Is your skinny cat just not interested in eating? Or has it lost a lot of weight recently?
Perhaps your cat has developed some food allergies.
In any case, switching to the best high calorie cat food for weight gain can help.
Of course, there can be numerous reasons why your cat is not gaining weight and we have covered some of them in this guide.
But, if your fur baby is just picky or simply not interested in eating, then you need to meet its calorie needs through the best high calorie cat food.
In this guide, we are listing 5 of these best high calorie cat food brands which have been approved by cat parents and their picky or sensitive cats as well.
Just in case you are in a hurry, click on our short summary below to view our Top 5 reviewed products for the best high calorie cat food for weight gain:
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Cat Food
- Purina ONE True Instinct Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food
- Crave Grain Free High Protein Wet Cat Food Trays
- Iams Proactive Health High Protein Cat Food with Chicken & Salmon
- Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Dry Cat Food
Best High Calorie Cat Food for Weight Gain – 2022 Top 5 Picks
1. Our Editor’s Pick: Blue Buffalo Cat Food, Natural Chicken Recipe, Wilderness High Protein, Adult Dry Cat Food, 12 lb bag
Blue Buffalo Wilderness high calorie dry cat food is packed with real chicken to satisfy your picky kitty’s meat cravings.
This food also contains healthy carbohydrates in the form of peas and sweet potatoes.
You will surely see a great improvement in your cat’s skin and coat thanks to its rich Omega 3 content.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food also contains the brand’s patented LifeSource® bits which is a healthy blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support stronger immunity, better digestion.
The food is made in consultation with holistic vets and cat- nutrition experts.
What we like about it
- The all-natural cat food is packed with proteins for healthy weight gain
- Free from corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors and preservatives.
- Showed excellent results in sensitive stomach cats and picky eaters
What we don’t like
- The kibble has a strong scent
- REAL CHICKEN IS THE FIRST INGREDIENT: BLUE Wilderness dry cat food is made to unleash your cat’s wild side with high quality deboned chicken to satisfy their carnivorous cravings and maintain lean muscle
- GRAIN FREE FOR SENSITIVE STOMACHS: Treat your cat to the finest natural ingredients with a dry cat food made without chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy or preservatives
- THE PERFECT BALANCE OF FLAVOR AND NUTRITION: Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids help promote a shiny coat and healthy skin, while carefully balanced calories from proteins and fat help maintain healthy body weight
- CONTAINS IMMUNITY-BOOSTING LIFESOURCE BITS: LifeSource Bits contain a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support immune system health, life stage needs and a healthy oxidative balance
- NOURISHMENT IN EVERY BAG: Contains one 12-lb. bag of BLUE Wilderness High Protein Natural Dry Cat Food, Chicken Recipe
2. Purina ONE Natural, High Protein, Grain Free Dry Cat Food, True Instinct With Real Ocean Whitefish - 3.2 lb. Bag
The best high calorie cat food for weight gain from Purina One True Instinct is completely free from grains and contains nearly 35% of high-quality, easy-to-digest protein.
The food is 100% nutrition without any byproducts, flavors, preservatives, or colors.
Purina ONE’s number one ingredient is white ocean fish and it is also fortified with vitamins and minerals. This high calorie cat food for weight gain promotes superior nutrient-absorption so more nutrition goes to work in your cat.
Delicious meaty bites and crunchy bits keep even the pickiest eaters coming back for more!
What we like about it
- Real protein for better muscle mass and healthy weight gain
- Easy to chew for cats having broken or missing teeth
- Array of flavors and texture which picky eaters love
- Reduced vomiting in most cats
What we don’t like
- A small percentage of cats wouldn’t eat it.
- High protein grain free cat food with real ocean whitefish as the number 1 ingredient provides 35 percent protein to help promote strong muscles, including a healthy heart
- Purina ONE grain free cat food with omega-6 fatty acids to help support her healthy skin and radiant coat and four antioxidant sources, including vitamins A and E, to promote a strong immune system
- Natural dry cat food kibble with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients crafted by a veterinarian-recommended brand in Purina-owned, U.S. facilities
- Highly digestible SmartBlend of high-quality ingredients in tasty, crunchy cat food bites and tender, meaty morsels
- 100 percent nutrition for adult cats and 0 percent fillers. Every ingredient has a purpose
Crave Grain-Free high calorie wet cat food contains real salmon as its number 1 ingredient.
It contains nearly 12% protein without corn, soy, fillers, and preservatives. This makes it suitable for cats with allergies and food sensitivities.
Your skinny cat will definitely benefit from this food’s high vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content.
You can also serve this best high calorie cat food in the tray itself, so no messy cleanups. Its perfect portion-sizes mean less leftovers to deal with!
