Food To Help Cat Gain Weight: Our Best 3!

by Top Cat Breeds

Obesity is a big concern for pets, but cats, in particular, appear to struggle with weight loss. Senior cats also have trouble maintaining their weight, and certain health problems may lead to an unhealthful weight loss in cats. Since the average body weight for a healthy cat is only around 10 pounds, a loss of even one pound may be important. What is the best food to help cat gain weight?

Some cats may require higher calorie food and may benefit from extra, high-calorie, canned therapeutic food. Older cats struggling to maintain weight can benefit from a highly digestible food rich in antioxidants, omega-3 and-6 fatty acids, and prebiotics. With this guide, you will know the best food to help cat gain weight.

Food To Help Cat Gain WeightProduct ImageExpert RatingGet It On Amazon
Iams Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food Chicken Recipe
Check Price
Iams Proactive Health High Protein Adult Cat Food with Chicken & Salmon
Check Price
Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food
Check Price

The Cause Of Weight Loss

food to help cat gain weight

There are two major reasons for a skinny cat: either they don’t eat enough or waste more calories than they consume. They can not eat enough due to stress, dental disease, and/or nausea, or a host of other reasons. Cats with some diseases need to take more calories to sustain their weight, and weight loss can be the first and often the only external indication that the underlying condition has formed. 

The issue can be exacerbated by nausea. Weight loss can also be due to age-related declines in digestive function — some geriatric kittens (over ten years of age) have a hard time maintaining weight.

The other explanation of why a cat may be too thin is a lack of access to food. If you encounter a malnourished stray cat, you should call your local shelter or veterinarian for advice on what to do to get the cat back to a state of health. 

If possible, they may guide you to bring them in. Adopted stray cats should still be taken to the vets and screened for health issues.

Although a thin cat doesn’t necessarily mean a medical emergency, if you think your cat may be too thin, it’s important to arrange a check-up with your veterinarian to ascertain the cause of weight loss.

More Information

Weight loss can also be subtle and sluggish at the onset. The latest research has shown that weight loss is a very early indicator of kidney disease and can begin to show up three years earlier than other symptoms. 

Early intervention offers an opportunity to begin life-long treatment sooner. Therefore, daily checks with your veterinarian that involve body weight can be very helpful in the early detection of the disease. What is the best 

It is considered a medical emergency if your cat (skinny or not) stops feeding. If this is the case, you can take your cat to the vet right away. Cats who do not eat for days on end can develop a life-threatening condition called hepatic lipidosis, also known as a fatty liver syndrome.

Possible Diseases That Your Cat Might Have

food to help cat gain weight

Weight loss is a common feline problem, particularly in seniors. It will rely on what you feel (rather than what you see) to find out whether your kitty is losing weight. This is because a plethora of feline fur will easily obscure how slender or slim your cat is becoming. Remember if your kitty feels “bonier” when brushing or petting, and pay attention if your usually hefty feline pal feels light as a feather when you pick her up.

Even if your cat’s appetite and behavior seem to be perfectly natural, unexplained weight loss should always be presented to your veterinarian. The most common causes of feline weight loss are listed below. Here’s what you should know before buying the food to help cat gain weight.

Not Enough Food To Consume

Weight loss happens when too few calories are consumed. Some of the more common reasons cats will reduce their food intake include:

  • This is a painful condition in the mouth, such as growth or dental disease.
  • Competition in a food bowl made by other cats or a sly dog.
  • Unable to get to the food tub. For example, a kitty that can no longer hop to the food counter.
  • Disinterest in the form or brand of food served. Finicky kitties are going for days, if not weeks, without eating a bite.
  • Stress or anxiety — some cats stop eating in reaction to environmental stressors, such as moving to a new home or putting a new pet or person in their lives.

A Disease Of The Gastrointestinal Tract

Gastrointestinal disorders may prevent normal digestion and/or absorption of nutrients, resulting in weight loss.

Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetic cats also seem to be “starving in the midst of a lot.” Despite a voracious appetite, they lose weight very easily. This is because diabetes causes an inability to absorb and use the calories that the kitty eats properly.


Many older cats experience hyperthyroidism, a disorder in which the thyroid glands contain an excess of thyroid hormone. Although this condition can cause a variety of symptoms, weight loss is common to all hyperthyroid cats. This is because the extra thyroid hormone amps up the metabolic rate, which allows more calories to burn.

Failure Of The Liver

Weight loss is normal in response to dysfunction or failure of a vital internal organ, such as the heart, liver, or kidneys. The weight loss is normally the result of a reduced appetite.


Certain forms of benign and malignant tumors are known to cause weight loss. This is because certain cancer cells eat calories, virtually stealing food from the kitty.

Best Food To Help Cat Gain Weight

Our Top Pick!

Product Name: Iams Proactive Health Kitten Food

Product Description: It contains an impressive 33% protein and 21% fat. At first, the fat content might seem very high. As people, we're programmed to think that fat is a bad thing, and we should avoid it, but it's an incredibly necessary part of both our own diet and that of our cats.

  • Value For Money
  • Taste
  • Ingredient Quality

When your cat has successfully moved to a diet that is more suited to their lifestyle and eats well, you can control their weight through portion control. You need the best food to help cat gain weight for your pet. 

Suitable foods are readily available and don’t often cost as much as you would expect. Everyone wants a good value cat food, whether you’re hoping to help your cat get weight or lose it. We’ve been trying to balance costs with productivity in order to offer you a range of choices. Below is a list of the best high-calorie cat food for weight gain, with suggested serving sizes where available. Choose the best food to help cat gain weight from our choices!

1. Iams Proactive Health Kitten Food

food to help cat gain weight
  • Chicken is the 1st ingredient in this nutrient-rich kitten food, made to help your kitten develop and grow into a strong, lean, healthy adult cat
  • Helps promote healthy brain development with omega-3 DHA
  • With nutrients like those in mother’s milk plus vitamin E to help kittens build strong immune defenses
  • Some cats do not like the flavor

If you’re trying to help your adult cat gain weight, don’t be alarmed by this food’s name or branding, it’s well-tailored for adult cats to gain weight.

In fact, because kittens need higher protein and fat levels to grow and develop, it is actually one of the best candidates for weight gain food for cats of any age.

Kitten food is also tailored to responsive digestive systems, so you can be sure that even the edgiest of eaters will have no trouble making the transition to this high-calorie food.

We estimate that the IAMS Proactive Health Kitten contains approximately 416 kcal per cup. The products are well labeled and add up, but no calorie count per cup is available from the official source. After searching high and low for an acceptable value, we found it classified online as 3,990 kcal/kg in total.

It contains an impressive 33% protein and 21% fat. At first, the fat content might seem very high. As people, we’re programmed to think that fat is a bad thing, and we should avoid it, but it’s an incredibly necessary part of both our own diet and that of our cats.

Why You Should Buy

If your cat wants to be weighted, the upping fat content is a perfectly appropriate solution provided. It is matched with high protein intake. Know that cats in the wild search for live prey and, as such, thrive almost entirely on a protein and fat diet.

We think this is a perfect way to help underweight cats put on a few pounds in a safe way. It’s food for kittens from a well-respected company, so you can be sure that there are no nasty chemicals or fillers.

2. Iams Proactive Health High Protein Food

  • Chicken is the #1 ingredient in this protein-rich cat food to help support strong muscles and provide healthy energy for play
  • High concentration of high quality protein helps maintain muscles and nourishes a healthy heart
  • Tailored fiber blend includes prebiotics and beet pulp to support your cat’s digestive health
  • Taste and quality can be sometimes inconsistent

Not only is this high-calorie cat food the hottest on our list, but it’s also one of our favorites for weight gain!

It boasts a calorie count of 371 kcal per cup, which is excellent news for those who need to pack some weight for their furry friends.

