High Calorie Cat Food: Reviewed for 2021

Published: October 2, 2021


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If you have an underweight or sick cat or senior kitty, helping them gain weight is important. One of the best ways to help your furry friend gain weight is by feeding them additional calories. Choosing a high calorie food can help you reach this goal.

High-calorie foods are specially formulated to be higher in calories than other similar options. High-calorie cat foods are high in fiber and protein. In the same serving size, your kitty will consume more calories than they would with traditional cat food. This can help ensure they gain more weight.

When choosing a high calorie food for your cat, you’ll find that there are various options to consider, including wet, dry, organic, fresh, homemade, or some mix of all of the above. Since many cats who need high calorie cat food are also pickier eaters, it is generally a good idea to stick to flavors that you know your kitty enjoys to increase the chances that she’ll eat her new food.

Continue reading to learn about our picks for the best high calorie cat food and find the one that is best for your kitty!

Verified Review: Our Hands On Experience

We purchase and tested each of the wet and dry cat foods featured below. We wanted to see whether they were actually a hit with some real cats who needed to gain weight. Here are some further observations we made during this process:

  • Wellness CORE Gain-Free Dry Cat Food: We really liked how the calorie count of this food compared with other options we looked at. Most of our kitties seemed to really enjoy the taste too. However, one of our senior cats wasn’t very interested in this food and seemed to only want wet food.
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Food: This wet food was a big hit with our cats. They all seemed to love the way it tastes. However, we wish the food was a bit more reasonably priced.
  • Instinct Original Grain-Free Paté: We found great success using this canned food with some of our pickier cats who needed to gain weight. However, as with most foods, there always seems to be one kitty who has different tastes than the others and didn’t seem to enjoy this flavor.

The Top Picks for the Best High Calorie Cat Foods: Ranked

Wellness CORE Grain Free Dry Cat Food, Original Recipe, Turkey, Turkey Meal & Chicken Meal, 11 Pound Bag
  • SAVORY FOOD CATS LOVE: Because cats naturally crave meat, each bite is packed with a high concentration of quality animal protein from turkey along with nutrient rich superfoods and added nutritional supplements for an amazing flavor cats love
  • ELEVATED NUTRITION FOR A LIFETIME OF WELLBEING: Wellness CORE pairs the best of science and natural; working with our staff of vets, nutritionists and scientists, we create each diet to deliver everything your cat needs to thrive, for a lifetime
  • WHOLE BODY HEALTH: This recipe is crafted to deliver everything your cat needs to be healthy; energy for playtime, a lustrous skin and coat, sound digestion and immunity, strong teeth and healthy eyes, plus controlled minerals for urinary health support
  • CATISFACTION PROMISE: Wellness CORE offers a full range of wet and dry food to support your cat's specific cat preferences and needs; with dozens of tastes and textures, we are confident you will find one your feline will love
  • MADE IN THE USA: using only the finest globally sourced ingredients, we prepare each of our diets in our own state of the art facility; we craft delicious natural recipes with wholesome, non GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits

When weight gain is a priority for your kitty, consider trying the Wellness CORE dry food. This food features high concentrations of turkey protein and offers 497 kcal per cup. In addition to the high-quality animal protein found in the food, Wellness also added nutritional supplements and superfoods, like cranberries, for a cat’s overall health.

This cat food offers balanced nutrition to help kitties stay healthy, keep their skin and coat healthy and shiny, support their immune, digestive, and urinary systems, and keep their teeth and eyes healthy.

The food is made in the United States using non-GMO ingredients. It has a tasty turkey recipe that cats are sure to enjoy and is available in a 2-, 5-, or 11-pound bag.

Click here to check out Wellness CORE Gain-Free Dry Cat Food on amazon.com

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Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken 5.5-oz cans (Pack of 24)
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: This grain free cat food contains more of the chicken cats love to provide the energy your adult cat needs to stay active
  • PATÉ STYLE CANNED CAT FOOD: This high protein cat food features a smooth texture your feline friend can’t resist
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: All BLUE canned cat foods are made with the finest natural ingredients enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • MADE WITHOUT WHEAT: BLUE wet cat food contains NO chicken (or poultry) by-product meals, NO corn, wheat (a common thickening agent used by many other brands) or soy, and NO artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Contains twenty four (24) 5.5-oz cans of BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken

With 155 calories per 100 grams, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Food is another top option to consider. This food has a tasty chicken flavor that cats are sure to love. It also has a smooth paté texture that will be easy for all kitties, including those with dental issues, to eat.

Blue Buffalo only uses safe and natural ingredients combined with the essential vitamins and minerals kitties need when making their foods. This grain-free option does not contain any wheat. It is also free of chicken by-products, corn, soy, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives.

Choose from 3-, 5.5-, or 12.5-ounce cans.

