Chyrle Bonk, DVM

Dr. Chyrle Bonk has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons, where they spend their free time exploring the great outdoors that is right in their backyard.

The Best Enzyme Cleaners for Cat Urine and Cleaning Guide

A gray cat lying down on a gray carpet next to a wet stain.

Cats leave a lasting impression in our hearts…and sometimes a lingering smell in our carpets. There’s no doubt about it; cat urine is an odor that’s built to last. It can even outlast many commercial cleaners and countless hours of scrubbing. Not only is removing the urine smell from your carpets and furniture important for your nose, but it’s also essential to help prevent future accidents. If you want to get rid of that smell once and for all, using one of these enzyme cleaners for cat urine will be your best bet.

 1.  Best Overall: Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator

Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator for Strong Odor
Eliminates stains, odors, and residue.
Safe to use around pets and children: no hazardous propellants, no residue left behind.
For use on carpets, floors, furniture, clothing, litter boxes, kennels, carriers, all pet living and sleeping areas.

Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator spray is an excellent option for small clean-ups. This powerful enzymatic cleaner is safe to use on multiple surfaces, including carpets, upholstery, concrete, hardwood, laminate, and tile floors. It even works on laundry. The potent enzymes in Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator go right to work naturally attacking and consuming odor and organic material from all types of accidents, not just cat urine. It also works well for vomit and feces clean-ups.

Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator is also safe to use around children and pets of all sizes. It is quick and simple to use and can be left on longer for deep, ground-in odors. 

This cleaner from Rocco & Roxie is meant as a spot treatment rather than a whole room cleaner. One small spray bottle won’t go very far. Also, be sure to test this product on a small area of your carpet or upholstery first. This product may change the color of some fibers.


  • Naturally cleans odors without chemicals
  • Easy to use
  • Use on a variety of surfaces


  • May bleach some fabrics
  • Spot-clean only

 2.  Runner-Up: Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator

Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator for Dog and Cat Urine
Safely derived from the oil found in orange peels.
Commercial grade citrus pet odor remover.
A powerful & effective odor eliminator that even works on animal smells in barns and stables.

Using the all-natural cleaning power of orange oil, Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator can clean cat urine out of just about any surface. This cleaner is so powerful that it was initially meant for cleaning barns and other outdoor pet areas. This makes it a great choice for outdoor odors and cat urine stains on tile, carpet, litter boxes, and most types of furniture coverings.

Angry Orange also has a naturally pleasant scent. No overpowering odor masking smells or chemical odors like some cleaners. Angry Orange smells like what it is made from, oranges. It comes in either a concentrate to make one gallon of cleaner or a pre-mixed spray bottle version to suit whatever your needs are.

A big issue with Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator is that it shouldn’t be used around your cat. That means your kitty will need to stay away from the areas that you’re cleaning until it is dry. Cats tend not to like the smell of citrus and may choose to stay away on their own. Also, the orange scent may be too overwhelming for some people.


  • All-natural cleaning power
  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Highly concentrated to make a lot of solution


  • The orange scent may be too strong
  • Cats should be kept away while using

 3.  Most Targeted Product for Cat Urine: Simple Solution Cat Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Removal

Simple Solution Cat Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Remover
Formulated to help break down, neutralize and permanently remove extreme stains such as urine, feces or vomit.
Uses Pro-Bacteria and enzymes that break down, neutralize odors at the source, eliminate stains, and stop repeat marking by pets.
Designed to be used on carpets, upholstery, bedding, fabric and other water-safe surfaces throughout your home.

Simple Solution Cat Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Removal spray contains specific enzymes for removing cat odors from urine, vomit, and feces. Along with enzymes, Simple Solution uses Pro-Bacteria, a new and improved way of removing cat-specific odors. It is safe to use on carpets, fabric, and most other “water-safe” surfaces.

The cleaning solution in Simple Solution Cat Extreme Pet Stain and Odor Removal spray is tailor-made for cat messes, and the 3-in-1 nozzle is designed for ease of use no matter what type of mess it is. 

The nozzle can create foam to cover most small cat accidents, stream for pinpoint accuracy in between objects and down into crevices, and mist to cover larger areas. Simple Solution has multiple other products, including Urine Destroyer and Extreme Carpet Shampoo, which can help clean up your cat’s accidents.

One drawback of this product is its heavy chemical smell, especially when wet. While it is considered safe to use around children and pets, you may choose to use it when you don’t need to be in the house, especially if you are sensitive to smells. Also, this may leave a thin film on tile, so you may have to scrub it to completely remove it from this type of surface.  


  • Very specific for cat messes
  • Three times the cleaning power
  • Adjustable spray for different types of messes


  • It can have a heavy chemical smell
  • May leave a film on tile

 4.  Best for Product for Old Odors: Nature’s Miracle Set-in Stain Destroyer

Nature's Miracle Just for Cats Orange Oxy Stain and Odor Remover
Oxygen concentrate formula penetrates, separates and lifts embedded stains and odors.
Freshens with a light orange scent.
Can be used on carpets, floors, furniture, clothing, and more.

Nature’s Miracle Set-in Stain Destroyer is made for those old odors that you can’t seem to get rid of. This powerful formula uses concentrated oxygen to drive deep down into fabrics and other surfaces to neutralize those lingering cat odors. It can be used where other cat odor cleaners have failed.

Nature’s Miracle Set-in Stain Destroyer also carries a light orange scent and can be used on various surfaces, including carpet, hardwood, vinyl, and many types of fabric. All you have to do is pour it on the stain, let it soak in, and then blot up the excess.

This enzyme cleaner for cat urine from Nature’s Miracle may require a large amount to get the best results. Because of this, it may not work as well on furniture or other surfaces that can’t handle a lot of moisture. You can put it in a spray bottle to apply a finer mist, but you might not get the same positive results. Even though Nature’s Miracle Set-in Stain Destroyer comes in a large bottle, you’re going to use a lot for really tough stains, so it might not be as cost-effective.


  • Works for odors that have been there previously
  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Easy to use


  • May require large amounts
  • It might not work on furniture 

5.  Best for Option for Furniture: Arm & Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator

Arm & Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator
Combined power of ARM & HAMMER deodorizers and OXICLEAN.
Removes stains on carpet and upholstery and eliminates odors.

We all know that Arm & Hammer baking soda is effective on odors. This product is great for furniture and other areas to remove those tough cat urine stains. Combined with the baking soda odor neutralizer, this product also contains OxiClean to get deep into the stain and remove the odor issues that can linger.

Arm & Hammer Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator comes in a handy spray bottle for easy application on many surfaces, including upholstery, carpet, and hardwood or vinyl flooring. This product will foam up a bit when you scrub to help you know where you have applied it. It is safe to use around pets and children.

The foaminess can be helpful or hurtful, depending on where you apply it. While it does help you know where you sprayed it, it can also be challenging to remove and increase the dry time. Also, it may cause discoloration of certain fabrics, so doing a spot check beforehand is a good idea.


  • Natural odor neutralization with baking soda
  • Powerful stain and odor removal with OxiClean
  • Works well on furniture


  • May create hard to deal with foam
  • May discolor certain types of fabrics

Best Enzyme Cleaner for Cat Urine Buying Guide

A close-up of someone wearing neon lime green gloves while spraying cleaning from a spray bottle onto a stain on the gray carpet, while holding a yellow scrubbing sponge in the other hand.

It’s true that not all cat urine cleaners are created equal. You’ve no doubt discovered this if you’ve tried to use a subpar product in the past. Here are some tips to follow to weed out the top enzymatic cleaners for cat urine.

  • Know your Surface: Some cleaners will work better on different surfaces. Many places in your home may suffer a urinary accident by your cat. Anything from carpet to clothing to hardwood floors may get some abuse. Be sure to read the labels of all enzyme cleaners to know which one will work best for the surface you’re trying to clean. This is especially important because some cleaners may damage certain surfaces.
  • Follow the Directions: Along with knowing what types of surfaces you’ll need to clean, you should also consider how to use the product. Some of us may be looking for a quick and easy spot treatment, while others need a large quantity to clean multiple rooms in the house. Enzyme cleaners for cat urine come in pre-mixed spray bottles or small, concentrated versions that can be mixed to make large quantities. Be sure to mix concentrated products accordingly and only apply to approved surfaces.
  • Know the Ingredients:  Active ingredients are key to how well a product will work. It needs to be effective against ammonia. First of all, find a product that is labeled safe for cats and other animals. Also, safety for people should be factored in. You may also want to go the organic or natural route and check to ensure you won’t need any special protective equipment to apply it.

