You’re not alone if you’re concerned about your feline friend’s weight and appetite. Many cat owners search for the best food for underweight cats to ensure their health and well-being.
Whether your cat is a picky eater, a senior with specific needs, or simply struggling to maintain a healthy weight, high-calorie cat food options can provide the necessary nutrition to help them thrive.
In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind underweight cats and introduce you to some excellent food choices to ensure your beloved companion gets the care and sustenance they deserve.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
Looking for a brief overview of the products discussed in this article? In the table below, we’ve spotlighted key features of each product for your convenience.
For more in-depth details about each item, you can refer to the later sections of the article.
Hill's Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Food
Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Mother
Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Cat Food
IAMS Proactive Health High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food
What is Food for Underweight Cats?
It’s common to find cat food labelled as “weight-control” for those cats looking to shed a few pounds.
However, you won’t typically find cat food with “high-calorie” written on the label. To identify high-calorie options, you’ll need to do more research, and a good starting point is to look for cat foods that are high in protein, as they often contain more fat and calories.
Avoid foods high in carbohydrates since cats don’t process carbs efficiently, and they will only gain weight effectively if the calories come from complex sources.
The best high-calorie cat food choice for your underweight kitty should contain animal-sourced fat, ample protein, and added micronutrients.
This ensures the calories are nutritionally balanced, promoting healthy weight gain without compromising their health or immune system.
Why is My Cat Underweight?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that you’re not a neglectful cat owner. Numerous factors could contribute to your cat’s weight loss; fortunately, many come with straightforward solutions.
As cats age, their ability to metabolise food efficiently tends to decline. This means that even if they consume their usual amount of food, their bodies may need to process and store it properly.
If your senior feline companion frequently vomits, consider switching to one of the specialised cat foods for older cats prone to vomiting.
Hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, is another common issue among senior cats that can lead to weight loss.
Medical conditions like kidney disease and diabetes often increase thirst, urination, and subsequent weight loss. Similarly, diseases such as cancer and gastrointestinal problems can also contribute to this issue.
Top 5 Best Food For Underweight Cats Reviews
1. Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Food – Best for Overall
Brand: Hill’s Prescription Diet | Form: Wet Food | Flavors: Chicken | Life Stage: All Life Stages
As a responsible cat owner, I always strive to provide the best care for my feline companion, and this specialised cat food has been a game-changer in maintaining my cat’s digestive health.
From my experience, I’ve found that Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Food is a top-notch choice for cats with sensitive stomachs or digestive issues.
It’s not just a regular cat food; it’s tailored to meet the unique needs of cats with gastrointestinal problems.
I recommend this food for any cat owner who has struggled with their feline friend’s digestive troubles.
It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes, but if your vet recommends this product, you can rest assured that you’re making a wise choice.
What We Liked:
– Most cats find it palatable, making the transition easier;
– Contains high-quality, easily digestible ingredients;
– Enriched with essential nutrients for overall health;
– Often recommended by veterinarians for digestive problems;
– Resealable bag for freshness and portion control.
What We Didn’t Like:
Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care Food is a highly effective solution for cat owners dealing with digestive issues in their feline companions, with easily digestible ingredients and veterinarian recommendations. However, it’s important to note that a prescription from a veterinarian is required to purchase this specialised cat food.
2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Cat Food – Best for Flavor
Brand: Wellness | Form: Wet Food | Flavors: Turkey & Duck | Life Stage: Adult
This natural canned food is a fantastic choice for cat owners looking to provide their pets with high-quality nutrition.
This review will share my experience and insights after trying out the Wellness CORE Turkey & Duck Pate, 5.5 oz Cans, Pack of 24.
From my experience, the first thing that caught my attention about this cat food is its commitment to using real meat as the primary ingredient.
Knowing my cat is getting a protein-rich diet from sources like turkey and duck puts my mind at ease.
The texture of the pate is perfect for my cat. It’s smooth and easy for her to eat, which is important since she can be slightly picky regarding texture. The pate consistency is a hit among many feline friends.
What We Liked:
– Grain-free formula, suitable for cats with dietary sensitivities or allergies;
– Smooth pate texture that many cats find appealing;
– Convenient 5.5 oz cans in a pack of 24 for easy and consistent feeding;
– Improved coat health and overall well-being were observed in many cats.
What We Didn’t Like:
The Wellness CORE Turkey & Duck Pate offers cat owners a high-quality, protein-rich option with real meat as the primary ingredient, making it a favourable choice for cats with dietary sensitivities. However, it may be on the pricier side compared to some other options available.
3. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Mother – Best for Nutrition
Brand: Royal Canin | Form: Wet Food | Flavors: Milk | Life Stage: Baby
As a devoted cat owner, I understand how unique each feline companion can be. That’s why I’ve always prioritised their well-being and nutrition.
When it comes to ensuring the health of an expectant mother cat, there’s one brand that stands out for its dedication to feline-specific nutrition – Royal Canin.
From my experience, I can confidently say that Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Mother is a game-changer for pregnant cats.
This cat food is specifically tailored to meet pregnant and nursing cats’ unique needs, making it an excellent choice for those crucial stages in your cat’s life.
One thing I absolutely love about Royal Canin is their commitment to providing nutrition for all the stages of a cat’s life.
Their Feline Health Nutrition Mother formula is a testament to this dedication. It’s not just cat food; it’s a complete nutritional solution.
What We Liked:
– Provides comprehensive nutrition for all stages of motherhood;
– Offers a satisfying texture, desirable flavors, and a unique kibble shape;
– Encourages healthy hydration, vital for expectant mothers;
– Recommends a combination of dry and wet food for balanced nutrition.
What We Didn’t Like:
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Mother is a highly recommended choice for pregnant and nursing cats due to its tailored nutrition and commitment to feline well-being throughout all stages of motherhood. While it may be pricier than some alternatives, its comprehensive benefits make it a worthwhile investment in your cat’s health.
4. Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Cat Food – Best for Digestion
Brand: Purina Pro Plan | Form: Dry Food | Flavors: Chicken & Rice | Life Stage: Adult
I’ve recently had the pleasure of trying out Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics High Protein Dry Kitten Food in the Chicken & Rice Formula, and I’m quite impressed with this product.
As a cat owner, providing the best nutrition for my little furball is a top priority. After my testing, I can confidently recommend this kitten food to fellow cat parents.
One of the standout features of this formula is the inclusion of probiotics. These little gut-friendly organisms are fantastic for promoting a healthy digestive system in kittens.
I’ve noticed a positive change in my kitten’s digestion since switching to this food. No more upset tummy troubles, and that’s a big win for me and my fur baby.
The high protein content in this food is another noteworthy aspect. Kittens need ample protein to support their growing bodies, and this formula certainly delivers. It helps with muscle development and overall health.
Plus, the primary protein source is real chicken, ensuring your kitten gets a delicious and nutritious meal every time.
What We Liked:
– Promotes muscle development and overall health in growing kittens;
– Contains real chicken and rice, free from artificial additives or fillers;
– Easy for kittens to grasp and chew;
– Leads to shinier coat and increased energy levels;
– The 7 lb. bag is manageable and seals well to maintain freshness.
What We Didn’t Like:
Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics High Protein Dry Kitten Food in the Chicken & Rice Formula impresses with its benefits for digestive health, muscle development, and real chicken content.
While it may be slightly pricier than some alternatives, the overall positive impact on your kitten’s well-being makes it a worthwhile choice for conscientious cat owners.
5. IAMS Proactive Health High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food – Best for Protein Content
Brand: Iams | Form: Dry Food | Flavors: Chicken & Salmon | Life Stage: Adult Cat (Over 1 Year)
From my experience, I’ve found that this cat food is packed with all the essential nutrients that my cat needs to thrive. The high protein content, featuring real chicken and salmon, immediately caught my attention. Cats are obligate carnivores, and this formula aligns perfectly with their dietary needs.
I explore the ingredients list carefully before choosing any cat food, and I was pleased to see that this product doesn’t contain any fillers or artificial additives. It’s a testament to IAMS’ commitment to providing high-quality nutrition for our pets.
I find that my cat’s coat has become noticeably shinier and softer since I switched to this food. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the salmon are doing wonders for her skin and fur. Not only does she look healthier, but she also seems more energetic and playful.
What We Liked:
– Provides essential nutrients for overall cat health;
– Free from artificial additives and fillers, ensuring quality nutrition;
– Promotes shinier and softer fur with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids;
– Cats appear more energetic and playful;
– Cats love the flavour, making mealtime enjoyable.
What We Didn’t Like:
This cat food from IAMS is an excellent choice for cat owners looking to provide their feline companions with a nutritionally balanced, high-quality diet.
It offers the benefits of real chicken and salmon, essential nutrients, and improved coat health, though some users may need help finding the limited bag size options.
