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:
How To Feed An Under
Selecting a high-quality natural food rich in meat proteins is a great way of helping finicky eaters find a food they will love and eat. A texture your cat most enjoys will matter too, confirms WellPet veterinarian Danielle Bernal DVM.
A frail or ill cat may prefer to eat multiple smaller meals rather than being fed one big meal.”
But given that cats generally are nibblers and prefer to eat on demand, Bernal suggests that the main focus is ensuring that the cat gets the required number of calories needed in a diet to meet its nutrient requirements.
Young kittens generally require more meals in a day. However, if you are trying to boost the health of a severely under-nourished kitten, Bernal advises more frequent feeding.
A very young kitten will need to eat more frequently than just key meals, confirms Bernal. I usually suggest just ad-libbing it until eight weeks of age, dividing out their calorie requirements. Then four meals a day until 12 weeks of age before moving to an easier routine of twice daily. Given cats tend to eat multiple meals throughout a day however, and if you feed a wet and dry combo, I suggest leaving the allocated dry food amount out all the time so that a kitten can eat on its own schedule.
Check Out The Best Cat Foods For Weight Gain
To help your cat gain weight, you may want to switch to a nutritionally balanced cat food made with at least 30 percent protein and 20 percent fat. A recipe made primarily with meat, poultry, or fish is likely to be appealing and digestible.
Here are our top picks for the best cat food for weight gain:
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Nutritional Content Of The Food
With so many different cat foods to choose from, the pet food companies are all competing for your hard-earned dollars. This can lead many of them to rely on buzzwords like real meat or grain-free that make you buy their food but dont necessarily equal better nutrition for your cat. Learn how to read and compare pet food labels and ingredients to help you make the right choice of high-calorie cat food.
How To Get My Cat To Eat Homemade Cat Food
It will be easier to switch a cat from canned food to raw or cooked. Typically, the transition takes about a week. You start serving food in 20/80 ratio, then 40/60, 50/50, and replace the old food gradually. However, the process of transition may take months dont give up. Some pet owners suggest starting with raw/cooked food treats, such as chicken wings.
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Why Your Senior Cat Doesnt Eat Much
Here are the common reasons why your senior cat isnt excited about mealtime:
- Dental problems
Senior cats tend to suffer from dental problems such as gingivitis, sensitive mouths, or broken and loose cat teeth. These issues affect their ability to munch on food easily, thus, making mealtime less exciting.
- Less physical activity
Lying in bed all day may cause some senior cats to lose muscle mass, rather than gain weight. Reduced amount of physical activities affects their metabolic needs and their initiative to consume large meals.
- Reduced sense of smell
Another common culprit why older cats lose interest in eating is a decreased sense of smell.
A cats tongue doesnt have a lot of taste receptors. For that reason, they are more stimulated by the smell of food rather than the flavor.
If your cat cannot smell its food, its not surprising why it isnt excited to eat.
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.
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How Much Should My Cat Weigh
Weight highly depends on the breed of your cat, though the average domestic shorthair should weigh in at around 10 pounds. If a cat is a bit over or under 10 pounds you should not be too worried as it could have to do with your cats body structure. For example, Kalista is a very tall cat, shes naturally long and thin. On the flip side, Beau is built like a tank. Hes short, stubby and has a fairly wide natural build. That being said, it can safely be assumed that Beau will always weigh a bit more than Kalista based on the structure of his body and bone density.
The average Mainecoon should weigh in at around 25 pounds, again based on their body structure, bone density and build.
On the side of the perspective, some breeds of cats, like orientals, will always be petite sitting on an average of 5 pounds. That being said, it is always important to consult a vet before taking steps to make your cat gain or lose weight.
The best way to analyze whether or not your cat is a good weight is by checking their ribs and backbone. If you can feel both the backbones and ribs of your cat without seeing them stick out, your cat is probably an ideal weight. Cats should have an hourglass shape with no pooch stomach hanging.
Why Is Your Cat Losing Weight
First, before adjusting your cats diet or feeding schedule, its important to check with the veterinarian to find out why your cat is losing weight or why your cat wont gain weight.