It’s also important to know that the effectiveness of an enzymatic cleaner also reduces its ability to use on it on multiple types of accidents. This means that the highly effective cleaners may not handle both urine and feces. However, if you want a more versatile cleaner, you may lose some of that effectiveness. 

How to Best Clean Cat Urine

Even with the best enzyme cleaners for cat urine on the market, following a few simple steps will help ensure that you won’t have any lingering odor issues.

  1. Speed is Key: For the best results, clean up cat urine as soon as possible, preferably while it’s still wet. First, blot the surface to remove as much urine as possible. The sooner you clean up an accident, the less time urine has to break down and get into surfaces to create a smell. Apply the enzyme cleaner as directed.
  2. Apply your Cleaner: In a perfect world, we would get to our cat’s urine accidents before they become a problem, but sometimes that’s just not possible. If you already have a smelly spot, it’s time to apply the cleaner. Now is not the time to be stingy; use a lot of cleanser. This is especially important for porous materials, like fabric or carpet, because cat urine tends to soak in and make a bigger mess where you can’t see it. Use plenty of cleaner to get to those tough-to-reach spots and give it some time to work. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on allowing it to dry or cleaning it while it’s still wet.
  3. Use a Black Light: Cat urine glows under a black light. While this makes for a great party trick, it also comes in handy when cleaning spots that you can smell but not see. If you’re still getting an odor but can’t know where the accident occurred, shining a black light will shed some light on your smelly situation.

Final Thoughts

Cat urine odor can put some unpleasant pressure on you and your cat’s relationship. Using one of these best enzyme cleaners for cat urine will help thoroughly clean up those urine accidents so that there are no heavy odors…or feelings lingering between your and your feline friend.

How to Tell if Your Cats are Bonded: A Guide to Bonding cats

A close up of a gray cat and a gray-ish cat with black stripes sleeping with their heads against each other.

Cats have unique and independent personalities, leading to a popular misconception that they prefer to be alone. However, for some cats, it can be quite the opposite. They love to be social and have the company of other feline friends. With such a contrary attitude towards companionship, it can be hard to tell if and when cats are bonded. This guide will help you recognize when your cats have truly bonded.  

How to Tell if Your Cats are Bonded

It’s true that some cats prefer to be solitary, but many felids live in groups. Picture a pride of lions or a colony of feral cats. They do this to share the load of hunting and provide each other with protection. While your housecats don’t require help in either of those areas, living closely with other cats does have its benefits. How can you tell if multiple cats have accepted each other and actually bonded? Look for any of these signs:

  • Collective Grooming: What’s better than having a friend that can groom those hard-to-reach places? Cats that have bonded will spend inordinate amounts of time grooming themselves and each other. You may find them curled up cleaning each other’s ears or nibbling the itches on each other’s backs.
  • Sleeping Peacefully: Cats that aren’t bonded won’t dare sleep near each other. Bonded cats will often curl up together to share warmth and comfort, whether in the same bed or sharing a sunbeam. This shows that they have put complete trust in their furry counterpart.
  • Playful Pairing: Friendly kitties will PLAY together. While play and fighting can often look alike, you’ll be able to tell the difference by your cats’ body language. Cats that are playing are at ease; they may be rough and tumble, but each cat is enjoying it. Cats that are fighting will be tense, flatten their ears, and aggressively twitch their tail. There is often an aggressor initiating it instead of both cats being equally involved.
  • Tail Touching: Think of it like holding hands. Bonded cats may touch or even intertwine their tails when sitting or standing next to each other.
  • Spread Their Scent: All cats have scent glands in their cheeks, paws, and other areas of their body. They will rub these parts on things they consider theirs. If your cats are rubbing their cheeks on each other, it’s like giving their stamp of approval. This goes for people as well; a cheek rub is a sure sign that your cat likes you.

You won’t find bonded cats chasing each other away from their resources. They also won’t take playtime too far to the point that they are hissing or growling at each other. Bonded cats also won’t ignore each other. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be the occasional snag between friendly kitties, just that the majority of the time, there is peace and happiness.

How to Introduce Cats to Each Other

A gray cat and an orange cat are standing next to each other and appear to be kissing.

Not just any pair or group of cats are going to bond. Sometimes it will take a lot of effort to forge a friendship. With this in mind, be sure not to force anything between your cats and follow these tips:

Bonding Kittens

If you’re dealing with kittens, chances are your work is already done for you. Most kittens will take to each other very quickly, especially if they’re from the same litter. 

Bonding An Adult Cat to a Kitten

Now, if you have an older cat and are trying to give them a younger friend, you may have more trouble. Depending on your older cat’s personality, you may have to try some different methods. 

Some older cats will take a kitten under their wing like an older sibling accepting a younger protégé. Others will be offended that you’re trying to replace them. If that’s the case, you may have to give the older cat some space. 

Kittens are rambunctious and will try to get the other cat to play. Make sure your older cat has a safe place where only they can go should they feel the need to escape. Only allow supervised interactions until you’re sure they can get along and separate them if either gets too grumpy.

Bonding Adult Cats 

When introducing two adult cats, you’ll want to start slowly, especially if you have a cat that’s been with you a while and is used to being solitary.

  1. Start by keeping them in separate rooms. They should hear and smell each other but not see or touch. Reward each kitty every time they smell around without getting upset. Give this a few days and if everyone is comfortable, move on.
  2. From here, allow them to see each other but not get to each other. You can do this with baby gates or a screen door. Supervise their interactions and reward good behaviors. If one or both cats get upset, separate them and try again later. Continue until everyone is comfortable.
  3. Remove all barriers and let the cats touch each other. Only do this if you can supervise. Give rewards when your cats are friendly, and be sure to separate them if they get angry. Be very careful when dealing with an agitated cat. They may lash out at you instead if you try to move them. Also, if your cats start to fight, don’t grab for them. Instead, use a gate, piece of cardboard, or another sturdy divider to put in between them, so you don’t get scratched or bitten.

Even though some cats are very accepting, and you may not need to go through all of these steps, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have a particularly friendly cat and are introducing another friendly cat, you may start at the step where they can see each other and gauge their reactions. If they don’t go for it, you can always move back a step and try again.

Some cats may never bond, and that’s okay. Just be sure to give them both their own safe spaces, food, water, and even litter boxes. Many cats may choose to coexist by ignoring each other rather than bonding.

Final Thoughts

Cat parents of multi-cat households always dream of friendship and harmony between their feline friends. Hopefully, after reading this, you will be able to determine if your feline friends are friends themselves and what you can do to set up successful introductions.

Best Cat Food Bowls: Veterinarian Advice

A close-up of a metal bowl on the ground filled with dry kibble food.

While some kitties would readily eat off the floor, others have some specific requirements from their chosen food bowl. Whether your cat is picky about their dinnerware or they have a digestive issue that requires special attention, choosing one of these best cat food bowls can have them licking their lips and plates clean before you know it.

1. Best Overall Choice: Americat Company Stainless Steel Cat Bowls

Americat Company Set of Stainless Steel Cat Bowls
Stainless steel construction: U.S. sourced 18/8 304 series stainless steel.
Dishwasher safe and easy to clean by hand.
Wide and shallow with sloped sides to protect sensitive whiskers from whisker fatigue.

Here’s a simple, no-frills cat food bowl that will get the job done in a clean and sanitary way. Stainless steel is a veterinarian’s favorite for cat food bowl materials. That’s because it’s nearly indestructible, so you won’t have to worry about bite or scratch marks harboring bacteria. 

This bowl can also be washed in the dishwasher periodically to help keep your kitty healthy. This stainless steel is food grade and heavy-duty, so your cat won’t easily push it around. However, it is light enough for you to easily pick them when it’s time for feeding or cleaning. 

This bowl from the Americat Company is also wide and shallow to help prevent whisker fatigue and keep paranoid cats feeling comfortable. It also holds 16 ounces so that this bowl will work for food or water, and it will fit in some elevated food bowl stands.

The Americat Company Stainless Steel cat bowl does have a rounded side which makes it easier to flip over, especially if your cat is the naughty type. Putting it in a stand will help prevent this. Stainless steel is also expensive, but expect it to last for a long time.


