If your cat is underweight, it may be due to poor diet or simply because it’s not getting adequate exercise (yes lack of exercise can make them underweight!)
Underweight cats tend to have a lower quality of life and a higher risk of serious health problems. If you want to help your cat gain some healthy weight, an important first step is to introduce them to a well-balanced diet.
A good diet aimed at increasing your cat’s weight should contain sufficient calories and a good balance of fats and protein.
Here’s a list of some of the most effective cat diets that won’t only increase their weight but will also keep them strong.
In A Hurry? Here Are Our Top Picks…
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness
- Wellness Core Natural Grain Free
- Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet
- Go Fit + Free
- Iams Proactive Health
Overall Best High Calorie Cat Food For Weight Gain
Blue Buffalo has been known for providing excellent quality pet foods. Their wilderness line, in particular, is loved by cat owners as it helps their feline companions put on just the right amount of weight and improves their overall health.
Not only is this cat food grain-free, but it’s also filled with heaps of healthy fats and proteins. Your cat will get a diet rich in protein along with a potent concentration of real meat.
It’s made with some of the best quality natural ingredients and is packed with added minerals and vitamins. Additionally, it’s free from by-products, soy, wheat, or corn, none of which are good for a healthy body.
If your cat has urinary issues and poor digestive health, the tasty-moisture content will take care of that. This is an excellent choice to ensure that your cat is receiving everything it needs to in just one meal.
This awesome product by Blue Buffalo is affordable and contains everything your cat will need to gain healthy weight. It also has a high concentration of protein and nutrients that’ll enhance your cat’s overall well-being.
- Grain Free ingredients
- Protein-rich chicken
- Loaded with tasty-moisture
- Free from by-products
- Contains potato and guar gum
This is our overall favorite high calorie cat food for weight gain. It helps your cat gain weight and still comes in at a budget price point.
Best Wet Grain Free Cat Food For Weight Gain
This diet is super-rich in calories and makes for an easy choice for anyone looking to help their cat put on some weight. Formulated with turkey and chicken as the primary ingredient, this cat diet is nutrient-rich, free from grains, and contains a very potent concentration of protein to ensure that they are always full of energy.
It’s packed with healthy omegas derived from salmon oil and flaxseed to promote a healthier and shinier coat and skin. Additionally, this cat food also comes with all the goodness of taurine, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to increase their immunity and well-being.
This one has a very smooth pate texture and delicious flavor so that you can serve it on its own or add it to your cat’s favorite kibble for a satisfying meal.
It’s mainly made from turkey, chicken, and chicken liver, which are all easily digestible and derived from biological protein sources.
It’s free from grains and contains minimal carbohydrates making it a top pick if your cat suffers from digestive issues.
This item from Wellness Core is packed with rich protein and essential nutrients, it has everything you could want from cat food. Not only will it help your cat to gain weight, but it’ll also provide them with all the right nutrients for a healthy life.
- Highly-digestible animal protein
- Contains no flavors, proteins, and preservatives
- High calories
- High on moisture
- Soft pate texture
- Contains dried potatoes
- A little pricey
This is our favorite wet, grain free cat food for weight gain. It’s a good option if your cat is a picky eater.
Best Cat Food For Active Cats Who Need To Gain Weight
Rich in protein, and nutrients, Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet will provide your cat with all the goodness it deserves. This delicious diet packs real chicken as the number one ingredient which will provide your little cat with a rich source of protein so that it can stay active for a longer period of time. This high concentration of protein will enable your cat to gain weight faster.
It’s also filled with taurine, minerals, and vitamins to maintain your cat’s overall health, along with naturally-sourced omegas for a shiny coat and lustrous skin. Additionally, it also contains real broth to ensure adequate hydration for your little pal. This product from Blue Buffalo is also amazing for urinary and digestive ailments.
It also includes garden-grown veggies, brown rice, and cranberries for a rich and balanced diet. Healthy Gourmet is also free from corn, wheat, soy, or by-product meals. If your cat is suffering from any kind of sensitivities or allergies, this will fix the problem most of the time.
- Chicken as the 1st ingredient
- No fillers
- Good moisture for absorption
- No artificial ingredients
- Contains veggies and fruits
This is our favorite food for active cats who need to put on a pound or two. It’s high enough in calories that your kitty can gain weight and this food has enough calories to support strong muscles.
