Adult cat eating from a metal bowl at home

Your cat’s diet during weight-gain

To help your cat gain weight, it’s not a good idea to just give them more of their current food. Their system may not be able to cope with large portions, and their appetite is likely to be low so they may not eat it at all. Extra portions of food also may not provide the specific nutrient balance your cat needs to gain weight or recover post-sickness. For example, they may benefit instead from a specific diet with added prebiotics to help rebalance their gastric microflora and strengthen their digestive health.

Your cat’s weight-gain food should have a high energy density. This allows your cat to eat less but still get everything they need from their diet. It should also be highly palatable to stimulate their appetite, and easy to eat; correctly-sized kibble or softer textured food can encourage your cat to eat their food.

How to feed a cat to help them gain weight

It’s important your cat feels stress-free and comfortable during meal time so it starts to eat regularly and gain weight. Some of the ways you can do that include:

  • Splitting their daily portion into smaller meals you put down regularly
  • Heating up their food to release the aromas and encourage their appetite
  • Avoiding watching your cat eating, as they can find this stressful
  • Considering what they like to eat from (like a favourite bowl) and making it easily accessible
  • Separating their food, litter, drinking and playing areas to mimic what they would do in the wild
  • Talking to your vet about appetite-stimulating drugs for your cat

Your vet will be able to advise you on the best ways to make sure your cat gains the right amount of weight and maintains a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to book an appointment with them if you’re unsure of the best course of action.

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If you have any concerns about your cat’s health, consult a vet for professional advice.