  • Sanitary and hygienic 
  • Easily cleaned
  • Wide and shallow


  • Expensive
  • Some cats can flip it over

2. Best Ceramic Option: Y YHY Ceramic Cat Bowl Feeding Set

Y YHY Raised Cat Food and Water Bowl Set
Reduce Neck Burden: 3.6-inch height so that your cat's neck is in a more natural position and allowing pets to eat more comfortably.
Ceramic cat water bowl meets all food safety standards and can be quickly rinsed or wiped clean, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Helps your cat avoid stress from whisker fatigue and can keep your cat's face clean while enjoying a meal.

These ceramic cat food bowls from Y YHY are the perfect pair to hold your cat’s food and water. The dishes are easily cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher, and they can safely be put in the microwave. Not only that, but these bowls are slightly elevated to be the perfect height to enhance your cat’s digestion or ease their arthritic discomforts.

Now to the bells and whistles. These ceramic bowls are also uniquely designed, with the food bowl being slightly tilted to provide a better angle for your cat to reach in. The water bowl features marked measurements so that you can keep track of how much they are drinking every day. This is especially important for cats with health issues like diabetes or kidney disease.

These bowls from Y YHY only hold about one cup of dry kibble, so they’re not ideal if your cat has a big appetite or if you have multiple cats. The curved sides also make it easy for food to fall out the sides and out onto the floor. As with all ceramic bowls, they don’t withstand a lot of wear and tear, especially if you drop or tip it over.


  • Easily cleaned
  • Microwavable
  • Elevated design to aid digestion


  • Can crack or chip
  • Curved sides allow easy food spillage
  • Doesn’t hold a lot of food

3. Best Elevated Option: PETKIT Cybertail Elevated Food Bowls

PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Dog/Cat Stainless Steel Bowls
Reduce Neck Burden: 3.6-inch height so that your cat's neck is in a more natural position and allowing pets to eat more comfortably.
Ceramic cat water bowl meets all food safety standards and can be quickly rinsed or wiped clean, microwave and dishwasher safe.
Raised bowls can help improve cat’s digestion.

Elevated food and water bowls may do the trick if your kitty needs a little boost for their digestion. These elevated bowls from PETKIT are not only at a great height to maximize digestion, but they are also slightly tilted to allow for easy access. The rounded edges also accommodate food removal, and the wide shape will help prevent whisker fatigue.

The stand has a rubberized bottom so it won’t slip around as easily, and the removable bowls are made from stainless steel. They’re easy to clean, even in the dishwasher, and are heavy-duty to resist cracking and scratching. Stainless steel is also very hygienic to prevent your cat from getting sick.

Attaching the bowls to the base can be difficult. Since these bowls should be slightly tilted, they need to be attached to the base rather than just placed there. This can be a little cumbersome and not work as smoothly. Also, the base is made of plastic, so if your cat has a plastic allergy, they may still be affected even though the bowls are stainless steel.


  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Elevated for improved digestion
  • Tilted for easy access


  • Plastic base
  • Hard to attach bowls to base

4. Best Eco-Friendly Option: Van Ness Ecoware Cat Dish

Van Ness ECOWARE Cat Dish
Cat dishes are made from renewable plant sources—47% bamboo plant material.
Open design allows your cat to eat food more easily and stress-free.
Easy-to-clean and under normal use, cat bowls are unbreakable & will not crack or chip.

This cat food bowl from Van Ness is a little different, made from plant-based material, mainly bamboo. This makes this bowl a sustainable and environmentally friendly product that is safe and durable for your cat to use. The silicone material is covered in a high-polish finish that is chemical and heavy metal-free and won’t chip or crack under normal use.

The Ecoware Cat Dish also features a skid-free bottom to keep the dish where you want it and to help keep your kitty from tipping it over. It is also wide and shallow to help prevent whisker fatigue and provide security and comfort to more anxious cats. Along with that, these cat food bowls are easily cleaned by hand or in the dishwasher and is easy on the budget.

However, since these cat food bowls from Van Ness are made primarily from bamboo, some cats may develop an allergy to them. This will typically show up as a rash on their chin or face. They also only hold eight ounces, and larger amounts of kibble will easily fall out with the shallowness of the bowl and the curved sides.


  • Environmentally friendly material
  • Chemical and heavy metal-free
  • Wide and shallow shape


  • Cats may develop an allergy to the material
  • Doesn’t hold a lot of cat food

5. Best Slow Feeder Cat Bowl: Petstages Cat Slow Feeder

Petstages Cat Slow Feeder
Promotes fun, healthy eating: naturally slows cats' eating pace by allowing cats to forage for their food through a fun maze.
BPA, PVC & Phthalate Free: Made with food safe materials that you can trust with your kitty.
Improves digestion: reducing eating pace can improve digestion and prevent bloating.

The Petstages Slow Feeder bowl may be just what they need to slow down mealtime for cats who eat too quickly. The ridges in this cat food bowl create a little maze that traps pieces of kibble or even wet food so that your cat has to pick around to get their meal. This helps to improve digestion and decrease vomiting. Not only that, this maze food bowl will keep your cat entertained throughout the day.

The Petstages Slow Feeder is dishwasher safe so that you don’t have to attempt to handwash around all of those curves and ridges. It is also BPA, PVC, and chemical-free, so you know it will be safe for your cat. A non-slip base covers the bottom, so you won’t have to worry about your cat moving this food bowl around the house while they work through the maze.

Some cats aren’t going to like a slow feeder-type bowl. Picky eaters may turn up their noses if they find it difficult or time-consuming to get to their kibble. That is why slow feeders are meant more for voracious cats who only care about food and not for fussy eaters. This bowl holds about ¾ cup of dry kibble or wet food, which might not be big enough for an entire day’s feeding for a bigger cat.


  • Helps improve digestion
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Provides mental stimulation and entertainment


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Holds ¾ cup food 

Best Cat Food Bowls Buying Guide

A gray cat with black stripes is sitting down in front of two metal pet food bowls on a metal stand, licking its mouth.

You may think that every cat food bowl is created equal. That is until you try to buy one and find that there are more options than teeth in your cat’s mouth. While it’s great to have options, the sheer number of options is overwhelming. We’re here to help you narrow down your choices so that you can find a cat food bowl that both you and your feline friend will love.

Cat Bowl Materials:  Which is the Best?

There are many cute shapes, colors, patterns, and materials that cat food bowls come in. So, which is best for your kitty?

  • Plastic: Plastic cat food bowls are among the most common and least expensive items available. While they are easy to find, plastic isn’t the best material for cat food bowls. That’s because teeth or claws easily damage the plastic. Those puncture holes, cracks, and scratches are hard to clean and can harbor bacteria that can make your cat sick. Some cats can also develop allergies to plastic that can show up as a rash on their face and chin.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic bowls are nice and easy to clean. They can be hand-washed, with some being dishwasher-safe. They also tend to be heavier in weight, which may keep your cat from pushing them around as much. However, that heaviness can also be detrimental if it is dropped, as ceramic breaks easily.  
  • Glass: Another material that is easy to clean is glass. Handwashing or a run through the dishwasher will get them clean and sanitary. But glass also tends to be fragile and can easily crack if knocked around or dropped.
  • Stainless Steel: Most vets will recommend stainless steel cat food bowls simply because they are sanitary and nearly indestructible. Stainless steel is easily cleaned in the dishwasher or by hand. They also tend to be more expensive and don’t have any fun colors or patterns. 

Types of Cat Food Bowls

Materials aside, there are still many options left for cat food bowls. These options pertain to the size, shape, and unique features.

  • Size and Shape: Generally speaking, you’ll want a cat food bowl that can accommodate a meal’s worth of your cat’s food. Sometimes it’s not that simple. Some scaredy-cat types will prefer a shallow, wider bowl to keep an eye on their surroundings. Others prefer the wider bowl to prevent whisker fatigue. However, if you’re cramped for space and have a fairly laid-back feline, a deeper, narrower bowl may fit the surroundings better. Just be prepared for your cat to pull kibble from their bowl and eat it on the floor. Those messy kitties also need a bigger bowl to keep their kibble more confined while they eat it.
  • Elevated: Elevated cat food bowls are on the rise. That’s because feeding your cat at a higher level can improve digestion and prevent discomfort in older kitties. Elevated cat food bowls should be about chest high when your cat is standing normally. This keeps your cat from hunching over their bowl, which can cause back pain and cramp the digestive system. For cats with megaesophagus, elevated food bowls are a must.
  • Slow Feeders: If it seems like your cat has never tasted their cat food because they eat it so fast, a slow feeder-type bowl may be your answer. These cat food bowls have ridges or bumps in them that dry kibble falls around and in between. This prevents your kitty from grabbing large mouthfuls of food at a time and instead makes them pick around the obstacles for smaller nibbles. Not only can slow feeders help reduce the amount of food that your cat eats, but they can also cut down on the number of post-meal throw-ups that you have to clean.