What we like about it
- Grain free, high quality, easy-to-digest protein
- Perfect portions
- Contains vital nutrients for adult cats
What we don’t like
- Packaging contains tons of plastic.
- Contains twenty-four (24) 2.6-oz. twin-pack trays (48 servings total) of CRAVE Grain Free* High Protein Wet All Natural Cat Food Paté Salmon, Plus Vitamins, Minerals & Other Nutrients
- Real Salmon 1st Ingredient - wildcats and modern cats thrive on a diet of high quality animal protein
- Moist cat food crafted with 12%, high-quality protein to help your cat thrive and satisfy their desire for meat
- Grain free* with NO corn, wheat or soy
- This wet cat food is made with real ingredients: NO artificial flavors or preservatives
4. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food with Chicken & Salmon Cat Kibble, 6 lb. Bag
84% of protein (crude protein percentage is 38%) in this high calorie dry cat food is sourced from real chicken and salmon.
Iams Proactive Health will help your skinny cat develop muscles and provide it with healthy energy for all-day play.
You will love the fact that there is no soy or preservatives in this food and your cat will love its delicious taste!
This carefully-tailored blend also supports a healthy heart and its fiber and prebiotic content enhance nutrition absorption and ease digestion.
Moreover, IAMS Proactive healthy cat food contains calcium to support healthy teeth and bones.
Thanks to its rich omega content, your pet will benefit in the form of healthy and soft coat.
Iams Proactive Health is ideal for indoor and outdoor cats.
What we like about it
- Kittens with IBS gained weight on this food
- It has high-quality, natural protein without any artificial dyes, flavors, colors, or preservatives
- 100% balanced nutrition
What we don’t like
- Hard kibble; some cats had to make an effort to chew it.
- Contains one 6 lb. bag of IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH High Protein Dry Cat Kibble with Chicken & Salmon
- Chicken is the #1 ingredient in this protein rich cat food to help support strong muscles and provide healthy energy for play
- High concentration of high quality protein helps maintain muscles and nourishes a healthy heart
- Tailored fiber blend includes prebiotics and beet pulp to support your cat’s digestive health
- Made without soy or artificial preservatives —just real ingredients with the flavors cats want and the nutrients cats need for optimal health Trace amounts may be present due to cross contact in manufacturing
5. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Salmon | High Protein Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food | 5-lb. Bag
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient food is free from potatoes, starch, corn, and soy.
As its name indicates, it has very limited ingredients – which helps prevent food sensitivities and allergies in cats.
The number one ingredient in this best high calorie cat food for weight gain is salmon. (It contains 57% salmon ingredients, 36% plant-based fiber, and 7% vitamins and minerals for balanced nutrition.)
What we like about it
- Grain-free formula
- Limited ingredients to prevent food sensitivities
- Certified by ANSI-ASQ standards
What we don’t like
- Kibble crumbles to a powder.
- Contains (1) 5 pound bag of dry cat food
- Complete, balanced dry food for adult cats of all breeds
- Plant-based ingredients provide fiber to support healthy digestion
- Made with essential vitamins and minerals to provide complete and balanced nutrition
- No grains, potatoes, fillers, or artificial flavors or colors
Possible Reasons Behind Weight Loss in Cats
Anorexia or weight loss in cats is of two types: primary and secondary.
Primary anorexia and weight loss are linked to the parts of the brain connected to the appetite and satiety centers.
Secondary anorexia may be linked to causes such as:
A) Infections or diseases
Your cat might refuse to eat if it is in pain.
Sometimes, diseases of the pharynx or mouth (broken or loose teeth, injuries) can cause difficulty in swallowing.
Gastrointestinal/metabolic/neurological disorders can also be a cause of poor appetite.
Kittens and adult cats with IBS may not gain weight because of poor nutrient absorption.
Then there are some serious causes. Neoplasia (benign or malignant growth) can lead to lack of appetite and subsequent weight loss.
Treating the underlying condition can improve your cat’s appetite and lead to healthy weight gain over time.
B) Lack of diet palatability
Cat food can get spoilt.
Wet or canned food left outside in warm weather can develop a strong smell along with bacterial contamination.
Since cats are picky, such strong flavors and scents can turn them off food.
Some foods simply have a strong odor which your cat may not like.
C) Strong dietary preferences
Many cats are extremely picky and their pickiness increases with age.
Switching to a high calorie wet cat food or high calorie dry cat food can help increase nutrient absorption- so the good stuff goes to work in your pets even if it eats less.
You simply might have to try different flavors to find something that your pet loves.
Food toppings and pastes or gels in the form of high calorie supplement for cats can also help.
D) Environmental stress
Cats are very sensitive to changes in their environment.
