The Best High Calorie Cat Food For Weight Gain

Cat Food March 18, 2021
Kate Barrington

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The Best High Calorie Cat Food For Weight Gain

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for cats, and obesity is a serious problem. What many cat owners don’t realize, however, is that the opposite can be just as dangerous – low body weight can negatively impact your cat’s health and wellness. Many senior cats have trouble keeping on weight, as do cats that are highly active.

Keep reading to learn more about why some cats struggle to maintain a healthy body weight and what you can do to resolve the issue. You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best high-calorie cat food for weight gain.

Compare Best High Calorie Cat Food For Weight Gain

Best Overall
Nom Nom Flavorful Fish Feast

1. Nom Nom Flavorful Fish Feast

Best Affordable
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Best For Grain-Free
Solid Gold Indigo Moon High Protein Wild Alaskan Pollock & Eggs Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

3. Solid Gold Indigo Moon High Protein Wild Alaskan Pollock & Eggs Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Best Wet Cat Food
Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

4. Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

Best For Allergies and Weight Gain
Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

5. Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

Protein
18% Min
Protein
38% Min
Protein
42% Min
Protein
8% Min
Protein
35% Min
Fat
6% Min
Fat
16% Min
Fat
20% Min
Fat
5.5% Min
Fat
19% Min
Fiber
0.5% Max
Fiber
6% Max
Fiber
3% Max
Fiber
1% Max
Fiber
5.5% Max
Moisture
72% Max
Moisture
9% Max
Moisture
10% Max
Moisture
78% Max
Moisture
9% Max
Caloric Content
1385 kcal/kg
Caloric Content
 3671 kcal/kg
Caloric Content
 3860 kcal/kg
Caloric Content
 1325 kcal/kg
Caloric Content
3,890 kcal/kg

Why Do Some Cats Struggle To Gain Weight?

The average cat weighs about 10 pounds, so gaining or losing even a single pound can be significant. Most cat owners worry about their cat gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, but the opposite problem is just as significant. Keeping your cat’s weight up will reduce its risk for serious health problems, including malnutrition, weakness, and lethargy.

Here are some of the most common reasons cat lose weight or struggle to gain weight:

  • Food allergies, intolerance, or sensitivity
  • Change in diet – the cat may not like the new food as much
  • High levels of stress or anxiety
  • Old age
  • Intestinal parasite infections
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Dental problems

If your cat suddenly loses a significant amount of weight, see your veterinarian right away to identify the underlying cause for the problem. Your vet will be able to recommend a course of treatment as well as any dietary changes that might help your cat gain weight.

Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best high-calorie cat food for weight gain. Here’s what you need to know:

How To Choose The Best High-calorie Cat Food For Weight Gain?

Helping your cat gain weight is not necessarily as simple as just feeding it more. If your cat is a picky eater, has food allergies, or has an underlying health problem, its appetite may be low. The best thing you can do is choose a nutritious, high-calorie cat food that will nourish your cat’s body as much as possible when it actually chooses to eat.

Here are some things to look for in a high-calorie cat food for weight gain:

  • Wholesome, natural ingredients. Whole-food ingredients are the most digestible for your cat and the most nutritious, so look for an all-natural cat food formula.
  • High-quality animal protein. Protein is essential for all cats, but it is particularly helpful for skinny cats because it supports muscle development. Look for a recipe made with a source of premium animal protein as the main ingredient.
  • Higher fat and calorie content. Fat is the most highly concentrated source of calories for cats, so higher fat content in your cat’s food means higher calorie content. Just make sure that most of it comes from animal sources with some plant oils to balance the omega-3 and omega-6 content.
  • Easy to digest. The higher the quality of the ingredients in your cat’s food, the easier it will be to digest. Avoid anything made with fillers, by-products, and artificial additives.
  • Rich in natural meat flavor. Enticing your cat to eat can be tricky, but choosing a recipe that is full of natural meat flavor will help stimulate its appetite.

The Top 5 Best High-Calorie Cat Foods for Weight Gain

The best cat food for a skinny cat is one that is rich in protein, fat, and calories. It should also be made with wholesome, natural ingredients in a formula that is complete and balanced.

Overall Best
1.

