Fattening up my senior

macsmommy

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So my Sasha has always been a skinny little thing; good appetite, just really lean. She was previously a stray who survived due to an older man who put out leftovers for her, so she adores people food. She eats all her cat food but when I poach plain chicken she always gets a bite or two.

Well we lost our older male a few months ago and then I noticed my remaining boy was getting a bit heavy. I cut back their wet food since I was feeding less cats, and started vigorous play sessions. Now Mac looks great but Sasha is too thin.

I know there are high calorie foods but I don't want my boy getting into it. I know there's a high cal gel but she's not too crazy about Hairball gel. Could I add boiled chicken as an extra supplement to her diet a few times a week? I don't think she'd go off her regular cat food. I'm also quite sure she'd like baby food mixed in to her wet (I'd most likely make my own organic, but it seems that would be basically the same as giving her plain chicken?). Anything else I could do?

I can give you the details on her current diet if that helps.
 

missmimz

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Have you had her checked out to make sure the weight loss/skinny isn't a medical issue? Older cats are prone to things like hypothyroidism and kidney disease which can cause weight loss. 
 
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macsmommy

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They are going for a check up after the holidays but my husband swears she hasn't lost weight. According to the bathroom scale, she's the same but that's not the most accurate tool around.

Nothing has changed in terms of her appetite, thirst, litterbox habits or behavior. I just feel like she's so bony and delicate.
 

missmimz

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They are going for a check up after the holidays but my husband swears she hasn't lost weight. According to the bathroom scale, she's the same but that's not the most accurate tool around.

Nothing has changed in terms of her appetite, thirst, litterbox habits or behavior. I just feel like she's so bony and delicate.
How old is she? I think it's always a good idea to have a baby scale around to weight your cats on, especially older cats because a little weight loss is a big deal. 

You can give a little boiled chicken as a treat but it needs to be a small amount so she continues to eat her regular food. Chicken isn't really fattening, though, it's a lean meat. What are you feeding her for regular food? I find sometimes that giving some different foods stimulates appetite. Have you tried any of the Weruva foods? Those are really enticing to cats. 
 
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macsmommy

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She's about 15 or 16 and she gets a rotation of Trader Joes, FF Classics, and Sheba. When I was working full time, I was gone 12 hrs a day so they also free feed kibble. She nibbles at it but never makes a meal out of it. She finishes most if not all her wet (2 feedings a day), but she never begs for more or hangs around the kitchen. She has a good appetite but she doesn't seem hungry all the time.

I'd love to get a baby scale. ThSt will send hubby over the edge; he insists she's fine and I'm making this up to drive him crazy.
 

missmimz

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She's about 15 or 16 and she gets a rotation of Trader Joes, FF Classics, and Sheba. When I was working full time, I was gone 12 hrs a day so they also free feed kibble. She nibbles at it but never makes a meal out of it. She finishes most if not all her wet (2 feedings a day), but she never begs for more or hangs around the kitchen. She has a good appetite but she doesn't seem hungry all the time.

I'd love to get a baby scale. ThSt will send hubby over the edge; he insists she's fine and I'm making this up to drive him crazy.
Yeah she definitely needs to have her thyroid and kidneys tested. Even a slight appetite change isn't a good sign in older cats. I'd try adding some other foods to her rotation to see if that entices her. I def recommend Weruva's BFF line, as well as Tikicat. 

I would kindly tell your husband that cats are very good at hiding pain and that even a slight change in weight or appetite is a red flag and its very important that older cats have regular blood work because even in a short period of time (like a couple of months) they can develop a serious medical condition. It's typically recommended that senior cats do blood work twice a year. 
 
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samk1

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First of all, you need to understand that cats are obligate carnivores. This implies that they are meant to get their nutrients from meat-based diets. Luckily, there are types of meat diets that can help a cat lose weight such as those that are easy to digest. I usually give my cat a portion of liver, fish, and chicken. This is digestible meat and hardly causes weight issues...
 

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You may be able to pick up a baby scale second hand at Maternity & Child consignment store that's not too expensive. Or you can find one on Amazon for around $45.

I know Wellness pate wet foods are higher calorie. You may want to try those. 
 
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macsmommy

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Thanks paiger8 paiger8 , I'll look into both.

She has a good appetite, particularly for her FF. So I never have to worry about coercing get into eating, I'd just like her to get more calories.
 
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