6 Best Cat Foods for Weight Gain

Nutrition May 11, 2020

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6 Best Cat Foods for Weight Gain

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Best Cat Foods for Weight Gain

If your cat is under weight he maybe at risk for serious health problems and a lower quality of life over cats that maintain a healthy weight. To help your cat gain weight, consider a nutritionally balanced cat food made with a high amount of quality protein and higher fat content.

A cat food recipe made with primarily whole animal ingredients will be more palatable and better digested. Other beneficial ingredients to look for are supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics.

Keep reading to learn more about the best cat foods for weight gain along with their pros and cons.

How We Researched The 6 Cat Foods for Weight Gain

  • We spent several days researching the best cat food for weight gain
  • We considered over 10 cat foods and fine tuned it down to the 6 reviewed in this article
  • We did this by reading hundreds of reviews, watching videos and comparing the features of each cat food

Comparison Chart

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • High quality proteins
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No fillers, grains or artificial flavors
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  • High Protein
  • Healthy carbohydrates
  • 100% grain free
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  • High in protein
  • Moisture rich
  • Low in carbohydrates
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  • Grain and gluten free
  • Made specifically for kittens
  • 42% chicken protein
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  • No fillers
  • 100% grain free
  • Supplemented with  Omega-6 and -3 Fatty Acids
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  • Protein-rich duck is the first ingredient
  • Formulated by PhD pet nutritionists
  • Packed with antioxidants
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What to Look for in Food for Weight Gain

  • High-quality animal protein – Cat food for weight gain should contain high amounts of quality proteins ( 36% or more ideally). This protein should come from whole animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish.
  • High fat content – Fat is the most concentrated source of calories in your cat’s diet, so higher fat content will assist your cat in weight gain. Look for foods that contains 20% fat or more and from mostly animal-based sources like chicken fat and fish oil.
  • Natural ingredients – Natural diets allow your cat to digest and absorb more of the nutrients in the food. Artificial additives, by-products, and fillers can cause issues with your cat’s digestive system and will not provide a valuable source of nutrients or calories.
  • Rich moisture and flavor – Your cat needs to eat more and choosing a cat food high in moisture and flavor will make it more appealing to your cat.
  • Limited starch and carbohydrate content – The ideal level of starch in your cats food is under 10%. Look for foods that contains limited amounts of digestible carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Beneficial supplements – In addition to high-quality natural ingredients, your cat needs beneficial supplements. Prebiotic fiber and probiotics can boost your cat’s digestion for better nutrient absorption. Chelated minerals can also help because they are chemically bound to protein molecules which increase their absorption.

The 6 Best Cat Foods for Weight Gain Reviewed

#1 Nom Nom Fresh Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2-3$/ Per Meal
  • Food Type: Fresh
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 18%
  • Fat: 3.5%

The Good

  • High quality proteins
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No fillers, grains or artificial flavors

The Bad

  • Price on the high side
  • Food needs to be refrigerated

Nom Nom is a subscription cat food delivery service that delivers customized meals to your door. They guarantee to provide restaurant quality ingredients that are considered human grade, and recipes are prepared in a human-grade kitchen that is 100% designed and dedicated to making fresh pet food.

The food contains no fillers or grains, no preservatives or artificial flavors, and they only use the highest-quality, responsibly sourced meats. The high content of quality proteins and low carbohydrates are beneficial in better nutrient absorption and rich in flavor.

There are two meal recipes that you can choose for your cat. The first is the Chicken Recipe which is full of ingredients to keep your cat’s eyesight razor sharp for stalking. The second recipe is Flavorful Fish Recipe and it is packed with tilapia and salmon to guarantee a softer and shinier fur coat for your cat.

#2 Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price Range: ~$2.8/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 40%
  • Fat: 18%

The Good

  • High Protein
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • 100% grain free

The Bad

  • Price on the high side for kibble
  • Pieces maybe hard to chew

For cats who need to gain weight with high protein and without grains, there’s few other choices than BLUE Freedom.

Free from the grains and gluten’s and there is food for all life stages and breeds. This cat food is made with natural ingredients and an added blend of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-rich kibble.

It contains no by-product meals, no corn, wheat or soy and nothing artificial. It is also made with high-quality protein and natural fiber sources, which will be gentle on your cats digestive and immune systems.

