Cat food

What to Feed a Malnourished Cat

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
What to Feed a Malnourished Cat

If a cat with serious malnutrition problems has turned up at your door, you'll have to get down to work for them to recover their weight and health. Diet is the most influential part in the health of a pet. If they've gone hungry they will have lost weight, fur, vision, experience changes in skin texture, and have a weakened immune system and these are just some of the problems that they may have. At OneHowTo we show you what to feed a malnourished cat.

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Steps to follow:


When a cat is malnourished they can suffer from many consequences resulting from a lack of food. Eye and skin problems, being underweight, and heart problems are some of the ailments that a malnourished cat may face. You should take special care to start to feed a malnourished cat and choose their food and their portions with caution to get them gradually used to the food that they are eating. You have to be careful and patient to help your cat and let them recover.


It is advisable to lift the cat and wrap them in a blanket for warmth and to avoid being bitten or scratched; it will also be a way to make them feel safe and secure. Remember this cat may have suffered abuse, neglect or has had a bad life on the street before meeting you. Being surrounded by that blanket will help your cat by ensuring that their body temperature is kept normal so try to put them in an area that is free from drafts or excessive heat so that they don't get sick.

What to Feed a Malnourished Cat - Step 2

Once you have made sure that the cat is calm and warm, you can begin to feed them some wet feed. The food should be very tasty and easy to eat, it is best to follow a veterinary prescription diet designed to meet all their needs or nutritional deficiencies. This type of food will work miracles on your cat and you will see how they recover. To give them the most appropriate food you can seek advice from a vet when you take them to get a medical check-up to assess their overall health.

To feed a malnourished cat you should find a meat food with a high protein content and you have to ensure that carbohydrates such as wheat and corn, aren't one of the main ingredients. The selected food should also be suitable for their age and if they have any health problems diagnosed after their medical examination. If you want you can choose healthy homemade cat food.

What to Feed a Malnourished Cat - Step 3

In order to feed a malnourished cat it is important to maintain a calm and peaceful atmosphere that encourages them to eat. Stress is the enemy of these situations, so do your best to reduce their anxiety by creating a peaceful environment. Then, you can give them limited quantities of wet food because you have to prevent the cat from eating quickly and in large quantities, because they could get sick. You should give them small portions frequently to enable them to gain weight gradually.

If you notice that they don't eat by themselves you can use dietary supplements. There are gels with a high percentage of calories that can help boost their appetite. Another way to feed them wet food is to make the texture softer by adding some water with a syringe or with a meat broth that's low in salt made especially for your cat.

What to Feed a Malnourished Cat - Step 4

Although you can follow these guidelines, you should also go to the vet to find out about your cat's health and everything that you can do for them. This way you will also know the extent of their starvation and the effects that they have suffered. Depending on how severe their malnutrition and how long they have gone hungry, they could suffer from heart, kidney, and liver problems.

What to Feed a Malnourished Cat - Step 5

If you want to read similar articles to What to Feed a Malnourished Cat, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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What to Feed a Malnourished Cat