Cats are natural hunters and although many of them love to cuddle with you on the couch for long hours the weight of your cat is important for its general health and well-being. A skinny and malnourished cat is prone to long-lasting diseases and infections. If your cat can be described by words like “skinny” and “malnourished” then you might want to fatten him/her up in a healthy way. While there are trending images of obese felines on the Internet, please remember to keep an eye on your cat’s weight and make sure it is within a healthy range. Depending on the breed of your cat that range can vary so please talk to your veterinarian in advance of making any significant changes to your cat’s diet.
The most common reasons for cats to be skinny include – dental problems; parasites; food allergies, infections, hyperthyroidism, and inflammatory bowel disease. All these reasons boil down to the realization that your cat might have an underlying health condition (or more than one) that prevents the cat from enjoying a healthy weight and a shiny coat. Please, try to investigate the reasons listed above with your veterinarian first. A cat with dental problems, bowel inflammatory disease and hyperthyroidism (the body generates too many phytoestrogens) will avoid eating as much as possible. Also, cats with infections and parasites may lack appetite and be lethargic.
Please keep in mind that some cats are just “shy eaters” and do not like to be watched/seen while they eat. Try to move the food and water bowls of your cat to a more secluded area if that is the case and see if your cat responds well to this change.
Make sure the food and water for your feline is placed far away from the litter box. Cats are animals that love to keep up with their hygiene and will not feel comfortable eating next to a litter box.
Cats love quiet places when it comes to eating and having their meal time in a noisy area with lots of moving animals and humans is not ideal. Try to keep the food and water for your cat in a quiet area of your home. If you have more than one cat (or more than one pet) you may want to keep their dishes in separate rooms.
Felines with cancer and kidney problems will have problems gaining weight, please talk to your veterinarian about the best diet you can provide in these cases.
There is no fast method to fatten up a cat but the easiest one is to feed your pet canned kitten food. The cans for young and growing cats feature a higher amount of protein and fat per gram compared to the food servings for adults. This is easily explained because growing felines need extra nutrition to build their muscles and organs. We strongly encourage the use of wet food for the bigger part of your cat’s diet. Wet food is generally welcomed by pet felines and incites good appetite.
Veterinarians recommend using fish oil to lure your cat to the food bowl. The smell is known to be pleasing to pet cats and the increased calorie content can contribute to fattening up your fur baby. If you are feeling particularly generous you could give scraps of boiled chicken to your cat too. The meat should not have any spices or additives though. It is reported that many cats prefer food that has been warmed up before serving so you may try that as well.
A good idea is to change up the diet of your favorite feline. Some cats simply do not like certain brands of cat food and others may be sensitive to the food content. Try different types of food and monitor your cat’s litter box. Introducing yogurt into your cat’s diet can help her/him gain weight faster too as it is high in calorie content.
Cats who suffer from smelly feces, unformed feces, diarrhea, and vomiting are in need of a different meal program. Also, please make sure your pet cat has access to clean water at all times. Most cats drink very little water but you need to make sure their water bowl is clean and free of contamination.
If your cat recently gave birth and is currently taking care of a litter of kittens she may be underweight. The best you can do is increase the calorie intake while she is nursing. This can be done by giving her wet food for young kittens as that is high in protein and important minerals. Also, dry food is a good supplement and you want to keep the food bowl topped up with dry food throughout the day. Your cat will be losing a lot of energy and nutrients feeding the kittens so you can try to help her stay fed.
Many cat owners who help raise kittens report that the mamma cats need a lot of food and water. Please, make sure that the water bowl is clean and always full. You need to change the water every day to make sure your feline stays healthy and can take care of the young kitties.
Remember to decrease the food servings of your mamma cat once the kittens are weaned since we do not want your pet to become obese. Generally, house cats will begin spending time away from the kittens when they reach three weeks of age. The mother cat will stay close to her children and allow them space to walk and explore. The weaning period will start when the offspring is at eight weeks of age. The parent feline will stay close by and take time off more frequently.
As you may already know a good cat tree can go a long way to keep your cat comfortable at home. We recommend using plush toys like cat pillows and interactive toys like the Valonii Rechargeable Motion Activated Cat Laser Toy to keep your feline busy and entertained. Toys like the Petstages Tower of Tracks Interactive 3-Tier Cat Toy are welcomed by inquisitive and playful felines too. Toys that keep your cat moving will help in managing his/her weight and decrease the likelihood of your cat developing anxiety and behavior issues. Do not overfeed your cat and try to make time to play with your feline friend so you have a way to monitor his/her energy levels and behavior.