How Often Should I Feed My Kitten: Conclusion
The main thing that influences how often you should feed your kitten is his age. But size and breed can come into it too. Large breeds will have the stomach capacity to have fewer meals far younger than small breeds such as Siamese cats.
Dont forget that all cats are individuals. If your cat appears to be losing weight, is pestering for food, or is otherwise not coping with the number of meals they get, it might be worth discussing their symptoms with a vet and seeing whether more frequent meals would help.
How Much Should I Feed My Kitten
When you bring your kitten home, theyre usually around 8 weeks of age. Over the next six months, theyll do almost all of their growing, so getting their nutrition right is essential!
Your kitten also has a tiny stomach at this age, so youll need to feed them little and often.
According to a leading cat welfare charity, Cats Protection UK, four meals a day is usually about right for an 8-12 week old kitten.
You can usually drop to three meals a day when your kitten is around four-six months old and down to two meals a day when they reach six-twelve months.
Just keep in mind youll need to tailor this to your kittens appetite and growth. Always consult a veterinarian if you have any questions or issues.
How much to feed your kitten depends on the calorie density of the food how many calories are in each packet, cup, or oz. It also depends on their activity level and age.
The best option is to start off feeding them the amount recommended on the back of the packet, then adjust depending on their growth. Your veterinarian can help to measure your kittens growth and make sure its on track.
Below is the average daily caloric intake for kittens. Keep in mind however that the data shown in this graph are averages and vary depending on factors such as your cats breed, age, and neuter status. Their individual needs can vary up to 50 percent from this data.
Always consult your veterinarian to help determine the appropriate food portions for your kitten.
Body Condition And Health
While some cat owners are used to their pets being overweight and think it makes them cute, that obviously has a negative effect on their health and how long they will be around. And since they may not be able to regulate how much and what kind of food they eat, its your responsibility to help them get into shape and avoid serious health issues.
Now, it may be easy to determine when a cat is obviously way too skinny or too fat. Determining borderline cases may be more challenging, yet it can be done by a simple visual check.
If your cats ribs, spine, and pelvis are easily palpated and even visible, its thinner than it should be. Its a good sign that cat food portions should be increased.
Ideally, the animals waist should be visible, but there should be a slight amount of fat covering its body.
If the felines abdomen is rounded, the waist is partially or completely obscured, and if fat prevents you from feeling its ribs, well, you clearly need to reduce the food it gets and establish a more balanced diet.
Ideal Weight Means A Longer And Happier Life
Achieving and maintaining healthy body condition scores in pets has been proven to reduce the risk of illness and add to the longevity and general well-being of the animal. As animal advocates, we take on the challenge of educating and coaching our pet-owner community about nutrition and best practices in feeding. We would love to hear from you! Submit your feedback and suggestions about this tool on our Contact Form.
Disclaimer: This tool is designed to be used only by veterinary professionals. For obese pets with a body condition score of 7/9 or higher, we advise a weight loss program under the direct guidance of the veterinary health care team. This calculator is only a guideline. Regular monitoring and consideration of outside factors is critical for achieving safe and healthy weight management outcomes. PNA may adjust the formulations based on new data findings.
Monitoring Your Cats Weight
Once you know how much wet food should a cat eat to receive the chosen amount of kcals, taking into account any dry food or other treats you may provide, let it be like that for about a week. You can, of course, make daily weight measurements, but you are unlikely to get visible results over the span of two days, and there can be other factors in play. So, a week should be a more reasonable period for assessing changes and planning further actions.
If the cat gains weight over that week, reduce the calories amount, but by much, go with 10% at a time, setting the new norm for the following week. The loss of weight should be met with a similar increase of calories by 10%.
Since no numbers can be precise for all cats, its up to you to monitor their weight and body condition, adjusting the food amount and calories count consistently. Repeat weighing every one or two weeks to see if any new adjustments are required.
Also Check: Catnip Kitten Age
What Does Normal Growth And Development Look Like
Kittens grow quickly, maturing to adulthood by the time they are 10-12 months of age. Their growth rate slows as they approach 80% of adult size at about 30 weeks of age, and they reach adult body size at about 40 weeks of age.
Growth rates for kittens vary by breed and involve a complex process of interactions among genetics, nutrition, and the environment. Proper nutrition is critical to the health and development of kittens, regardless of breed, and it directly influences their immune system and body composition. The nutrient density of food and the amount of food fed can mean the difference between optimal growth and maximal growth.
What Nutrients Are Considered Necessary For Cats
As you know, cats are carnivores, and they get their nutrients that are only found in animal products. Cats generally hunt their prey and eat a large amount of protein, a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of fat. Cats still need this ratio of nutrients in their diet. Other essential nutrients required in small amounts are minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids.