Selecting the best high-calorie cat food is crucial to address weight loss and promote weight gain. This guide will walk you through the key factors to consider when choosing the right food for your underweight cat.
Cat Life Stage
Cats go through different life phases, and their nutritional requirements change accordingly. Choosing the right cat food is crucial to ensure their overall well-being.
While the variations in these requirements might seem subtle, they can significantly impact your cat’s health and happiness.
Like humans, cats have different dietary needs at various stages of life. For instance, kittens require a diet with a minimum of 30% protein, while adults can maintain their health with 26%.
Ensuring your cat’s food aligns with their life stage is essential in preventing issues like obesity and providing them with the right nutrients at the right time.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they rely primarily on meat for their nutrition. Kittens and adult cats have specific dietary requirements for vital nutrients like vitamin A and niacin, which their bodies can’t produce independently.
Pay attention to the guaranteed analysis on the product packaging to ensure your cat’s diet is complete and balanced. Key nutrients such as arachidonic fatty acid and taurine should be in adequate amounts.
Determining your cat’s caloric needs is crucial to address weight gain. You can assess your cat’s body condition to identify if they are underweight. Signs of an underweight cat include little fat around the ribs, making them easily palpable.
Utilise tools like the Pet Nutrition Alliance’s calorie calculator to estimate your cat’s daily caloric intake based on the specific cat food brand you choose.
Collaborating with your veterinarian is essential to ensure a healthy weight gain strategy, as overfeeding can lead to issues like vomiting.
Monitoring your cat’s caloric intake is crucial when managing their weight. You can assess your cat’s body condition to determine its weight. Signs of an underweight cat include visible ribs with little fat covering them.
Tools like the Pet Nutrition Alliance’s calorie calculator can help you estimate your cat’s daily caloric needs based on the specific cat food brand you choose.
Collaborating with your veterinarian to develop a healthy weight gain strategy is vital because overfeeding can lead to problems like vomiting.
AAFCO Compliance: Ensuring Nutrient Profile Adherence
The best cat foods will include a statement indicating compliance with the AAFCO’s nutrient profiles for the specific species and life stage.
This certification ensures that the product contains the right mix of nutrients in appropriate amounts for optimal feline nutrition. Keep in mind that this information applies to cat diets and not treats.
Additionally, AAFCO sets standards for product names, ensuring that the name accurately reflects the product’s composition. For example, if it says “all-chicken,” it must contain only chicken.
Precautions to Take When Feeding Your Cat High-Calorie Cat Food
Several important factors must be remembered before introducing high-calorie food to your beloved feline companion. These considerations will ensure that you provide them with the best possible care.
Firstly, it is crucial to consult your cat’s veterinarian before offering any high-calorie treats designed for cats.
Ensure it is safe for your cat to consume, and inquire about the recommended duration of this dietary change, especially if the vet has prescribed it.
Secondly, when dealing with an underweight cat, it can be tempting to overindulge them. However, this can be detrimental, even when using the highest-calorie cat food.
Adhere to the recommended feeding portions indicated on the product packaging to help your cat gain weight without the risk of becoming overweight.
How often should I feed my underweight cat?
Frequent, small meals throughout the day may be more suitable for underweight cats. Discuss a feeding schedule with your vet based on your cat’s needs.
Can I add supplements to my cat’s diet to help them gain weight?
Only add supplements after consulting your vet, as this can lead to imbalances or worsen the underlying issue. Your vet can recommend safe and appropriate supplements if necessary.
When should I see a veterinarian about my underweight cat?
If your cat has been consistently underweight or if their weight loss is sudden and unexplained, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian. They can diagnose any underlying health problems and recommend the best course of action.
How can I encourage my underweight cat to eat more?
Try warming their food slightly to enhance its aroma, offering a variety of flavours and textures, and providing a quiet and stress-free eating environment. Your vet may also suggest appetite stimulants or feeding tubes in severe cases.
In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best food for underweight cats, it’s essential to prioritise nutritious calorie-rich options with a high content of animal proteins and fats. Avoiding carb-dense foods is key, as they may need to provide your feline friend the necessary fuel and energy.
If you are considering a full-stack food for cats with nutrients, Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d Digestive Care might be a worthy try. Besides, the Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics is the ideal choice for the cat’s digestion.
Whether you have a senior cat, a kitten, or any cat needing weight, there are high-calorie cat food options to ensure no cat is left behind in their journey to better health.