Final Thoughts

If you’re in the market for a cat food bowl, you’ll first want to note your cat’s personality. Are they easy-going or a little jumpy? Are they a little messy or highly fastidious? Do they have any health concerns or digestive issues? With those in mind, you can choose a bowl that will accommodate them at mealtime and not put you out when it comes time to clean it.

The Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease

A gray with small patches of white and stripes of black is lying down, not looking well. There is a yellow band around one of its legs.

Unfortunately, cats and kidney disease often go hand in hand. Kidney disease is devastating, and cat owners are often confused and feel like they can’t do anything to help. There’s no magic potion or medication that will cure kidney disease in cats, and managing it can be challenging. However, with the use of the proper diet, fluids, and supplements, cats with kidney disease can be kept comfortable for as long as possible.

1. Best Overall Supplement: Kidney Restore

Healthy Kidney Kidney Resort for Cats and Dogs
All natural and 100% safe kidney health supplement, developed to support normal kidney function and urinary health.
Probiotic microorganisms helps kidneys by supporting natural elimination of poisonous toxins in the gut, while the sodium bicarb neutralizes kidney acids & toxins, and balances minerals.
Recommended by veterinarians for supporting normal kidney function in senior pets without harmful drugs.

Here’s an all-natural kidney disease supplement to help with nearly every sign of kidney disease. This powder formula can be mixed with food or water and given to your cat every day to help clear up some of the side effects of kidney disease. It does this with a five-fold approach:

First, it contains probiotics that help the gut eliminate those waste products that the kidneys can’t. Second, it helps to neutralize acids in the blood to keep pH levels in check. It also blocks phosphorus and provides potassium. Vitamin C is in there as well for its antioxidative effects. This supplement may help your cat regain weight, decrease their nausea, give them some energy back, and decrease the amount they urinate. It’s also backed by a 60-day money-back guarantee.

As with any supplement and cats with a finicky appetite, not every cat will want to eat this. It can be mixed with water and syringe-fed to your cat if that works better for them.


  • Can be mixed with food
  • Provides necessary nutrients
  • Antioxidants to help prevent further damage


  • Cats might not want to eat it
  • No guidelines for dosage

2. Best Runner Up Supplement: Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold

Pet Wellbeing Herbal Kidney Problem Support for Cats
Formula is prepared entirely from organically grown and selectively wild-harvested herbs.
Created by veterinarians & clinical herbalists along with the latest scientific research.
Designed to support renal function and overall health for kidney issues in cats.

Using a combination of natural herbal ingredients, Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold helps kidney function. While it isn’t a magic wand, it can help to support normal fluid and electrolyte balance and boost the immune system to prevent other secondary diseases. This product also helps increase the excretion of waste products and toxins that make your cat nauseous and lethargic.

Pet Wellbeing Kidney Support Gold may also help boost kidney function to increase blood filtration and decrease the loss of vital nutrients. And it contains antioxidants to help prevent further cellular damage. In addition, this supplement has shown an improvement in a cat’s energy level, appetite, and hair coat quality.

As with any supplement, some cats are not going to eat it. Even though it is bacon flavored, a poor or finicky appetite is often part of kidney disease. However, this product has a dropper should you need to give it to your cat directly. Also, since this is an herbal supplement, always check with your vet first to make sure the ingredients are suitable for your cat. 


  • Bacon flavored
  • Natural ingredients


  • Some cats won’t like it
  • Not to be used as the sole treatment

3. Best Potassium Supplement: Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats

Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement for Cats
Provides B-complex vitamins, aqueous liver fractions and essential amino acids.
Highly palatable liver and bacon flavoring.

For a more customized kidney disease supplement, look at Rx Vitamins Amino B+K Supplement. This product provides amino acids to help protect protein loss, potassium, and B vitamins to help replace those that are lost. It is a liquid supplement that is bacon flavored to entice even picky kitties to take it. The liquid can also be easily mixed with food if your cat isn’t into it. 

B vitamins are essential for nearly every cell in the body, including the production of red blood cells, brain and skin cells, and metabolism. Potassium is needed for muscle contraction and nerve conduction. Both essential nutrients are lost more in kidney disease as the volume of urine increases. Supplementing both will help a cat with kidney disease stay healthy for longer.

This supplement for kidney disease does contain fructose (a type of sugar). While this isn’t as big of a deal for many cats, it can cause problems in cats with diabetes. Also, there is no guarantee that your cat will like it. While bacon flavoring may seem like exactly what your cat is looking for, appetites go down with kidney disease, so you may have to get creative to get your kitty to eat it.


  • Provides potassium and B vitamins that your cat needs
  • Bacon flavored


  • Not every cat will like it
  • Contains fructose

4. Best Phosphate Binder Supplement: Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind

Rx Vitamins for Pets Phos-Bind for Pets
Supports normal function and health of the kidneys.
Professional veterinary formulas.

For some cats with kidney disease, a reduced phosphate diet might not be enough. They may require additional phosphate binding medication to help prevent phosphorus levels from getting too high. This phosphate binder from Rx Vitamins is a powder form that can be mixed into food or water and fed with a syringe.

High levels of phosphorus can weaken bones and cause calcium deposits on other organs in the body. Phosphorus levels increase during kidney failure due to the kidneys reduced function and them not getting filtered out. Phosphate binders help gather up that excess phosphate and get it out of the body before it can cause trouble.

This is a powdered formula, but the consistency can be more granular, like sugar. This makes it more challenging to mix with food or dissolve in water. If your cat is especially picky about textures, this supplement may not be the best.


  • Helps remove excess phosphorus from the body
  • Decreases nausea and lethargy


  • Granular texture makes it difficult to mix
  • Some cats might not like it

5. Best Omega Fatty Acid Supplement: VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9

VetriScience Laboratories Omega 3,6,9 for Cats and Dogs
A blend of non-GMO natural oils from borage seed, flaxseed, and fish.
Fatty acid formula is rich in ALA, GLA, EPH and DHA to provide a wide range of health benefits for pets.
Supports total body health in pets.

Omega fatty acids have many benefits in a healthy cat’s body, and they have even more benefits for a cat with kidney disease. Omega fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory to help decrease inflammation associated with chronic issues like kidney disease. Omega fatty acids also help support the immune system so that your cat won’t have to worry about fighting off a secondary disease.

This supplement from VetriScience Laboratories contains three types of omega fatty acids to help decrease inflammation and help improve skin and haircoat health. This can make your cat feel and look better. This product comes in a gel-cap form that can be given directly to your cat. If your cat does not eat it this way, you could cut it open and squeeze the liquid onto their food.

Most cats aren’t going to take the pill form of this, so that means you’ll have to cut it open and squeeze out the liquid, which can have an odor. Also, this product is an oil, so it can become rancid after prolonged storage.


  • Provides three types of omega fatty acids
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves skin and haircoat


  • May have an odor
  • Can go rancid

Best Cat Supplements for Kidney Disease Buying Guide

The hand of a female is seen putting some liquid from a bottle into a metal bowl filled with wet pet food. A fork is resting on the edge of that bowl.

Kidney disease is a complicated process that involves many components. This makes finding suitable supplements for kidney disease complicated. Hopefully, this guide can help clear up some of those complications so that you can find the best product for your feline friend.

Supplements for kidney disease aren’t meant to be the only treatment for your cat. Kidney disease should be managed through a variety of methods to address your cat’s specific needs.

Normal Kidney Function vs. Kidney Disease

The kidneys are a sort of the jacks of all trades. They do a lot for a cat’s body, the main jobs being filtering the blood and urine production. Kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the body, mix it, and get it out into the bladder to be excreted. During this process, they also conserve essential electrolytes and control acid/base balances.

There’s more to the kidneys than just urine. They also produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure and control the production of red blood cells.

In the course of kidney disease, the function of the kidneys is reduced, causing waste products to build up in the blood and more water to be excreted. This makes a kitty feel sick, lose weight and not be able to concentrate their urine. Instead, they urinate large amounts, which can lead to dehydration and loss of important vitamins and minerals.

