High Calorie Cat Food

high calorie cat food

Is your cat looking a little more thin or scrawny these days? Or do they have less of an appetite than they used to?

Owners and veterinarians are most often focused on a cat’s weight when it’s due to issues with obesity. However, the problem can also occur on the opposite end of the spectrum. Your cat may be naturally underweight or may have lost weight unexpectedly.

It could be from a number of reasons including dental issues, illness or age. Whatever the reason, you probably want to know how you can help your cat reach a healthy weight. And in this case, how you can aid your feline friend in putting weight back on safely.

The right food will definitely help address your cat’s weight loss, in addition to anything else under the supervision of your vet. The best combination for high calorie cat food is enjoyment and calorie density. Here are our top factors to consider that will help you find the best high calorie cat food. Your cat’s health and happiness are our priority!

Best dry food:

Best dry food

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • 59% Protein

  • 18% Fat

  • The top ingredients are chicken, egg and pork

Shop Now

Runner Up 1

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food

Runner Up

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food
  • 45% Protein

  • 18% Fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, Deboned chicken, Turkey meal, Chicken meal, Peas
Shop Now

Best wet food:

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula Canned Cat Food

Best wet food

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula Canned Cat Food

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula Canned Cat Food
  • 9.5% Protein

  • 8.5% Fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken broth, Chicken , Chicken liver, Salmon, Duck
Shop Now

Runner Up 2

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

Runner Up

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food
  • 9.5% Protein

  • 6% Fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Lamb, Water sufficient for processing, Lamb lung, Lamb kidney, Lamb liver
Shop Now

Runner Up 3

Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

Runner Up

Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food

Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food
  • 41% protein

  • 21% fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas
Shop Now

Best for seniors:

Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Best for seniors

Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • 41% protein

  • 21% fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas

Shop Now

Best for kittens:

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

Best for kittens

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food
  • 40% protein

  • 20% fat

  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas
Shop Now

Fatten Up Your Cat With High Calorie Food

Above all, your cat needs to eat. And if he or she is underweight as a result of age, stress, or illness, they still need strength to recover – and ultimately this will derive from food as a source of fuel. Below are some products that will help your cat put the weight back on. And at the end of the day, it’s just vital that they are eating.

Meat is the First Ingredient

The healthiest way for your cat to access additional calories will be from protein. Sometimes, food labels will have ‘high calorie’ written on them. But it’s in your cat’s best interest to confirm that it’s high protein cat food. In this case, your cat needs high quality, pure protein as the first ingredient listed.

Look out for chicken, turkey, lamb, rabbit, and salmon as top protein contenders.

No Carbohydrates

Carbs are a no-go. Unlike humans, cats are obligate carnivores. You may gain weight from pasta, but it doesn’t work like that for your feline friend. They don’t process a carbohydrate heavy diet well and can survive entirely on meat. Even if it contains a lot of calories, your cat won’t be able to gain weight this way.

Easy to Eat

Kittens need robust food to grow strong. Therefore, one of the best ways to fatten up a cat is to give them kitten or soft food. This is higher in calories, has everything a growing (or recovering) cat needs, and it is generally tastier than their regular food.

Another way you can choose optimal high calorie cat food is by picking soft, canned pate foods. The soft texture will make it easier for them to eat and provide them with more moisture. Also, it’s more likely that your cat will enjoy the juiciness of wet food over the dryness of kibble.

In general, dry food is not an ideal option as it’s more likely to contain low quality sources of protein.

Offer Something Different

While providing your underweight cat with the essential nourishment and calories they need, don’t hesitate to give your cat something special if you’re trying to help them gain weight.

if you give your cat “human food” like cooked chicken, tuna, or anchovies, your cat might be more inclined to eat. To start, your cat may view this as a treat for most cats, and it is likely better than their cat food. By mixing in special treats and flavours, they may be more inclined to eat more or eat the food that you already provide them.

The Best High Calorie Cat Food 2021

Best dry food

The ‘grain-free’ label is perhaps most useful when shopping for dry foods—the category where grains and other unhealthy fillers are the most widespread. Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein dry formula is about as healthy as dry cat food gets, with a nutritional profile inspired by the protein levels found in natural prey.

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Shop Now

First ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Dried egg product
  3. Pork protein isolate
  4. Gelatin
  5. Chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

With an all-animal first five ingredients, this formula manages to source 90 percent of its protein content from natural animal sources with a high biological value—mainly chicken, pork, salmon, and egg. This not only makes it a great supplement to wet food but also an effective way to support underweight or growing cats.

As a true grain-free recipe, Dr. Elsey’s is extremely light on carbohydrates and sugars, as well as being “no-to-low oxalate,” meaning that it’s appropriate for cats with a high risk of developing oxalate crystals and bladder stones.

What are owners saying?

Over 300 reviewers have given Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein formula a rating of 4.5, with many owners pointing out how switching kibbles resulted in healthy weight loss. Others noted how their picky cats seemed immediately interested in this product—which counts as unusual behavior for them.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 59.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 18.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 4.0%
  • Moisture (max): 12.0%
  • Carbohydrates: 7.0%

Runner Up

With the first 4 ingredients being real chicken and turkey meals, the high-protein, high-fat recipe is completely free of wheat, meat by-products, fillers, corn, soy, eggs, or artificial additives.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula Dry Cat Food
Shop Now

First ingredients:

  1. Deboned turkey
  2. Deboned chicken
  3. Turkey meal
  4. Chicken meal
  5. Peas

Your cat will be getting the most efficient energy with every bite that closely mimics the nutritional content of an ancestral wild cat diet.

