Can you recommend any high calorie foods or supplements that will help my cat gain weight?
My cat is 17 years old and has lost quite a bit of weight over the past year. The vet hasn't found any major issues, and I think she is not eating as much just because she is having problems smelling her food.
Older cats do often struggle to keep weight on and many become very thin. First, before you start any sort of dietary change, it is important to ensure that there is no underlying health issue, as you have done. For this you will need to visit your vet and they are likely to perform blood tests, check their urine and maybe even measure their blood pressure.
If all these tests come back normal, it is sensible to consider a dietary change. However, do be aware that things can change and some diseases in their early stages won’t show up in tests, so it is wise to repeat these investigations after a couple of months or so.
There are now many diets on the market formulated for older cats. These generally contain easily digestible protein, higher levels of fats, increased omega-3 oils and a different profile of minerals than those found in foods for younger animals, which supports organ function, especially the kidneys. Your vet is the first person to speak to when you are considering which brand to chose, they will have a good knowledge of the market and also know your cat and their health background.
There are also various supplements on the market designed to be added to an older cat’s food and many of these are highly flavoured to encourage them to eat them. However, they are usually designed as supportive therapy for some diseases and although this may not cause your cat any harm, it is important to check with your veterinarian before using them.
One tip to encourage older cats to eat is to serve their food at room temperature or warm it gently in the microwave before serving it. As they age, a cat’s sensation of taste and smell can decline, which can make them less bothered about eating but these techniques will release the odour of the food more strongly, to really tempt their appetites! | 03.03.16 @ 14:15