Cats with kidney disease will also become unable to regulate their blood pH, which can damage other organs and become anemic due to a lack of red blood cell production. 

What to Look for in Kidney Supplements for Cats

Supplements that may help cats with kidney disease are:

  • Omega Fatty Acids:  There’s a reason fish oil is often touted as a supplement-it contains omega fatty acids that help to naturally decrease the chronic inflammation associated with kidney disease in cats.
  • Antioxidants:  Free radicals are created over time by the breakdown of food and from exposure to pollution, and they can cause harm to the body. Antioxidants help to protect the body’s cells from free radicals. Vitamin C, E, and rosemary are often used as antioxidant supplements. 
  • Phosphate Binders: A normal functioning kidney filters excess phosphate from the blood and gets rid of it. In kidney disease, that excess phosphate isn’t filtered out and can cause damage to the bones and other organs. Phosphate binders may help grab that excess phosphate from the blood and get it out of the body before it can cause problems.
  • B-vitamins:  When the kidneys aren’t up to par, a lot of water is lost through urine. Along with that water, water-soluble B-vitamins are also lost. B-vitamins are essential for metabolism, new blood cell formation, and brain and skin cell maintenance. B-vitamins will need to be provided by the diet or by supplementation.
  • Potassium:  Potassium is also taken out of the body through urine. With kidney disease, urine volume, and therefore, the potassium within it, is increased. Many cats with kidney disease will need potassium supplementation to prevent muscle stiffness and cramps. Potassium supplements may also help to keep the kidney disease from getting worse.
  • Diet: Although it’s not technically a supplement, getting your cat on the proper diet is important for managing kidney disease. Diets for cats with kidney disease contain less protein so that the kidneys don’t have to work as hard to get rid of the protein waste and decrease phosphorus. Cats with kidney disease should also drink more water to help keep them from getting dehydrated.

How to Choose a Kidney Supplement for Cats

First thing’s first, talk with your veterinarian. They can help you customize your supplemental needs for exactly what your kitty requires. They can also point you in the right direction. After that, look at other options.

Most cats with kidney disease don’t want to eat, so trying to sneak something into their food might not work out. Other cats won’t take a pill. You know your cat, so choose a supplement form that will work best. Whether it’s a pill, powder, or liquid, choose something that can be given regularly.

You’ll also want to look at availability and affordability. The best supplements in the world are no good to you if you can’t get your hands on them. Choose something available from your vet or in your area so that your cat never has to go without it.

Final Thoughts

Kidney disease in cats often makes cat owners feel like their hands are tied like there’s nothing that they can do to help. While it’s true that kidney disease is progressive and can’t be cured, providing a cat with one of these kidney disease supplements can help to keep them comfortable so that you can enjoy them for as long as possible.

Should I Let My Cat Lick Me? Will Anything Bad Happen?

A white cat with tan-ish patches and black stripes is licking someone’s hand with the background blurred out..

Your feline friend may lick you for a number of reasons, but it may be best not to give them free rein. Cats have many seemingly bizarre behaviors, including chasing imaginary prey and following you to the bathroom, but licking you tops it all. Let’s look into why cats lick people in the first place and why you may want to put a limit on it.

Why Do Cats Lick People?

A cat’s tongue is truly a universal tool. It is covered with tiny barbs that grab onto loose hair and debris in their haircoat. Tongues allow cats to taste and drink. It also works to glean every tasty morsel from their food bowl. With such a useful body part as this, it’s no wonder that cats love to lick so much, but why do they like to lick you?

Here Are Some of the Reasons Why:

  • They’re Cleaning You: Cats are fastidious animals. They spend most of their waking hours grooming themselves into pristine condition. Cats love to groom so much that they will also groom their fellow furry friends. This can sometimes be extended to you. Whether or not they think you’re dirty, them licking you may be their way of cleaning you and making you feel part of their clan.
  • They Want Attention: Nothing says pet me like a rough, sandpaper lick on the hand. When meowing and rubbing against your leg doesn’t get your attention, licking or even biting might. Your cat may be trying to get your attention for something as simple as an early dinner or something more serious like an illness.
  • They’re Feeling Stressed: The act of licking releases endorphins in a cat’s brain. That’s partly why a mother cat seems so content when she’s cleaning up her babies. Licking you may be a way for your cat to calm their nerves if they’re stressed about something in their environment.
  • They’re Showing You Affection: Similar to how you show your cat love by petting them, licking you may be their way of reciprocating that love. Again, groups of cats, including mothers and their kittens, lick each other as a form of bonding. When your cat licks you, it may be their way of saying, “Welcome home, I missed you.”
  • They Like the Taste: We’ve all heard the saying “Curiosity killed the cat,” which came about because cats are so investigatory of their surroundings. They can’t keep their noses or tongues out of things. Licking you may be another way to explore the world around them. They can taste where you’ve been and what you’ve done that day. They may also just like the salty taste.

Should I Let My Cat Lick Me?

Close up of a brown can with light gray patches closing its eyes and licking someone’s finger.

Most of the time, your cat’s licks are pretty harmless, especially if just a lick or tow here and there. However, your cat licking you isn’t without a couple of potential risks.

First of all, a cat’s obsessive licking can lead to actual wounds on your skin.

That’s because their rough tongue can damage your skin like sandpaper if they lick the same area enough times. Now, it’s unlikely that your cat means to hurt you, but it is a potential side effect.

Another reason you might want to limit your cat’s licking is that it can spread bacteria.

Even though a cat works very hard at maintaining a clean and put-together appearance, the inside of their mouth is quite dirty. Cat mouths harbor quite a lot of bacteria, and while a cat bite is usually the cause of most problems, licking an open wound or near your mouth or eyes can cause an infection. We’ve all witnessed the amazing acrobatics that a cat goes through to clean themselves after using the litter box, and nobody should want a lick after that.

How Can I Stop a Cat From Licking Me?

If you’ve decided to try to curb your cat’s licking behavior, be careful how you go about it. First of all, many of the reasons why your cat licks you are done with affection and showing you that you’re part of their circle. You don’t want to offend them or make them associate you with any negative behavior.

Rather than punishment or spreading yucky tasting products on your skin, try to redirect your cat’s behavior when the licking gets to be too much. You may try to play with them or pet them instead of allowing them to lick you. If your cat licks you while you’re snuggling, try moving your face or hand away from them and offer them a clothed body part instead.

If redirecting doesn’t work, just get out of there. If you leave every time your cat starts their licking game, sooner or later, they’ll get the idea that licking equals you leaving. They will hopefully decide to cut out the licking so that you’ll stick around.

If you can’t get your cat’s licking under control or if they’re starting to lick other things besides just you, see your veterinarian. Your cat may be trying to tell you something about their health, and your veterinarian will be able to rule out medical causes of excessive licking.

Final Thoughts

Your cat may lick you for a number of reasons. Most of the time, they see it as a way of conveying their positive feelings towards you. However, your cat’s licking may cause you some problems, especially if they’re doing it excessively. If your cat’s licking has gotten out of control, try some of the above tips or speak to your veterinarian.

The Best Cat Foods For Weight Gain and Guide

Many (around 5) gray cats with black stripes are eating dry cat food off of the ground. More cats can be seen blurred in the background.

In the cat world, a lot of attention is given to overweight and obese kitties. But on the other end of the spectrum, plenty of cats are a little too thin and trim. Thinness in cats can come about due to several things, including medical condition, age, and picky eating. If your kitty could stand to put on a few pounds, one of these cat foods for weight gain might be the way to go.

1.  Best Overall Food for Weight Gain: Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Nulo Freestyle Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food
Freeze-dried raw cat food to provide essential nutrients for a complete, balanced meal that is protein rich with balanced fat.
Contains no corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavoring.
Probiotic to support you cat's digestive and immune health.

This food from Nulo packs a nutritional punch. It is loaded with protein (42%) and high in fat (37%). Around 90% of that protein comes from whole animal sources, including turkey, duck, and liver.

This helps make it a highly digestible food and one that will help your kitty gain weight. It is also grain-free, should your kitty have an issue with these ingredients.

Nulo Freestyle is a minimally processed food. Rather than cooking the food down, decreasing digestibility and increasing nutrient loss, Nulo freeze-dries real, raw meat. This creates a high protein, more natural kind of food to help your skinny kitty round out their curves. Also included in this diet are probiotics for healthy digestive and immune systems.