Cats need all these nutrients only in a specific amount to stay healthy excess of these nutrients is not always better. This is the same for minerals and vitamins. If you are feeding a balanced diet, no additional supplementation of these nutrients is necessary. Additional supplementation can be harmful to your cats and should not be administered without consulting your veterinarian. Last but not least, cats also need a supply of fresh, clean water at all times.
You May Like: Bathing A Cat With Dawn
What Should I Feed My 13 Year Old Cat
Becker, the most important thing in feeding senior cats is to provide them with the highest quality protein. Feeding a highly digestible protein that contains high moisture content makes it so much easier for their aging organs to process. Raw or gently cooked fresh food is an excellent diet for elderly cats.
Feeding Kittens Wet Versus Dry Food
Wet and dry cat food are commonly available in kitten formulations, and there are pros and cons to feeding each. To decide which option best suits your kittens needs, talk with your veterinarian and get their recommendation. Here are some pros and cons of each:
Wet cat food is higher in moisture, so it can be beneficial in keeping kittens hydrated, flushing out the urinary tract, and helping kidneys stay healthy. However, wet food tends to stick to the teeth more, which can be associated with dental disease and painful cavity-type problems for cats.
Dry cat food is easier to feed in mutli-cat homes and can help scrape tartar from the teeth. However, some cats can overeat with dry food and gain excessive weight, which can be associated with arthritis, heart problems, blood pressure problems, respiratory problems, or diabetes mellitusjust to name a few.
You May Like: Do You Need A Catalytic Converter To Pass Emissions
How Much Wet Food Or Dry Food To Feed A Kitten
Use your kittens weight to determine approximately how many calories they should be getting each day. Then, look at the label on your kitten food to see how many kcal/kg and kcal/can or kcal/cup it provides. Divide your kittens caloric needs by the foods caloric content to figure out how much of that food to feed your kitten each day. Finally, divide this amount by the number of meals you plan to offer each day to get each meals serving size.
As an example, lets say you have a kitten that is 5 pounds, and you feed them Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food. According to the chart, you should feed your kitten 327 kcal/day.
Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 108 kcal/can, you would determine how much wet food to feed your kitten by dividing 327 kcal/day by 108 kcal/can.
327 kcal/day ÷ 108 kcal/can = 3.027 cans of Wellness CORE Naturals Canned Kitten Food per day.
How Many Calories A Day Does An Indoor Cat Need
The average indoor cat should have 20 calories per pound to maintain weight. The average outdoor only cat should have 35 calories per pound to maintain weight. Indoor/outdoor cats are somewhere in between. o If your indoor cat weighs 10 pounds, then they should be eating approximately 200 calories per day.
Also Check: Cat Paw Swollen
Tips For Transitioning To New Diets
The first transition cats will make to a different diet comes to an adult-specific or all life stages cat food when they become adults, but the process is the same every time they change foodsand its a gradual one. An abrupt diet change can create tummy troubles and digestion issuesin addition to the surprise of the new foods, which they might reject outright if not properly transitioned.
“Whenever you change diet, whether for a different life stage, or to a different flavor or brand, it is important that the transition is gradual,” Dr. Gray says.
Dr. Gray generally recommends mixing small amounts of the new food with the current diet, and then gradually increasing the amount of new food over a 7- to 14-day period.
This not only ensures that cats like the new food, but also that GI upset from a sudden change is avoided, she says. If GI upset is noted when transitioning foods, slowing down the transition or stopping and selecting a different food may be recommended.
Whats The Best Food For Cats
Whenever you choose the best diet for your adult cat, youll want to feed them a complete, balanced diet. This contains all the vitamins and minerals they need and in the correct proportions.
Either dry cat food or a canned diet is fine, with pros and cons to both. I tend to recommend a combination mostly wet food with a small amount of dry cat food designed for dental care.
Aim for an AAFCO or FEDIAF diet, as these will balance their nutrients according to scientific research. Also, consider the WSAVA they contain some useful information on choosing good cat food.
Heres a video explaining some of the things you should be looking out for when purchasing cat food and some key facts and information about specific ingredients to look for.
Recommended Reading: Ceropegia Woodii Cats
Tips For The Early Days
Depending on when you welcome your kitten, they may or may not be weaned already.
Most kittens are naturally slender, so if your kitten is under 4 weeks old, youll have to start supplementing their mothers milk with soft food around the 2.5 week marker. Its usually around week 4 that a kitten will need to make a stronger transition from milk to kitten food.
Before full weaning is complete, your kitten will need around 25 calories for every 100 grams of their body weight.
What you choose to feed your kitten will not only fuel their growth and development but also affect their behavior in terms of energy levels.
Expect your fluffballs weight to double during the early weeks! These tiny felines will experience rapid growth during their first few months of life, so its your job to ensure that they have the right fuel for it. Growth spurts will begin to slow down around the 6 or 7 month marker, so youll have to readjust your feeding habits accordingly.
Cat Nutrition: How Many Calories Does A Cat Need
Like all other creatures, cats also have nutritional requirements, and these needs depend on different factors. Cats need the energy to perform various body functions such as respiration, digestion, circulation, and other normal bodily functions. The technical term used for the energy a cat needs is calories. The caloric need of the cat depends on different factors such as age, activity level, gender, life stage, and body condition.
There is a lot of information on cats’ caloric requirements, and in this article, we will discuss it in detail.
You May Like: How To Train Kitten Not To Bite
Average Calorie Requirements Of Cats
Cats may have specific tastes, or they may want more food than what you are feeding them. As a cat parent, you should make sure that your cat gets the right amount of calories to fulfill daily energy requirements.
Calorie requirements are different for different cats. So, the cat owner should consider the weight to determine the regular calorie intake. It will connect the health, age, and activity levels of the cat.
How Much To Feed A Cat Chart
Below is the average serving sizes based on a cats average weight and other varying factors. Keep in mind that each cat is different and their needs can vary from as much as 50 percent from the average.
Always speak to your veterinarian to help determine the appropriate food portions for your cat.
|293 kcal / day|
Read Also: Pass Emissions Without Catalytic Converter
Kitten Nutrition A Guide To Feeding Your Kitten
Congrats on the arrival of your little ball of fluff and mischief! The cuteness overload is probably overwhelming, but if youre trying to pull yourself together and get on top of your kitten care and nutrition, youve come to the right place! Heres an easy to read guide on proper nutrition for kittens.
As a new kitten parent, youll want to do whatever you can to ensure that your kitty grows into a healthy cat Optimal nutrition from an early age is crucial to making this happen. As the days go by, nutrition will affect your kitten in the following ways:
- General health with a focus on wellness and longevity
- Alertness they should want to engage in energetic play
- Weight gain were looking for a steady increase in weight
- Coat condition should be glossy to the touch
- Digestion no bloating with firm stools that are brown in color
What About Treats Can Cats Eat Human Food
Treats are fine, but they need to come out of the daily calorie allowance. That means you need to reduce your cats meal slightly if theyve had treats during the day.
To avoid reducing the healthy food too much and ending up with an unbalanced diet, dont feed more than 10% of your cats daily calories as treats. Thats about 20 treat calories per day, for the average cat!
Cats can eat some types of human food, but its important to bear in mind that some human foods are toxic to cats, so avoid anything you arent confident about.
I would always recommend speaking to your veterinarian if youre ever concerned about certain foods your cat may have consumed.
Healthy treats for cats include most fruits , skinless and boneless lean meats cut into small pieces, and many vegetables. These foods come under your cats treat portion of calories.
Read Also: Is Lavender Candle Safe For Cats
Remember: Cats Are Individuals
Every cat is different from the next, so keeping up with veterinary checkups and paying close attention to any behavioral changes are important factors when deciding on a proper diet and cat food for all ages.
The most important thing to remember when feeding cats is that one size does not fit all! Dr. Teiber says. Each cat has unique needs. This is determined by their activity levels, weight and overall health. Please consult with your veterinarian to make sure you are feeding your cat appropriately.
Can I Feed My Bengal Raw Chicken
Yes, you can feed raw chicken to your Bengal cat.Raw chicken contains a good amount of protein which is beneficial for Bengal cats.But I will advise you to cook the chicken before feeding to your Bengal cat. Because raw chicken also carries a risk of internal parasite that can cause food poisoning to your Bengal cat.
You May Like: 16 Cat Years In Human Years
How Many Calories Should A Cat Eat To Gain Weight
If you have a skinny cat it can seem almost impossible to get them to put on a little weight. A cat can be underweight for a number of reasons that go far beyond their food intake. If a cat is chronically underweight it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. If you believe that your cat might be sick then take them to a veterinarian immediately to rule out any health issues first.
Once you are sure your cat is healthy then you can try and alter their diet in order to help them put on a little weight. All you will need to do is add a little more food than usual to their bowl until you are feeding them five percent more calories than they would need to maintain their weight.
For example, if you were feeding an average 10-pound cat 349 calories per day in order to maintain weight, then they would need 370 calories per day in order to gain weight.