Changing food portions may not be the solution you need, as there are many factors that can affect your cat's weight; from health conditions to access to their food, you might be led to ruling out different things.
Before making any decisions, though, it is essential to have your cat checked over by a veterinarian who can help you plan how to make your cat healthy. There is the question of the type of food you feed them and what portions these are in.
That's why, below, we give you some ways that you can introduce food that is not only adored by them but has all their nutritional needs packed in as well, and this, in turn, will get your furry friend all excited about mealtime.
First Of All, Determine If Your Cat Is Underweight
This can be done simply by feeling your cat's ribs by gently running your hand over their side, and if it feels like a layer of fat is over them, this might be ok, but if it's quite a thick layer, they could be overweight.
If you feel just the ribs, your cat is underweight, and you can also check along their spine.
Where if you only feel vertebrae and no layer on top of them, they are definitely underweight, and you can take some steps to change this.
As for the reason, well, it could be a number of things, from dental issues to reduced appetite, or disease and even hyperthyroidism, and this is where getting a comprehensive check-up of your cat is important, especially as they get older.
Create A Feeding Plan
Once you've figured out the issue, if it's a treatable condition, you can make a plan with your vet to ensure the diet works to their needs and specific medical condition and can help you get the right balance of micronutrients and macronutrients in your cat's diet.
Part of the issue could be that your cat needs more meals per day, but it is provided in a way that makes it palatable and inviting, so your cat has access to food that they have a preference for, as many cats do, especially with textures and flavors of food.
When calculating how much to feed your cat, you should aim for your cat's metabolic needs, so as most cats consume 200-250 calories per day, the resting metabolic rate is measured by it being 84 times the metabolic body weight, which you can find out from your vet.
You then want to feed them that amount of calories plus 20% more, and you usually don't need to go higher than this unless your cat's weight is very dire, which we hope it isn't.
What Should I Feed My Cat To Gain Weight?
You don't have to change your food type drastically, as this may have the opposite effect where your cat avoids their food altogether, so stick to a food that you know they enjoy and aim for small and frequent meals scattered throughout the day.
One tablespoon of your chosen food every few hours should be tolerable. Your cat should be able to consume this and not vomit afterward, and it's important to keep an eye on how your cat interacts with their food to identify any behavioral changes as a result.
There are ways you can prepare the food to make it more inviting, so you could try warming it up or opting for a different consistency to make your cat more drawn to it, as long as it's not too hot.
What If My Cat Still Doesn't Eat?
There could be a range of different reasons why your cat may be hesitant to try your chosen delicacy, and it could be something as simple as moving the food bowl to a different location, as your cat could be nervous and requires a quieter feeding spot.
This could be due to the bowl being near a washing machine, air conditioner, or other pets like dogs that could be nearby, or it might be that your cat has a particular taste, so you may have to try different flavors of wet and dry food, and find what they enjoy best.
If this doesn't work, you can try offering snacks between meals like cat treats or pieces of chicken breast, as long as this is balanced and doesn't upset your cat's stomach too much, so your cat has some variety without it being too much.
Does Mood Affect My Cat’s Appetite?
There's no secret that cats have emotions too, and the simplest of changes to your home environment or even the type of bowl you feed your cats with could cause behavior changes, and a symptom of this can be a loss of appetite.
You also could have a nervous and unsociable cat that doesn't like the fuss of mealtimes, so picking out a corner somewhere and leaving them to it can be helpful in some situations, especially if you have other cats who like to protect their food.
You'll notice if there are any changes in your cat as new behaviors will emerge that you aren't familiar with, so you can identify what you need to change, and, in extreme cases, you can access the medicine that accelerates your cat's appetite.
Before making any significant changes, the vet is always the best place to go to get recommendations for your cat, which is vital if your cat were to develop a condition you have no knowledge about, so you can treat it and have a happy cat in the end.
It's worth taking the time to spend some quality time with your cat and make them as fulfilled as possible, so eating for your cat is the best part of the day while being healthy as well.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.