How to Help Your Malnourished Feline Become Healthier?

It is extremely hard for any pet owner to see their fur baby rapidly losing weight. If your playful kitty suddenly becomes all skin and bones and you notice that their energy levels have started to drop, then your feline friend may be malnourished. Pets usually lose their appetite and stop eating normally when they are suffering from emotional discomfort, stress, or health issues. In either of these cases, you need to figure out the root cause of the problem before focusing on treating the symptoms.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s appearance, sleeping pattern, amount of shedding, appetite, or energy levels, seeking professional help from your vet is essential to identify the exact problem your cat might be suffering from. An essential part of the treatment plan is ensuring that your malnourished feline becomes healthier, more active, and puts on more weight. To figure out how to do this, here are some tried-and-tested tips to help you out.

Treat Dehydration

In most cases, malnutrition results in dehydration. You can easily identify whether or not your feline friend is suffering from dehydration by paying attention to their overall appearance, but there is a simple test that you can do to find out for sure. Start by comforting your cat and petting them until they are calm, then gently pull their skin. If their skin is elastic, then dehydration is not a problem you should worry about. If you notice that their skin is looser and thicker than usual, then your cat might be suffering from dehydration. Another telling sign is sticky saliva. In this case, getting them to drink more water will not be enough; you need to add an electrolyte solution that is designed for children to their water. If your fur baby won’t drink on their own, you will have to gently give them water with electrolytes with a syringe every thirty minutes until you start seeing some progress. Only after you have eliminated dehydration as a problem can you proceed with addressing your cat’s nutritional needs.

Special Diet

Obviously, poor nutrition is the main reason behind malnourishment in cats. This is more common in kittens than adult cats. However, if your feline friend, regardless of their age, refuses to eat, then you might be dealing with a diet problem, not a health issue. The type of food you are providing your cat with might be causing allergy problems due to certain food intolerances. With malnourished cats, it’s essential to pick the best cat food for weight gain you can find on the market that is specifically designed for cats who suffer from weight problems. Getting your cat to put on some weight should never be done by force or with random food options. You need to make sure that you are providing your fur baby with a suitable food option that will make them gain weight healthily without any side effects.

Look Out for Hairballs

Another common cause behind malnutrition is the presence of hairballs in your fur baby’s intestines or stomach. If you notice that your cat keeps gaging, retching after eating, coughing, or throwing up hairballs, then this might be the problem. 

In these situations, you need to apply some Vaseline to one of your kitty’s paws. Your cat will not be able to resist licking its paws clean until all this greasy matter has been completely removed. When your feline friend ingests Vaseline, passing hairballs will become much easier as it lubricates their digestive tracts. This problem should never be left unattended because it doesn’t only stop your cat from eating normally, but it also causes dehydration and other dangerous health complications.

Learn How to Feed Your Cat

Forcing your cat to eat is never the answer to treat malnutrition. First off, you need to make sure to choose tasty food that your cat is not allergic to. The cat food of your choice should be designed for malnutritioned felines to ensure that it is filled with necessary vitamins and minerals. Secondly, try to grab your kitty’s attention and persuade them to eat. This can be done by petting, playing a little, or holding your cat and feeding them small amounts from your hand until they start eating on their own. Last but not least, avoid overfeeding your cat to avoid overloading their digestive system with a large amount of food.

Raising a cat is a lifetime commitment. Many feline parents consider their cats as a family member or a friend. Watching your fur baby become malnourished or underweight is extremely difficult, confusing, and heartbreaking. However, with simple steps and extra care and attention, this can be easily treated with the right diet and food choices.