Nom Nom Flavorful Fish Feast

Product Info

  • Protein: 18% Min
  • Fat: 6% Min
  • Fiber: 0.5% Max
  • Moisture: 72% Max
  • Caloric Content: 1385 kcal/kg
Pros
  • Rich in protein, moisture, and healthy fats
  • Prepared in small batches to preserve nutritional integrity
  • High in moisture and easy to digest
Cons
  • Only two recipes to choose from (chicken or fish)
  • Can be expensive to feed as a cat’s staple diet
When it comes to high-quality nutrition, fresh pet food is the best. Fresh food is made with all-natural ingredients and prepared in small batches to ensure nutritional quality – it is also rich in moisture and easy for your cat to digest. Nom Nom is a fresh pet food delivery service that sends monthly deliveries of pre-portioned cat food right to your door. This Flavorful Fish Feast recipe features real tilapia and salmon in a protein-packed recipe that contains 1,385 kcal/kg.
Best Affordable
2.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 38% Min
  • Fat: 16% Min
  • Fiber: 6% Max
  • Moisture: 9% Max
  • Caloric Content:  3671 kcal/kg
Pros
  • Formulated for high protein content (40% crude protein)
  • All-natural, no fillers or artificial additives
  • Packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat support
Cons
  • Contains plant protein as a main ingredient (pea protein)
Featuring fresh deboned chicken as the main ingredient, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness recipe provides 40% protein with 18% fat and 443 calories per cup. It is formulated to be high in protein for lean muscle support with plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Plus, because it comes from Blue Buffalo, it contains a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as other beneficial supplements for whole-body health and wellness at an affordable price.
Best For Grain-Free
3.

Solid Gold Indigo Moon High Protein Wild Alaskan Pollock & Eggs Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 42% Min
  • Fat: 20% Min
  • Fiber: 3% Max
  • Moisture: 10% Max
  • Caloric Content:  3860 kcal/kg
Pros
  • High-protein recipe (42%) featuring real chicken
  • Holistic grain-free recipe made with natural ingredients
  • Supplemented with probiotics and superfoods
Cons
  • First source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)
  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)
Protein is essential for all cats, but particularly for cats that need to gain weight. This Solid Gold high-protein formula is an excellent choice because it is packed with protein from premium animal sources in addition to being a holistic, natural recipe. It is fortified with 20 nutrient-rich superfoods to ensure complete and balanced nutrition while providing 42% protein and 20% fat at 455 kcal/cup.
Best Wet Cat Food
4.

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 8% Min
  • Fat: 5.5% Min
  • Fiber: 1% Max
  • Moisture: 78% Max
  • Caloric Content:  1325 kcal/kg
Pros
  • High in protein, moisture, and natural meat flavor
  • Single source of premium animal protein
  • Complete and balanced nutrition for cats
Cons
  • Contains some thickeners (agar-agar)
  • Some cats may be allergic to common proteins like lamb
Canned food is generally higher in moisture and meat than dry food, which makes it more appealing to picky cats or cats who have low appetite. This ZiwiPeak Lamb Recipe canned food is a good option if your cat needs to get weight because it is loaded with premium animal proteins, including fresh lamb and organ meats. It is high in fat and calories as well, but still provides a balanced source of high-quality nutrition to support your cat’s whole-body health.
Best For Allergies and Weight Gain
5.

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Recipe with Real Rabbit Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 35% Min
  • Fat: 19% Min
  • Fiber: 5.5% Max
  • Moisture: 9% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,890 kcal/kg
Pros
  • Limited number of ingredients to reduce risk for allergies
  • Single source of novel animal protein – rabbit
  • Highly digestible ingredients with no fillers or byproducts
Cons
  • Fairly expensive compared to traditional kibble
  • First source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)
If your cat has trouble digesting certain foods, it may struggle even more to maintain a healthy body weight. This Nature’s Variety Instinct limited ingredient diet could be a good choice because it features a low number of main ingredients, including a single source of novel protein – rabbit. It contains 35% protein with 19% fat and 457 calories per cup. Plus, it is loaded with natural meat flavor your cat won’t be able to get enough of.

Final Remarks

There are many reasons why a cat might struggle to gain weight, so talk to your veterinarian about your concerns before taking matters into your own hands. As long as your vet rules out any potential underlying conditions, you can switch your cat to a high-calorie cat food to support healthy weight gain.

Shopping for cat food can be tough because there are so many options. By taking what you’ve learned here, however, you can make a smart choice that works for you and your cat. If you’re not sure where to start shopping, try one of our top 5 picks reviewed above!

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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