Best Cat Food for Weight Gain: Canned Wet Options Top the List

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020 by Kristen Chapple

Do you love your cat? Of course, you do and want the best for him. However, there are times when it is unclear what your cat needs.

If you notice that your cat is losing weight, it is pretty easy to underestimate and think it is normal, and the issue will go away. However, losing weight is a serious problem that you should not ignore.

If your cat is underweight, it faces a serious risk of suffering from malnutrition. Furthermore, being underweight can worsen problems such as kidney disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal issues.

The good thing is that you can address the problem by selecting the best cat food for weight gain. Keep reading to find out the perfect food option for your underweight feline.

The Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Wet Food is our favorite because it contains loads of proteins, high calories, and other nutrients that cats need for good health.

The Best Cat Food for Weight Gain Are:

ProductDetails
1. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain Cat Food

  • Proteins: 8% (minimum)
  • Fat: 3% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 1.5% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 82% (maximum)
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2. Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food

  • Proteins: 10% (minimum)
  • Fat: 7.5% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 3% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 78% (maximum)
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3. American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food

  • Proteins: 40% (maximum)
  • Fat: 15% (maximum)
  • Fiber: 4% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 10% (maximum)
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4. Solid Gold Indigo Moon with Chicken & Eggs Dry Cat Food

  • Proteins: 42% (minimum)
  • Fat: 20% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 3% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 10% (maximum)
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5. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Recipe Cat Food

  • Proteins: 35% (minimum)
  • Fat: 33% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 2% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 14% (maximum)
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6. Nutro Wild Frontier Real Chicken & Beef, Real Salmon & Trout Multipack Adult Canned Food

  • Proteins: 12.5% (minimum)
  • Fat: 6.5% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 1% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 78% (maximum)
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7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Food

  • Proteins: 8% (minimum)
  • Fat: 5.5% (minimum0
  • Fiber: 2% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 78% (maximum)
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8. Iams ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

  • Proteins: 33% (minimum)
  • Fat: 21% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 3% maximum)
  • Moisture: 10% maximum)
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9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Food

  • Protein: 30% (minimum)
  • Fat: 8% minimum)
  • Fiber: 8% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 12% (maximum)
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1. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain Cat Food — Overall Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Gain

This Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Wet Food takes the first position in our list because of its unique formulation. Taste of the Wild holds the view that when it comes to growing weight for your feline, it is more than calories.

While increasing the calories is crucial, focus on quality, as evidenced in this food is equally important. When we used this food on our cats, it did not take long to notice their weight bouncing back.

This food is prepared with premium chicken meat, ocean fish, and roasted venison. Furthermore, it is enriched with highly-digestible energy sources, including real peas, which work with the amino acids to help build the feline’s lean muscles while adding its weight.

We also noted that the food is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that are derived from blueberries, and raspberries.

The inclusion of taurine and trace minerals in the food also makes it a perfect pick for cats with joint problems. So, whether your cat has a single issue of being overweight or suffering from other conditions like diabetes, this food will come in handy to address it.

Specs

  • Proteins: 8% (minimum)
  • Fat: 3% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 1.5% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 82% (maximum)

Pros

  • Prepared with from real animals
  • The food contains high-quality carbs that can help your cat gain healthy weight
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Free from artificial preservatives and food colors

Cons

  • Contains Guan Gum

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2. Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food — Second Best Cat Food for Weight Gain

Closely following our first choice is this Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned food, one of the popular foods on the market. Coming from Instinct, we were not surprised about the high quality because the brand has cut a name for formulating quality foods.

The most outstanding thing about this food is that it supplies high-quality carbohydrates to your cat, allowing it to put weight progressively. The main source of carbs is fat and proteins, which form the bulk of the content in the food.

In addition to building your cat’s fatty deposits, the food also comes in handy in building lean muscles, which go a long way in making your feline stronger.

When helping your cat to gain weight, it is also crucial to ensure that all its body systems are healthy, and that is why Instinct enriched this food with essential vitamins and minerals that a cat needs for whole-body health. Furthermore, they included taurine that promotes development of a healthy brain and good eyesight. 

