Best Cat Food for Weight Gain

It’s always a little concerning when we notice our pets are a little bit smaller than they should be.

If you have noticed your cat is looking a little bit thin, it may be time to start looking for cat food that will help your feline to gain weight.

Every cat is different and some need a little bit more calories than others do in order to maintain a healthy weight.

Of course, there are a lot of great cat foods on the market to help your cat to gain weight.

With such a wide selection though, it can be a little bit difficult to narrow down which one will be right for your cat.

Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here are our picks for the best cat foods for weight gain. We’ve also written a handy buyer’s guide to help you to narrow down your decision.

Top 5 Best Cat Food for Weight Gain

OUR TOP PICK

If you’re looking for a great healthy cat food for your little kitten, then the Blue Buffalo healthy Dry Cat Food may be just the thing you are looking for. This formula is ideal for encouraging weight gain in your cat, and is also especially yummy too! 

The food contains real meat, such as chicken and this is supplemented alongside whole ground brown rice, salmon meal and more. It doesn’t contain any of the most common allergens so it’s ideal for cats that struggle with allergies. 

The food is fairly affordable and is a fan favorite among veterinarians! It can also come in a range of different sizes so you can find something that will last you for many meals to come!

Pros

  • Ideal for kittens
  • Deboned chicken as main source of protein
  • Doesn’t contain common allergens
  • Number of size options available

Cons

  • Not all cats are fond of dry food so it may be a little difficult to get them to eat it initially

EDITORS CHOICE

There is a lot to love about the Iams Proactive Health High Protein Cat Food Recipe. The main ingredient is real chicken, so your cat will love munching away on this food for a long time! 

The main ingredients in the Iams Proactive Health High Protein Cat Food are chicken, chicken meal and salmon. These ingredients are high in proteins and fats which are ideal for weight gain.

The high protein content in this cat food is ideal for helping your cat to gain weight in a healthy way, while also giving your cats plenty of energy to run around all day.

Furthermore, the cat food does not contain any artificial dyes or preservatives either, so this is a totally healthy formula that is certainly worth investing in.

Of course, it should be noted that this food may not be suitable for all cats. Sea food can be a common allergen in cats so some cats may not respond well to the salmon content.

Pros

  • High protein 
  • Tasty! 
  • Contains prebiotics and beet pulp, ideal for cats with digestive issues

Cons

  • Some cats can be allergic to seafood, so this may not be the best choice if your cat has a sea food allergy as salmon is one of the key ingredients.

BEST VALUE

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food has been made to give your cat a balanced nutrition that is crucial to healthy development. Perhaps one of the best things about this cat food is that it is suitable for cats of any breed. 

The food has been made with limited ingredients, meaning that it’s ideal if you’re trying to figure out whether your cat has an allergy. There’s plenty of vegetable based content too as peas are one of the main ingredients, alongside duck.

The food is great as it has salmon oil as a source of omega 3, which is ideal for your cat’s cognitive and physical health. This is a dry food, though, so it isn’t going to give your cat as much hydration as they may need.

Pros

  • Great for cats that struggle with allergies
  • Omega 3s included
  • Good for cats of any breed

Cons

  • As it is a dry food it won’t provide as much hydration as your cat needs on a daily basis

RUNNER UP

With no excessive starch ingredients, the Wysong Dry Diet Cat Food is somewhat similar to what your cat would have eaten out in the wild. You and your cat are sure to love this cat food, especially if you have a particularly picky eater in your midst!

The food has a delectable flavor that tastes natural. It’s fairly affordable, and if your cat isn’t a big lover of dry food the manufacturers also offer dry, canned and raw diets too.

The bags are 5.1 lbs so you will have plenty of food to last for a while. It’s also filled with luscious vitamins, minerals and probiotics to keep your kitty healthy.

The food is as a whole a great choice for most cats, though some consumers have reported that their cats have ended up struggling with diarrhea as a result of taking it. This may be a natural reaction to a new diet, however.

Pros

  • Good for cats that struggle with certain medical conditions
  • Good source of protein
  • Shiny coat

Cons

  • Some consumers have reported side effects of vomiting and diarrhea. 

RUNNER UP

There’s a reason Blue Buffalo have made repeated appearances in this list - they truly are at the top of their game for creating high quality cat food. Filled with lots of yummy deboned chicken, this food is a delectable daily treat for any cat that needs to gain weight.