Best For Cats With Sensitive Stomachs Who Need To Gain Weight
Specifically targeted at cats with allergies, this cat food is chicken and duck+turkey based to ensure more protein concentration than any Go! Recipe.
The top ingredients are chicken and duck+turkey, which aren’t just palatable but also provide highly-nourishing animal protein sources. It’s made by PhD pet nutritionists for a balanced and complete diet for cats. It also contains taurine, minerals, and vitamins.
This cat food from Go! Fit+Free contains probiotics to help your cat with its digestive system. Not just that, this cat food is free from added growth hormones, preservatives, by-products.
This formula is very appetizing and contains various nutrients and proteins that promote weight gain for your cat. However, the plant ingredients might turn off some cat owners.
- High-potency of animal protein
- Soft pate easy to digest
- Very appetizing
- Probiotics help your kitty’s stomach stay happy and healthy
- Rich in calories promotes weight increase
- Contains plant ingredients
This is our favorite pick if your critter has a sensitive stomach. This high calorie cat food helps your cat lose weight and get rid of stomach issues.
Best Budget High Calorie Cat Food
The Proactive Health from lams is a solid diet addition to increase your cat’s weight. These feline companions require a lot of protein in order to gain weight, and with Proactive Health, you get excellent protein content. Chicken is the main ingredient and a great protein source that’ll ensure that your cat receives the perfect dose to grow into a healthy adult.
It also includes Vitamin E, which strengthens your cat’s immune system. Not just that, it also has a very rich omega-3 DHA which will help your cat develop a healthy brain.
This item from Iams is also rich in taurine, minerals, vitamins, and fish oil to encourage vision and brain development. It’s made with very small kibbles so that even kittens can eat and digest it. This will ensure that your cat receives all the nutrients.
This product is ideal not just for adult cats but also for kittens that need that extra push to gain a few healthy pounds.
This food is great, especially for pregnant or nursing cats. It has numerous nutritious ingredients that’ll help in weight gain as well as overall development.
- Contains high calories
- Great budget buy to save your wallet
- Rich in protein
- Ideal for kittens
- Has Omega-3 DHA
- Some owners said that their cats didn’t love the flavor
This is our favorite pick if you’re trying to save some dollars. It’s effective and gets the job done for less than the competition.
Best Cat Food For Weight Gain Detailed Guide
A lot goes into finding the right cat food for your feline companion. Here are some key features to look out for on your next trip to the supermarket.
What Kinds of Food Should I Offer my Cat?
It’s difficult to ascertain what exactly your cat requires in their diet, but it’s generally accepted that fat and protein should be one of the topmost ingredients used in the cat food.
Food to Include
Pick cat diets with protein concentration exceeding 30%. The higher the concentration, the higher the chance is that your cat will gain weight. Diets containing fat between 15% – 20 % are also a great choice as it can help your cat grow healthy naturally.
Calories are also a very important ingredient you should look for as it’ll help your cat gain weight. Most of the cat diets we mentioned have high levels of calories.
Generally, a cat weighing 11 pounds should be receiving around 220 to 335 calories per day, depending on lifestyle and activity. If you feel like your cat isn’t getting enough healthy nutrients, you should think about changing their diet.
Underweight cats require more calories. If your cat is extremely underweight, you should consult your veterinarian. If it’s only a little bit underweight, try increasing its meal size first. A good way to do that is to feed it smaller portions throughout the day rather than giving it large meals.
Food to Avoid
It’s essential that you avoid food that contains a lot of fillers and added preservatives. Gluten and grains should also be avoided as it messes with their digestive system. It’ll be an added advantage if the diet is rich in moisture as it won’t only keep them hydrated but will also be easier for them to digest.
Affordability might be an issue, but generally, good quality cat food isn’t expensive. Cat food comes in a lot of sizes and price range, so you’re sure to find your pick.
If you can’t decide whether you should spend a lot of money on an expensive product or not, buy the smaller size first to test out and then you can buy the larger ones if you like the quality. Larger sizes typically offer more products for its price.
Why Do Cats Lose Weight?
Before introducing a new diet to help your cat gain weight, it’s a good idea to check with a Veterinarian regarding the probable causes of your cat’s weight loss. There might be underlying issues which might not be resolved with a new diet.
Here are some possible reasons behind why your cat is losing weight:
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Food allergies
- Worms/Intestinal parasites
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Anxiety, Stress
- Cancer/Cardiovascular disease
How Can I Increase my Cat’s Weight?
