Every now and then, we may notice that our beloved cats are looking a little too slender and could use an extra few ounces in their frames. Whether they are recovering from an illness or simply struggling to maintain a healthy weight, our feline friends might just need an extra helping hand from us. That’s why I’ve embarked on this purrfect journey to find the ultimate homemade cat food to gain weight, all while ensuring that our kitties are receiving the nutritional goodness they need.
benefits of homemade cat food
When I first started preparing homemade cat food for my feline family members, I was stepping into uncharted territory. With my apron around my waist and my whisk in hand, I began my pet culinary journey, driven by a genuine desire to see my cherished cats at their happiest and healthiest.
Here are the undeniable benefits I’ve discovered (and rest assured, my cats have too) since I traded in the convenience of commercial cuisine for homemade:
- Complete Control Over Ingredients: With store-bought cat food, you are often left in the dark regarding the ingredients and their source. Once I switched to homemade meals, I knew exactly what was being put into my cats’ meals. I found comfort in being able to hand-pick each ingredient, ensuring the highest quality for my feline friends.
- Customizable Nutrition: All cats, like humans, are unique. They have unique nutritional needs based on factors such as their age, activity level, overall health, and weight. When I started cooking for my cats, the ability to tweak the nutrient content to better suit each of my cats’ individual needs was a game-changer.
- Limiting Preservatives and Fillers: Commercial cat food often contains additional preservatives and unnecessary fillers that have little to no nutritional value. In contrast, homemade cat food allows me to provide my cats with adequate nutrients without any unnecessary components that could potentially harm them in the long run.
- Enhanced Flavor and Palatability: Cooking at home, I’ve discovered new creative ways to make meals more appealing to my finicky cats. Fresh ingredients definitely outdo dry kibble in the taste department, turning meal times into an event my cats eagerly anticipate.
- Promotes Hydration: In the wild, felines gain a large proportion of their water intake from their prey. By making homemade cat food, I could easily augment my cats’ hydration levels since these meals naturally contain a healthy percentage of water. What a solution to the notoriously dehydrated kitty dilemma!
Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Weight Gain
Figuring out how to sufficiently and healthily plump up your fur babies can feel like a complex puzzle. Therefore, armed with ample research and a heck load of “trial and cooking error,” I’ve formulated some nutritious and delicious homemade cat food recipes for weight gain.
1. Chicken and Pumpkin Stew
Both chicken and pumpkin are fantastic ingredients in feline cuisine. Chicken serves as an excellent source of protein, while pumpkin adds beneficial fiber—plus, most cats simply love its taste!
- 1 cup of diced raw chicken
- 1/2 cup of pure pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup of carrots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of peas
- A pinch of taurine supplement
- Boil the chicken in a pot of water until fully cooked.
- Add the carrots and peas, simmering until soft.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the pumpkin puree and taurine supplement.
- Let the mixture cool before blending to a consistency suitable for your cat.
- Serve in your cat’s dish, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
2. Salmon Delight
This recipe features salmon, a high-calorie food that also offers Omega-3 fatty acids for a shiny coat.
- 1 cup of raw salmon, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of peas
- 1/4 cup of sweet potatoes, finely chopped
- A pinch of taurine supplement
- Place all ingredients (except the taurine supplement) in a pot and cover with water.
- Simmer until everything is fully cooked and soft.
- Mix in the taurine supplement once slightly cooled.
- Blend the food for a consistency your cat prefers.
- Let it cool before serving, and keep the leftovers refrigerated.
3. Turkey Treat
Lean turkey meat is high in protein and crucial amino acids. This meal will provide all of these health benefits in a recipe that both you and your kitty will love.
- 1 cup of ground turkey
- 1/2 cup of carrots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of peas
- A pinch of taurine supplement
- Cook the ground turkey thoroughly in a pan.
- Boil the carrots and peas separately until soft.
- Mix the turkey, carrots, peas, and taurine supplement.
- Blend the mixture (if needed) and cool before serving.
causes of underweight cats
- Dietary Issues: Cats are notorious for being picky eaters, and their nutritional needs can be quite specific. Inadequate or unbalanced diets can lead to weight loss. Ensure your cat’s diet includes high-quality, age-appropriate cat food with the right balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Consider consulting your veterinarian for personalized dietary recommendations.
- Medical Conditions: Underlying medical issues can be a significant culprit for weight loss in cats. Conditions such as dental problems, gastrointestinal disorders, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes can impact your cat’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to catch and address these issues early on.
- Parasites: Internal parasites, such as worms, can wreak havoc on a cat’s digestive system, hindering nutrient absorption and leading to weight loss. Regular deworming as per your veterinarian’s recommendations, can help keep these unwanted guests at bay.
- Stress and Anxiety: Cats are sensitive creatures, and stress or anxiety can manifest in various ways, including weight loss. Changes in the household, new pets, or even a visit to the vet can stress your cat. Provide a safe and comfortable environment, and consider pheromone diffusers or calming products to ease anxiety.
- Dental Problems: Dental issues can make eating a painful experience for your cat, causing them to avoid food. Regular dental check-ups and providing dental-friendly treats or toys can help maintain oral health.
- Age-Related Factors: As cats age, their metabolism may slow down, and they may become less active. Adjusting their diet to match their changing nutritional needs is crucial to preventing weight loss in senior cats.
- Feeding Practices: In multi-pet households, competition during mealtimes can result in one cat not getting its fair share of food. Ensure each cat has its feeding space and monitor their intake to prevent one from dominating the food bowl.
What can I feed my cat to make them gain weight?
- High-Quality Proteins: Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they thrive on a meat-based diet. Include high-quality proteins like lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or beef. These proteins are rich in essential amino acids that support your cat’s overall health, including muscle maintenance and immune function.
- Organ Meats: Organ meats, such as liver and kidney, are a nutritional powerhouse for cats. They provide essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, iron, and zinc. However, moderation is key, as excessive amounts of certain organ meats can lead to nutrient imbalances.
- Bone-In Meats or Calcium Supplements: Adequate calcium is vital for maintaining your cat’s bone health. If you choose boneless meats, consider incorporating ground eggshells or calcium supplements to ensure your cat receives the necessary amount of this crucial mineral.
- Healthy Fats: Fats are an essential energy source for cats. Include omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for a healthy coat, skin, and overall well-being. Fish oil or flaxseed oil can be excellent sources of these essential fatty acids.
- Carbohydrates in Moderation: While cats don’t require carbohydrates in large quantities, incorporating a small amount of cooked grains or vegetables can provide fiber and additional nutrients. Avoid excessive amounts, as cats lack the digestive enzymes to break down large quantities of plant-based ingredients.
- Taurine Supplementation: Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats that is primarily found in animal tissues. If you’re formulating your cat’s diet without using a commercial cat food base, consider consulting your veterinarian about taurine supplementation to prevent deficiencies.
- Vitamins and Minerals: Ensure your homemade cat food recipe includes a balanced array of vitamins and minerals. This can be achieved through a variety of ingredients, but consulting a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist can help you fine-tune the recipe to meet your cat’s specific needs.
- Hydration Matters: Cats can be notoriously picky about drinking water, so incorporating moisture-rich ingredients, such as wet foods or broths, can contribute to your cat’s overall hydration. Adequate water intake is crucial for kidney health.
How can I get my skinny cat to gain weight fast?
Helping your cat gain weight might sound simple, but there’s more to it than just offering them extra calories. We need to ensure these additional calories come from nutritious and well-balanced sources. Here are some tried-and-tested tips for cat weight gain that I’ve personally followed to make sure that my feline buddies are gaining weight in a healthy way.
More Frequent Feedings
Cats have small stomachs, so replacing a single large meal with more frequent, smaller meals spread throughout the day might be more digestible and allow for more caloric intake. While many of us are used to kibble dispensers and the “free-feeding” approach, I’ve found that investing a bit more time to manage my cats’ feeding schedules was worth the effort for their well-being.
Monitor Caloric Intake
Before making any changes, consult your vet for an expert opinion on your specific cat’s ideal daily calorie intake for healthy weight gain. Once I had the numbers, I was better able to plan my cats’ daily meals and ensure that they consumed enough nourishment, including calories from nutritious sources such as proteins and healthy fats.
Like me, you’d want to ensure your cat thrives. Providing high-quality, lean protein plays an essential role in a feline diet— more so when weight gain is the goal. Homemade cat food recipes that feature chicken, turkey, and fish offer valuable protein sources. Commercial wet cat food rich in protein is also an option if you choose to supplement or do not have the time to cook homemade meals every day.
Don’t Forget the Fats
Many of us might think that fat is our enemy, but for our feline friends, it plays a crucial role in a balanced diet. Necessary for numerous bodily functions, essential fatty acids help cats gain weight. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (found in fish like salmon) not only help with weight gain but also support healthy skin and coat.
Engage in Playtime
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but promoting activity can actually stimulate hunger and contribute to healthier weight gain. By engaging my cats in play, I saw an increased appetite, which helped them consume more nutritious meals.
Consult Your Vet
When in doubt, always seek expert advice. My vet played an incredibly valuable role in guiding me through the process of helping my cats gain weight safely and healthily. They provided insights into my specific cats’ needs and helped rule out any underlying health issues that might have been causing a struggle with weight gain.
Does dry food make cats gain weight?
Yes! Dry food is often full of carbohydrates and fats, which can lead to weight gain in cats.
Dry cat food contains more calories than wet cat food, so if you notice your cat gaining weight, try switching to a wet food diet.
How much should a cat eat a day to gain weight?
A cat’s daily diet should be calculated by the amount of calories they need, which is based on their age and weight.
A kitten should eat between 120 and 200 calories per day, while an adult cat should eat between 100 and 150, depending on their activity level.
You can calculate your cat’s daily caloric requirements by multiplying their weight in pounds by 12 (or 13 if they’re very active).
Homemade cat food is a convenient way to help your cat put on more weight. I know what you may be thinking, but trust me, homemade is better for your cat. If you already have a way of making food and want to know how to add extra calories to your concoction, then click on the link above.