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Home > Cats > 7 Best High-Calorie Cat Foods for Weight Gain in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

7 Best High-Calorie Cat Foods for Weight Gain in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

persian cat eating

If your cat’s struggling to gain weight due to genetic or health reasons, a high-calorie cat food may be a good option to look into. This type of cat food has been formulated with calorie-rich ingredients to help your cat gain and maintain a healthy weight.

High-calorie cat foods are suitable for cats of all ages and different breeds while ensuring that they consume enough calories to reach their daily calorie intake. Feeding high-calorie foods to your cats is a natural way to increase their weight gradually while providing them with the nutrients and minerals that they require to stay healthy.

In this guide, we have reviewed some of the best high-calorie cat foods for weight gain so that you can choose the best brand for your cat’s needs.

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A Glance at Our Top Picks (2024 Update)

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • Uses nutrient-dense ingredients
  • Has high caloric content
  • High-protein diet
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Blue Buffalo Protein Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Protein Dry Cat Food
  • Immune support
  • Weight control
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Third place
    Hill’s Science Weight Mgmt Dry Cat Food Hill’s Science Weight Mgmt Dry Cat Food
  • Weight management
  • Weight gain
  • Enticing chicken flavor
  • Blue Buffalo Growth Dry Kitten Food Blue Buffalo Growth Dry Kitten Food
  • Affordable
  • Weight control formula
  • Supports kittens’ growth and development
  • Sheba Perfect Portions Gravy Cat Food Sheba Perfect Portions Gravy Cat Food
  • Entices fussy eaters
  • No allergens
  • Ideal for kittens to senior cats
  • The 7 Best High-Calorie Cat Foods for Weight Gain

    1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall

    smalls freeze-dried raw bird recipe on bowl with tabby cat

    Protein Content: 15.5%
    Fiber Content: 3.0%
    Fat Content: 17.0%
    Calories: 1,415 kcal/kg

    Smalls is a trusted premium cat food company that produces high-quality cat food. The recipes for all its cat food are simple yet packed with nutrient-dense ingredients. So, we consider the Fresh Other Bird recipe to be the overall best high-calorie cat food for weight gain.

    This recipe is one of Smalls’ most calorie-dense meals and has 1,415 kcal/kg. It also has a lot of protein and lists turkey thigh, turkey liver, green beans, peas, and kale as its first five ingredients. It is a great option for cats that may have allergies because it uses a single source of protein meat.

    You may also want to ask your veterinarian about adding fish oil supplements to this cat food. Fish oil supplements can add more calories, vitamins, and minerals to your cat’s diet.

    Pros
    • Uses nutrient-dense ingredients
    • Has high caloric content
    • Uses a single source of meat
    • High-protein diet

    Cons
    • Can be pricey


    2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Protein Dry Cat Food – Budget Buy

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Protein Content: 40.0%
    Fiber Content: 4.0%
    Fat Content: 18.0%
    Calories: 346 kcal per cup

    If you’re on a tighter budget, another good weight-gain food for cats is the Blue Buffalo Wildernesses high-protein cat food. This cat food has a high protein content which aids in weight control and maintenance. This food supports adult cats’ coats, skin, and muscle health. Taurine has been added to the formula for eye and heart health. It provides your cat with enough protein and high-quality ingredients to overcome weight loss, with the support of vital antioxidants and amino acids for weight gain.

    This food is grain-free and healthy carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes and peas, have replaced grain products. The formula has been carefully selected by holistic veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support a healthy immune system while remaining affordable for many cat owners.

    Pros
    • Immune support
    • Weight control
    • Grain-free recipe

    Cons
    • Excessive carbohydrate content


    3. Hill’s Science Weight Management Dry Cat Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Protein Content: 39.3%
    Fiber Content: 9.3%
    Fat Content: 13.7%
    Calories: 300 kcal per cup

    Hill’s Science Selective Perfect Weight food is a great choice. This food has been formulated for weight management in cats. This food contains ingredients for lean muscle development, and it makes a great long-lasting weight support food for cats. It contains natural ingredients and Hill’s pet food is recommended by veterinarians worldwide. Chicken, tomato, and rice are the main ingredients used to create this food and a variety of fruits and vegetables have been added for additional health benefits. One of the ingredients is cranberries, which can help support your cat’s urinary tract.

