How to Fatten up an Old Cat

 With the aging of the cats, some might fall lazy and spend days lying all day long on the mat and just getting fatter. On the contrary, a good number of old cats tend to shed off weight as they age until becoming disturbingly skinny. Such a cat may typically respond to the daily meals or wander away from a not-so-favorite meal when fed and keep giving away fat come muscle mass. This puts up the big question, how to fatten up an old cat?

Pretty alike human cats begin to have a decline in the common senses. The sense of smell and palatability falls with rising age and might encounter them with difficulty in chewing. At the same time, some old age diseases can be the culprit of a falling weight. What’s an ideal weight for the cat?

To deal with how to fatten up an old cat? It is crucial to monitor the cat’s weight to conclude a number of the pound dropped till now. A healthy cat with domestic food consumption shall be around 9-12 pounds, although some specific breeds may show slight variation to this figure.

how to fatten up an old cat

Possible diseases causing weight loss

After getting the exact weight of your cat, it is essential to see if it’s aging or any underlying cause? Some of the probable diseases to be checked are:

  • An overactive thyroid, affecting the metabolism of the cat. A blood test can be done to confirm any signs of hyperthyroidism.
  • Issues with kidneys can be seen with a senior cat that can be dealt with via medication or surgery deemed necessary by the vet.
  • Some underlying cancers, like leukemia and fibrosarcoma reported in cats, can be a common reason for a cat’s weight loss.
  • The issue with teeth and gums should be checked, as any of this can make the chewing process difficult come painfully. Moreover, oral cancer can be one of the leading causes of less food consumption of the cat as facial swelling and drooling puts away the food from the mouth.

Dietary Requirements for Geriatric Cat

The energy requirements of geriatric cats progress over an ascending age, taking a boost at the 10th or 12th year of the cat’s life. However, if the caloric intake is not maintained to this change in the body, issues like declining weight and skinny arms arise. This phenomenon of loss of muscle mass in old cats is better referred to as sarcopenia of aging. A couple of studies by animal specialists conclude their finding emphasizes the importance of adequate nutritional supply in aging cats.

Switch to a High-calorie diet

Once dealt with the core reason for weight loss in the cat, one can deal with the underlying cause and add a healthy food regime. This can kick off with choosing the high caloric food item to add nutrients to the cat’s body.

Some of the considerable portions to be added to the meal involve protein consumption, with milk being the prime choice. However, a word of caution here would be checking for diseases like that for kidneys, where protein intake may be restrained.

Here it is also important to note that the mere addition of carbohydrates, as in humans, might not be a healthy choice.

Some weight gain programs are also initiated at the local vet center and can be used to put on weight on a cat rather than straight away going for commercially available packaged food. Yet some high-calorie supplements are known to boost weight growth in the cat, most of which are provided as tasty formulations with a double-up concentration of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Making Palatable Food 

If the cat is not responding to the regular meals, you need to work on presentation, selection of feed, meal times, and the content. If the cat wanders away from the plate, see if the cat is under stress. Or have skipped medicine or any threat from having a new pet and, for that matter, even a baby.

In the case of old cats, they might not conveniently digest food in significant portions, so rather cut it into small meals given multiple times around 4-6 times rather than regular three. The loss of smell with aging might make the food bland and less appealing; some appetizers and fresh meals might incite interest.

A fish flavor or some topping may do the part for most of the cats.

Serving fresh warm food

Working a bit with your serving can help get a cat to better eating habits. Serving fresh and warm food can get your cat licking the last bite on the plate. This will naturally enhance the aroma of food, getting all the attention it may deserve. Ensure the food temperatures remain reasonable, not too hot to shoo the cat away nor too cold to get its attention. A warm temperature will nicely work.

 Add food treats

Besides providing the right food and appetizers, it is vital to keep the taste buds active, so your cat keeps coming for the food. Adding some human food that is safe for feline use can be given in the middle of regular meals.

Foods such as egg white or some veggies and properly washed fruits maybe some of the great options.

Add on Appetite stimulants.