A gradual transition is required with any high-protein cat food to prevent vomiting and diarrhea. Also, whole meat foods, like Nulo, may have a stronger odor than you and your cat are used to. The kibble size isn’t as uniform since this food isn’t processed through a machine like other commercial diets. Some pieces can be almost dog food sized, which can be a problem for picky eaters or cats with dental issues.


  • Very high protein, fat diet for weight gain
  • High-quality protein from whole meats
  • Minimally processed


  • Lack of uniformity of kibble size
  • Strong odor
  • May cause vomiting/diarrhea during transition phase

 2.  Runner Up: Orijen Dry Cat Food

ORIJEN Dry Cat Food
Features whole-prey animal inclusions like meat, organs, cartilage, and bone providing your cat with the most nutrient-dense, succulent parts of the prey.
Up to 90%* premium animal ingredients, providing a strong source of essential protein, vitamins, and minerals.
First 5 ingredients are chicken, turkey, whole mackerel, turkey giblets, and flounder.

If you look at the ingredients list of a bag of Orijen cat food, you might consider eating it yourself. It is packed full of animal proteins in their most wholesome form. That is because Orijen prides itself on creating pet foods that are most like that of a cat’s natural diet. These foods are made from 90% animal protein sources and just 10% fruits and vegetables to provide necessary nutrients.

What these ingredients amount to is 40% protein and 20% fat. This will help your kitty gain the right kind of weight by providing the necessary energy and plenty of lean muscle-building power. This food is also fresh and tasty, with real freeze-dried liver coating every kibble for a flavor that your kitty will love.

With food this powerful, it is natural to have a strong odor. While that odor isn’t necessarily unpleasant, it may be something that surprises you or your cat. This strong odor may carry over to their litter box as well. It is also more expensive than other brands. However, due to its nutrient density, you may end up feeding less of it down the road so that the cost may balance out a bit more.


  • High-protein, moderate fat for healthy weight gain
  • High-quality ingredients from whole protein sources
  • A taste that most kitties love


  • Strong odor
  • More expensive
  • Formulated for all life stages, which makes it challenging to tailor needs for specific cats

 3.  Honorable Mention: Instinct Ultimate Protein

Instinct High Protein Cat Food
Made with raw meat, fruits, vegetables & other wholesome ingredients.
Never cooked and less processed than other pet food—keeping valuable nutrients intact.
Nutrient Dense: Raw, uncooked foods retain natural flavors, antioxidants, amino acids & vitamins and minerals.

Instinct cat foods believe that raw feeding is the ultimate in natural and digestible nutrition. That’s why every dry kibble is coated with raw, freeze-dried meat. This helps improve the taste and increases digestibility by decreasing the amount of processing. Increased digestibility is important so that your cat can easily glean all of the available nutrients from their food without their guts having to work overtime. This is especially important for older kitties or those with digestive issues, and it can come in handy for cats trying to gain weight.

Instinct Ultimate Protein brings 47% protein to your cat’s food bowl, and 95% of that protein comes from real, whole chicken. To go with that, it also has 17% fat so that your cat can put on healthy muscle weight. Instinct Ultimate Protein also contains probiotics for healthy digestion, omega fatty acids for shiny hair and soft skin, and antioxidants to boost the immune system and benefit the aging process.

This cat food from Instinct is a very high protein and nutrient-dense food. That being said, it can pack a more pungent odor than what you and your cat are used to. This goes for the litter box odor as well. It may also lead to some vomiting or diarrhea during the first few days as your cat’s body adjusts to it. This makes it especially important to very gradually transition your kitty to this food from their old food, possibly taking a couple of weeks to do so.


  • High protein, moderate fat
  • Raw, freeze-dried coating on the kibble to increase taste
  • High-quality protein from real meat


  • May have strong odor
  • More expensive
  • May cause some vomiting/diarrhea during transition

 4.  Best Canned Option: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain Free Wet Cat Food
Includes lean meats, healthy fats, fruits and veggies with no wheat, corn or soy, and no added artificial flavors, colors, carrageenan or preservatives.
Recipe is an easy way to increase your cat's moisture intake for urinary tract health.
Created by nutritionists, veterinarians and animal lovers, to provide an ideal balance of nature's finest ingredients.

If your kitty prefers a softer texture or you’re looking for a mix-in for that dry kibble, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Canned cat food may be just what you need. This product is made with whole chicken, turkey, and liver for a high protein product. It is also high in fat to help add a little padding to your skinny kitty. These protein sources are rounded out with kelp, cranberries, and flaxseed to provide fiber, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids for overall health and wellness.

The texture of Wellness CORE is a pate, meaning it is uniform in texture with no lumps or chunks to upset picky eaters. It also makes it soft for cats with dental or mouth issues and a great texture for mixing with kibble.

The big disadvantage of canned food over dry kibble is the spoilage factor. Canned food doesn’t keep as long. This means that if you have a picky eater, you may throw away more food than they’re eating. Also, quality control due to shipping can vary greatly. Be sure that any canned food smells and looks okay before feeding it to your cat.


  • High protein and high fat
  • Soft, consistent texture
  • Smells and tastes enticing


  • May end up wasting some
  • Quality control issues due to shipping
  • Expensive

 5.  Best Budget Option: Iams Proactive Health High Protein

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH High Protein Dry Cat Kibble
Real Animal Protein Is the #1 Ingredient: High-quality, natural animal protein is used in IAMS Cat Food formulas.
No artificial preservatives, no synthetic dyes, and no wheat.
Nourished with the optimal Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio for a soft, and shiny coat.

For a high-protein food without a hefty price tag, check out Iams Proactive Health High Protein cat food. With whole chicken as the main ingredient, this food brings in about 38% protein and 18% fat. Chicken and salmon make up 84% of the total protein sources, creating a more easily digestible diet.

This food is from Iams is rounded out with prebiotic fiber for optimal gut health, omega fatty acids for your cat’s skin and haircoat, and all other essential nutrients for overall health and weight gain. 

Again, high protein foods can take a bit for your kitty to settle into. This means gradual transitions to help avoid diarrhea or vomiting. Higher protein foods also have a stronger smell which can be off-putting for you and your cats. Since this cat food is lower in fat than others, it may take a little longer to see any changes in weight.


  • High protein and moderate fat
  • Uses whole chicken as the first ingredient
  • Less expensive


  • May have a strong smell
  • May cause vomiting/diarrhea during the transition

Best Cat Food for Weight Gain Buying Guide

A skinny orange-ish and white cat with very long legs is walking down a road or sidewalk.

First thing’s first, if you have a skinny cat, you need to figure out why. Schedule a visit to your veterinarian to have your cat checked out for some of the medical conditions that can cause weight loss in cats. Some of those include:

  • Parasites: Both internal and external parasites can lead to long-term weight loss or failure to gain weight
  • Kidney Disease: Cats with all stages of kidney failure may have a reduced appetite and increased water consumption and urination.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Even with a voracious appetite, cats with hyperthyroidism often continue to lose weight.
  • Bad Teeth: When it hurts to chew, most cats start to forego mealtime.
  • AgeAs cats get older, their digestive efficiency decreases, possibly causing weight loss.
  • Other Chronic Conditions: Digestive issues, diabetes, pain, heart disease, and cancer, to name a few, can lead to weight loss in cats. 

If your kitty gets a clean bill of health from your vet, their skinny figure may simply be due to not eating enough calories. This may be because they don’t like the taste or texture of their food, it’s not calorically dense enough, or they’re just not getting the proper amounts because another furry friend (or even child!) is stealing it.

What to Look for in a Cat Food for Weight Gain

Now it’s time to start looking for the right food to help them put some weight back on. For some cats, you may be able to use their current diet; just increase the amounts that they get. You may need to switch to a higher-powered version for other cats to get them the required calories. When choosing a cat food for weight gain, make sure it meets the following standards:

  • High-Protein: Cats like their meat; in fact, their bodies require it as their main energy source. Look for cat food that contains at least 30% protein from good quality meat sources rather than plant-based. This number can be higher if recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Moderate Fat: While protein may be a cat’s go-to energy source, fat provides a very condensed form. You’ll want food around 20% fat to best provide for some weight gain.
  • Quality Ingredients: Anytime you’re looking at a diet for your cat, your first step should be to find one with whole meats as the first ingredient listed—bonuses for finding one that also includes it as the second or third ingredients. Whole meats provide an easily digestible and complete source of protein. Chicken, turkey, fish, or beef are top choices if your cat isn’t allergic.
  • Your Cat Likes It: Obviously, cats aren’t going to eat food they don’t like. Choose something that your kitty will readily eat and won’t get bored of. This may take some trial and error to find the right flavor and texture. You may also want to go with a line that offers different flavors so that you can change their food to fit their tastes without changing brands.

