Is Fluffy looking like she's been on a diet for a bit too long? Encouraging weight gain can be hard -- cats will do as they please -- but there are tricks you can use to get things going. If nothing works, a trip to the vet is in order.
Switch to premium food. That's the kind you get at the vet and costs more than your average dinner. High-quality food will be higher in protein and nutrients that help promote healthy muscle development and weight gain. If Kitty's not happy about the switch, add a bit of tuna or fish oil to the food to make it yummier.
Get a clean bill of health from the vet. If Kitty has worms, they're stealing the nutrients, making it impossible for your cat to gain weight -- in fact, he'll lose weight. Any chance he has hyperthyroidism or other health issues? If the difficulty gaining weight is due to a medical problem, nothing you do will make a big difference until you address the underlying problem.
Encourage your cat to eat treats, but only if it doesn't interfere with his meal time. Treats are those yummy things that tend to make normal-weight cats get fat. In your case, it could be just what Kitty needs to get the scale to move up. However, your first priority should be to make sure he eats enough high-quality food to gain healthy weight. The treats should be an add-on, not a replacement.
Buy a high-calorie nutritional supplement. These come in gel form and you can simply squeeze some on your finger and let Kitty lick it off. They are usually recommended for sick and weak animals, but they're also ideal for increasing appetite. And don't worry, cats love the yummy, stinky fish taste, so there won't be any fighting to get him to eat it.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.