If your cat at home is losing weight and you dont know why then check with the vet first. Your cat may have an underlying 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:
A few more possible explanations as to why your cat might be losing weight, according to veterinarian Bob Pane can be found on this very helpful video.
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What Food Will Help Cats Gain Weight
Underweight cats should eat foods that are around 20% fat and 30% protein if they are eating dry food, or 5% fat and 7% protein, or higher if they are eating wet food. You can also intersperse the diet of your cat with small amounts of supplemental canned products or canned food with high calorie and made of pure meat sources.
Tomlyn High Calorie Nutri
This high calorie gel supplement by Tomlyn is very versatile and potent. It comes in a gel form which you can give directly to your cat, or mix with food. To check the current price of this product click here to see it on Amazon.
This high calorie dietary supplement is one of few recommended by vets. The main ingredients in Nutri-Cal for Cats is Vitamin A, D, E, Phosphorus, Thiamine, Calcium, Manganese, Iodine, Potassium, Iron, Folic Acid, Ribloflavin and a few other essentials. Administering to your cat is also very simple. This supplement comes in an easy to use gel form. Simply place the recommended amount of gel on your finger to give to your cat. You can also place it on your catâs paw or mix it with their food. Itâs best to try multiple different ways to see what works best for you and your cat. Not all cats are the same so you will have to figure out the easiest way to give it to your cat.
The overall ratings of this product are positive. Many verified users have commented saying that their cats absolutely loved this supplement and some cats even looked forward to having it. Many users that had elderly cats said it worked well with keeping their weight up.
Most of the negative reviews had to do with some cat ownersâ cats not liking the taste at all of this gel.
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What If My Cat Is Losing Weight
If your cat is visibly losing weight and is not specifically on a weight loss plan, this can be a sign of a health problem. It is best to get an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your cats weight loss and any other symptoms which may indicate the presence of illness. Common illnesses that cause cats to lose weight include hypothyroidism, kidney disease, and diabetes. Since both hyperthyroidism and diabetes cause hunger, many pet parents dont notice their cat losing weight at first.
High Protein Cat Kibble
As mentioned before, you may want to try food formulated specifically for kittens as that has the most fat and protein. Read that label! If the first ingredient is a type of grain or âmeat by-productâ or something ending in âmealâ it’s no good.
The first ingredient should be a type of meat such as turkey, fish, lamb, chicken or beef. Not only will high-protein food help your cat put on a healthy amount of weight, you may notice her coat becoming shinier and softer with other physical improvements.
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Some Cats Do Eat A Lot But Dont Gain Weight
This could mean that your cat is suffering from a condition known as hyperthyroidism. This is caused by a tumor on its thyroid gland. It contributed majorly to weight loss in your cat, high level of water intake, frequent hunger, and many more related symptoms. This could also indicate organ failures in senior cats.
What Are Some Of The Reasons My Cat May Have Lost Weight
Before we talk about how to treat your cat for weight loss, Id like to say how important it is to talk to your vet especially if your cat began losing weight suddenly.
Weight loss is commonly associated with illness, especially when it is sudden. The most common reasons being: Anorexia, Hyperthyroidism, Pancreas Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease , Diabetes, Viral Infections, Skin Lesions Bacterial Infections, Cancer, Gallbladder or Liver Disease, Fungal Infections, or Worms.
Now, this isnt to say that your cat has only lost weight due to these conditions as weight loss can also be attributed to the amount of activity a cat partakes in as well as the atmosphere the cat is in. What do I mean by that? Well, sometimes anxiety and stress can cause a cat to not want to eat. If a cat feels unsafe they may choose not to eat, so take note of your cats behaviour to ensure that they feel as safe as possible.
Cats may prefer certain places to eat in their homes and may feel safer eating by you. Our cat Kalista, for example, refuses to eat by our front door because shes afraid of strangers. If she hears any noise while shes eating she will often walk away from her food to either investigate what the noise is or hide from it. In situations like this, you will want to investigate what it is that is making your cat upset or nervous and either remove it or mask it with either white-noise/another sound or mask the scent.
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Body Score Your Diabetic Cat Regularly
It is essential to know your cats ideal weight. Also, you can body score it by checking the fat at its ribs and backbone. It helps in figuring out if the cat is gaining weight. The perfect cat has ribs and a backbone that can be felt easily but does not stand out through the fur.