The food contains all of the main food groups that your cat needs to have to be nice and healthy, including plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates. It also includes superfoods and vegetables! There also aren’t any unnecessary ingredients or allergens such as meat by products, glutens and grains. 

Furthermore, as this food is a wet food, it’s ideal for making sure that your cat gets plenty of hydration. It contains vitamin B1, B6, B12, D, potassium and more than enough protein to go around. You can also expect a lusciously silky coat due to all of the great minerals and vitamins included in this food.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Includes plenty of nutrients and minerals for your cat’s healthy development
  • It’s a wet food, meaning that your cat will be able to get all of the hydration that they need

Cons

  • None! 

Best Cat Food for Weight Gain Buying Guide

Why Is My Cat Struggling to Gain Weight?

There can be a vast number of reasons why a cat may be underweight.

It could be because they are eating the wrong food, but it may also run a little further than that. It’s very important to make sure that you figure out the reasons why your cat is underweight in order to make sure that it’s being solved correctly.

You may need the help of your veterinarian for this.

Some reasons your cat may potentially be underweight include:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Worms 
  • Bad dental health
  • Nutrition that isn’t up to scratch
  • Diabetes
  • Stress

These aren’t all of the reasons why your cat may be underweight, but they are just a few that are worth considering. 

It’s always a good idea to check with your local veterinarian if you notice that your cat is underweight. They will be able to suggest a proper plan going forward about how to rectify the issue and improve your cat’s overall health. 

In the interim, a high calorie cat food can be especially helpful for helping to get your cat’s weight up. 

If you are looking for a cat food for weight gain, it’s a good idea to start looking at foods that you know your cat is likely to enjoy based on current food preferences. 

Things to Look For

If you are looking to help your cat put on a few extra pounds, it’s crucial to make sure that you get the correct cat food to help you to do that. Some cats may not respond well to every food that you put in front of them.

Because of this, it can be a little tricky to know what’s going to be the right choice for your cat, so here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind.

High Calorie

As you can imagine, one of the main things to look out for when you’re looking for cat food for weight gain is food that has a high calorie content.

This makes life a lot easier for you and your cat, because if the food is higher in calories it means that you can keep your cat’s feeding schedule the same as the food will simply just have more in it.

The portion sizes can remain the same too. If you have a new cat that hasn’t been eating properly, this is particularly important as some cats may not want to eat on a regular basis.

Less Ingredients

You may think that having cat food with fewer ingredients would be counterintuitive - after all, the more ingredients there are the higher the calories, right?

Actually, having limited ingredient cat food can be beneficial for cats that struggle with digestion which can be a common issue with cats that are struggling to gain weight. It could be that the reason your cat is underweight is that they’re allergic to a certain kind of food, and so you will need food that eliminates certain ingredients to pinpoint what exactly they are allergic to.

Flavor

If you have a particularly fussy cat, you’re probably not going to get them to put on weight unless you give them food that they really like. If you already know in advance about some of the food ingredients that your cat enjoys then you may wish to look for a food with that specific ingredient in.

If you aren’t sure about what your cat’s specific tastes are, such as if you’ve just taken in a malnourished cat, then you will want to be looking for a food that is flavorful and includes lots of moisture.

High Fat Content

If you’re looking for cat food for weight gain, you should be looking for food with around 20% cat.

The average cat needs at least 9% of fat in their diet. It should be noted though that fat isn’t the only thing that’s important, so make sure you cater for other aspects of your cat’s nutrition.

High Quality Protein

It’s important that a cat has a real animal meat protein source in their cat food. This should always be the main thing that you look for as far as ingredients are concerned. Premium proteins are incredibly important, as they help your cat to build muscle and gain weight.

You should try to avoid cat foods that have animal byproducts as their main ingredient as they aren’t as likely to be helpful when it comes to helping your kitty to gain weight. 

No Artificial Colors or Ingredients

It’s important to choose cat food that isn’t jam packed full of artificial additives. You will find that the vast majority of cat food manufacturers won’t include these ingredients anyway.

Focus instead on making sure that you get high quality ingredients that are naturally sourced to make sure that the food has all the nutritional value your cat needs to live a healthy lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

My cat isn’t eating its new food - what should I do?

Whenever you’re changing up an animal’s diet, it’s important to make sure that you do things gradually.

With time your pet will get used to the changing diet. Introducing the food gradually as the days go on into their current food and then swapping it out is usually quite effective, but it depends on your cat.