Your cat might have suddenly become anxious or frightened owing to noises, changes in its routine, death of a fellow cat, moving to a new place, or even bringing home another pet (dog or cat).
The perceived competition could lead to weight loss in your pet.
How to Assess the Cause of Weight Loss in Your Cat
It is very important to rule out diseases if your pet is not gaining weight. This will help you decide the next course of action.
Here are some questions to consider in order to arrive at a conclusion:
- Is my pet showing an interest in food?
- Is s/he attempting but failing to prehend the food? – (This means that your cat has appetite but is unable or unwilling to eat it?)
- What and how much is your cat eating? Is it more or less than usual? If you have multiple cats, it can be difficult to assess how much one cat is eating.
- Have you recently changed your fur-baby’s food? If it is a lower calorie food, then that could amount in the weight loss.
- Has your cat’s environment changed: a new house, a baby, or new cat?
- Do you keep food accessible to your pet at all times? Where do you feed your cat?
- Is your cat scared or reluctant to approach food? Is someone scaring your baby? (A child, dog, or dominant cat?)
- Have you tried feeding/offering other foods? What was the result?
These questions can help you determine whether switching to the best high calorie wet cat food or high calorie dry cat food can help?
How to Choose High Calorie Cat Food for Weight Gain
Below are some factors to consider when selecting high-calorie diets for your kitty:
1) High in proteins and good fats
Select a diet that is higher in calories.
Do make sure that a majority of the calories comes from high-quality proteins and health fats.
Animal nutritionists recommend feeding adult cats at least 30% proteins along with vitamins and minerals.
2) Easy to digest and free from allergens
Many cats are allergic to certain ingredients in cat food.
Typically, the causes of allergy in cats include wheat, soy, gluten, dairy, and most grains. (Note that not all cats are allergic to these ingredients and what suits one may not necessarily suit another).
Some trial and error can help you find out your cat’s preferences.
Whichever food you choose, make sure it agrees with your pet’s system.
You can select foods without grains, wheat, and soy and those containing a high-quality poultry (chicken, turkey) or sea food(fish) as its first ingredient.
Avoid foods with preservatives, meals, by-products, colors, dyes, fragrances, and fillers.
3) Suits your lifestyle
If you are away at work all day, you might find it more convenient to leave dry cat food out for your pet as opposed to high calorie canned cat food for weight gain. This is because, dry cat food is less prone to spoilage.
Your cat can have easy access to the dry food and eat it as and when it gets hungry.
4) Your cat loves it
Finally: the best high calorie cat food is the one that your pet approves of.
Cats are picky eaters and can turn up their noses even at gourmet foods. So, make sure to try out some variety. This way, your cat can decide on a flavor it likes best.
Tips for Weight Gain in Skinny Cats
A) Feed frequently
Some cats just eat smaller portions at a time. For them, feeding frequent meals can help.
If you are at work all day, you could consider investing in automatic cat feeders or get someone to feed your pet.
Alternatively, leave high calorie dry cat food out for your cat so it can have its fill when it is hungry.
Also read: 5 Best Wet Cat Food Dispenser
B) Use weight gain supplements
Vet-recommended high calorie supplement for cats are known to show good results in putting weight on scrawny cats.
C) De-worm your pet
Intestinal parasites could be one of the factors behind cat’s skinny disposition.
Regularly de-worm your pet as suggested by your vet.
Also read: Best Cat Dewormer – Top 5 OTC Cat Dewormers
C) Change your cat’s feeding area
Your cat may be nervous or scared due to noises from a window or an AC vent.
Try feeding your pet elsewhere, in a secure area.
In case you keep multiple cats, feed your skinnier pet separately to ensure that s/he gets its fill.
Try and supervise your pet when it eats.
D) Switch to dry food (or vice-a-versa)
If your cat has been eating wet or canned food, then switch to high calorie dry cat food for weight gain.
Conversely, switch to wet pate or canned food if you have been feeding it dry food.
E) Warm it up
Warming up your pet’s food can help enhance its taste and palatability. This especially works for high calorie wet cat food for weight gain.
F) Spice it up with some healthy and flavorful toppings
Your cat might show signs of boredom eating the same food.
Adding some flavorful toppings to the high calorie dry cat food can help enhance its taste, flavor, and nutrition as well.
Try adding some chicken broth, tuna, fish sauce, etc. to see if your pet likes it.
The best high calorie cat food for weight gain can help your skinny cat get all the protein it needs for stronger, healthier muscles and greater energy for all-day play.
Generally, such food is higher in protein, good fats, and also contains a blend of healthy antioxidants to aid nutrient absorption.
We recommend the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food because it checks all of the above boxes. Do check out our other recommendations as well.