Specs

  • Proteins: 10% (minimum)
  • Fat: 7.5% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 3% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 78% (maximum)

Pros

  • Contains high moisture content to help your cat stay hydrated
  • Balanced with essential minerals and vitamins for whole-body health
  • Carbs are sourced from animal fat and easily digestible fruits
  • Does not contain soy, grain, artificial colors or preservatives

Cons

  • May result in smelly poop

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3. American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food

Are you looking for specialized cat food for weight gain that will not cost much? One of the best options out there is this Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food from American Journey. This food contains some of the best ingredients for cat food in line with American Journey’s goals of promoting healthy cats.

The food is prepared with fresh duck as the main ingredient that helps to supply premium protein. To provide your feline with more amino acids, American Journey also included chicken meal, menhaden fish meal.

The main ingredients used to supply more calories and energy to your feline are chicken fat and flaxseed. With the quality proteins and balanced carbohydrates supply, you are sure to nurture an athlete feline right in your home.

To make the food well balanced for your cat, it is also enriched with essential minerals and vitamins. From Vitamin A and Vitamin C to minerals such as Calcium and copper proteinate, this food contains most of them, and your cat is sure of enjoying whole body health.

Specs

  • Proteins: 40% (maximum)
  • Fat: 15% (maximum)
  • Fiber: 4% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 10% (maximum)

Pros

  • Formulated using high-quality meat with duck as the main ingredient
  • Supplies your cat with carbs from animal fat and fruits
  • Contains useful antioxidants that help to strengthen your cat’s immune system
  • Enriched with taurine for a healthy heart and strong eyesight
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Contains animal proteins

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4. Solid Gold Indigo Moon with Chicken & Eggs Dry Cat Food

When you think of your perfect cat, what runs through the mind? For most cat owners, it is a cheerful, playful, and intelligent cat.

To help you achieve this dream, Sold Gold insists that you should first help the pet achieve the right weight, and that is why they formulated this Moon with Chicken & Eggs Grain-Free High-Protein Dry Cat Food.

The meal contains a careful balance of essential nutrients that can help your cat increase weight by growing lean muscles, strengthening the bones, and ligaments.

The main ingredient in this food is protein, which is sourced from quality chicken meat, and supplemented with whole eggs, and ocean fish meal. In addition to supplying the amino acids that your cat needs to build strong muscles, the proteins also work with crude fat to power your feline’s active day.

Another notable thing about the food is that it contains high fiber content and probiotics that help to promote good health of the cat’s digestive system. This implies that your cat will be able to digest and absorb more nutrients from food to accelerate weight gain.

Specs

  • Proteins: 42% (minimum)
  • Fat: 20% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 3% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 10% (maximum)

Pros

  • Supplies your cat with quality carbs and proteins that help it to gain healthy weight
  • Helps to promote a healthy digestive system
  • Rocks a lovely flavor loved by most cats
  • Free from corn, wheat or soy

Cons

  • Contains animal proteins

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5. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Recipe Cat Food

Mention the brand Ziwi Peak and most vets will give it thumbs up because of its demonstrated commitment to quality in all the animal feed it makes.

However, this Air-Dried Lamb Recipe Cat Food has won more praise because of its ability to help cats increase their weight fast while promoting good health. The flavor is also fantastic, and our cats really enjoyed every moment munching the kibble.

The bulk of the food is sourced from grass-fed lamb meat that supplies all the amino acids that it cats require for strong muscles, ligaments development and increased weight. The food also contains high animal fat content that your cat can rely on to build weight progressively without worsening problems such as diabetes.

Because the food is single-sourced from lamb meat, we found it a very reliable option, especially for cats that are allergic to beef, fish or chicken. Also, it is enriched with essential vitamins that help to strengthen cats’ immune systems, enabling them to fight common diseases.

Specs

  • Proteins: 35% (minimum)
  • Fat: 33% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 2% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 14% (maximum)

Pros

  • The proteins are single-sourced from free-range lambs
  • It is a great option for cats that are allergic to beef or chicken
  • The food provides high proteins and quality carbs necessary for healthy weight gain
  • Contains a good balance of proteins, vitamins, and minerals for whole-body health
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • Expensive

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6. Nutro Wild Frontier Real Chicken & Beef, Real Salmon & Trout Multipack Adult Canned Food

If you have some picky cats like us, you probably know that identifying the right food can be a challenge.

