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What Are Good Cat Foods for Adding Weight?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Our ten-year-old male cat lost a lot of weight due to a hyper-thyroid condition. Now he's on Tapazole to control that problem, but I'm having trouble getting him to eat enough to gain back the weight that he lost.

I've even resorted to people food; specifically, honey-roasted turkey slices. At least, it helped to jump-start his appetite, after which he will eat some of his dry food, Iams kibbles for less active cats. Obviously, I need to change from that Iams formula to get more calories into him.

Any suggestions would be appreciated for which dry and wet foods would be best to help him put on a couple of pounds.

Thanks!
Bill
post #2 of 14
First, I would suggest that you ask your vet about this. I'm not an expert but...

I would avoid the people food, unless it's just a nibble - as you said, to get him interested in eating.

From what I know, the 'less active' food will be lower in calories than other foods. Kitten food would be more fattening for him. I'm not a fan of Iams, personally. Nutro is easily obtained, better quality than Iams IMO, and reasonably priced. There are many other foods...it depends on what you can get your hands on and what fits your budget, and of course - what your kitty will eat.

Will he eat wet (canned) food? If he likes it and/or isn't used to getting it...that might "jump start" his appetite too.
post #3 of 14
Use whatever works (as long as it's not spicy and on the list of forbidden foods, like onions). If your cat is very underweight, don't worry too much about *what* he's eating, as long as he's eating *something*. Since he enjoys the turkey, keep using it - also try white meat roasted chicken (no skin). Plain, wholesome foods like these are good for cats. Poultry-flavored baby food can be used as a bribe food as well(Gerber 2nd stage is good - make sure whatever you use does NOT contain onion!).

Feed more canned than dry food if you can - it's better for your cat. California Natural makes high quality canned and dry food. The dry food contains 393 calories per cup, so if you can get him to eat some of that it will help. Innova makes a new food, EVO, that is also high calorie but some members have reported that though their cats enjoy it, the food can cause some digestive problems because it's so rich. Use it sparingly if you try it. Petguard canned food, specifically the Chicken and Wheat Germ flavor, and the Organic Chicken & Vegetable entree are both high in calories, so give them a try. Wellness canned chicken flavor food contains lots of calories. Science Diet A/D (one of the few Science Diet foods I recommend) is also a fairly high calorie food that many cats like. It's available only from vets.

Any new food should be introduced somewhat slowly since it may cause some digestive upset.

Weight gain usually takes a while, especially when that loss was in pounds, not just a few ounces. Get a scale and keep track of how your kitty is doing by weighing him once per week.

Best of luck to you and your little guy - please let us know how he's doing.
post #4 of 14
I agree with Beandip about feeding kitten food. It has more calories and more nutrients for growth. I also agree that there are better foods than Iams. Blue Buffalo foods are high in calories and their canned food is palatable to finicky eaters.
post #5 of 14
Ask about kitten food , A/D, Royal canin makes some high calorie dry ( I disagree with Cal natural being high I find it low in calories compared to others in its class ( quality wise it is great ))
post #6 of 14
How long has he been on Tapazole? What is his T4 level?
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the help. I'll try out one or more of the higher-calorie foods.

"How long has he been on Tapazole? What is his T4 level?"

He's been on the medicine a little over three weeks. I don't know what his T4 level is, but they did blood work about a week ago, and the vet said that his thyroid level was back in the normal range, and there was no sign of negative issues related to the medicine.

Bill
post #8 of 14
I would suggest getting a copy of the values. Normal range on the test is not the same thing as appropriate range for a senior. For example, at the lab I use, the normal range is 0.8 to 4.0. For a senior cat, the appropriate range would be closer to 0.8 to 2.5. Have you considered I-131/radioiodine? It's more expensive initially but cheaper in the long run. Plus, it is usually a cure rather than a treatment that must be kept up twice per day.

I noticed that when I was trying to get Spot to regain the weight, canned food alone didn't work--it took a mix of canned and dry to get him to gain back the three and a half pounds he had lost. You'll want to look for foods with high-quality proteins (no byproducts or grain-based protein) so that your kitty can hopefully regain some muscle mass.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Our vet was satisfied with the data, and since I trust her judgment, that's all I need to know.

We discussed the radiation option with our vet. It would cost about $1,600. Because of other health issues, the life expectancy of our male cat is about two more years. Since treatment will cost a lot less, we decided to go that route.

It's never easy balancing a pet's welfare against costs, but it cannot be helped.

Bill
post #10 of 14
My cat Duffie is huge, bigger than my Shih-Tzu. He eats Science Diet crunchies and that is all. He happens to be on the sensitive stomach formula. He used to eat Friskies wet canned food but, stopped liking it. He now solely eats the Science Diet dry food and he gets fatter by the minute
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Carisue, How about shipping some of that weight to me? My cat could use it!!!

Bill
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
I chose Max Cat's kitten food from what's available at the local pet store.

I let him eat too much the first time. Big mistake! It all came back up.

Now, I'm trying small portions spread out over the day. Hope that works, because he's getting really thin.

Bill
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSquared18 View Post
Carisue, How about shipping some of that weight to me? My cat could use it!!!

Bill

Duffie he weighs like 20#, he looks evil in this pic, but don't let that fool you he's worse. He was born bad, he's the devil in disguise.
If cat food has the calories listed maybe you could check some of those.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BSquared18 View Post
Our vet was satisfied with the data, and since I trust her judgment, that's all I need to know.
A lot of vets still aren't very familiar with hyperthyroidism, and for many the information they have dates back to when they first went to vet school, rather than the current research about the disease. Since your kitty is still losing weight, the medication may not be fully regulating the thyroid. What dose are you giving, and how frequently?

Also, keeping copies of your cats records is a good idea. Your vet may see a couple of dozen people each week, so she may not have the time to spot patterns as quickly as you can.
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