How to fatten up a cat ? Is your cat too skinny? Would you like a plump kitty to cuddle? Most people prefer plump cats as their pets and will be concerned if their cat starts to get skinny all of a sudden or is already skinny.
So, how to fatten up a cat ? Are there any special methods to fatten up cats? Let’s figure that out in this detailed description on fattening up cats.
- Is your cat skinny?
I. Body condition score
II. The hand test
- Why is your cat skinny?
- Why should you fatten up a skinny cat?
- How to fatten up a cat?
Is your cat skinny ?
The first thing to figure out is whether your cat is skinny. After all your cat should be skinny or underweight to make it fat! So how do you find out whether your cat is actually skinny?
The normal weight of a cat depends on the type or breed of the cat, the age, activity level and overall health. Average weight of a cat is between 8 and 14 pounds, most being around 10 pounds.
However, this can vary with the above mentioned factors. For instance, a Maine coone weighing 25 pounds and Siamese weighing 5 pounds is normal for these particular breeds.
So, how do you figure out whether your cat is skinny, overweight or has the correct weight? There are two tools to determine if a cat is of the above conditions. The body condition score and the hand test.
- Body condition score
- This is similar to the body mass index of humans.
- Body condition score is used by the vet to evaluate the cat’s weight.
- A body condition score chart can help determine whether a cat is under weight or over weight.
- This chart can be found either online or at a vet’s office.
2. The hand test
- Your hand can also be used as a reference to determine whether your cat is skinny.
- The cat’s ribs are located behind their front legs.
- Feel them with your hands. If they feel like the back of your hand, then they have the right weight.
- If the ribs fell like your knuckles, then your cat is skinny.
- Ribs that feel like your palm means an overweight cat.
If you are not sure even now, contact your vet to find out the most appropriate weight your cat should have. Remember, just because your cat is thin does not mean they are unhealthy.
The appropriate weight should be determined by your vet taking into consideration all the conditions of the cat.
Why is your cat skinny ?
Your cat can be skinny due to various reasons and not all of them may be unhealthy. The two main reasons for underweight cats is that they may not be eating enough or they may be spending more calories than they take in.
There can be several reasons for a cat not eating enough as well as spending more energy than they take in. Here’s a list of some of these reasons. Is your cat skinny due to any of these reasons ?
- I’m sure you feed your cat regularly and might even tend to overfeed, out of love for your cat! So how did it get malnourished?
- Feeding your cat is not enough. It has to take in the right nutrients in the appropriate amounts.
- Lack of nourishment may be because you are not feeding your cat right. This can affect their weight.
- Cats can get either over weight or underweight due to this.
- Certain cats such as stray ones will not have sufficient access to food and can become skinny eventually.
2. Picky eaters
- Some cats can be picky eaters, especially with new food.
- They may leave behind most of the food on the plate, eating just the ones they prefer.
- This can lead to loss of vital nutrients, leading to weight loss.
- When the thyroid gland of a cat does not produce enough thyroxine, the metabolism can speed up.
- Thyroxine production can be affected due to a benign tumor in the thyroid gland.
- This will make it difficult for a cat to keep up its weight.
- Hyperthyroidism can be determined by a blood test.
- This problem can be seen commonly in senior cats.
- This is an endocrine disease where the cells build up a resistance to insulin.
- Insulin is a hormone necessary for glucose to enter the cells.
- Thus glucose levels build up in the blood stream.
- Increased thirst, urination, increased appetite and weight loss are the common symptoms.
5. Chronic kidney disease
- Senior cats tend to lose weight due to kidney diseases.
- In addition, frequent urination, increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea and bloody urine are symptoms seen in cats with chronic kidney disease.
- Although not all cat weight loses are due to cancer, if your cat is losing weight it can be a sign of a gastrointestinal tumor.
- Better get your cat checked out by your vet for confirmation.
7. Gastrointestinal disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, gastroenteritis and pancreatitis can cause weight loss in cats.
8. Dental issues
- When cats suffer from dental issues such as sore teeth, tooth loss and gum inflammation or ulcers; they can experience pain while eating.
- Thus these cats tend to avoid food altogether causing weight loss.
- Internal parasites that live in the intestinal tract of cats will feed off the nutrients in their food.
- These parasites include worms such as tapeworms, hookworms and round worms, and also microscopic organisms such as Giardia and Isospora.
- Deworming your cat can help get rid of this problem.
10. Stress and anxiety
- If you have moved to a new place or have an additional family member or for any other reason your cat can become stressed.
- This can affect their eating habits that can make them lose weight.
