There is no doubt that cats are great companions for people of all age. But there’s a lot of things to be taken care of while owning a cat. One of the most important things is keeping a proper check on the weight of your cat. Is your cat getting way too skinny? Or is it just her normal weight? There are a lot of questions which keep lurking in the minds of cat owners. No wonder, it’s a difficult task to keep track of every little change in your cat. But if you feel that your kitty is getting way too skinny, then it’s time that you should take your kitty to a vet.
A vet can help in determining if your cat is undergoing any medical problems due to which your cat might be losing weight. Moreover, you can take help of your Vet if you are planning to change the eating habits of your cat for gaining weight. If you are not careful with your cat’s diet, your cat could have an upset stomach or further weight loss. Keep reading to know more about taking care of your pet to gain weight.
How to Make Sure Your Skinny Cat Is Healthy?
A healthy cat continues to stay on its normal weight for a long time. If your cat is losing weight day by day, then your cat might be having some medical problem. Some of the medical problems are mentioned below:
Gastrointestinal disorder: Probably your cat might be suffering from diarrhoea or constipation. This disorder can be cured easily in cats by proper medication.
Internal Parasites: One of the major reasons that your cat is becoming skinny is because of parasites such as hookworms, Isospora and other microscopic organisms.
Dental disease: If your cat is suffering from dental disease, she might be having sore teeth or gums. Your cat might not be able to eat her food properly while having dental disease.
Hyperthyroidism: One of the most common diseases in cats is hyperthyroidism. This disease can lead to a huge loss of weight in cats.
Feline Diabetes: The symptoms of Feline Diabetes are almost similar to the symptoms of hyperthyroidism in cats. Feline Diabetes leads to major weight loss in cats.
How Can I Tell if My Pet is Underweight?
Sometimes it’s hard to know if the weight of your pet is normal or abnormal. Moreover, it’s quite easy to misunderstand the growth of your pet by a sagging belly or long hairs. You don’t need to worry anymore, as there are two simple tests to know whether your cat has a normal weight or not. Check out the Hand Test which can be carried out in your home or the body condition score test which can be done with the help of special equipment.
The Body Condition Score: Most of the Vets have special equipment to know the exact weight of your pet. This equipment is widely known as the Body Condition Score. You can also read from a chart which is available on the internet by any animal health organizations. With the help of a body condition score, you can determine if your cat is skinny or if it’s her normal weight.
The Hand Test: Before approaching a vet for, you can do a simple test while sitting in your home! All you need to do to conduct this test is to touch the ribs of your cat with one hand. In case you feel that the ribs of the cat appear like knuckles of a human hand, then there’s a huge possibility that your cat is skinny. If you are still confused, then you should get your cat’s weight checked by a Vet by the Body condition score equipment.
What Kind of Food to Get?
The cat food must be high in nutritional content if you want your cat to gain weight soon. You can also try feeding your cat with new food which has a different texture or a different taste. The cat food must consist of fat as well as calories and prepared with a small amount of plant-based products. The best foods which help in weight gain of a cat are mostly made with animal ingredients. You must talk to your vet before making a major change in the diet of your kitty. Make sure that you start with very small changes to your kitty’s diet to prevent any kind of gastrointestinal distress. You must take care of the following points while feeding your cat.
· The cat’s food must be high in calories; proteins are nutrients which will help her in gaining weight.
· You must maintain the right balance of nutrients in your cat’s food. For instance, skinny pets must eat foods having 30% protein, 5% fat 20% fat, and 7% protein.
· You can add small amounts of Tuna liquid or other canned products in your cat’s food. The food products which are made up of animal ingredients are best suited for the cat to help in gain weight.
· You must use the canned products for your cats which are 100% made up of meat sources rather than plant-based sources.
How to feed a cat to help them gain weight?
To put on weight on your cat, you might just need to simply give more amount of meals daily. Most of the cats prefer grazing or eating small meals at regular intervals during the day. You must talk to your Vet before you start changing the feeding method of your cat for gaining weight. In case you have more than one cat, then make sure that each of them has proper access to food. You could even change the place of a food bowl for cat, as there’s a possibility that your cat might be getting nervous because of a scary object nearby such as cycling furnace, a barking dog or even an air conditioner. You can try changing to dry food if you have been feeding the cat with canned food for a long time.
Moreover, you could also try different flavours along with different consistencies of dry & wet food to feed your cat. One of the best ways is to increase the aroma of cat food by heating the food in the microwave for about 10 seconds. You can also sprinkle small pieces of rotisserie chicken to give a new flavour to your cat’s food. Or sprinkle a small amount of Tuna liquid in the cat food to change the flavour. One of the best remedies for gaining the weight of your cat is packing protein along with fat in your cat’s food. This can be almost similar to junk foods for humans. As eating junk food by humans lead to gain in weight, the packing of protein or fat in cat’s food will make the weight gain in cat much sooner than expected. You can try feeding your cat with grain-free food products which are widely known for having huge amounts of protein content.
There is a possibility that it’s time to change the living space of your cat to check if anything related to her environment is troubling your cat. Most cats tend to take a temporary break from eating food due to some new pet nearby or some disturbing sounds and scary objects. You must carefully assess your place to pick a spot for your cat. Moreover, it is a little stressful when you bring a new kitty to your home. Your kitty starts to adjust in your home space and new surroundings. While picking a spot for your cat, make sure that the place is quiet or away from any other pets or noises from the air conditioner. If your cat is comfortable with her surroundings, she will eat and sleep happily and you need not worry regarding her health anymore.
Looking after your cat’s digestion during weight gain
If the reason behind the weight loss of your cat is some medical problem, then you need to take proper care while feeding her food. The digestion method of a cat is far more sensitive when to compare to the digestion method of a human. If you are not careful with your cat’s diet, then there’s a high possibility that your cat might start having an upset stomach which will eventually lead to more weight loss.
You should not neglect the importance of maintaining a proper balance of nutrients while feeding your cat for gaining weight. For instance, if you are giving energy-dense fat in your cat’s food, then your cat might end up having diarrhoea. Moreover, make sure that you are adding enough amount of protein in your cat’s food for the healthy growth of cells and body.
Feeding Practices for an Underweight Pet
To make your pet gain weight, you must try feeding your pet multiple times during the day. Make sure that you are giving small meals if your feeding at regular intervals throughout the day. Another way to feed your pet is free feeding, wherein you can leave plenty of food in the bowl at one time. Free feeding can be helpful for shy pets who don’t eat much in front of their owners.
If you are dividing the meals of your pet throughout the day, you are giving more chances to your pet to consume a good amount of calories for weight gain. Most cats prefer eating cheese and eggs, so you can try adding small pieces of cottage cheese, a cheddar slice or a boiled egg in the cat food for a change. Even after changing feeding practices and food content, still, your cat is not gaining weight then you can try to add some specific vitamins in your cat’s food. These special vitamins or supplements can help in enhancing the nutrient levels in your pet. You must talk to a Vet before you start feeding multivitamins or supplements in your cat’s food.