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Cat needs to gain weight. What to feed?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My kitty Dusty is 8 1/2 years old and has CRF. She has been losing weight. She has had regular vet visits and its my decision not to continue to medicate her. I'm now looking for suggestions on what I can feed her to get her to gain a little. She is long-haired, so it's hard to see how skinny she is, but I can feel every rib and vertibrae. She eats about 1 can of 9 Lives canned per day and I will give her more if she will eat it. Should I try feeding her butter or cream or anything else to fatten her up?
post #2 of 15
First step, I would think, would be to offer her the highest-quality (i.e. grain-free) canned foods you can get your hands on. Nature's Variety Instincts, Evo 95% Meat, some Wellness, Natural Balance, Felidae and Go! Natural are all good choices. A rotation through several of these would be better than a diet of only one or two.

I would also feed her at least three times a day; if you can, four would be even better - cats often consume more in total when they're fed several smaller meals (not to mention, it's just better for them).

Then (looking at this strictly from a nutritional / weight perspective), I'd start adding real meat to her diet. Little bits of chicken, beef, turkey, any non-enhanced meat (which means no deli bits, etc.).

You can add real meat up to 10% of her diet (after that, you'll need to start balancing the raw meat with bone-in meals and organ meats).

One of my girls, Rachel, is also long-haired and has been thin her entire life. It wasn't until I put my cats on a fully raw diet that she gained enough weight to make me happy. She's still thin, but she's no longer scary thin like she used to be. It's a terrible feeling to pet your kitty and feel all her ribs and hip bones jutting out.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

AC
post #3 of 15
This would be my choice http://www.hillspet.com/products/pd-...re-canned.html This is the highest available protein and fat content, while providing a phosphorous content of 1%. Very palatable as well.

That said, I wouldn't expect any cat to eat anything if, for example, he/she was experiencing severe stomach acid..............
post #4 of 15
To put on weight, I would leave out a rich grain-free dry food 24x7 to nibble on. I'm a big fan of Wilderness Duck, available cheapest in the big bags at Petsmart from what I've seen.

Then I'd have meals of a kitten or all life stages food available 2-3 times a day. This worked great for my two furballs who grew up healthy and are now a good ~ 9 and 10lbs respectively.

Be sure that clean water is available at all times. I recommend a fountain or two.

Basically, the strategies that are recommended for growing kittens are great for any cat to put on weight.
post #5 of 15
It of course depends on what she'll eat. . .is she picky? No food will do any good if she won't eat it. Kibble is fattening. Chicken baby food is a good way to get more protein into them (and most cats like it). Canned kitten food has more calories and fat than regular canned food (Fancy Feast has 2 flavors of kitten food, my mom's skinny elderly cat liked them and it seemed to help her). Natural Balance salmon flavor seems to be a food most cats like.
post #6 of 15
Keep in mind that high protein foods are often high in phosphorus as well, which can accelerate the decline of the kidneys.
post #7 of 15
So true. It's best and safest to avoid high-protein foods and feed good quality canned foods (or fresh foods) that have a relatively moderate protein content. Protein levels in canned foods vary greatly, so it's very necessary to read labels.
Even with this precaution the time comes when it becomes necessary to start using a phosphorus binder.
post #8 of 15
Cats need animal protein to thrive, just like sharks, snakes and birds of prey. This is possibly the biggest reason (although certainly not the only reason) diets become healthier as you move from kibble to canned to raw - the animal protein sources increase in both amount and quality and become more digestible (or bio-available).

The old studies that seemed to show a low protein diet was advantageous for CRF patients have been invalidated by newer studies that identified a low level of phosphorus as being the primary concern. Use a phosphorous binder if you need to / your vet recommends it, but I would most definitely offer your kitty the highest animal-protein diet you can afford.

Best regards!

AC
post #9 of 15
I would be careful with grain free/high protein, phosphorus levels and CRF... She might be skinny, but if her numbers are alright, I rather have that than fatten her up but get her CRF worse. I would turn to my vet for advice, honestly... Since you are not medicating her, this might be tricky. On another note, have you ran a T-4 thyroid test lately?
post #10 of 15
I am moving this thread to Nutrition as I think it really belongs there and I am sure more people will see and reply
post #11 of 15

You can also get food supplements (GNC has one, but you can find them all over).  There are powders you can put in their foods and there is a gel called NutriCal (I think that's the name or very close) and you can give him some of that as well.  It's specifically geared to have high calories and nutrients and is formulated for cats.

 

You can also add some powdered kitten milk replacement to the wet food as well.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson View Post

I am moving this thread to Nutrition as I think it really belongs there and I am sure more people will see and reply

But the thread is 2 years old. :lol3:

post #13 of 15

if my cat was loosing weight i would give her 1 can and more dry food than what she is getting.i also think that you should give her TREATS like a handful of them, i suggest the brand Temptations treats.i am almost cretin that they will fatten her up,they fatten my cat up big time.

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fhi09 View Post

But the thread is 2 years old. laughing02.gif

Thanks! I did not notice! Well, some people may find it useful.
post #15 of 15

Thks. I found the two year info helpful, so you were correct. ;0)

 

I have two senior cats. Both went on metabolic diet and lost weight. One lost too much weight, so I'm needng to put some pounds back on.

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