However, you now have the opportunity to bring the problem to a close with this Real Chicken & Beef, Real Salmon & Trout Multipack Adult Canned Food from Nutro Wild Frontier. The food comes in a multipack that contains different flavors so that you can select the one that your cat prefers.

Another thing that makes the food stand out from the rest is that it contains two main recipes, one with beef and chicken and the other with trout and salmon. When we offered our cats this food, the picky ones went straight for salmon and trout. Your picky cat is also likely to select one of the recipes.

The food contains high protein and carb content, which are carefully balanced to help your cat gain weight and stay healthy. It also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, and taurine that help to promote strong bones and good eyesight. Omega fatty acids also come in handy in promoting a strong immune system.

Specs

  • Proteins: 12.5% (minimum)
  • Fat: 6.5% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 1% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 78% (maximum)

Pros

  • Supplies loads of proteins and carbohydrates that help to promote healthy weight gain
  • Enriched with taurine for stronger eyesight and healthy heart
  • Contains Omega fatty acids and vitamins for a healthy immune system
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

Cons

  • Prepared with guan gum

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7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Food

Many cats start losing weight as age catches up with them, and you might be looking for the right food to help yours regain its healthy weight.

We recommend this Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe because it is carefully formulated with wholesome natural ingredients that your senior cat can rely on to gain weight rapidly and feel youthful again.

The food is prepared with premium animal proteins that are high in calories and enriched with vitamins to strengthen your cat’s immune system. The proteins are sourced from chicken, and chicken liver, which provide enough minerals to your senior cat and make it feel natural, just like its cousin wild cats.

As the food promotes healthy weight gain, you also want the cat to look attractive, right? This food contains high quantities of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that are derived from flaxseeds.

Omegas are very important in promoting healthy skin and making your cat’s fur look shiny and more attractive. For most cat owners, this food helps to “restore” the youthfulness of their felines, and we agree with them.

Specs

  • Proteins: 8% (minimum)
  • Fat: 5.5% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 2% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 78% (maximum)

Pros

  • The food is prepared with high-quality protein and fat that supports healthy weight development
  • Contains taurine that helps to promotes better eyesight in senior cats
  • Omega fatty acids help to promote healthy skin development
  • The food comes with all essential vitamins needed to help your cat fight common ailments

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains guan gum

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8. Iams ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

Although the underweight problem is mainly prevalent in senior cats, it is also possible to find it in kittens. In such a situation, you need a carefully formulated food, such as Iams ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food, which helps to build appetite and rapidly get your little carnivore to the right weight. 

The food provides up to 371 kcal/cup, which we found high enough, especially for kittens because they are active, and their bodies are growing rapidly. The lovely thing about the food is that the bulk of the carbs are derived from crude proteins and fat. The chicken flavor is also loved by most felines.

Like other Iams cat foods, this one is prepared with meat from natural sources, including chicken and dried eggs. Quality plant proteins from sorghum and chicken by-products are also used in the food to increase the supply of amino acids that your cat will get..

We also liked the enrichment of this food with a wide range of minerals meant to make your cat look attractive, intelligent, and stronger. Some of these minerals include calcium, taurine, and Omega fatty acids. This food is one of the best options to help your kitten gain healthy weight fast.

Specs

  • Proteins: 33% (minimum)
  • Fat: 21% (minimum)
  • Fiber: 3% maximum)
  • Moisture: 10% maximum)

Pros

  • Carefully formulated to help young cats gain healthy weight rapidly
  • Contains taurine for better vision and healthy heart
  • Great for young kittens up to 12 months) and nursing cats
  • Contains a lot of amino acids for lean cells development

Cons

  • Contains chicken by-product
  • Prepared with grain carbs

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9. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Food

The last cat food for weight gain on this list is the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Food, which is formulated for indoor cats.

Because most indoor cats are less active compared to outdoor ones, the supply of carbs needed for healthy weight gain is subtle, and that is the balance that this food delivers. This is why Natural Balance stands taller from its peers and commands trust from cat owners globally.