Salmon oil and flaxseed are present to ensure that kitty’s skin and coat health is supported by premium omega fatty acids. Proudly made in the USA, the meal is also laden with antioxidants from cranberries and probiotics from the Wellness proprietary Acticoat probiotic coating, so you know your cat is all set for healthy digestion. When she’s digesting well, you know she’s absorbing nutrients efficiently – the precursor to growing stronger and bigger.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 45.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 18.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 10.0%

Best wet food

We recommend that you go with wet food where possible as it’s gentler on the urinary system. The first five ingredients in this can are all animal meats.

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula Canned Cat Food
Shop Now

First ingredients:

  1. Chicken broth
  2. Chicken
  3. Chicken liver
  4. Salmon
  5. Duck

When it comes to protein for cats, know that quality matters more than quantity sometimes as the feline digestive tract absorbs animal proteins so much more efficiently than plant proteins. So you know this can seals in the highest quality protein for your cat to grow lean muscles and strong bones.

The calories in this recipe is relatively high and will sure set your cat up for growth. WIth zero artificial colors or fillers, each can is packed with antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, EPA, DHA, taurine, calcium, and phosphorous for a clean, balanced nutrition profile that will bolster up kitty’s nose-to-tail wellness – from bone, teeth, eye, heart, to joints.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 9.5%
  • Crude fat (min): 8.5%
  • Crude fiber (max): 2.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Runner Up

This hearty can contains the best of New Zealand. It boasts 92% single sourced animal protein from free-range lamb grass-fed on ethical New Zealand farms free of antibiotics or growth hormones.

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food
Shop Now

First ingredients:

  1. Lamb
  2. Water sufficient for processing
  3. Lamb lung
  4. Lamb kidney
  5. Lamb liver

This is the quintessential “whole-prey” diet – fresh animal meat for your feline friend to thrive efficiently.

With absolutely no grains, rice, corn, soy, wheat, sugars, fillers, glycerin, rendered meals, preservatives, guar gum, agar agar, TSPP, BPA, or carrageenan, the recipe is also fortified with New Zealand green lipped mussels – high in chondroitin, which helps with moisture retention in cartilages for enhanced elasticity, and glucosamine, which helps with bone joint lubrication. Let kitty bounce and pounce freely with this clean can of bone and joint health!

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 9.5%
  • Crude fat (min): 6.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 2.0%
  • Moisture (max): 78.0%

Runner Up

Instinct Grain Free Dry Cat Food, Original Raw Coated Natural High Protein Cat Food

Instinct is a quality brand that has a strong interest in feeding cats a raw diet. Raw diets are typically closer to what cats ate/eat in the wild.

Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food
Shop Now

Key features:

  • Cage-free chicken first ingredient
  • High protein (41%)
  • No gain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product, artificial colors or preservatives
  • Probiotics
  • Made in the USA

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Turkey Meal
  4. Menhaden Fish Meal
  5. Peas

Cats have been introduced to fillers and unnatural ingredients because of humans, so being able to give your cat raw food, closer to their ancestral diet can relieve some cats’ food sensitivities.

Made using real chicken, vegetables, probiotics, omegas, and antioxidants this recipe features 81% animal ingredients and quality oils. This is a quality raw food to feed cats with sensitive stomachs.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 41.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 21.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%

Best for seniors

Have a senior cat? Look no further. This bag contains 78% protein sourced from duck, Alaskan pollock, and red and green lentils.

Shop Now

First ingredients:

  1. Chicken
  2. Chicken meal
  3. Turkey meal
  4. Menhaden fish meal
  5. Peas

The high-quality DHA and omega fatty acids help support brain development and cognitive functioning. Aside from the natural vitamins found in those hearty greens, the recipe is fortified with minerals and patented probiotics for digestive health.

As senior cats may be less active and prone to unhealthy weight gain, this formula contains L-Carnitine that promotes fat metabolism and natural fibers that enhance a sense of fullness and decrease hunger. Along with the two-pronged weight control method, this pack is also free of grain, white potatoes, or tapioca. With low carbs, high protein, and a balanced nutrient profile, this is undoubtedly among the top picks for senior cats out there.

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 41.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 21.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%

Best for kittens

Another grain-free dry food worth considering is Nulo’s chicken and cod recipe.

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food
Shop Now

Key features:

  • Dry food
  • 4.3 (150 ratings)

First 5 ingredients:

  1. Deboned Chicken
  2. Chicken Meal
  3. Turkey Meal
  4. Deboned Cod
  5. Whole Peas

In addition to an all-meat line up across the first four ingredients (which gives an overall animal protein of 83%), we like the attention that Nulo pays to the shape of their kibble pieces. Each piece is manufactured in a small disc shape with a softer texture, making it easier for kittens to bite and chew.

What are owners saying?

“I love this food because the pieces are tiny! My girl doesn’t chew so she was swallowing large pieces of other brands whole.”

“I wanted to love it but when I gave my kitty, Einstein, the choice between this and Dr. Elsey’s dry food, he would only eat Dr. Elseys.”

Nutritional info:

  • Crude protein (min): 41.0%
  • Crude fat (min): 21.0%
  • Crude fiber (max): 3.0%
  • Moisture (max): 9.0%