If your cat is 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.
A Glance at Our Top Picks (2023 Update)
|Best Overall||Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription||
||Click to Save 40%|
|Budget Buy||Blue Buffalo Protein Dry Cat Food||
|Hill’s Science Weight Mgmt Dry Cat Food||
|Blue Buffalo Growth Dry Kitten Food||
|Sheba Perfect Portions Gravy Cat Food||
The 7 Best High-Calorie Cat Foods for Weight Gain
1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall
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’s 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.
2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Protein Dry Cat Food – Budget Buy
|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’ coat, skin, and muscle health. Taurine has been added into 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.
3. Hill’s Science Weight Management Dry Cat Food
|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.
4. Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Dry Food
|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.
5. Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food
|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 foods. The trays are convenient and portion-perfect. This food is made without grain, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors, and preservative 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.
6. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
|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.
7. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Food
|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.
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.
- Recommended: Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription
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.
- Recommended: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
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 contains adequate moisture levels.
- Recommended: Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food
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.
- Recommended: Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Natural Dry Kitten Food
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.
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
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.
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.
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Featured Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock