The vet may suggest special foods and, if appetite is poor, it may help to feed little and often, warm the food or add a small quantity of pilchards or sardines. Adding vegetable oil or margarine (in small quantities at first) may help weight gain, provided that the extra fat does not cause diarrhoea.
Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems, to name a few.
For many cats, the best way to lose weight is with a canned diet food fed several times per day, rather than leaving food down all of the time. One of the reasons canned diet foods work better is because finicky felines often prefer wet food to dry.
Although obesity does occur in middle-aged cats, feline seniors more often lose weight and take on a distinctively “boney old cat” feel. Changes in diet can help some older cats retain normal body weight, though, so speak to your vet if your cat is losing weight.
Quick reminders to keep your cat at a healthy weight:
Weight loss can be an early sign of illness, so check with your vet. It is common for older cats to develop medical conditions that cause them to lose weight, such as kidney and thyroid disease. If your cat is losing weight, it is important to consult your vet as soon as possible.
Why is my cat thin at the back end? While a cat’s rear end is usually slightly narrower, muscle water on the hind end can be caused by age, lack of eating, specific illnesses, or even depression. If you notice a change in the condition of your cat it’s important to consult your veterinarian.
Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Dental disease can contribute to weight loss in senior cats.
Signs Your Cat Could Be Dying
Most domestic cats should weigh about 10 pounds, though that can vary by breed and frame. A Siamese cat may weigh as few as 5 pounds, while a Maine Coon can be 25 pounds and healthy.
Parasitic worms (tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms) can mean that your cat eats a lot yet loses weight. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and inflammatory bowel disease can interfere with food absorption. So, your cat may eat voraciously yet lose weight. Also, make sure that another pet isn’t eating your cat’s food.
There are two main causes for a skinny cat: Either they aren’t eating enough, or they’re expending more calories than they are taking in. They may not be eating enough due to stress, dental disease and/or nausea or a host of other reasons. The other reason that a cat might be too skinny is a lack of access to food.
Older cats tend to be less active and playful, they may sleep more, gain or lose weight, and have trouble reaching their favorite places. Don’t chalk up health or behavior changes – often gradual – to old age, however.
How can I prevent my cat from becoming obese in the first place?
Here are our top picks for the best cat food for weight gain:
What to Feed a Cat to Help Them Gain Weight