Assessing if your cat is too skinny is a difficult task, along with helping your cat to gain weight. According to a survey by Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, almost 60% of cats in America are overweight.
But, how does it connect with underweight cats? People see so many overweight cats that a cat with an ideal weight might seem significantly thinner at times. It becomes hard to tell if your cat is skinny or has an appropriate weight.
Here is how to assess whether your cat is skinny and what to do after.
How to Identify if My Cat is Too Skinny?
It might be hard to identify if your cat is skinny without the right tools. Vets use and recommend these two tools to assess if your feline is too thin.
1) The Hand Test: You can use your hand to precisely assess your cat’s body condition. The first step would be to feel your cat’s ribs that you can find behind its front legs. Your cat’s weight is ideal if those ribs feel like the back of your hand.
Your cat is skinny if the ribs of your cat feel like your hand. Your cat is overweight if the ribs feel like your palm. You can also check out this video to precisely do the hand test.
2) The Body Condition Score: The Body Condition Score is a method vets use to assess your pet’s weight. Vets use a chart that helps determine if their pet is too skinny. You can buy a chart online, at your vet’s office, or use websites.
How to Put Weight on a Cat?
The first thing you should do is visit your vet to rule out any underlying medical condition. If your vet does not find any underlying cause, you can start following these tricks to help your cat back on track to gaining weight.
1) Start Changing the Diet and Dietary Habits
The Diet and diet plan of a cat depends on its body type. Skinny but healthy cats need more meals daily. You can not give them one or two large meals and expect them to gain weight.
Feed them small meals throughout the day, making them feel like the food is unlimited, and they will enjoy it more. After changing the habit, it is also time to add food with more calories to its meals. However, always discuss with your vet before adding or removing anything from the meals.
Calorie-rich foods are one of the best options for weight gain. These high-calorie cat foods are rich in fresh animal protein and do not contain added artificial additives and carbs. You can also try giving the meals only in bowls in a way that other pets can not share them.
2) Separate Bowls and a Safer Environment
Separate bowls do the job for most cats because they eat complete meals without sharing them with others. It also allows them to enjoy their meals more peacefully.
You might also need to put the individual bowls in different places; so your pets do not fight over territories. Pets often fight over territories and do not allow others to come near their water or food sources.
A safer environment means you do not want to put your cat’s food bowl near things it does not like. For instance, cats are afraid of air conditioners, barking dogs, noisy pipes, cycling furnaces, etc. Try not to put their food bowl near these types of things.
3) Food Variety
Cats are generally picky about the foods they eat. So, you might need to change their meals now and then. Changing meals does not necessarily mean that you need to add new items to their meals.
It means that you need to shuffle between available foods. For instance, you can try different flavors of wet and dry foods. You can give wet and dry foods on alternate days. You can also try different types of chickens, but make sure to cook them properly and ask the vet about the quantity.
4) Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Sensitivities, anxiety, and intolerances can cause this disease in your cat. Cats feel so much discomfort and pain from this that they refuse to eat. It results in weight loss.
In these cases, visiting the vet is a more appropriate thing to do than trying different foods. Your vet will thoroughly evaluate and examine your feline by taking feces or blood samples.
Your vet will give the necessary treatment or medicines if the underlying cause behind not eating the food is a medical condition. They will also make a diet chart to make sure your feline does not have to experience the same issue again.
Talking to your vet should be the first option before changing anything in your feline’s lifestyle. Individual cats react differently to the change in their diet or dietary habits. Taking care of any underlying medical condition should be your priority. Never run from the responsibility of giving your felines a healthy and happy life because they look up to you every time.