Monday, April 15, 2024

How Many Calories Should Cats Eat

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What’s The Right Mix Of Protein Phosphorus And Sodium

Protein is a critical nutrient for maintaining good physical health in the face of aging. In healthy mature cats, providing the same high protein/low carbohydrate option fed to younger obesity-prone cats is just fine. Once kidney disease is diagnosed, however, a kidney support diet with a modified protein component optimizes longevity and quality of life.

Excessive phosphorus should be avoided in senior cats.

Excessive sodium in the diet can contribute to kidney disease and hypertension, both of which can be present for long periods of time before clinical signs emerge. Some have argued that providing excessive levels of sodium in order to increase thirst would increase water consumption and decrease the risk of lower urinary tract disease. However, the risks to cats with subclinical kidney disease and hypertension outweigh the benefits to bladder health.

Your Cat May Have Trained You To Feed It

The act of feeding is a training exercise between the cat and the feeder. Cats often key on the behaviors and acts that are a preview to feeding them and try to get the feeder to engage in these. A good example is feeding the cats as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. The cats will very often try to get the person up in the morning so that they get fed earlier and earlier and earlier

Another example is the cat running into the kitchen every time the fridge is opened since that is where they know you store the canned food.

How Do I Ensure Proper Hydration

Water is the single most important nutrient for cats of any age. Aging, however, interferes with a cat’s sensitivity to thirst which is already low in cats and predisposes them to dehydration.

Chronic dehydration can interfere with normal metabolic function and may speed the progression of subclinical disease.

“Water is the single most important nutrient for cats of any age.”

Make sure your cat has regular access to water and monitor the amount of water left in the bowl to see if there is any reduction in their water intake. Have multiple bowls of varied sizes in different areas and all floors of your home. Water bowls should not be near food as cats prefer not to drink close to their food. Some cats prefer to drink running water if your cat prefers water from the tap, invest in a water fountain for them. Clean and freshen water bowls regularly to eliminate built up debris that may deter your cat. Feeding more canned food will also increase water intake.

If They Are Pregnant Or Nursing

Throughout a cats pregnancy, says to feed your queen the same food she has always enjoyed, but start mixing protein into the meals.

Also keep in mind the space that the kittens are taking up inside your cat. There will not be much room left for food, so your cat will need to eat smaller and more frequent meals, says PetMD. Make sure that there is always food available for when she is hungry, and, most importantly, that there is always water available to her.

The last few weeks of pregnancy is when a cats appetite increases the most, and its when her belly will really start to show. In the late stages of pregnancy, you can switch her food to one that is formulated for growing kittens. PetMD goes on to say that you can continue that diet while she is nursing and until she has weaned her kittens, supplementing it with a quality canned food.

How Quickly Should I Introduce The New Reducing Diet To My Cat

Calculating How Much Wet Food to Feed a Cat Guide

When you are introducing a new diet to your cat, you should allow three weeks for the transition. First, offer small amounts of the new diet in a separate bowl. If your cat is a finicky eater it may take 2-3 weeks for your cat to decide to eat it. Once your cat is eating the new diet, start by mixing ¼ of the new diet with ¾ of the old diet for two to four days. Increase to half-and-half for another two to four days and then give ¾ of the new diet mixed with ¼ of the old diet for a final three to five days before completely switching to the new diet.

To enhance the palatability of the diet food, try warming the food, adding a flavoring such as FortiFlora® , a small amount of salmon or tuna juice, or an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.

If your cat refuses to eat the new diet, or if you have any concerns during this initial introduction period, do not hesitate to contact the veterinary clinic for advice.

Additional Factors That May Alter Your Calculation

Spaying/Neutering: Cats that have been fixed produce fewer hormones, like testosterone and estrogen. This causes a dip in their metabolism and when testosterone levels decrease, muscle production is more difficult in both males and females.

  • To determine the calorie needs of a fixed cat, use this equation: RER x 1.2

Intact Adult: Intact cats retain the hormones that fixed cats have lost, so they are less likely to gain weight. In fact, they usually have a much higher metabolism than fixed cats, which significantly increases their calorie needs.

  • To determine the calorie needs of an intact adult cat, use this equation: RER x 1.4

Sedentary/Obesity Prone: Is your cat lazy but at a healthy weight? If they spend most of their time sleeping or theyre up performing routine tasks, then your cat falls into this category. If your cat parkours to the food bowl twice a day, then they probably dont fit this category.

