5 Best Cat Food for Weight Gain

An underweight cat can be just as unhealthy and dangerous as having an overweight one. Basically, a lot of health issues can arise if the cat doesn’t maintain a proper weight, which is why you, as an owner, should take responsibility. That means you should look for high-calorie cat food specially created to help your feline be healthy and happy.

Of course, when it comes to how to get a cat to gain weight, you should first contact a veterinarian. In the long term, though, you should also pay attention to the cat’s diet and make sure you don’t starve your cat.

So, what is the best cat food for weight gain? Read on my cat food for weight gain reviews to find out about some special products and see what you should look for when shopping for high-calorie food for your kitty. Let’s get started!

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Energy Dry Cat Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Energy Dry Cat Food

  • Price: $$
  • Customer Rating: 4.9
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds
  • Food Form: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
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Hill’s Prescription Diet a-d Urgent Care Canned Dog & Cat Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care Canned Dog & Cat Food

  • Price: $$
  • Customer Rating: 4.8
  • Weight: 0.34375 pound
  • Food Form: Wet Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
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Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food

  • Price: $$
  • Customer Rating: 4.1
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Food Form: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
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Iams ProActive Health High Protein Dry Cat Food

Iams ProActive Health High Protein Dry Cat Food

  • Price: $
  • Customer Rating: 4.6
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Food Form: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
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Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Indoor Care Dry Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Indoor Care Dry Cat Food

  • Price: $
  • Customer Rating: 4.7
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Food Form: Dry Food
  • Lifestage: Adult
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Best Cat Food for Weight Gain Reviews (Updated List)

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Energy Dry Cat Food

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal High Energy Dry Cat FoodNowadays, Royal Canin is a very popular and loved manufacturer that is trusted by many cat owners. The brand has a wide variety of products for various problems, and one of these products is this high-energy dry cat food.

The main useful feature of this product is its calorie concentration. Basically, this bag of goodies contains numerous calories and high fats in order to let you feed your cat in smaller amounts while providing it with the proper nutrients. In addition, it can do wonders for underweight cats that don’t eat enough calories. Especially if you have a kitty with a sensitive stomach, this Royal Canin product is to be taken into account.

Its mix of prebiotics and proteins provides support for the bacteria in your feline’s gut while improving the functions of the digestive system.

One downside is that the product contains wheat. At the same time, although most of the reviews are positive, some people said their cats weren’t fond of this food and threw it up.

Key features:

  • Chicken recipe.
  • Manages common gastrointestinal sensitivities.
  • For digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea or lack of appetite.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA for soothing the GI tract.
  • Dietary fibers for healthy digestion & optimal stool.



Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care Canned Dog & Cat Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet a-d Urgent Care Canned Dog & Cat FoodWhen your kitty is suffering and needs nutritional support, Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Urgent Care Canned Dog & Cat Food can provide a magical healthy diet. The Hill’s Prescription Diet product is formulated for both cats and dogs who are trying to recover from excessive weight loss or any accidents, surgeries or illnesses.

If you want your cat to have a nice and easy recovery, you can feed it this canned food, which is rich in vitamins and nutrients. Besides, the highly digestive proteins will not only help the tissues heal but also boost immunity and ensure proper digestion. Furthermore, it has a soft pate texture, which will be easy to chew.

One of the cons of buying this product would be the fact that corn is used in its composition, and it’s also a little expensive.

Key features:

  • Chicken recipe.
  • Highly digestible ingredients and extra calories.
  • High protein for wound and tissue healing and preserving lean body mass.
  • Increased level of potassium for avoiding depletion.
  • Soft texture for syringe and tube-feeding for cats without an appetite.


Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat FoodYour cat is trying to regain its body mass and go back to being healthy, so the food needs to be rich in calories and vitamins, but it also has to be tasty. Fortunately, the Wellness CORE didn’t hesitate to incorporate these benefits in this product.

This high-protein cat food contains deboned chicken and turkey as its main ingredients, which give it a mouth-watering flavor that your kitty will love. Additionally, its mix of omega fatty acids, antioxidants and probiotics will work to ensure that your feline has nice and strong skin and coat and a healthy immune system.

Let’s not overlook the fact that this grain-free formula will provide a healthy diet that will put your cat on the right path towards recovery and a proper lifestyle.

However, not all kitties will like the taste, as cats can be just as picky as humans are, or even worse.

Key features:

  • Turkey & chicken recipe.
  • Protein-rich & nutrient-dense.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed and salmon oil for healthy skin & coat.
  • Cranberries and other antioxidants for a healthy immune system.
  • Acticoat probiotic coating for healthy digestion.
  • No wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy or eggs.
  • No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.


Iams ProActive Health High Protein Dry Cat Food

Iams ProActive Health High Protein Dry Cat FoodThe Iams ProActive Health brand is very popular as a manufacturer that promotes a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition for any feline. This recipe is manufactured to create a balance in your cat’s diet and help it build its body mass.

The main ingredient used to make this formula is deboned chicken and salmon, but there are also other things like peas, spinach, fiber-rich grains and others that help the muscles. As a result, your cat will grow healthy and strong – thus, its hunting abilities will thrive, and it will be able to live happily.

Concurrently, every vitamin and mineral in this formula will give your kitty a healthy skin and coat, as well as a strong metabolism. Besides, taurine has also been added inside this bag of dry food – an ingredient that is helpful for your cat’s vision.

While numerous reviews for this product are positive, there were also some complaints, just like with any product. That being said, some customers said that their cats didn’t touch the food and some even declared that the high amount of fiber made their cats quite gassy.

Key features:

  • Chicken & salmon recipe.
  • A high concentration of chicken and salmon protein for high activity and lean muscles.
  • No soy, artificial preservatives or dyes.
  • A fiber blend with prebiotics and beet pulp for maximizing nutrient absorption.
  • Essential minerals for strong teeth and bones.
  • Fatty acids for healthy skin and a soft, shiny coat.


Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Indoor Care Dry Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Indoor Care Dry Cat FoodPurina Pro Plan Focus Adult Indoor Care Dry Cat Food manufactured by Purina is also extremely useful in helping your cat gain some weight and be more energetic.

This cat food contains proteins that will meet the nutritional needs of your kitty while helping it thrive and live its best life. The main ingredient used for this formula is real turkey, while 40% of the composition is protein. As such, many of the healthy compounds will add to the benefits – for example, taurine enhances the eyesight, and omega-6 fatty acids will ensure that your cat has healthy skin and fur.

All in all, this Purina product is great for cats that need some extra weight, as it will improve the quality of their lifestyle.

Just like any other product out there, some complaints have been noted by customers. For instance, they said that their kitties got an upset stomach after eating this food or refused to eat it at all.

Key features:

  • Turkey & rice recipe.
  • 42% protein and powerful antioxidants for energy and stamina.
  • Natural fibers for digestive health and hairball control.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
  • Vitamin A and taurine for healthy vision.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.


Cat Food for Weight Gain Buying Guide

What Ingredients Should a Cat Food for Weight Gain Contain?

When your cat’s weight is below normal and you must take measures to help it regain its body mass and strength, you have to choose carefully. Your cat needs high-calorie cat food, but you need to pay attention to the ingredients list. There are particular compounds the must be found in weight gain food and here are some of them:

  • Real Meat

Best Cat Food For Weight GainUnderweight cats need to eat food rich in proteins that will help them regain their body fat and ensure they stay in top shape all the time. Cats are natural carnivores, which means that you need to ensure their diet includes meat.

For this reason, the best cat food for weight gain must incorporate real meat. Although there are many food brands that use a lot of artificial ingredients, these won’t be really healthy for your furry friend. You want something that is safe while helping your cat gain some weight.

Therefore, the food you buy must contain animal-based protein that will help switch from underweight to normal and healthy weight in a short time. Besides fat, protein will also help build muscles, one important thing for the cat’s strength.

  • Fiber

Although you want your cat to gain weight, you don’t want it to escalate and cause your cat to get too fat. Having said that, fiber is one of the compounds that will make the cat feel fuller if given in the proper amounts. Thus, the kitty will not overeat.

Due to this, the cat will have good weight management and will gain the right number of pounds. Not to mention the benefits that fiber has on the digestive system, it can prevent the risk of constipation and allow food to move through the system easily. There are many high fiber cat food options available on the market as well.

  • Fats

Fat content could be a really nice addition to cat food, which is why fats coming from animal sources should be considered. If it’s of good quality, it will help an underweight feline gain some fat and return to a healthy state.

  • Probiotics

Probiotics are so amazing because they support digestion and gut health. When you’re giving your cat an increased number of calories to aid in the weight gain process, they need to be digested easily – that’s why probiotics can help so much.


Ingredients to Avoid when Searching for Cat Food for Weight Gain

Cat Food For Weight Gain ReviewsIf you want to know how to make a cat gain weight, you must also be aware of the ingredients that are not recommended for your feline companion. These are unhealthy and can do more harm than good. That’s why you should carefully read the ingredients list before buying any product.

Here are the compounds that you should avoid when feeding your cat:

  • Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates might be a good source of energy and calories for us humans, but cats are different. They are carnivores, which means that they don’t consume a huge amount of carbohydrates while they’re out in the wild.

Sadly, many cat foods you see in stores have carbohydrates that a kitty would not normally eat – so, they might not be the best health support out there. Besides, they are hard to digest, and will not have any impact on the weight gain process of your underweight four-legged friend.

  • Rendered Fat

Although fats are good for supporting a cat’s weight gain process, there are also fats that can be detrimental to the health of a feline. A good example is rendered animal fat, which is usually used to give more flavor to the kibbles. Even though a tasty meal would make the cat more willing to eat the food, keep in mind that rendered fat can be toxic and potentially make the pet sick. If your kitty becomes ill, weight gain won’t be your only concern, and it might be even harder to encourage it.

  • Meat By-Products

When in nature, cats eat every part of the animal, including the internal organs. By-products feature these compounds, but you should be very cautious. Sometimes, you have no idea what animal has provided said by-products in the first place. If it’s something a human wouldn’t eat, then it’s only normal that a cat shouldn’t eat it either. It might be toxic and upset the feline’s tummy, which won’t be very beneficial if you’re trying to make it gain some pounds.

  • Wheat Flour

Since cats are carnivores, they need to be given real meat, not cheap imitations. This is required in order for it to survive and have a healthy diet. That being said, wheat flour should not exist in the food you purchase for your pet. While it’s used as a source of protein sometimes, it doesn’t offer any nutritional value. It might do more harm than good, so abstain from spending money on such things.


What Else Should You Look for in a Cat Food for Weight Gain?

  • Taste

TasteThis should go without saying, but the taste is one important aspect to take into consideration if you want your feline to actually gain weight. If the food tastes bad and your cat refuses to touch the bowl until you get rid of the content, you’re not exactly helping it increase its body mass. Just like you avoid certain foods because they make you gag, a cat is no different, despite being a totally different species.

So, the food you get must taste good, preferably like meat, as cats are carnivores and adore feasting on multiple types of animals. As already mentioned, the pack or can of food you choose should contain real meat. This way, your cat won’t leave any trace in the bowl.

  • Price

Maybe the price is not the main thing that should determine your decision, but the best cat food for weight gain is usually more expensive than the average food. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy the highest-priced product out there for the best results. A product with a decent price might be just as effective and help your kitty regain its proper number of pounds.

However, you should definitely stay away from products that are ridiculously cheap. Not only that they might not help at all, but you risk buying something with a large number of unhealthy ingredients, so it’s a big no-no.