Other Tips for Helping a Cat Gain Weight

Along with changing to one of these cat foods meant for weight gain, here are some tips you can try to help your feline friend plump up a bit.

  • Feed Smaller Meals: Give your cat the option of free choice feeding, if that’s possible, otherwise offer smaller, more frequent meals. This may help kitties with digestive sensitivities to better regulate and increase the number of calories consumed. 
  • Feed Them Separately: If your house is graced with more than one cat, feeding them separately can help ensure that they get all of the food they require.
  • Change Flavors and Textures: Offer your picky eater different flavors of the same brand. You may also mix in some canned food on occasion to tantalize their taste buds.
  • Keep it Fresh: Cats don’t like yesterday’s leftovers, especially canned food. Make sure their meals are always fresh from the container. You may want to buy smaller bags of dry kibble to ensure freshness.
  • Try Kitten Food: Kitten food is packed with protein and higher in fat to fuel those growing, active bodies. Feeding an underweight adult cat kitten food is a way of increasing calories without decreasing quality. 
  • Soup Up the Supplements: If all else fails, speak to your veterinarian about weight gain supplements and appetite stimulants.

When starting your kitty on a weight gain regime, it’s essential that you choose something that can be decreased over time in case it goes too far in the other direction. If you start free-choice feeding, for example, be sure that you can easily go back to timed meals should your kitty start to get on the thick side. 

Final Thoughts

With all the attention that obesity and weight gain gets in our feline friends, it’s important to remember that there are some kitties in need of a little nutritional boost. Choosing one of these best cat foods for weight gain is a big step in your cat’s weight gain journey. Along with a diet change, a trip to your veterinarian and some of these other helpful weight gain tips may be in order.

Ask a Vet: What Can Cats Drink (Besides Water)?

A tan-brownish cat with some off white patches is lying down with a straw in its mouth. The straw is sticking out of a halved coconut, which also has a drink umbrella in it

All mammals need water, including your cat, but you may find yourself wondering if there are other liquids out there that your cat can drink as well. While water is an essential nutrient and the best way to hydrate your cat, let’s look at other things that are okay for your cat to drink.

What Can Cats Drink Besides Water?

Some products are safe and effective if you’re looking for other ways besides water to keep your cat hydrated.

  • Milk: We’re talking about cat’s milk, and this goes for kittens only. Kittens feed almost entirely on their mother’s milk or a milk replacer for the first month of life. It provides all of the necessary nutrition for them to grow and thrive. After the first month, most kittens can start to transition to solid food. As kittens get older and weaned from their mother, most of them become lactose intolerant, so giving them milk can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. If you want to give your adult cat milk, stick with plant-based milk but only in small amounts.
  • Bone Broth: People drink bone broth for several reasons. First of all, it is made from bone and connective tissues, so it helps improve digestion and joint health, removes toxins from the liver, and makes for a healthier haircoat and skin. Plus, cats love the taste. After all, cats are carnivores and love animal-based proteins. This makes bone broth a great choice to liven up any cat’s meal or entice them to eat or drink if they’re feeling picky.
  • Pedialyte: Electrolytes are essential to maintain fluid balance, aid in muscle contraction and nerve conduction, and maintain pH levels. Electrolytes play an important part in hydration. If your kitty isn’t feeling well or isn’t drinking enough water, electrolyte solutions, like Pedialyte, can help. Pedialyte is preferred over other electrolyte solutions because it is lower in sugar, which your cat doesn’t need.
  • Tuna Juice: If your kitty needs a little pick-me-up or just an added incentive to eat or drink, tuna juice may do the trick. Besides having a taste that cats go crazy for, tuna juice can also provide them with omega fatty acids to improve their skin and haircoat and help battle inflammation. Just make sure to only use tuna in water instead of tuna in oil, since oil is high in fat and can cause digestive upset and even pancreatitis in high amounts. Drizzle tuna juice over their food or mix it in with their water.
  • Canned Food Slurry: If your kitty is having trouble getting their daily fluids or doesn’t want to eat, a canned food slurry might be what they’re looking for. Mix canned food with water until it reaches a tomato soup consistency (or thicker or thinner depending on your needs), and let your cat lap it up.

What Should Cats NOT Drink?

Close-up of a gray, tan cat with black patches and stripes drinking milk from a white plate on the ground.

Your cat can enjoy a few other beverages besides water, but that doesn’t mean that all liquids are fair game. Your feline friend should avoid the following:

  • Cows Milk: Here’s where that lactose intolerance comes in. Drinking too much cow’s milk can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
  • Alcohol: Beer and wine have the same effects on cats as humans, times 10. Consuming alcohol can lead to alcohol poisoning before you know it.
  • Caffeine: A cat’s body is more sensitive to caffeine than humans, making heart and blood pressure issues a big problem.
  • Sugary Drinks: Soda and juices aren’t for cats either. They add calories that can make them gain weight and lead to diabetes. Also, cats can’t taste sweet, so what’s the point?

The Importance of Water for Cats

Before we get into other liquids that are safe for cats to drink, let’s focus on why and how a cat should stay hydrated. In the wild, cats don’t drink a lot of water. Instead, they get their fluid requirements mainly from the prey that they eat. This can add up to quite a bit considering most prey animals are 60-70% water. However, our domestic cats don’t have that opportunity, so their water needs are met by drinking water.

A cat’s body needs water for nearly every function. It is required to help digest foods, transport nutrients, and remove wastes. Water also helps regulate body temperature, cushion the brain and spinal cord, and lubricate joints. If cats don’t drink enough water, they get dehydrated, leading to organ and muscle dysfunction and damage, and electrolyte imbalances.

How much water do cats need per day? That will depend on the size of your kitty and the type of food they eat: the more dry kibble they eat, the more water they need. Also, the bigger your cat, the more water they will need.

Generally speaking, a 10-pound cat eating dry kibble should drink about one cup of water per day.

You can encourage your cat to drink more water by ensuring their water source is always fresh and clean. Use multiple water bowls in different locations so your kitty doesn’t have to go looking for it. Some cats prefer running water from a fountain or a dripping faucet. If your kitty still needs a little encouragement, feed them some canned food since it has a higher moisture content.

Final Thoughts

All kitties need water; normal bodily functions depend on it. However, getting your cat to drink the required amount can sometimes be tricky. Even though water is always best, this list of other safe beverages can help your cat get their fluids to prevent dehydration.

The 5 Best Cheap Cat Litter

A close-up shot of wood-pellet cat litter. In the litter are 7 US monetary bills (2 five dollar bills, 2 ten dollar bills, 1 twenty dollar bill, and 2 hundred dollar bills).

It’s no secret that having a cat costs money. The initial investment of all of the supplies, adoption fee, and the ongoing, lifelong costs can quickly add up. Even though your kitty is worth every penny, looking for ways to save money can benefit your budget. One way to save some money is by using a cheap (but good) cat litter.

Since cheap is a relative term, this guide focuses on cat litters that cost under $0.75 per pound (at the time of this writing).

1. Best Overall Choice: Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Cat Litter

Precious Cat Unscented Ultra Clumping Cat Litter
99. 9% dust free and low tracking.
Uses natural ingredients for odor control.
Hard clumping medium grain clay helps prevent moisture from reaching the bottom and makes it easier to scoop.

Here’s a low-cost cat litter that seems to have it all. Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter is a clay-based, clumping litter that is also low dust. It claims that it is 99.9% dust-free, making it an excellent choice for cats and people with dust allergies. Low dust also means less mess.

Speaking of less mess, this cheap cat litter is also tight clumping, making it easier to scoop to remove more waste. It is made to clump around liquids before they get the chance to reach the bottom of the litter box, creating that cement-like stickiness that can be so hard to remove. This cheap cat litter also locks in odors, not mask them, to keep your house smelling clean. This cat litter is less tracking. The medium-sized litter granules are formulated to not stick in between your cat’s toes and track around the house. On top of all that, Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter is formulated for multi-cat households, meaning it can maintain freshness with many uses.

The label on Dr. Elsey’s Ultra Cat Litter says to layer 3-4″ in the bottom of the litter pan. Any less, and it won’t clump as promised, leaving a sticky mess to scrape out. The only drawback is this litter might not take care of odors as well as other products.


