The Cat is undernourished: how to recognize malnutrition, the causes and how to feed it

Is the cat undernourished and you no longer know how to help him gain weight? All the tips and effective remedies to restore your cat’s health.

Not only our beloved domestic cat but also, and above all, the strays that we happen to meet on the street: malnutrition, the difficulty of finding the most suitable food for its nutritional needs and the problems in assimilating it are the masters. First of all, to understand if a cat is undernourished, we need to evaluate some signals that its body sends us, investigate the possible causes and then adopt the most effective remedies in healing it. Everything you need to know about feline malnutrition.

Undernourished domestic cat and undernourished stray cat: what are the differences

Having a cat under your eyes every day and taking care of it from all points of view, from veterinary checks to nutrition, is certainly easier than looking after a stray cat that we do not know and of which we know absolutely nothing.

Unfortunately, cats living on the street can all have the same characteristic: that of being excessively thin. It is true that ‘not having a master’ allows them to fully experience the infinite desire for freedom that characterizes them, but it is equally true that surviving the street is not easy, much less as regards nutrition.

In fact, it will be the felines that will have to commit themselves in the search for something to eat and such advance discoveries are not always fruitful in the results: therefore no hunting, no food. And if this situation is repeated for days, it is inevitable that the cat is undernourished.

Therefore, when we happen to see a stray cat and decide to take care of it, the first thing to do is take it to the vet to have a general check on its state of health. You can ask for advice directly from the expert of course, but usually they are indicated as foods to feed him: turkey breast or cooked ham. Only later will we be able to switch to wet food, perhaps with the addition of some supplements.

The cat is undernourished: what to do

If we see that our pet cat is suffering from malnutrition, we should exclude a priori that the cause is a lack of food. We will certainly have taken care to always give him the right amount of food appropriate to his age, weight and nutritional needs. So, aware of how much a cat has to eat, we just have to find out what are the other reasons why a cat cannot gain weight.


If the cat does not eat (and consequently does not gain weight) it may be that the residues of fur, which he himself swallows by tearing them from his coat with the tongue, have formed hairballs, the boluses, which obstruct his intestine or his stomach.


Unfortunately, malnutrition can also be one of the first effects of an ongoing disease, such as: feline AIDS, toxoplasmosis, distemper in cats or a more treatable infestation of internal parasites.

The cat is undernourished: the most effective remedies

Whether it’s our house cat or one we’ve picked up on the street, the first thing to do is schedule a visit to the vet. Only he will be able to recognize the actual state of health of the feline and will be able to give us the sure diagnosis of his state of malnutrition.

The first advice could be to start feeding the cat with meat-based foods and especially in small doses, so that his body gets used (or re-habituates) to assimilate it progressively.

If we see that the cat is able to eat small amounts of food, we can try to increase the dose gradually and then switch to wet cat food. Some vitamin supplements can also be very helpful in restoring your strength.

It is obvious that if the problem of its malnutrition is the disease it will be necessary to take a specific treatment to solve it or, at least, to keep it under control and guarantee the cat a lifestyle that is as suitable as possible for its needs. If, on the other hand, the problem is hairballs, usually the most used solution is vaseline: this slippery substance, sprinkled on its paws, will be licked by the same animal and ingested. You will see that in a short time the hairballs will be released in your cat’s feces.

Cat BreedsCat Food and Nutrition
Tips for Cat OwnersCat Training
Cat BehaviorKittens
Cat HealthCat Grooming
Cat AdoptionTravel with Cat
Holiday Season- Cat

Leave a Comment