#3 Ziwi Peak Canned Cat Cuisine

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$0.55/ Oz
  • Food Type: Wet
  • Made in: New Zealand
  • Protein: 8%
  • Fat: 5%

The Good

  • Low in carbohydrates
  • High protein
  • Moisture-rich

The Bad

  • Thick consistency
  • Pricey
  • Some cats refuse to eat

Hailing from New Zealand and grass-fed, this free-range cat food is made with 100% lamb sourced from ethical and sustainable New Zealand farms. The wild-caught New Zealand Blue Mackerel is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. There are several other flavors available as well with the same high quality ingredients. The high protein, low carbs and high moisture levels are great for cats who need to put on some weight.

This recipe includes 3% New Zealand green mussels, which are a natural source of Chondroitin and Glucosamine that supports joint health.

The food texture is a chunky loaf style, with a high amounts of all-natural protein and moisture to help entice picky eaters. This wet cat food does not contain grains, rice, corn, soy, potatoes, wheat, fillers, sugars, glycerin’s, rendered meals, preservatives, TSPP, BPA, Guar Gum, Agar or Carrageenan.

#4 Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$0.55/ Oz
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 42.0%
  • Fat: 15.0%

The Good

  • Grain and gluten free
  • 42% chicken protein
  • Made specifically for kittens

The Bad

  • Large size pieces
  • Some kittens refuse to eat

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food starts with 42% protein with chicken as the number one ingredient as well as turkey, and is infused with freeze-dried raw meat bites.

It provides the nutritional benefits of a raw diet for your kitten, and can help with weight gain. There are extra added items like vitamins, minerals and taurine, omegas for a healthy skin and coat, probiotics for easy digestion and antioxidant-rich veggies.

Merrick Backcountry is safely cooked in the USA in small batches using no by-products, grains, wheat, gluten, corn, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

#5 Solid Gold High Protein Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2.9/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 42%
  • Fat: 20%

The Good

  • Supplemented with  Omega-6 and -3 Fatty Acids
  • No fillers
  • 100% grain free

The Bad

  • Contains meal
  • Some cats refuse certain flavors
  • Price on the high side

This high protein formula provides a combination of nutrient dense ingredients and healthy fats to help gain and maintain weight. This recipe is crafted with 20 super-foods and added nutrient dense chicken and egg proteins. At 42% protein, this recipe is sure to provide your cat with protein needed to gain weight.

This balanced Omega-6 and -3 Fatty acids from natural sources, like salmon oil and ocean fish, help keep your cats coast soft and shiny as well as provide immune system support.

Prebiotics and living probiotics ensure your cat has balanced levels of beneficial bacteria to support optimal gut health, healthy digestion and proper nutrient absorption.

#6 go! Sensitivity + Shine Duck Pate Recipe

Product Info:

  • Price Range: ~$0.35/ Oz
  • Food Type: Pate [Wet]
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 7%

The Good

  • Protein-rich duck is the first ingredient
  • Formulated by PhD pet nutritionists
  • No grains, wheat, corn, soy, by-product meals, hormones or artificial preservatives

The Bad

  • Very pricey
  • Some cats refuse to eat

Go! Sensitivity + Shine Grain-Free Duck Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food is a protein packed meal and great for cats who need to gain weight and avoid grains.

It is made with duck as the first ingredient, plus a wholesome blend of fruits and vegetables. The formula is nutritionist-recommended to provide low weight cats the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy, so it’s loaded with antioxidants to support immunity, omegas for a healthy skin and coat, plus vitamins, minerals and essential taurine.

This wet food is also made with real duck broth to keep your kitty hydrated and support urinary and digestive health. It has zero by-products, hormones, beef, wheat, corn or soy so it’s great for cats with food allergies or a food intolerance.

Conclusion

Increasing the amount of food your cat eats may not be enough to help him gain weight, especially if his appetite is low. Its recommended you speak with your veterinarian before switching to a nutritionally balanced cat food high in protein, fat, and calories to help your cat gain weight.

*This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I give my cat to gain weight?

Cats who need to gain weight should be eating around 30% protein and 20% fat if they're eating dry kibble, and 7% protein and 5% fat, or more for wet foods. Your veterinarian can also prescribe a high-calorie cat food that is highly digestible and can provide the extra calories your cat needs to gain weight.

Why do older cats get so thin?

Causes of weight loss in older or senior cats may include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Any of these health issues can be determined by your vet with a physical examination and routine laboratory testing.

How do I know if my cat is too skinny?

Run your hand gently over your cat's sides. You should be able to feel some flesh between its skin and ribs. If you feel mostly rib bone then most likely your cat is under weight.

Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a life long cat lover. She also writes for various other pet related websites. She is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy and happy lifestyle for their fur-babies.
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