individualized program for each kitty and dealing with the behavioral consequences of a hungry cat can be one of the largest challenges. The hardest thing for people to accept is that a hungry cat is okay and healthy, it does not require fixing despite what the kitty may think.
Dr. Matt McCormick, DVM
Companion Animal Clinic has been serving Blacksburg, Virginia and surrounding Montgomery and Christiansburg communities since 1974. We are an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital and provide quality, professional care for dogs, cats, exotics, and small mammals. Learn more about our amazing team.