Click here to check out Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Food on amazon.com

Instinct Original Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food by Nature's Variety, 3 oz. Cans (Case of 24)
  • GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD WITH CAGE FREE CHICKEN: Instinct Original is made with 95% chicken, turkey & chicken liver, 5% vegetables, fruits & wholesome ingredients. This is high protein cat food with responsibly sourced cage free chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • CANNED CAT FOOD WITH NO FILLERS: Instinct Original wet cat food is high protein cat food. Made without grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, by-product meals, artificial colors or preservatives - ingredients known to trigger food sensitivities.
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: Made from real meat & whole food ingredients, our grain free wet cat food is packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles. Served as a meal or topper, this delicious pate texture is a taste that even picky kitties will love.
  • RAW INSPIRED WET CAT FOOD: Our canned cat food offers complete & balanced nutrition from real ingredients to support your cat's health from kitten to senior. Made in the USA with the finest ingredients from around the world.
  • INSTINCT, THE RAW BRAND: We craft wet & dry cat food from real ingredients. Compare Instinct to Blue Buffalo, Fancy Feast, Hills Science Diet, Royal Canin, Rachel Ray, Natural Balance, Merrick, Purina One, Friskies, Wellness, Iams, Purina Beyond & Weruva.

If you’re looking for high-protein food to help your cat gain weight, consider this grain-free paté from Instinct. The canned cat food is made with 95% chicken, turkey, & chicken liver, giving your kitty a lot of healthy protein. The remaining 5% of the food is fruits, vegetables, and other wholesome and nutritious ingredients. Instinct does not add any grains, potato, corn, soy, wheat, carrageenan, by-product meals, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavors to their foods.

Each can of this cat food has 193 calories. It can be served as a meal by itself or used as a meal topper to up the calorie count of dry food. The food has a tasty chicken flavor that kitties are sure to enjoy. You can purchase a 24-pack of 3-ounce cans or a 12-pack of 5.5-ounce cans.

Click here to check out Instinct Original Grain-Free Paté on amazon.com

Why Do Cats Need a High Calorie Food?

There are a few different reasons cats may need high calorie food. High calorie foods can give kitties more energy than standard cat foods and can be a good option to facilitate weight gain in cats. Below are some types of cats that may benefit from a high calorie food:

  • Seniors: Senior cats (older than 10) need a higher amount of protein and calories since their bodies begin processing foods more quickly. Some seniors also become pickier eaters, and a high calorie food can help them consume more calories in a smaller portion to make up for not eating as much food.
  • Sick cats: Kitties who are sick or recovering from surgical procedures often have a decreased appetite. Feeding them a high calorie food can help bridge the gap in the calories they’d be missing out on by not eating their normal full serving of food.
  • Cats with tooth or mouth problems: Dental problems, loss of teeth, or other pain in the mouth can make it difficult or even painful for cats to eat. This can make cats eat less and cause them to lose weight. Choosing a high calorie wet food will provide them with something soft and easier to choose that is packed with energy to help keep them from losing weight.
  • Underweight cats: Some underweight cats may simply need a larger serving of their standard cat food. However, if your kitty is picky and isn’t eating the full serving you’re giving her, switching to a high calorie food may be the right answer.
  • Kittens: Since kittens are growing so rapidly, they need to eat more calories to put on more weight. However, if you’re looking for a higher calorie food for kittens, be sure to choose one that is specially formulated for their growing and developmental needs.

Last update on 2021-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

High Calorie Cat Food: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What can I feed my cat to make it gain weight?

Choosing a high calorie cat food that is formulated to help underweight or senior kitties gain weight can help. You should also check with your veterinarian to see if there are any specific nutrients that your kitty needs. They may prescribe a special diet or recommend supplementing the food you choose with other ingredients or special vitamins.

What is the highest calorie cat food?

Two of the highest calorie cat foods we found were the Wellness CORE Gain-Free Dry Cat Food and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Food. Wellness CORE has 497 kcal per cup, and Blue Buffalo Wilderness has 155 calories per 100 ounces.

Next, combine the nutritional supplement with water in a bowl and stir them together. Then, mix in the ground chicken with the water/supplement mixture.

Portion out the chicken and supplement into individual servings of 2 to 3 ounces. Cover and refrigerate each serving until your kitty is ready to eat it. Each ounce of this recipe provides approximately 45 calories.

Is wet or dry cat food higher in calories?

Most dry kitty foods are higher in calories than canned foods. Wet food is often recommended for weight loss, while dry food may be a better option for cats who are underweight and need to put on some pounds. Wet food often has a higher protein content though, so you may want to keep this in mind as well. Generally speaking, high fiber foods can help with weight loss, so you may want to avoid wet or dry foods with these formulas.

How do I make high calorie cat food?

If you are looking to feed your kitty more of a fresh food diet, homemade high calorie cat food may be your best choice. To make homemade food for your cat, you’ll need to purchase a nutritional supplement for cats. Check with your veterinarian to see what they recommend and also confirm that they see the recipe below as a good fit for your kitty’s specific health, nutrition, and weight gain needs. For example, they may recommend a high fiber or protein diet based on your cat’s needs.

Then, you can grind a whole, cooked chicken in a food processor until it is very well puréed. Look for it to have the same consistency you would see when opening a can of kitty food.

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