  • To measure the calorie needs of a sedentary cat, use the RER you already calculated.

Weight Loss: If your cat has been cleared by your veterinarian for weight loss, use the following equation and run the results by your vet for verification: RER for ideal weight x 0.8

Weight Gain: Dont put your cat on a weight gain diet without checking with your veterinarian first. Many people are unfamiliar with how to determine the body score of a cat and may think a healthy weight cat is too thin.

Kittens Under 4 Months: Tiny, growing kittens have high calorie needs.

How Much Should I Feed My Cat The Basics

The answer to How much should I feed my cat is based on many variables, including a cats weight and a cats age, whether youre feeding wet cat food or dry cat food, the cats activity level, and whether or not she is or nursing.

The brand of food youre feeding also makes a difference when were answering the question How much should I feed my cat. A dense, high quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the same amount of nutrition for your cat.

Many cat owners allow their cats free access to dry food, supplemented by canned food once or twice a day. A dry-food-only diet is not necessarily a bad pet diet if youre feeding high quality food, but it does require that you encourage your cat to drink a lot more water to compensate for what shes not getting in canned food.

When My Cat Is Hungry She Pesters Me Until I Feed Her Do You Have Any Suggestions

It is often easier to give in to the cat that wakes you at four in the morning to be fed or the cat that meows incessantly or head butts you until you feed them. These cats have trained us well and know exactly which buttons to press when it comes to getting their way. Here are some tips for handling the pesky Persian or the insatiable Siamese:

  • Do not use a self-feeder. While this seems obvious, auto-feeders are nothing more than unlimited candy machines to an overweight cat.
  • If you do use an automatic feeder, use one that opens with a timer. This way you can measure out the proper amount and divide it into daily meals.
  • Pet your cat or play with her when she begs for food. Many cats substitute food for affection so flip the equation and you may find that playtime displaces mealtime.
  • Feed small meals frequently – especially give a last feeding for those cats that like to wake you up in the wee hours begging for more goodies – divide the total volume or calories into four to six smaller meals. Whatever you do, do not feed extra food.
  • Offer fresh water instead of food. If your cat is eyeing the empty food bowl, a drink of cold, fresh water may satisfy that craving.

Can Cats Eat Dry Cheerios

Yes, cats can eat dry cheerios, but it is advised not to feed it to them as it can cause vomiting and stomachache to your cat if not provided in moderation.

You wont be giving your lactose-intolerant cat milk if you use dry cheerios, which could cause a stomachache or even vomiting.

When it comes to cheerios, though, milk isnt the issue.

Youre already doing a , but you might as well avoid the cereal as well.

There is no way to offer cereal to your cat that is healthful.

The components in dry cheerios, whether dry or with milk, are bad for your cat. While the components in cheerios vary by brand and variety, many of them contain carbohydrate-containing substances.

Everyone is divided on whether or not people should consume carbohydrates, but it has already been established that cats do not require carbohydrates.

Cats bodies lack the enzymes needed to break down carbs. Carbohydrates can be used as a source of energy in humans, keeping us feeling full and energised, but this is not the case in cats.

Carbs will not be able to provide energy or fuel to your cat. Your cat could eat and consume carbs, but there will be little gain and a lot of negative consequences.

Choose A Factor Based On Your Cats Energy Needs And Multiply It By The Rer

The RER fulfills the catâs basic needs, but does not account for things like activity level or other factors. To do so, the RER number is multiplied by factors to estimate the catâs total daily energy needs. Some cats need less than the RER and some need nearly double the RER. Choose the factor below that fits your cat.

Factors to estimate feline daily energy needs:
 Neutered adult cat
 Weight loss for cat  = 0.8 x RER for ideal weight
 Weight gain for cat  = 1.8 x RER for ideal weight
 Kitten 0 to 4 months  = 2.5 x RER
 Kitten 4 months to 1 year  = 2 x RER

Table 2.Factors used to calculate calorie needs in cats.

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.

How Much Should A Cat Weigh

In order to figure out a healthy weight for a cat, you have to consider their breed and their age. First, a cats breed will influence their final adult weight more than any other factor. For example, a small dwarf Munchkin cat will weigh considerably less than a Main Coon cat.

For the most part, though an average domestic cat should weigh anywhere from 8 to 12 pounds when they are an adult. Of course, every cat is different and just like with people some will be big boned and others will have a lighter frame.