  • Tightly clumping
  • Low dust
  • Less tracking


  • Can become sticky if not enough litter is used
  • Less odor control than other litters

2. Best Odor Control: Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter 24/7 Performance

Purina Tidy Cats Clumping Cat Litter
Tidy Max ammonia blocker blocks ammonia odor for up to 2 weeks.
99.9% dust-free.
Tidy Max Moisture Activated Power Pieces provides outstanding moisture control to the litter box.

Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance Cat Litter is tough on litter box odors. It takes a three-step approach to lock odors away so that your house smells fresh and clean and your cat won’t turn up their nose at their litter box. The first step is the Tidy Max Ammonia Blocker which helps to neutralize the ammonia smell. The second step is Absorptive Power Pieces activated on contact with moisture to lock away wetness and odor in a tight clump. The third step is a continuous odor control system to lock away odors and neutralize them around the clock.

This cheap cat litter is also low dust and tight clumping to prevent allergies and stuck-on messes. If that doesn’t seem like your perfect cheap cat litter, look into other cat litter products from Tidy Cat: Instant Action, which works to control odor on the spot, Tidy Cat with Glade, which provides a pleasing scent, or 4-in-1 which is meant for those tough litter box smells or multi-cat households.

Tidy Cats 24/7 Performance and other Tidy Cats Cat Litter products are scented, which can be overpowering for some, especially when first opening the bag. If you or your cat has a sensitivity to strong scents, this may not work for you. Also, as with all clumping litter, not putting enough in the litter box can make clean-up more difficult by creating a sticky mess on the bottom of the pan.


  • Triple-approach odor control
  • Low dust
  • Low tracking


  • Possibly overwhelming fragrance
  • Creates sticky mess if enough isn’t used

3. Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter- Best for Multiple Cats

ARM & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter
100% dust-free.
Specially formulated to seal and destroy odors before they leave the cat litter box.
Plant-derived particles help create rock solid clumps for easy scooping.

If you have a lot of kitties or your litter box smells like you do, the Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Platinum Cat Litter may be a good fit for you. This litter is clay-based with plant materials to form a tighter clump that locks in odors and helps keep the bottom of your litter box clean. Moisture-activated Micro-Granules clump tightly around waste to ensure no leakage, making it easier scooping and cleaning. This is definitely something that you want in a multi-cat litter.

Along with locking in odors, this cheap cat litter also uses Arm & Hammer baking soda to neutralize odor. They believe in their product so much that they guarantee an odor-free litter box for at least seven days or your money back (at the time of this writing). This litter is also considered 100% dust-free, so it shouldn’t irritate allergies or create a dusty mess in your home.

This is another fragranced cat litter that can be too much for some cat parents and cats alike. This cheap cat litter may not be for you if you can’t stand a strong, perfumy scent.


  • 100% dust-free
  • Odor control and clumping ability for multi-cat households
  • 7-day odor control guarantee


  • Possibly strong perfumy fragrance
  • Different texture than previous formulas

4. Best Non-Clumping: Special Kitty Natural Clay Cat Litter

Special Kitty Unscented Natural Clay Cat Litter
Fragrance free and highly absorbent.
Made from 100-percent natural ground clay.

Special Kitty Natural Clay litter is a simple, no-frills cat litter. It is a non-clumping yet highly absorbent formula that will help lock away moisture and odors without creating a stuck-on mess in your cat’s litter box. It also has no added fragrances or colors and is nearly dust-free.

Non-clumping cat litter needs to be used properly to have the best odor control. This cat litter needs to be emptied every day to provide the best results. Since it is non-clumping, scooping is hard to do. Even though all of the cat litters on this list are relatively cheap, this product is even less expensive.

This cheap cat litter is non-clumping and clay-based, so even though it claims to be dust-free, there is still plenty of dust to go around. This can be a problem for cats with respiratory issues or allergies. Also, it does have to be changed every day, which might not be on everyone’s want-to-do list.


  • Inexpensive
  • Highly absorbent
  • Simple formula


  • Needs to be changed daily
  • Dusty

5. Most Eco-Friendly: Fresh News Recycled Paper Multi-Cat Litter

Fresh News Recycled Paper, Original Pellet Multi-Cat Litter
Over 99% dust free and 100% non allergenic, giving you a cleaner litter box and home.
Recycled Paper Litter has super absorbent strength, almost three times more than clay.
Made with 100% post consumer paper from recycling centers, it is safe for all animals and is biodegradable.

Fresh News is a pelleted form of cat litter made from compressed recycled newspaper. It is highly absorbent, dust-free, and hypoallergenic. It is also easy to clean up and has minimal tracking. It also doesn’t clump, so there is no scooping necessary. All you have to do is remove the wet pellets or dump the entire litter box every couple of days to control odors.

Since this cat litter isn’t made from clay, there is no chance it will make a sticky mess on the bottom of the litter box. It also won’t produce dust or a clay smell. Unlike other pelleted brands, Fresh News pellets retain their shape.

For cat owners that are used to scooping, this cat litter may take some getting used to. With no clumps to identify waste, it may be hard to determine what needs to be scooped and what doesn’t. Your best bet is to use smaller amounts and dump the entire litter box frequently. Even though this cat litter doesn’t track much, it can be easily kicked out of the litter box if your cat is a vigorous scratcher.


  • Easy to clean up
  • Eco-friendly
  • No clay smell


  • No clumping to determine what needs to be scooped
  • Can be easily kicked out of the litter box

Best Cheap Cat Litter Buying Guide

The paw of a white cat can be seen stepping on a small stack of US monetary bills. Only the top bill can been seen, which is a 100 dollar US bill.

You’re probably well aware that all cat litter is not created equal and that the pricing can vary greatly. Price is often an indication of the quality, but it is not always the case. With this in mind, here is what to look for in cheap cat litter so that you and your cat aren’t left wanting more from their litter box.

Commonalities of Cheap Cat Litter

Less expensive cat litters are more than likely going to be made of clay. Cat litters made from plant material, crystal beads, or newspapers are going to cost more simply because they are more expensive to produce.

The majority of cheap cat litters will also be non-clumping. Non-clumping cat litters can still work well as long as you use them properly. Using smaller amounts of litter and dumping and cleaning the entire box daily is the best way to reduce odors.

With a budget-friendly price, cheap cat litters do have a few downsides. First of all, they may create more dust and tracking. Tracking can be reduced by using a mat or rug under the litter box to catch any errant litter. To prevent dust, be sure to pour your litter in a well-ventilated area.

Clay litters may not trap smell as well as other litter, and they may smell like, you guessed it, clay. Frequent cleaning is the best way to eliminate any litter box odor or use additives like baking soda to cut down on the smell.

How to Choose the Best Cheap Cat Litter

With lower-priced cat litters, you can forget the bells and whistles. There are also going to be limited options of any eco-friendly materials. This basically leaves you with clay cat litters, but there’s still plenty to choose from there.

Let’s look at some of your options:

Scented or Unscented: This one is highly dependent on your personal preference. Some people don’t like an overpowering perfume smell, while others appreciate a little something besides the smell of clay, or worse, cat urine. Many cheap cat litters will provide you with either option. Also, remember your cat’s preference for this as well. Some cats may turn up their nose at a floral smell.

Clumping or Non-Clumping: Most cheap cat litters will be non-clumping. Clumping does allow you to scoop in between box cleanings, but it also may clump between your cat’s toes. Non-clumping requires a complete change of litter to get rid of wastes but may be friendly to your cat’s feet.

Odor Control: Some litters lock in odors better than others without masking them. As a general rule, cheaper cat litters will not be as good at this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find one that works for you.

Texture: Cat litters come in different sizes and even shapes. Some can be quite large, while others are smaller. Both have advantages and disadvantages, including getting stuck between toes or being uncomfortable for your cat to step on. Do a little experimentation to see what your cat prefers—most of the time, kitties like something with a texture close to sand.

Cost: This one may seem a little weird since this guide is about cheap cat litters, but it’s important to figure out your cost per use. This is because some cheaper cat litters may require you to use more, and some of the more expensive cat litters can get by with less, making the actual cost per use about the same.

Final Thoughts

You love your kitty, but the lifelong costs of food and cat litter can quickly add up. Choosing one of the best cheap cat litters may be a way of reducing your overall cat care costs. I hope that this guide will help you choose the best cheap cat litter for you, your cat, and your budget.