You can also weigh the cat and estimate their desired target weight. By keeping a record of your diabetic cats weekly weight, you can analyze the increase in their weight patterns. This will help in defining the diet and insulin dose plan for the next week.
Nulo Freestyle Chicken And Cod Recipe Grain
This food is ideal for both adult cats and kittens, it will help your cat start gaining weight in no time. The food features fresh chicken as the main ingredient and also contains animal proteins, turkey meal, chicken meal, and deboned cod.
It is as well grain-free for easy digestion but very high in proteins, calories, and fats. Overall the food offers a full 40% protein and 20% fat with 500 calories per cup.
- The food is excellent for both adult cats and kittens
- The food is high in protein and fat
- Contains plenty of fiber and chelated minerals
- Is grain-free for easy digestion
- Is expensive to feed as stable food
- The food may be too high in fiber for some cats
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How To Get A Skinny Old Cat To Gain Weight
Senior cats are prone to muscle mass and weight loss. In light of this, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests that all cat owners must feed their pets with muscle-gain foods as early as 7 years old. Doing so will help them avoid weight issues as they age.
On the other hand, over 50% of cats in the US are overweight. For this reason, many adult cat foods are low in calories. If you have an older, skinny, cat pay close attention to the food you choose.
Even when overweight cats happen to lose weight rapidly or significantly, there is cause for concern. It may be a clear sign that there is an underlying health issue that must be addressed.
What Causes Unhealthy Weight Loss In Cats
In cats, unhealthy weight loss may be due to decreased metabolic activity with age or it could be linked to an underlying medical problem.
Here are some of the most common causes of unhealthy weight loss in cats:
- Insufficient calorie intake
- Anxiety, stress, or depression
- Dental problems, including tooth decay or inflammation of the gums or mouth
- Neurologic or central nervous system disorders
Because the average body weight for a healthy cat is only about 10 pounds, a loss of even a single pound could be significant. If your cat loses more than 10 percent of their body weight, this is cause for concern and should be immediately checked out by a veterinarian. Your vet will be able to determine the underlying cause for your cats weight loss and suggest a course of treatment for it. Seek treatment quickly, as sudden, rapid weight loss in a cat can lead to fatty liver disease, which can be fatal.
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Our #1 Choice To Help Cats Gain Weight: Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Even though the 2 other options offer a slightly higher protein content, Blue Buffalo is our personal favorite. Its a brand we have been trusting for years with our Yoda and it worked wonders when we needed it most .
This brand was created by the Bishops family, inspired by their pet Blue who struggled with cancer. Their research for the healthiest solutions led them to create a super high-quality pet food that would only use the finest ingredients.
This is exactly what Blue Buffalo provides: Quality ingredients that will nourish your beast and provide your cat with healthy, wholesome nourishment.
What We Love About Blue Buffalos Cat Food
- Balanced calories from proteins and fats: 443 calories/cup, 40% protein and 18% crude fat!
- Grain-free + holistically created
- A magic combo of omegas, amino acid + an exclusive blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
- Made in the USA by a company that gives back
Benefits Of Homemade Cat Food
There are several good reasons why some cat owners choose to feed their furry friends homemade meals and discard any other options. Here are they:
1. The owners can control the ingredients as well as the process of cooking.Bulk cat food on the market is not what it seems and advertises.
Both expensive and cheap cat food can include low-quality components, chemical preservatives, useless or even harmful fillers. So commercial cat food can be regarded as junk food for humans and home made cat food like home cooking. If you start preparing food for your cat at home, you choose the ingredients and control the way of cooking. Thus, you are sure that your furry eats really quality meals.
2. The pet parents can protect their cats from a variety of allergic reactions.A lot of commercial cat food brands say that their kibbles can improve cats skin and coat.
But thats not true. Using low-quality ingredients for making such kinds of cat food, on the contrary, can cause some allergic reactions or sensitivities. Homemade raw food diet for cats lets you notice a great benefit to your four-legged friends skin and coat.
The difference is that raw food provides about 80% moisture when commercial cat food offers just 10%.
4. Making your own cat food fosters increased energy.
5. The cat owners can save money if they choose to cook feline food at home by themselves.
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