The food is prepared with loads of proteins mainly derived from salmon to help your cat attain a healthy weight faster. Also, it contains pea proteins that help to diversify amino acids for your cat and support the growth of lean muscles and ligaments.

Using this food will supply your cat with probiotics that support good health of the gut system, enhancing efficient digestion and nutrients absorption. This is why the food has also become a common recommendation for cats with gastrointestinal related disorders.

Specs

  • Protein: 30% (minimum)
  • Fat: 8% minimum)
  • Fiber: 8% (maximum)
  • Moisture: 12% (maximum)

Pros

  • Contains taurine for enhanced eyesight and brain development
  • Supplies high quantities of calories for fast weight gain
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals for stronger bones and teeth

Cons

  • Prepared with plant carbs and plant proteins

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Buying Guide

If your cat is underweight, it is at risk of suffering from more serious health problems. So, you should act promptly by selecting the right food for healthy weight gain.

After seeing the best cat food for weight gain options on the review list above, you might be wondering, “How do I narrow down to the ideal one?”

Here are some things to consider: 

Understand What Causes Cats To Be Underweight

Before you can set off selecting the preferred cat food for weight gain, start by checking what causes the problem. When you notice your cat suddenly becoming disinterested in the surrounding and losing appetite, the chances are that it is not feeling well and the problem could be weight loss or other more complicated issues.

If your cat has diabetes or kidney disease, the diseases suppress appetite, resulting in progressive loss of weight.

In such situations, it is important to consider using a high protein diet, especially the ones derived from real animals. If the cat is suffering from kidney issues, try to avoid plant-based proteins because they can worsen the problem.

Another common cause of weight loss in cats is gastrointestinal issues. If the cat’s digestive system has a problem and nutrients are not getting absorbed well, the feline could lose weight rapidly.

For example, if the cat is suffering from diarrhea, all the nutrients that it takes might be flushed out with the poop, resulting in starvation. In such a situation, a diet from natural sources, and enriched with probiotics would come in handy.

If your cat’s weight is not associated with a medical problem, it can also result from age. For senior cats, a problem such as dental pain or loss of a tooth might make it difficult to eat, resulting in weight loss.

Senior cats are also prone to the Skinny Old Cat Syndrome, which means the feline is not getting enough proteins to grow lean muscles for healthy weight.

What To Look For In A Good Cat Food For Weight Loss

Cats are obligate animals whose bodies have evolved to rely largely on meat or a high-protein diet. So, here are some of the considerations to help you pick the food that will make your cat feel natural, supply all the nutrients it needs, and increase weight:

High-Quality Proteins

You should look for the food that contains high quantities of good proteins sourced from animals such as fish, chicken, beef, and turkey. This gives you the assurance that your feline will develop more lean muscles and add weight.

High-Fat Content

In a feline’s diet, fat is a form of a concentrated source of calories that your cat can rely on to progressively increase weight. Like proteins, you should go for the food with high-fat content.

Wholesome Natural Ingredients

In addition to high-quality fat and proteins, the food you select should also contain essential vitamins and minerals that your feline needs for whole-body health.

When checking the ingredients of a specific cat food, ensure that the quantities of phosphorus and magnesium are low. If they are in large quantities, they can result in urinary tract problems such as bladders stones.

If the food contains artificial additives, such as fillers, and colors, they do not add any nutrients to your feline. Indeed, some might interfere with the cat’s gastrointestinal system or cause allergic reactions. Where possible, go for foods without additives, or fillers.

Beneficial Supplements

Go for the food that is formulated with beneficial supplements that can boost different systems of the feline.

For example, probiotics are very helpful in improving your cat’s digestive system for improved digestion and nutrient absorption. Another important supplement is taurine that helps to improve a cat’s eyesight and circulatory system.

Final Thoughts

When you notice your cat is losing weight, it is important to act promptly because it might be a sign of a bigger problem. In this post, we have reviewed the best cat food to gain weight, giving you the option to learn and pick the ideal option for your cat.

They are carefully formulated by top-rated brands to give you assurance of healthy weight gain and better health for your cat.

While we stand with the nine cat food for weight gain options that we reviewed above (we liked, really liked them), the Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Wet Food was the best of them all. It is carefully formulated with balanced ingredients for progressive weight gain and better health.

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