Fattening Foods for Cats

by Susan Leisure, Demand Media
    Help your underweight cat gain weight with just a few easy additions.

    Help your underweight cat gain weight with just a few easy additions.

    Cats can be picky eaters. If a finicky feline decides that food doesn't smell good or isn't enticing, sometimes she just won't eat. If your cat is thin, some simple diet changes could change her from supermodel thin to pleasingly plump.

    Find Out Why Your Cat is Thin

    If your cat is skinny, the first step you should take is to find out why. Older cats may have a health issue, like hyperthyroidism or diabetes, that causes weight loss. Both of these can be managed pretty easily with a visit to the vet to get the right meds. If your cat goes outside, she may have picked up an unwanted parasite tagalong who is digesting part of her food. Usually, a simple dewormer can take care of that extra passenger. If you have a young or very active kitten, she may be just burning off more energy than she is taking in. Before making any diet changes, a trip to your veterinarian is a good idea to determine why your cat is underweight.

    Kitten Food is Good for Thin Cats of All Ages

    If you can get your kitty to eat more calories, she'll gain weight. The easiest change is to switch to a food with more protein and fat. Kitten food might be a good choice, since it is higher in protein and fat than most adult cat foods. Look for grain-free kitten foods, as they almost always will have the highest protein and fat levels, and don't contain any grain fillers, which is like junk food for our feline friends. Good brands for high-quality dry kitten food include EVO, Blue Buffalo, Fromm and Orijen.

    Canned Food May Be More Tempting

    If your feline friend is finicky, consider adding canned food to her diet to get more calories in her. While canned food may not always have higher calories than dry food, the smell and taste may encourage your cat to eat more. Look for canned foods with proteins with higher fat, especially duck, sardine, and liver. Try to avoid canned foods with corn, wheat, soy and by-products, since they are junk ingredients. They may make your cat feel full, but they won't help her gain weight.

    A Little Home Cooking Can Be Helpful

    There may be some good additions to your cat's diet in your own pantry or refrigerator. Scrambled eggs without butter or seasonings are a great protein and fat source, and most cats find eggs very tasty. Plain yogurt also is a healthy addition, and provides good probiotics to help your cat's digestion. Canned sardines or mackerel also have a good level of healthy protein and fat, and your cat may be unable to resist. Be sure to get them packed in water with no salt, rather than packed in oil or other flavorings. It's not a good idea to switch your cat completely to home cooked food until you do enough research to be sure you are providing a balanced diet.

    About the Author

    Susan Leisure is the director of an animal welfare organization and owner of a holistic pet supply store in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a master's degree from Emory University, and is currently completing a degree in clinical pet nutrition.

    Photo Credits

    • Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images