    This formula is healthier than other foods by this brand as it contains more natural ingredients and fewer fillers. However, there are still quite a lot of fillers in the form of corn and chicken meal present in this food.

    Pros
    • Weight management
    • Weight gain
    • Enticing chicken flavor

    Cons
    • High in fillers
    • Low-fat content


    4. Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Dry Food

    Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

    Protein Content: 36.0%
    Fiber Content: 3.5%
    Fat Content: 20.0%
    Calories: 398 kcal per cup

    The first ingredient in this kitten food is chicken which helps kittens build strong muscles while supporting weight gain and control. The recipe also includes whole grains, garden veggies, and fruits for increased health and immune support. This food specifically meets the nutritional requirements for healthy growth and development in kittens. It can also aid in weight gain as each ingredient provides your kitten with a decent portion of calories and protein.

    Aside from the weight gain benefits this food provides kittens with, it also contains high levels of vitamins and minerals with the exclusion of potential allergens such as wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. It is affordable and budget-friendly, which makes this product a good weight-gain food for kittens under 12 months of age. Although the price is affordable, the overall weight of the food is minimal which means that it will not last very long.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Supports kittens’ growth and development
    • Weight control formula

    Cons
    • Small portion size


    5. Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food

    Sheba Perfect Portions Seafood Pate Variety Pack Grain-Free Cat Food Trays (1)

    Protein Content: 7.0%
    Fiber Content: 1.5%
    Fat Content: 2.5%
    Calories: 30 kcal per serving

    This wet cat food contains gravy, wet kibble, with a white fish and tuna entrée. It is soft and delectable for cats and the gravy can entice even the fussiest cats to eat this food. The Sheba Perfect Portions cat food is less messy in comparison to canned cat food. The trays are convenient and portion-perfect. This food is made without grain, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors, and preservatives which may be potential allergens in cats.

    This food can be fed to kittens and senior cats. The high protein content helps aid in weight gain; your cat gets to enjoy the health benefits associated with the wholesome protein-based ingredients. It does have quite a strong fish odor which may be undesirable for some cat owners.

    Pros
    • Entices fussy eaters
    • No allergens
    • Ideal for kittens to senior cats

    Cons
    • Strong fish odor


    6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Wellness Core Grain Free Formula

    Protein Content: 38.0%
    Fiber Content: 5.0%
    Fat Content: 12.0%
    Calories: 445 calories per cup

    Another great pick for weight gain cat foods is the Wellness Core dry cat food. This food is chicken flavored which can entice fussy eaters. Each kibble is packed with a high concentration of animal protein such as chicken and turkey. This is a nutrient-rich superfood that contains nutritional supplements. Vets and animal nutritionists have worked together to create a complete and balanced diet for adult cats. This food offers your cat multiple benefits as it offers a full range of high-quality ingredients to support your cat’s weight. The flavor and texture can help encourage fussy cats to eat because food avoidance is a common reason cats can become underweight. The recipe also aids in your cat’s skin and coat health, as well as their eyes and teeth.

    This food has been formulated with no harmful ingredients, and each ingredient has been chosen for its nutritional benefits and non-GMO qualities. The high protein content in this food can greatly help your cat reach a healthy weight and maintain it.

    Pros
    • GMO-free ingredients
    • Grain-free formula
    • High protein content

    Cons
    • Pricey


    7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Food

    Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult and Senior Dry Cat Food

    Protein Content: 36.0%
    Fiber Content: 6.0%
    Fat Content: 17.0%
    Calories: 386 kcal per cup

    Real chicken is the main ingredient that this food is based on. It also contains a variety of other natural ingredients that are rich in nutrients and full of flavor. This food features essential antioxidants for increased immunity, fiber for healthy digestion, and vitamins and minerals for overall health. These ingredients are good at controlling a cat’s weight and help to keep its weight balanced. This food contains non-GMO ingredients and soy, chicken byproducts, artificial colors, and flavors are excluded from the recipe. Nutro Wholesome adult cat food is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

    This food contains split peas and grains at the top of the list, which means these ingredients are prominent in the food which can be a downside if you are looking for a portion of protein-based cat food.