  • Calorie Level

When you need to fatten up your feline, a diet rich in calories is a must. Although you might not find a product that says exactly “High calorie” on it, you must know what type of food to choose to make sure the calorie level is high enough to encourage weight gain. For example, foods that are rich in protein and fats contain more calories and are beneficial for your cat. Therefore, go for foods that have 30% or more protein percentage, as well as a fat level between 15% and 25%. These are sure to contain the right caloric value.

Keep in mind that usually, wet food has a lower calorie content than dry cat food, which is why you must combine these types of foods.


How Do You Fatten Up a Cat?

Having an underweight cat is bad both for you and your pet. Basically, it’s sad to see your furry friend in such a condition, while for the kitty it’s unhealthy and could lead to serious issues.

Fattening up a cat is not a process that shows results overnight, but you should definitely consider implementing some methods to help your pet build some body mass.

One of the things you can do is feed it smaller amounts of food more frequently during the day. This will help the fat settle and you’ll notice your feline gaining some shape after a while.

In addition, you can try giving it kitten food, even if it’s an adult. Kitten food is known to be rich in calories, vitamins, and proteins to aid with the baby cats’ growth. For this reason, it could be one of the options you have for a calorie-rich diet.

In case your cat lacks appetite, you can try warming up the food to make it more willing to approach the bowl. Heated food generally emits a stronger smell, thus it has a greater potential to draw your cat in and make it eat.

Also, don’t overlook the quality of the food. As previously mentioned, low-quality food tends to be composed of unhealthy ingredients such as fillers, which are toxic and serve no nutritional value whatsoever. They will only make your kitty’s belly feel full, while not making it gain any weight.


Why Is My Cat So Skinny But Eats All The Time?

Why Is My Cat So Skinny But Eats All The TimeYou probably know some people who eat a lot but don’t seem to gain any weight. Some cats might experience this too but be careful because it could be an indicator of a deeper health issue.

For instance, when cats become older, their hunger might become more prevalent, while they are getting thinner. One common cause behind this problem is hyperthyroidism. Basically, this is a benign tumor that forms on the thyroid gland and causes these symptoms in the first place.

Nevertheless, there are other conditions that may lead to these symptoms, such as kidney failure, diabetes, or others. This is why a visit to the vet is so important and you shouldn’t overlook it under any circumstance. Maybe your vet will advise you to feed it cat food for older cats, cat food for urinary crystals, or cat food for diabetic cats.


How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is Underweight?

While it depends on the breed of the cat, the average weight should be around ten pounds. Some breeds can weigh five pounds, while others can weigh fifteen pounds, which is why the proper weight is hard to determine as a general matter.

Whether a cat is underweight or not should be obvious by taking a look at it. If the rib cage is too prominent or the waist is too narrow, it’s a clear sign that you should start giving it high-calorie cat food. The prominent shoulder blades represent another indicator you should take seriously.

Thus, sometimes, you can see that the cat is thin by just looking at it. However, this doesn’t work in all cases. In certain situations, the best way to figure out if your cat is underweight is by conducting a physical analysis. This could be done by spreading your hands across its rib cage or placing your thumbs on its backbone. Feeling the backbone is normal, but it becomes a problem when it’s way too obvious. This is a sign that the cat might be underweight. The same applies in case you feel too much of the ribs.

How Many Calories Should a Cat Eat to Gain Weight?

Just like the average weight of the cat depends on its build or breed, the same can be said about the number of calories. At the same time, it varies depending on the activity.

However, in general, if you have a 10-pound cat, it will require around 220 to 335 calories a day in order to gain enough body mass. Especially if your kitty is underweight, it will have to eat food that has about 20% fat and 30% protein – this is a great source of high calories and will definitely show results.


The Bottom Line

When trying to figure out how to get a cat to gain weight, it’s obvious that the first thing you should do is change its diet. First of all, an underweight domestic feline needs to be fed a higher number of calories. It should also get foods that contain real meat because they are a great source of protein, which it needs to gain some extra pounds.

So, make sure to follow the tips and tricks offered in this guide to find the best cat food for weight gain. You can also consider our product recommendations to help your cat recover and return to its healthy shape.

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