How to Nurse a Starving Cat Back to Health? [2022 Tips]

A starving cat is the biggest nightmare of an animal rescuer. From my 7 years of experience as an animal rescuer, I know how hard it is to save a starving cat. But don’t worry if you are new, because, in this article, I will conduct an in-depth discussion on- how to nurse a starving cat back to health.

It is tough to suggest how to nurse a starving cat without proper inspection of the rescued cat. But here are a few points to consider:

  • Use canned food instead of dry cat food.
  • Use vitamin and mineral supplement like Brewer’s Yeast.
  • If the cat’s condition is bad and not improving, consult a vet as soon as possible

Purina ONE Natural High Protein” is the best-canned food for starving or unhealthy cats.

Purina ONE Natural, High Protein, Grain Free Wet Cat Food Pate, Ocean Whitefish Recipe - (24) 3 oz. Pull-Top Cans
  • Twenty-Four (24) 3 oz. Pull-Top Cans - Purina ONE Natural, High Protein, Grain Free Wet Cat Food Pate, Ocean Whitefish Recipe
  • Real fish is the number one ingredient in this grain free cat food wet recipe, which provides the high protein needed to help build strong muscles
  • Natural cat food with added vitamins, minerals and nutrients. 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages, 0 percent fillers. Every ingredient has a purpose
  • Moisture-rich cat wet food recipe supports healthy hydration
  • Grain free wet cat food pate made by veterinarian-recommended Purina ONE

Well, these are some primary suggestions. Now I will discuss the whole process in detail.

Starving Cat Feeding Chart 

To understand a starving cat’s calorie intake. First, we need to look at the suggested healthy diet chart for cats.

Starving Cat feeding Chart By Weight
Cat Weight (lbs.)Daily CaloriesDry Food (Oz)Wet Food (Oz)
13701
26412
38713
410814
512815
614615
716526
818427
919927
1021528
1123128
1224729
1326239
14277310
15292310
16307311
17321311
18335312
19349413
20363413
21376413
22390414
23403414
24416415
25429415

In the above chart, a cat’s daily food intake is given. But a rescued cat or an underweight cat needs more calorie intake than normal cats. According to UW shelter medicine, a rescued or underweight cat needs 230-270 kcal per day.

Not only rescued but a starving cat may suffer from many things. Now let’s find out some of the frequently asked questions and their solutions.

What to feed a malnourished cat?

Wet food and canned food are the best choices for a malnourished cat. Because their stomach condition is not good and if you give them hard food, they may suffer from inflammation and diarrhea.

Purina Friskies Canned Wet Cat Food This is our favorite cat food for starving and malnourished cats.

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  • Forty (40) 5.5 oz. Cans - Purina Friskies Wet Cat Food Variety Pack, Surfin' & Turfin' Prime Filets Favorites
  • Made with real meat. poultry or seafood. Savory juice or gravy adds flavor and moisture
  • Shredded chunks offer a tempting texture. Provides 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats
  • Multi-can variety pack makes it easy to stock your pantry. Contains essential vitamins and minerals in every serving
  • Enticing aroma tempts her to her dish. Checked for quality and safety to provide added peace of mind

For a rescued or a starving cat, food consumption is essential. Because rescued cats are mostly stray, lost, or stolen cats, they mostly survive on food waste. So, for the first few days, it is suggested to give high-calorie wet foods. But what kind of foods to give fatten up a stray cat?

Wet Food: 

There is a variety of wet food you can give to your rescued cat. For example, firstly, baby foods like turkey and fish broth are a great source of calories and easy to digest. So, they will be helpful for your rescued cat also. Secondly, you can give homemade beef or pork broth mixed with any regular semi-wet food.

This will increase the cat’s digestion power as well as meet its calorie intake. Lastly, you can give an egg yolk. I know it’s not suggested to give cats eggs. But organic eggs are a great source of protein and will help the cat gain weight fast.

Canned Food: 

There are varieties of canned food. But not all of them are suitable for cats. So, try to buy canned foods for your rescued cats from a pet store. It will decrease the chance of getting harmful elements for cats in it.

Other than that, you can always give your rescued cat canned fish. We all know how much they love to fish. You can also mix homemade beef and pork broth with canned foods.

These foods are a must for malnourished Cats. Moving on, the next frequently asked question is

How to feed an emaciated cat?

To feed an emaciated cat, you must give them wet foods only for the first few days and use cooked food instead of raw, canned food.

Feeding a starving cat is not an easy task. You need to follow these few steps for a better result.