    Pros
    • Real chicken formula
    • Non-GMO ingredients
    • Rich in omega-6

    Cons
    • High grain and carbohydrate content
    • Lacks moisture

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    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best High-Calorie Cat Foods for Weight Gain

    What types of high-calorie cat foods are there?

    Fresh (All Life Stages)

    Fresh cat food is made with high-quality ingredients and is typically gently cooked to preserve nutrients. Although it’s a pricier option, your cat will get plenty of hydration and excellent nutrition, all in a convenient package that ships right to your door. If it fits your budget, this is an unbeatable type of cat food.

    Dry (Adult)

    Dry adult cat food is a popular choice amongst cat owners. This type of food is readily available, affordable, and contains a balanced concentration of protein, fiber, and fat for weight gain in adult cats. This type of food does lack the moisture that cats require, but the crunchy texture may be more appealing to cats. The smell is not overpowering which makes it easy to feed your cat indoors without worrying about the food smelling up your home.

    Wet (Adult)

    This can be seen as a pate or finely cut cat food layered in a juicy gravy. If your cat is fussy when it comes to eating, then wet cat foods are a good option. Not only are these foods more enticing to your cat in terms of the texture and smell, but it is more natural and contain adequate moisture levels.

    Dry (Kitten)

    This type of food has been specifically formulated with a kitten’s growing body in mind. They contain high levels of protein with sufficient fat and fiber levels to aid in your kitten’s development. Dry kitten foods are also great at maintaining your kitten’s weight.

    cats eating from orange bowls
    Image Credit By: Sharaf Maksumov, Shutterstock

    Why choose a high-calorie cat food?

    Cats who struggle to gain or maintain their weight should be put on a diet that can help with weight management. These foods will specifically contain high levels of fat and protein to help your cat gain weight. These foods are better suited to cats who refuse to eat their foods or cats who are on a poor diet that does not contain an adequate nutritional analysis. High-calorie cat foods can be used as a substitute for long-term weight gain and maintenance without having to use additional supplements that most cats refuse.

    Ideal Guaranteed Analysis for Weight Gain (Dry Foods)
    • Protein: 28% to 40%
    • Fat: 10% to 25%
    • Fiber: 5% to 12%
    • Calories: 280–450 kcal per cup

    Ideal Guaranteed Analysis for Weight Gain (Wet Foods)
    • Protein: 5% to 10%
    • Fat: 1.5% to 4%
    • Fiber: 1% to 5%
    • Calories: 28–50 kcal per serving

    With this in mind, you can compare the different cat foods to determine which foods contain a decent amount of protein, fat, fiber, and calories for weight gain.

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    Factors to consider

    • The food should contain no ingredients that your cat is allergic to. This can discourage them from wanting to eat which will cause more weight issues and general discomfort.
    • The cat food should have high levels of protein with a decent amount of carbohydrates for weight gain. Fiber is important for digestion, so it should be taken into consideration as well.
    • Only choose foods that have high-quality ingredients. Cats can benefit weight and health-wise when they are fed a wholesome diet. Unnecessary fillers have no benefit to your cat’s weight and can be considered empty calories.
    • Avoid foods that say weight loss or have a light formula. These foods do not affect weight gain and can potentially cause your cat to lose even more weight. This type of diet is better suited for obese cats who cannot control their weight.
    • Consider your budget to ensure that the food you choose is affordable as a long-term diet.

    Are weight gain cat foods sustainable in the long term?

    Yes, the main benefit that high-calorie cat foods have is that they are sustainable for long-term use throughout your cat’s various life stages. These foods can be fed to kittens, adults, and senior cats alike with no problems. High-calorie cat foods will not cause a cat to go from underweight to obese, but rather encourage them to put on lean muscle and healthy fat while keeping their weight fluctuations stable once it has reached a healthy level.

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    Conclusion

    Our top three picks from our reviews are the Smalls Other Bird Cat Food which is a premium fresh cat food that encourages a healthy appetite and weight gain. Second is Blue Buffalo Wildernesses high-protein cat food which has been formulated for weight management in cats. This more affordable cat food is highly recommended if you want to start your cat’s weight management journey.

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

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