An appetite stimulant, in particular, mirtazapine, recommended for nausea, can work as an appetizer. They work like magic and are sold both as tablets and transdermal patches to stimulate food consumption in the cats. The patch can be conveniently utilized by placing it in the internal ear and having the effects in days.

Refer the veterinary doctor before making any brand choice to be careful with any possible side effects o the drug administered. Make sure you add in small portions, as this will just make the food better, not the food itself.

Commercial Packages boosting weight gain

A wise veterinarian may be at the best place to help you with the query How to fatten up an old cat? And shall enlighten you as the cat owner with the right choice of commercial packages, picking up the right content and quantum to be fed to the cat.

Many such choices are available with commercial food packages. Some might have the right portion of protein via the addition of dry chicken, turkey, fish, or egg. The need for vegetables is also fulfilled via the same package with corn, wheat, soy, etc. The good news is that they are served with enhanced flavors and aroma that quite attracts the cat. The vet can refer the wet food options with the right mix of nutrients for the cats, having trouble with chewing.

How to fatten up a cat: Summarized Guide

Here’s a step-wise guide for the cat owners planning to fatten up the old skinny cat. Many might want the bulk to snuggle better, yet many might have health concerns, either way here’s a quick walk through the routine, and you need to follow:

  • At first, refer to a good veterinarian.
  • The vet shall run few tests to come up with the correct diagnosis. In case of disease, medicine will be added to the regular routine.
  • Looking into cats routine with food, change and better the food quality
  • Add in required nutrient requirement.
  • Use food stimulant or appetizer if deemed necessary.
  • To add to the flavor, one can spice up by adding some flavor of fish and oil to counter dwindled sense of smell.


What accounts for weight loss in old cats?

The loss of weight in the old cats is a usually experienced complaint and can account for several possible reasons. To sate a few, the primary would be age and indigestion.

Other than that, one should get the cat checked for any disease of change in thyroids that frequently affect metabolism, causing trouble with weight loss.

Is it worrying if my geriatric cat is losing weight but having the meals?

This is a point of concern as the cat keeps consuming an average amount of food yet shows slight weight loss. It could account for an underlying condition, like hyperthyroidism in this case. This, in turn, affects the normal metabolism of cats. Before any grave signs of deteriorating health, it is wise to get the cat checked and have medicines.

Why suddenly my cat showing lean muscles?

Lean muscles could be a sign of aging, yet it is not all because of it. The weight loss is seen with low caloric intake or the supply of cat food deficient in the balanced diet.

Moreover, you can check your cat for any dental complaints; any dental issues can make food consumption a complete challenge for the cat.

What should I feed my senior cat? 

The aging cat shall be dealt with seriousness in terms of food. To strike the perfect muscle mass and keep in shape for a good snuggle, a balanced diet with the right amount of proteins, minerals, and vitamins should be fed. Multiple meals as per the cat’s need may do.

Why is my old cat turning out to be skinny?

Cats with a rising age show up the signs of dwindled digestions and, metabolism thus needs special attention. They should be provided with food that is easily assimilated by the. Moreover, the choice of ingredient should be checked o keep the cat coming for every meal of the day. The use of supplements and high protein intake will possibly reverse the signs of weight loss.

Should one feel the cat’s shoulder blades?

As one lays down hand son the cat along the length of the spine, one should sense the entire spine but not the vertebra individually. Generally, in a healthy cat, a layer of fat in the centers of the spine and skin makes it feel like one unit. On the contrary, it might be indicative of weight loss.

What can I feed the senior cat if I am short on food?

One can feed the cat with domestic items as long as it doesn’t show any gastric disturbances. The tip to be followed here is to give it small portions to not have any severe effects.

The senior cat should be fed 4 to 6 times a day to keep up with the fat muscle. Any leftover meat, i.e., fish or chicken, can serve the cat well. Be careful with spices and flavorings as they might not suit the cast digestive system.


It is not just about adding on weight but making the cat healthy. To keep the cat’s organ intact and to keep him around for coming years, adding food is not just enough but adding the right food? The right food at the right time with the right servings will work in your cat’s favor.

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