There are several methods you can take to aid your cat in gaining weight. Before introducing any drastic dietary changes, always consult with your local Vet and share your concerns and doubts.
Inspect For Illness or Worms
It’s possible that your cat may be dealing with parasites and worms for several months without your knowledge. This can cause drastic weight loss over time. Check for worms and parasites and if that’s the case, a simple tablet from your Vet should take care of it.
Pick a Good Brand
To aid your cat’s weight gain, choose a good quality cat food from a reputable brand. Check the concentration of calories and protein, which are essential for your cat’s health and also avoid products that have a lot of artificial colors, preservatives, and additives. These aren’t healthy.
Moreover, always make sure that the protein is derived from an animal source.
Provide Tasty Treats
Providing your cat with tasty treats in between meals won’t only increase their calorie intake but will also encourage them to enjoy their meals.
But be mindful not to spoil them too much, as they can lose interest easily.
Provide a Clean and Fresh Bowl of Water
Lack of adequate hydration can cause health and weight issues in your cat. Along with the meal, remember always to keep a fresh and clean bowl of water available for your cat to drink.
If you’re too occupied to clean or provide fresh water on a daily basis, you can consider buying a cat water fountain.
Cats are similar to humans. They require adequate food and exercise. Encouraging your cat to be active can heighten their senses and work up their body, which will keep their organs healthy.
1. Which ingredients should I look for?
There are many good ingredients for a cat’s diet but primarily look for food with animal protein sources and high-calorie content if you want to encourage weight gain.
2. Which ingredients should I stay away from?
Make sure that the product is grain free and contains no artificial colors, additives, and/or preservatives. Also, ensure that it’s hypoallergenic.
3. Can a meal change increase a cat’s weight?
Yes. A change in diet can encourage weight gain. If your cat is suffering from any underlying issue though, a good diet alone won’t be sufficient. Inquire with your Veterinarian.
4. Should I give my cat wet or dry food?
Both have their pros and cons. However, if your cat has bladder problems, a wet diet would be more beneficial.
5. Can I give my cat a vegetarian diet?
Cats are carnivores animals, and they can’t survive on a purely vegetarian diet. They need their daily dose of protein.
Here’s a little about my very favorite cat food brands.
They’re one of the most reputed pet food brands in America. Inspired by their own Airedale, Blue, not only do they provide top-quality pet food but also spread cancer awareness. Blue Buffalo only uses the highest quality ingredients in their diet and have thousands of loyal customers.
Wellness Core’s dedicated and qualified team of veterinarians, animal nutrition experts, and scientists continuously research and develop pet foods that revolutionize the lives of domestic animals.
Their pet food family contains state-of-the-art grain-free protein and nutrient-rich diets that many pet owners love.
Iams is a brand that caters to many requirements and needs concerning cats.
They have many high-quality pet products targeted at different age groups, breed, and even for special needs. Each product is made with the best ingredients and processes.
They’re known for their trademark paleolithic diet, containing wholesome meat and being free from added carbohydrates. All their products include pure meat along with minerals and vitamins.
To ensure the best quality, their products are free from gluten, grains, soy, artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors.
This is a company based in Canada with an established reputation for providing fantastic pet food for dogs and cats.
They have a wide variety of pet foods for different conditions, and each one of them is packed with healthy ingredients loved by cats. With their huge catalog, you’re sure to find one that fits your cat’s requirements.
To maintain your cat’s health, it’s essential to observe their weight and ensure that they’re not severely underweight. You should consult your vet if your cat doesn’t gain weight after a change in diet.
While all the products are great, my #1 pick is Blue Buffalo (Wilderness). It’s a company that truly adores animals and continuously strives to provide the best and most innovative products.
Their wilderness line has received an overwhelming response due to its rich protein content and tasty moisture, making it healthy and easy for cats to digest.
Not only will it help your cat gain weight, but it’ll also address numerous health concerns like their urinary and digestive system. Blue Buffalo also claims that this cat food will make your cat live longer and ensure a healthy standard of life.
Other than the addition of potatoes, which is quite negligible, there aren’t any major cons to this product. It’s all-around high-quality pet food. If you’ve kittens instead of full grown cats, you can opt for Iams Proactive Health which is high in calories and more suitable for younger cats.
Iams Proactive Health is also our top pick for a budget buy. It gets the job done well, but can save you a bit of cash.