A good way to judge if your cat is overweight or underweight is to inspect their body shape. If their ribs are showing and their midsection is sunken in, then they are definitely underweight. Otherwise, if you cant even feel their ribs and their midsection is bulging out, then they would generally be classified as overweight.



How Much Should I Feed My Cat To Promote Weight Loss

How Many Calories Does A Cat Need

In order to answer this question, your veterinarian will examine your cat to determine its ideal body weight, based on its body size and build. Formulas and charts have been developed to assist your veterinarian in determining this weight, as well as the number of calories required to achieve it safely.

In general, the average domestic cat should weigh approximately 8-10 pounds . Based on your cat’s degree of obesity, your veterinarian may recommend an initial target weight that is higher than the ideal weight. For example, if your cat is 18 pounds , you can calculate its ideal weight to be 10 to 12 pounds , but a more realistic initial goal may be 15 pounds . After the cat loses this weight, a re-evaluation will be made to determine whether further weight loss is needed.

Here are some general guidelines for daily calorie needs based on your cats weight:

Ideal weight
12 230

Note: This is a general guideline only and is not meant as a substitute from your veterinarian’s specific recommendations. If your cat fails to lose weight on this amount of calories, the total will need to be reduced further.

“The amount of food that is necessary to provide this number of calories will depend on the calorie content of the food.”

For many cats, the best way to lose weight is with a canned diet food fed several times per day, rather than leaving food down all of the time. One of the reasons canned diet foods work better is because finicky felines often prefer wet food to dry.

Do Calories Matter In Cat Food

Like humans, calories are an essential factor in maintaining a healthy weight and body for a cat. If you like math, heres some more fun for you! Cat foods list the kilocalories, or kcals, on the can. This article gives details on how to calculate kcals to regular calories. 

If youd prefer to get the answer more quickly, you can refer to the charts   and   to find the calories in conventional pet foods. 

There Are No Clear Instructions On How Much Your Cat Should Eat

For example, Dr. Karen Becker says a 10-pound cat should consume 166 calories per day.

But the says a 9-pound cat should consume 250 calories per day.

Every cat is an individual. Some breeds are much larger and some breeds are much smaller.

Every cat food is individual. Some brands are terrible and some brands are much better.

Basically, your cat should eat the number of calories from good-quality nutrition that support ideal weight and healthy bodily functions.

Heres how to figure out how much your cat should eat.

How Much Should You Feed Your 4

At this stage, kittens still need about twice as many calories per pound than adult cats. Refer to the feeding guidelines on your kittens food to determine how much to give him per pound of bodyweight.

Kittens in this age group need around 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. For example, an 8-pound kitten should consume about 240 calories per day.

Should I Follow The Recommendations On The Container

All commercial cat foods come with feeding guidelines. However, these are only guidelines each cat will have a different rate of metabolism and different level of activity. Do not be surprised if a 14-pound cat requires less food than a 10-pound cat this is often the case. We have detailed our own feeding guidelines, which can be found here.

How Often Should I Feed My Cat

Cats have evolved to eat numerous small meals throughout the day but leaving food out all the time is a major risk factor for obesity. At a minimum, a cats total daily food intake should be divided into two meals, but more is better. An automatic timed feeder, like the Cat Mate C500 Digital 5 Meal Dog & Cat Feeder, that can be preloaded with multiple, measured meals is a great way to provide your cat with just the right amount of food, divided into small meals.

You now have a general idea of how much food to feed a cat, but keep in mind that an individuals needs can vary by as much as 50 percent in either direction from the average. Monitor your cats weight and body condition to narrow in on how much they should eat and, as always, talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Read more:

Not Offering Enough Water

In addition to the water in wet food, cats should have access to fresh water sources. This can be a dish of water near their food bowl or running water from an automated water station. Some cats can detect the chlorine from tap water, which they may not like. You can offer filtered or bottled water to encourage your cat to drink.

Determine The Weight Of Your Cat

Initially, you must determine the weight of your kitten to determine if it is underweight or overweight. This can be done relatively quickly if you have a simple weighing machine. For this purpose, hold your cat and subtract your weight from the total weight on the weighing machine. This will give you the weight of your cat. Let us say your weighing machine shows a value of 160 pounds, and your weight is 150 pounds. Consequently, the weight of your cat will be 10 pounds.

