When cats lose weight, it is often due to intestinal parasites, worms or medical issues such as diabetes or kidney problems. Cats that are allowed outdoors sometimes ingest contaminated matter that makes them ill. Increasing the amount of fat in your cat's diet should improve his condition. Cats who were strays or recently adopted from a shelter have an excuse for being underweight. Unless the reason for the lack of weight is obvious, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to figure out the source of the problem.
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Things you need
- Cans of salmon or tuna packed in oil
- Containers of milk and cream
Find a good quality diet without preservatives containing food that your cat likes. For cats who have been under recent stress, a solid diet alone should put weight on them.
Make your cat's food dish available to him at all times. Be sure it is full and refreshed when necessary. If he shares the home with other cats, make sure he is allowed to eat in peace with no competition at mealtime.
Offer your cat canned salmon or tuna packed in oil. High-protein table scraps like cooked chicken might also appeal to him.
Replace his water with a calorie-laden combination of half milk and half cream. The high-calorie cream will be tempting to most cats.
If he needs something more enticing, offer him kitten food. Growing kittens need a diet that is richer and has more calories.
If you find these aren't working as well as you'd like, ask your vet to recommend a prescription diet. You can also try calorie-rich dietary supplements.
Tips and warnings
- If one of these choices alone doesn't work for your cat, a combination might appeal to him. Even if he needs a prescription diet to start, once his weight has stabilised you might be able to wean him off it to a diet of high quality food. If no combination of these suggested foods works, your vet might run tests or recommend that you see a specialist to uncover the source of the problem.