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Helping a cat gain weight

(17 Posts)
yellowplumpreserves Fri 05-May-17 13:39:48

Hi. I'm new to the litter tray. If have been reading posts here for a while. We are Brits living in Africa and have two one-year old cats (litter mates). They are neutered, regularly de-wormed and I carry Advantage from the UK as all locally available flea treatments are highly toxic.

One of them is fairly big but the other is very slight and thin in comparison. Their mother is a thin cat so it may be genetic. I would like to help him gain weight a bit though.

No commercial cat food is available except one kind of dry food. It's OK but not amazing. They also get chicken, boiled eggs and occasional fish. There is a lot of good hunting around the house too.

Any thoughts on home made food that might be good?

Also tempted to buy some cat food in the UK when I visit in June but as I can't fill my luggage allowance with cat food I do need have good local options too.

Any thoughts?

yellowplumpreserves Fri 05-May-17 18:18:23


yellowplumpreserves Fri 05-May-17 18:58:03

Here's a picture of him to prove he's real (and lovely).

cozietoesie Fri 05-May-17 22:45:35

Does he seem hungry, yellow? And what did the vet say about weight when he was last there/if he's been ? (Some cats are naturally slender.)

yellowplumpreserves Sat 06-May-17 07:13:39

Thanks cozie. He seems hungry when it's a meal time, and will eat but is much more likely to leave a bit than his brother is. Dry food and water is available all day as well and he will eat. His appetite isn't as big as his brother's certainly.

The vet is lovely but people here don't keep cats commonly and veterinary care is limited. He commented on him being thin last time he saw him, but hasn't suggested any cause. I'm not even sure that here there would be the possibility of investigating as there would be in the UK.

I think he probably is just a bit of a thin cat but it would nice to be able to feel fewer of his bones. He's active and seems fairly content most of the time. He had noisy breathing for a long time but after trying different things vet concluded it was probably caused by seasonal allergies and admittedly it has quietened down a lot in the last month as the season has started to change here. Still has a bit noisy when he purrs to greet/does the tail quiver.

cozietoesie Sat 06-May-17 22:33:59

You really have no commercial cat food available across there? Have you tried online?

I must admit that I'd be reluctant to bring food back in my suitcase. What would happen if they got a taste for it and you couldn't get any more? (And that's the dry. Wet food, you wouldn't be able to bring much within your allowance at all.)

cozietoesie Sat 06-May-17 22:35:41

Sorry - no commercial cat food other than the one you've found.....

yellowplumpreserves Sat 06-May-17 22:44:30

Really none. The vet has confirmed this. And very few online shops will post here. Amazon will, but only books. People here don't keep cats much. Most people are scared of them. Even if people keep them, they expect them to hunt and not be fed. I can get meat though so wonder what meat (other than chicken) would be good. I could perhaps see about getting some kind of vitamin supplement for the taurine to make sure they are getting that.

One of them is doing very well on the diet they have. It's just the thinner one I'm concerned about.

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Sat 06-May-17 22:50:48

I used to be able to keep weight on my non fussy girl with things like the meat and skin off duck legs, tuna in oil, oily fish like salmon and mackerel esp the skins, a little cheese (can be too rich for some cats), rice, and she liked a scrambled egg too. Little and often feeding. My current senior boy is as fussy as all hell and eats one brand of cat food only, in gravy, and that's it. Little and often works well for him too.

Ollivander84 Sat 06-May-17 22:55:43

Felini is an all in supplement for if you feed raw, might be worth a look
I would go oil rich, and try some fatty meat if you can find any

Catzpyjamas Sat 06-May-17 22:56:11

Can you get baby food jars? I've heard that chicken baby food is a good protein source for cats.
You can assess his body condition here.
He is very handsome.

Ollivander84 Sat 06-May-17 23:00:10

Just done some googling of cat weight gain supplement and it popped up with some high calorie gel you can add to food. Maybe bring that back as opposed to cat food?

yellowplumpreserves Sun 07-May-17 13:17:32

Thanks for the tip about Felini. That looks great actually and very easy to carry. Meats I can easily get are beef, chicken and pork. I can also frozen or tinned mackerel. Some cat owners here feed theirs soley on tinned mackerel but I'm not keen on that because of mercury or other things that could be there. I do give it to them occasionally. They liked it when I steamed the frozen fish. I think I might be able to get rabbit. I know people do eat them but am not sure where to buy them. No baby food available.

Will also take a look for some high calorie paste/gel.

yellowplumpreserves Sun 07-May-17 13:23:34

He's sitting beside me purring away quite happily here. It's funny. I would never have said I was a cat person until we decided to get these two. We wanted one because the kids were keen. Thought about it a long time and then ended up looking after his mother and two littler mates from the age of theee weeks until their owners came back when they were 14 weeks old. By that time we were smitten and kept two!

Ollivander84 Sun 07-May-17 13:25:59

I just thought if you get a supplement or something to get the weight on, it might be easier to then maintain it. Pork is good and yes to rabbit
Some are fairly lean naturally, our stable cat is outside 24/7 and a hunter and she is lean but more muscle. Except for now when she's been eating her kills, all the humans food and additional cat food and looks fat blush

cozietoesie Mon 08-May-17 12:00:22

Are you all absolutely sure she's been neutered?

yellowplumpreserves Mon 08-May-17 12:34:37

Yes he has been (male cat). I was there (outside the room) and cared for them afterwards. They've lived with us since they were three weeks old (we looked after their mother and littermate too until she and the other kitten went back to their owners when the kittens were 14 weeks old). So no doubt about the neutering.

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