Most pet parents may not know what the healthy weight for their feline is or whether or not their cat is underweight or overweight. If this sounds familiar, then you should talk to your veterinarian about getting your cat’s weight checked.
How to fatten up a cat easy?
If your feline is diagnosed as overweight then the veterinarian will likely encourage you to change his diet, increase his exercise regime, and she may also want to do some blood work to make sure there aren’t any underlying complications. If your kitty is diagnosed as underweight, then you will want to read on!
Why is Your Cat Thin?
Infographic cat weight, food and vaccinations chart
First of all, the veterinarian should tell you exactly how underweight your kitty is and how severe of a problem it may be. Depending on the severity, the veterinarian will suggest a couple of different courses of action. However, before we get into that, let’s talk about why your kitty may be underweight.
As felines age, they may begin to lose (or gain) weight. If they are gaining weight, it could be the result of a decrease in metabolism and an increase in time on the couch. If they are losing weight, then it could be that they are suffering from a disorder known as hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a syndrome in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone (thyroxine-a). Another common problem that can help your cat lose weight is diabetes. If your veterinarian suspects either of these potential causes, then she will likely perform a blood test to confirm.
If your feline spends some of his time outdoors, then he may have contracted an intestinal parasite. These parasites live in the animal’s digestive tract and feed off of the passing nutrients. Your veterinarian will likely request a stool sample to confirm this diagnosis. Young cats and cats that have yet to be spayed or neutered may also be more on the thin side of the scale because of their higher metabolisms, playfulness and their hormones.
What you should do to fatten up a cat?
The course of action that may be taken will significantly depend on the final diagnosis made by the veterinarian. She may or may not need your assistance to finding out why your feline is thin. If she does, then follow her instructions completely.Other than that, your job as the pet parent is to follow the lead of the veterinary staff and be preparedfor any directions they may give you.
However, if your veterinary staff finds that there is no underlying medical condition causing the weight loss, then they may suggest a change in diet as discussed in the following five ways.
1. Switching to a high-protein diet
A high-protein diet may help your feline gain weight. Cat foods that are considered to be “high” in protein will contain chicken, beef, turkey, fish, lamb or other sources of meat as the first ingredient.
If you have been feeding your cat a low-quality kibble, then he probably wasn’t getting enough protein, vitamins, minerals or other essential nutrients. Low-quality cat food with not list the protein source as the first ingredient or the source will be ofa poor quality such as meat meal or poultry by-product. Therefore changing his kibble to a higher quality brand with a higher quantity of protein will likely increase his weight.
- Cat kibble that is made with higher quality ingredients and offers nutritional benefits to our felines is often very expensive. This is because the company is using quality sources of meat, vitamins, minerals and various other essential nutrients.
- The list of “pros” for choosing a higher quality cat food for your feline friend is endless. This is because a happy and healthy kitty begins with his home care (which includes the food you feed him). These “pros” include increasing his weight in a healthy way, making his coat softer and shinier, and decreasing his risk of suffering from digestive problems and other health issues.
2. Temporarily switching to kitten food
You may also be instructed to offer your kitty a kibble formulated for kittens. This is often a good choice because kitten food is high in protein, calories, and various vitamins and minerals.
Similarly to an adult cat kibble, the source of protein (chicken, beef, lamb, etc.) should be the first ingredient listed. Kitten foods may contain a higher percentage of the ingredients in order to provide growing kittens with the calories they need. Kitten food should help increase your cat’s weight similarly to the high protein diet but may be easier on the budget.
The price of kitten food ranges between $10 and $20 depending on the brand you choose compared to the price of a high-protein cat food which can range between $20 and $35 depending on the brand you choose.
- Some cats may “get hooked” on the kitten formula and then refuse to eat anything else. This is a con because your feline should not stay on the kitten kibble diet for the rest of his life unless instructed by the veterinarian.
- Kitten food will help your cat gain weight in a relatively healthy way. It will also ensure that he is getting plenty of vitamins and minerals.
3. Temporarily switching to canned cat food
A canned cat food diet (wet food diet) is another great option to help your kitty gain weight. Most cats go crazy for wet cat food as soon as they see their owners holding the can.
Wet food is an excellent option for older cats that may have lost teeth or cats that have a hard time digesting hard food. Wet food is easily digestible which means that it can help pack on the pounds much quicker than some other foods. These cans of cat food are also rather high in calories. For example, a single can of Friskies cat food (5.5-ounce can) will have around 150 calories.
- Cats can become “addicted” to their wet food diet and refuse to eat hard food again. This may become a problem if the veterinarian has not instructed the wet food diet to continue for extended periods of time. Also, wet food can help your cat gain weight too quickly, and he could then become overweight.
- It will help him gain weight because of their high-calorie content and their easy digestibility. Wet food is often excellent for their skin and coats, as well.
4. Occasionally offering human food
Human food options should only be given with the permission of the veterinarian. There is an extensive list of human foods that are not safe for felines to eat and if consumed could cause further damage to the cat.
However, some of the human foods that may be okay to offer your kitty include scrambled eggs (plain and fully cooked), canned sardines (in water, no added salt), and yogurt (in small amounts).
- Human foods are not always safe for felines to consume. Check with your veterinarian before offering anything to your cat that is not cat food. Your cat may also not like these items, or they may make him sick.
- They may help your kitty gain weight, and they are likely very budget-friendly options since you probably already have them in your home.
5. Offering treats throughout the day or inbetween meals
Now, treats should not be used as a meal because they contain a high-calorie count and are not typically the most nutritious option. However, you could offer him a couple of treats between meals.
Some treat packages will have a serving suggestion. For example, the Friskies brand Party Mix cat treats recommend offering two treats per 1 pound of your kitty’s body weight. They also recommend not exceedingten treats per day.
- Treats are not a meal substitute and may not increase his weight in a healthy way. Cat treats are typically about two calories per treat. While this may not seem like a lot, they can quickly add up!
- Your kitty will likely enjoy them, and his weight should slowly increase.