Packed full of natural ingredients, vitamins, and antioxidants (in the form of blueberries), it’s a true all-rounder that’s sure to impress.

It has a minimum protein content of 38 percent, which is quite respectable, and a fat content slightly lower than the kitten food content of 18 percent.

Why You Should Buy

If you take a quick look at the manufacturer’s website for this product, you will find that the most common problem is that people can’t find it anywhere in stock! Don’t worry. 

There are a lot of online retailers who can bring it right to your door. We’re very impressed with this from a weight gain perspective and rank it as one of the most promising cat foods for weight gain.

3. Purina One Tender Selects Blend Food

  • Real Salmon Is The #1 Ingredient
  • High Protein Helps Support Strong Muscles
  • Natural Plus Essential Nutrients
  • Might be strong for some sensitive cats

Next up, we’ve got Tender Selects Blend from Purina. We don’t even need to say anything about the consistency that this brand name guarantees. We are sure we all know who Purina is by now.

Crafted in a Purina-owned factory in the USA, it does not contain any fillers and confidently claims that each ingredient is there for a reason (a reason that is beneficial to your pet, that is!).

A vet-recommended formula includes a wide variety of different vitamins that support a healthy lifestyle in cats. Underweight cats would benefit greatly from these, as they are likely to lack nutrients due to their current diet.

Why You Should Buy

We’ve seen a lot of owners swear by this stuff, and it’s fairly cheap, considering the health benefits it offers.

If you like, we would suggest a seamless transition from your current food to this one. That’s likely to give you the best results in weight gain, as you’re much less likely to have an upset in your cat’s digestive system.

What You Should Look For In A Cat Food

It can be hard to know what cats need in their diets, but a little bit of reading here and around the web can tell you that it’s mainly protein and fat content that you should be worried about. Before buying food to help cat gain weight, know what you need.

Aim for foods with more than 30% protein. The higher the protein percentage, the better. Foods with a fat content of between 15% and 25% are a great choice if you need your cat to gain weight naturally.

Kitten food is particularly useful here as it contains both of these macronutrients in abundance. Kittens require extra nutrients to develop rapidly and can have the same effect on adult cats as well. You don’t have to worry about stomach discomfort or vomiting, as they’re usually very gentle on the adult cats’ digestive system.

Find The Kind Of Food That Suits Your Cat’s Tastes.

The most important first move is to find the food that your cat loves consuming, but it doesn’t cause stomach distress. You want food that suits their nutritional needs but is still very palatable because they want to consume it.

It is not uncommon for a cat to have a strong preference for a particular flavor, form (canned/dry), or even food texture. The same applies to a cat being repulsed by one or more of these causes.

Navigating your cat’s needs is the first and most critical step in getting your cat to eat well.

Make Sure The Food Meets Their Dietary Needs.

Cats are obligatory carnivores. This means that cats need to get the necessary nutrients from animal products for their wellbeing.

Natural prey for cats, such as small rodents, is estimated to contain about 55 percent protein, 45 percent fat, and 1–2 percent carbohydrate on a dry matter basis.

Although the macronutrient distribution of prey is only 1-2 percent carbohydrate, most cats can use up to 40 percent of their diet in the form of carbohydrates as a good source of energy.

Dry food usually contains more carbohydrates than wet food.

Final Words

Some cats may actually require higher calorie food and may benefit from extra, high-calorie, canned therapeutic food. Older cats struggling to maintain weight can benefit from a highly digestible food rich in antioxidants, omega-3 and-6 fatty acids, and prebiotics.

Always consult with your veterinarian before you change your cat’s diet or give them nutritional supplements. A veterinarian should always monitor a pet weight loss program.

If you think your kitty may be too thin, visiting your vet is always the best course of action. They will help you come up with ways to get your cat to eat more, and they can decide whether there are any significant problems behind the loss of weight. Let’s hope, with a little patience and veterinary input. You’ll get your fluff ball back to a good weight in no time.

You Might Also Like