Vegetarian Or Vegan Diets

47 Best Photos Indoor Cat Calories Per Day / How Many ...

As we mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores. They need a diet of mostly meat in order to get the right nutrients to keep them healthy and thriving, so a vegetarian or vegan diet isnt recommended.

Fetch by WebMD says that the amino acid taurine, for example, is found only in animal tissue. Lack of taurine can lead a cat to experience heart problems, blindness, and even death.

5. Unintentionally creating an unbalanced diet

Homemade and raw food diets for cats have become popular over the years, but if not prepared properly, they can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Pierson says that pet owners need to balance meat with the right amount of calcium. A cat would be eating both the meat and bones of their prey, which provides a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

On the other hand, too much of certain nutrients can cause also problems. Diets heavy in tuna, liver or liver oil can result in vitamin A toxicosis and too much raw fish can affect vitamin B1 levels. The side effects can make your cat very uncomfortable, ranging from dry skin and joint pain to more severe conditions like seizure or brain damage.

A General Rule Of Thumb

A general rule of thumb describes that the energy demand for a cat is normally 20 to 33 calories per pound for an average cat. For example, a cat with a weight of 10 pounds will weigh 200 pounds if we dont include the cats energy level. Moreover, it is advised that the calories intake of cat treats should account for less than 10% of the total calorie intake of cats meals.

How Much Should You Feed Your Adult Cat

As your kittens metabolism starts to slow down and he reaches adulthood, you might notice him start to put on excess weight. Obesity is a common issue among adult cats and, when not corrected early on, may lead to complications later in life. Regular exercise and a well-controlled diet will help to prevent obesity and keep your cat in good shape.

Whether you feed your cat homemade cat food or the best commercial cat foods, its critical to feed him the right amount per day. But theres no single amount of food that every cat should eat each day.

Calorie needs vary from cat to cat, with many factors coming into play. When deciding how much to feed your cat, youll have to consider his breed, age, reproductive status, underlying health conditions, and more. In general, however, the recommended daily caloric intake is about 20 calories per pound of bodyweight.

How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Bengal Cat

To know how much dry food you should feed to your Bengal cat, first, you should find out how much calories does the dry cat food you feed to your cat contains. It is usually mentioned on the label of the cat food.

On average, dry cat food contains anywhere between 350 to 500 calories in a single cup. 

Now lets see how much calories a Bengal cat and kitten need on a daily basis.

A Bengal kitten requires anywhere between 100-40 calories per day depending on its age.

And an adult Bengal cat requires about 25-30 calories per day.

So now you can figure out how much dry cat food you can feed to your Bengal cat or kitten.

For example, say the dry cat food you feed to your cat or kitten contains 500 calories and it is of 10 lb. Then 1 lb contains 50 calories. 

Now 1 lb equals 2 cups. 

So as 1 lb contains 50 calories, 1 cup will contain 25 calories. 

As a Bengal kitten needs 40-100 calories, well need to feed 2 to 4 cups of dry cat food to the Bengal kitten .

And as an adult Bengal cat needs 25 to 30 calories well need to feed only one cup of dry cat food to the cat.

Now, this was just an example.

Usually feeding three fourth cup of dry food is sufficient for an adult Bengal cat for a day.

And feeding one and a half to two cups are sufficient for a Bengal kitten.

Step 3: Calculate Calories Currently Fed

Take your cats total daily intake of food, treats, and supplements and weigh everything using a .

Use the labels to calculate the number of calories your cat is consuming right now.

Now take a look at the label to see if its the correct number of calories recommended based on your cats weight.

Is it more? Is it less?

How Much Wet Food Does Your Cat Need

Your cat’s caloric needs depend on several factors. Your cat’s weight can give you a basic guideline of how much to feed. However, it’s essential to determine your cat’s body condition. A lean, muscular cat with large bones may weigh 15 pounds and be at a healthy weight. This cat will require more calories to maintain that healthy weight. However, a 15-pound, small-boned, overweight cat needs fewer calories. The overweight cat should be fed according to her ideal weight, not her actual weight.

Age and activity level also play a role in determining the proper amount of calories needed. A growing kitten needs many more calories than an adult or senior cat. An active cat that runs and plays frequently will need more calories than a cat that remains sedentary most of the time. A nursing mother needs extra calories to produce milk and stay healthy.

If you wish to be accurate in calculating the number of calories you feed your cat, then start by finding out how many calories your cat needs. The National Research Council offers a general guideline of nutritional needs of cats:

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