First, follow the wet food diet for the first 4-5 days after rescue. After this diet, the rescued cat’s stomach will improve and will be able to digest normal foods.

Secondly, never give a starving cat too much food at a time. Try dividing the 220-270 calories into 4 meals and give these meals every 6 hours.

Third, ignore the white part of the eggs completely because cats can not digest the white part.

Lastly, try to boil or heat the canned fish because raw fish is not suggested for rescued cats. Moreover, please check the label of every canned food if that contains any harmful elements or not.

How to fatten up a stray cat? 

To fatten up a rescued stray cat, you must use extra vitamin supplements and fish oil or similar supplements. These will fasten up the growth of the stray cat. 

Use the following supplements for better and faster results.

Vitamin Supplements: 

Vitamin supplements are a must to fatten up a stray cat. Because most of the rescued or lost cats lack the necessary vitamins and minerals they need.

So, it’s suggested to give them extra supplements until their health condition is good enough.

These extra vitamins and minerals will increase their immunity and help, improve their condition at a faster rate.

Nutramax Cosequin Joint Health Supplement for Cats - With Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Omega-3, 60 Soft Chews
  • #1 Veterinarian Recommended
  • Joint health support plus omega 3's
  • May also support bladder health
  • Tasty alternative to sprinkle capsules

But which supplements you use starving cat? You can use Brewer’s yeast. It is easily findable in any health store. Moreover, it is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Mix a teaspoon or sprinkle of it with every meal. 

Fish Oil Capsules: 

Fish oil capsules are a great source of fat. It is healthy for cats too. Moreover, it will fasten your rescued cat’s growth. Fish oil capsules are easily findable in pet and health stores. It is easy to use. Just crash the capsule and mix it with regular food.

Cats are one of the most sensitive pets in the world. So you have to be really careful when nursing a starving cat back to health. And most importantly, hat’s off to you for doing the good work. Happy rescuing!

Wild Caught Fish Oil for Cats - 16oz - Omega 3-6-9, GMO Free - Reduces Shedding, Supports Skin, Coat, Joints, Heart, Brain, Immune System - Highest EPA & DHA Potency - Only Ingredient is Fish
  • IMMUNE SUPPLEMENT - Our GMO Free omega 3 fish oil for cats formula supports your cat’s immune health, cardiovascular function, and improves joint stiffness and allergies. Fish Oil helps to eliminate itchy skin, excessive shedding, and promotes healthy, shiny fur.
  • WILD CAUGHT - Wild Caught Omega-3 fish oil with omega 6 and 9 fatty acids delivers higher levels of EPA and DHA with no mercury. Our fish oil is carefully crafted from small, non-predatory fish sourced from the cold, pristine North Atlantic - sardine, herring, mackerel, and anchovy.
  • PURE FISH OIL - Deley Naturals Wild Caught Omega-3 Fish Oil for Cats is 100% pure fish oil and has no added ingredients. Our all natural, sustainably sourced liquid fish oil supplement has virtually no odor but has a delicious fish flavor all cats love!
  • EASY TO USE - This cat fish oil is easy to use for cat owners. Comes with a pump top to easily dispense over cat food, water, or cat treats for a mess free way to help support your cat’s diet compared to other fish oil supplements for cats.
  • QUALITY INGREDIENTS - At Deley Naturals, we take pride in only manufacturing the best supplements for your cats. Our fish oil is GMO free and processed in an FDA-registered facility in the USA. Our Omega-3 fish oil exceeds all requirements set by California’s Proposition 65 and all US and European Pharmacopoeia standards.

A few things need to keep in mind, do not give a large portion of supplements to your rescued cats. Because they can harm too, give supplements according to your rescued cat’s weight.

These are the frequently asked questions and their answers for nursing a starving cat back to health. To be safe, you can follow these few instructions.

  • Never give too much food to a newly rescued cat. Give foods slowly and increase the diet day by day.
  • Carefully read every ingredient of canned food and determine if they are suitable for cats or not before giving it to your rescued cat.
  • Please inspect the behavior of your rescued cat after food consumption and find out if they can digest the food or not.
  • Keep your rescued cat clean and find out if they are any lice or not.
  • If your rescued cat show any symptom of sickness, consult a vet as soon as possible.

Also read can cat eat kielbasa or sausage 

So did I answer all your concern on how to nurse a starving cat back to health.

Hope now you understand how to nurse a starving cat back to health. Cats are one of the most sensitive pets in the world. So you have to be really careful when nursing a starving cat back to health. And most importantly, hat’s off to you for doing the good work. Happy rescuing!

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