- If you have more than one cat and if someone is bullying one, not allowing it to eat properly, they can lose weight.
- Do not watch your cat eat as some cats can get stressed when they are being watched.
11. Caloric intake vs. output
- Some cats can be highly energetic, burning off more calories than they take in.
- This can be seen mostly in kittens who tend to play around a lot.
12. Nursing mothers
- A cat who has had kittens recently can burn off calories just feeding her kittens.
13. Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease)
- This is one of the most common metabolic liver diseases of cats.
- This is a serious and fatal disease and can occur in cats that do not feed for more than three days.
14. Arthritis and low vision
- Senior cats may have trouble getting to their food bowl if they are suffering from arthritis or weak eye sight.
15. Failing sense of smell
- The food of your cat might not be appealing as it used to be due to their failing sense of smell which causes them to not sense the aroma.
You can contact your vet and undergo a full diagnosis to determine what exactly is wrong with your cat before trying to fatten it up. The reason can be one or some of the above or even a completely different one.
Why should you fatten up a skinny cat ?
Apart from being an eyesore, your cat might be suffering from a serious illness. Thus they will need proper care and nutrition to be healthy.
Finding out what’s wrong with your cat and feeding it the right food can not only give you a plump cat to cuddle, but also a healthy cat that will live long for you to pet and take care of.
How to fatten up a cat
Now that you have determined why your cat is skinny, let’s find out how to fatten it up. There are several methods of fattening up a skinny cat. You will have to find out the most suitable one for your cat based on its condition.
If you are having doubts as to what suits your cat the best, you can contact your vet and find out the best one or a combination of several. So, here’s how you fatten up a cat.
- High protein food
- Although you need to fatten up your cat, it should not be too fat either.
- Adding too much fat to the body can be harmful, leading to so many diseases.
- Cats generally need a diet rich in animal protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrates.
- High protein food helps to add lean muscle mass and not fat deposits.
- The first ingredient can be turkey, fish, lamb, chicken, fish or beef.
- High protein food not only make cats gain a healthy weight, but also make their coat shinier and softer and also have other physical improvements.
2. Regular feeding
- Remember to feed your cat regularly.
- You can feed them several times a day using small portions. Gradually increase their amount of food.
- Feed a high quality brand of food that have less fillers as filers don’t offer much nutrition.
- Heat the food to produce a stronger smell.
3. Canned cat food
- Some cats will like canned cat food or wet cat food rather than dry food.
- You can feed this to cats about 3-4 times a day while leaving out the dry food for them to nibble in between meals.
- Cats with dental issues will find it easier to chew on wet food rather than dry ones.
4. Add more calories
- You can add more calories to your cat’s food by sprinkling some grated parmesan or cheddar cheese on top of the cat food.
- A little bit of yogurt can also add some more calories as well as excitement to your cat’s food!
5. Try some kitten food
- As mentioned before, kittens are highly energetic and active.
- Thus their food contains a lot more protein, fat and calories than adult cat food.
- Giving this to underweight cats can help them gain weight.
- Remember to give them a high quality, grain and filler free kitten food.
- Kitten food can also be much more palatable and softer to munch to senior cats and also the picky ones.
6. Homemade diets
- Feeding your cats with a homemade diet once in a while can add a welcoming change.
- You can give them muscle meat, chopped hearts, kidneys and liver.
- Fully cooked scrambled eggs can also be included. Remember not to add any salt or other seasonings. Do not give them raw eggs either.
7. Separate cats during feeding
- If you have several cats, try to feed them separately.
- Older and more dominant cats might not allow weaker ones to feed, making them under weight.
You can also consult your vet about supplements to feed your underweight cat. Remember to consult your vet to figure out the best method to fatten up your cat.
Just as skinny people are a painful sight, so can skinny cats be to pet lovers. Having a fat, fluffy healthy pet is what most pet owners desire.
How to fatten up a cat is what’s in the mind of most cat owners with skinny cats. The first thing to do is to find out whether your cat is actually skinny.
The weight of a cat depends on its breed, age, activity level and overall health. You can use the hand test and also the body condition score to find out whether your cat is underweight or skinny.
Next, you should find out why your cat is skinny. Their underweight can be due to a disease or behavioral or psychological problem. The main reason is not enough nutrient intake caused by one or more of above mentioned problems.
You can consult your vet to find out the exact problem. The vet is most likely to run some tests to determine the exact cause.
When fattening up a cat the main thing to remember is to feed them nutritious meals in higher amounts. However, remember to feed them right with high proteins, moderate fats and low carbohydrates as these carnivores have evolved to digest in this order.
Hope you will have a fattened up kitty before long !
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