Best Vitamins for Cats to Gain Weight
Are you worried that your cat is underweight?
what are the vitamins for cats to gain weight?
I have two ragdolls, and I have owned a number of different cats. The cats pictured in the image above for this post both belong to me. The ragdoll is Maya and the Tabby looking barn cat it Louis. There are a number of weight management things that we have gone through from deworming and vitamins to feed types and feeding schedule.
Table of Contents
- Food types and scheduling
- What vitamins are involved in weight gain or loss
- Adding Multi-vitamins to a cats diet
Food Types and Scheduling
What is the best feeding schedule for cats?
The best feeding schedule for a cat is called combination feeding. This method consists of a free form dry food available for cats throughout the day, and a regular wet food feeding. The wet food feeding is usually done in the morning or at dinner time or a little at both. What this does is allows the cats to have a meal that is scheduled and then eat as they want throughout the day.
This is also the best idea for a cat that is trying to gain weight. You want them to have as much access to food as possible.
What is the best food for cats?
The best kind of food for a cat is certainly up for debate, especially in terms of brand and type. Scientifically cats are strict carnivores. Whereas dogs are considered closer to omnivores, cats need meat, and they are designed to withdraw their nutrients from a proper diet. Deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals will result in loss of appetite, variable feed intake, diarrhea, weight loss, rough or coarse hair and skin and lethargic behaviour.
Dry food is good for their teeth and to get certain nutrients from the food itself. It’s also easiest to leave out during the day and not worry about food going bad.
Wet food is closer to the type of food that a cat would eat in the wild and therefore best suited for the cat’s digestive system. This is also key due to the biology of the cat and how it absorbs vitamins and minerals from its food.
Make sure there is sufficient dietary protein
The most important thing is that cats are designed to get most of their dietary needs from protein. You need to make sure that their food has protein in it, both wet and dry food.
My ragdolls love cheese. In fact, it really shows Mayas intelligence because every time I get the cheese out she comes running. Treats are also a great way to help you cats take medicine and vitamins if you are having a hard time getting them to take them.
Vitamins for Weight Gain in Cats
Vitamins involved in weight
- Vitamin B6
- Flesh eaters like cats get most of their energy from dietary protein. Their B6 requirement is 60% more than that of dogs (1). So it is important to make sure that your cat’s diet is high in protein which is where they will get a lot of their B6 from. In general, muscle, liver, vegetables, whole-grain cereals and their by-products, and nuts are among the best sources.
- Vitamin B12
- B12 is an essential vitamin for cats. Typical commercially prepared dog and cat food diets that contain, meat, milk, fish or other animal products should contain ample quantities of vitamin B12. Cats should receive ample vitamin B12 through fish products, which are rich in the vitamin.
- Folic Acid
- Studies (2) have shown that cats deficient in folic acid will suffer weight loss. Typical commercial cat foods will have an adequate supply of Folic Acid.
- Vitamin E
- Because of the nature of feline diets, Cats are more susceptible than dogs to a deficiency of vitamin E. Cats that primarily get fish-based canned foods will be most at risk.
Best Multivitamins for Cats
A great diet and a great multivitamin should be all that you need to keep your cat on track. I want to take a quick moment here however just to remind you that there may be other reasons that your cat is losing weight. One of the most likely is worms. Cats get them all the time. My Louis cat (pictured in the image) was losing weight and we wormed him. Within a few days he was maintaining weight and within a few weeks was actually getting a little belly and we had to manage that.
How to Tell if your Cat is Underweight
Obviously, as a pet owner, you will know best about your pet because you see them on a regular basis. However, it is also good to know what the standard range is for a cat so you know if you need to add or reduce weight. Ragdoll cats are generally a larger breed and as such will weigh in a little more than others.
8-15 pounds is a normal range for most domestic cats. You will need to be aware of your cats bone structure and determine if it’s weight is ok.
If you can see ribs and the backbone you should definitely try to add some weight to your cat. As importantly behaviour is really important. If you can is suddenly not eating or really lethargic or some other kind of issue it is important to monitor that and potentially see the vet.
My Grandma Cat is definitely a little better now than when she was moved. After moving she lost a little weight and was also shaved due to mats from the previous owner. Her hair now is really growing in nicely and she has put on some weight.
It just meant normal routine and free access to feed (and treats…ha). We also gave her some vitamins to help her along the way.
The most important thing is that the food has the proper vitamins in it because that’s where it needs to be.
Further reading – Ragdoll Cat Pricing information
Sometimes people wonder about the price of ragdoll cats. If you are interested check this out to see all about it.