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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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How to help cat gain weight

My 17 year old cat has lost weight over the years due to steroids for asthma and suspected IBD.

I have been feeding him a steady diet of canned kitten food and it helps a little but I would like him to gain more weight. I have tried the high calorie gel in the tube but he is a picky eater of course, and he won't touch it. He also detects when it's mixed in with his food and won't eat it.

Does anyone know of a tasteless food additive that would increase his calorie intake per feeding or anything else that would help?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-17-2018, 06:30 PM
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Hi Richo,

I can't think of anything you could add that would be tasteless. The easiest way to add calories would probably be to give some kibble, but obviously that's not ideal...How about treats?

My 17.5-year-old kitty has always been a supremely picky eater, but she now has late stage CKD, so I keep kitten food around for the days when she doesn't want to eat. However, too much protein can be an issue for kidney kitties as protein is hard on the kidneys. Even if your boy doesn't have kidney issues, I wonder if the higher protein content in kitten food is ok? Maybe there are high-calorie non-kitten foods that you could try? If you're not familiar with Tanya's website or catinfo, you could check the information they have on canned foods.

Tanya's: Tanya's Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease- Canned Food Data USA

Tanya's website is devoted to CKD kitties, so the table is arranged by lowest phosphorus content.

Dr. Pierson's catinfo: Commercial Cat Foods

Click on the protein/fat/carbs/phosphorus chart.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the links. That is helpful.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 05:29 PM
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First off I am no vet but I would not recommend extra calories just to get extra calories. You don't want bad weight that can lead to a plethora of other nasty problems like urination blockage ( dependant on the food ) as well as diabetes.

I'll relate a story of mine. Around 3 years ago my cat began to lose a ton of weight due to diabetes. Bony but with a massive pouch. I was determined not only to get him back into shape but also to get him off insulin. I searched around did tons of research to find the highest proteins available. I don't care what anyone says, cats are carnivores, and cats are felines. The amount of similarities they share to even Lion and Tigers far exceeds any human qualities. Many foods take diets that work for people and translate it into cat food. Bad idea. When's the last time you saw a wild feline that wasn't built for destruction?

I switched to 100% wet canned food. He got dry stuff during the day but only because I wanted food available while I was at work. Cats do not eat Breakfast, lunch dinner. They dont need to be fed twice a day. In fact, cats will often "graze" numerous times throughout the day. So I pretty much gave him all of the highest protein wet food that he wanted ( be sure to check that the Meat ingredient is one of the first three and ACTUAL meat, not a "meal" or "by-product".

My result? A 14 year old cat, no belly pouch, and built better than he ever was at any age. Almost went into remission for diabetes as well.

It may take a while to get things down, but you could try a good real-meat-ingredient, wet-canned food diet. Pay attention to how much is consumed per sitting. When you find out, just keep on filling the dish with that amount whenever you see it empty. Keep in mind though that some cats may get bonier due to age and that is just how things are. Be patient too. What I accomplished above probably took about 6 months.

Last edited by marie73; 04-07-2018 at 07:11 PM. Reason: language
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-07-2018, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Well, that is exactly what I have been feeding him for years. His diet is almost all canned food, and grain free. The 3 foods I have been alternating between are Wellness Core, Holistic Select pate, and Evo 95. He is very much a frequent nibbler but my other cat eats anything and everything until it is gone so I can't leave any food out without confining one to a room, and I would not want to do that all day long.
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