You Need To Measure Your Cats Weight
So, youve done the visual check, but before you can begin calculating the feeding plan for your puss, you need to know its exact weight. Here are a few tips on how it can be done.
Hopefully, you have electronic scales. Place the basket or a box on the scales and switch it on. You should have it show zero, so the next number will be your cats weight and nothing else. If you have one of those boxes loving felines, it may even be a challenge to hit the button before the furry rascal jumps inside. If so, just weigh the box separately afterward and subtract that figure from the previous result.
There may be an obstacle in figuring out the amount of canned food to feed a cat if it resists getting onto the scales. Theres a graceful solution to that. First, see how much you weigh, then grab the kitty and step onto the scales with the purring troublemaker. Proceed with making the necessary mathematical operations to determine its weight.
Amount For Adult Cats
Catster reports that a healthy, active 8-lb. adult cat should consume about 30 calories per pound per day, or about 240 calories per day. On average, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food has about 125 calories per 3 ounces. So, an 8-lb. cat needs about 4/5 cup dry food or just under 6 ounces of canned food per day. These are only averages, as cats can vary greatly in their nutritional needs. Consider her activity level, and consult your vet to help determine her healthy weight. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
How Much To Feed A Senior Cat
Most senior cats will have about the same caloric needs as an adult catroughly 280 to 360 daily calories depending on the normal lean weightas long as they are healthy. Some older cats will actually have an increase in energy requirements. That increase may be due to a decrease in the ability to digest and utilize calories or it may be due to health problems that are commonly seen in senior cats.
Use your cats food label to calculate how much you need to feed your senior cat to meet their caloric requirement. Most cat food has calorie counts on the packaging. Initially, its best if you weigh out the daily meals. That will help you feed precise amounts.
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Newborn Kitten Age: 0
During this stage, most kittens rely on their mothers milk as their only source of nutrition. If their mother is present, you wont need to feed kittens at alltheyll know how to feed themselves! That said, if youve rescued an orphaned kitten, youll need to bottle feed him. Kittens require a kitten milk replacer, which replicates the nutrition found in mother cats milk. Do not feed a kitten cows milkit doesnt have the right nutritional balance to nourish a newborn kitten.
Dry Food: An Affordable But Less
Dry food is extremely calorie-dense. It has no water in it to contribute volume to the food. Because of this, feeding just dry food means your cat will be hungrier if getting an adequate number of calories in the food because of the smaller volume given. Based on this, free choice dry food, even a low-calorie version, will not prevent weight gain.
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Free Feeding Cats Vs Measured Meals
Many cats like snacking throughout the day! It is still important to make sure they do not eat more than their daily allowance if we want them to stay the same weight. Even an extra biscuit or two every day can make a huge difference over the lifespan of your precious pet.
Make sure kitty is not sneaking food from other pets . I do recommend microchip activated feeders for multi-cat households.
Kittens Have Different Nutritional Needs Than Adult Cats
While kittens are already clearly different from adult catsso much extra floof! such affection! such playfulness!they also have super different nutritional needs than they will once they get older.
Kittens should ideally feed exclusively on the mother cats milk until theyre three or four weeks old, according to PetMD. Kittens can be fed a replacement milk if you dont have access to the mother cat. Around three or four weeks, you can start introducing them to wet food. By seven weeks, they should be able to eat wet food for every meals.
Adult cats are usually pretty happy with twice-daily mealtimes. Kittens, on the other hand, are used to regular, small meals. PetMD recommends feeding kittens at least twice a day. But Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, nutritional consultant and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis told WebMD that most kittens like to have way more than thatat least four meals a day.
Kittens also need more protein than adult cats doaround 30% of their daily diet should be protein, according to the ASPCA.
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How Much Wet Food Or Dry Food To Feed A Cat
The required kcals number stays the same regardless of the type of food, whether you decide to go with wet or dry. People often choose the combination of two, making sure the cat receives the necessary vitamins that come from both options. Its a good way to make their diet more varied as well.
If you like the idea of such an approach, you can start by dividing the necessary amount of energy between the two types of food. Then, check the bag and the can to see the calories content in the specific food, and calculate how much of each you need to take to get the required total.
You can use our cat food calorie calculator to figure out the shares if you decide to go with different proportions. For example, if your cat isnt an avid wet food eater, you can mix some of it with dry food and expect the plate to be clean. Alternatively, if you dont feel like being able to afford canned food all the time, you can use it as a treat from time to time, adding into the meals the same way.
Keep in mind that its all fine as long as there are no medical contraindications and the daily calorie count doesnt change. Dont be guided exclusively by recommendations on the food labels, they are average numbers and may not be ideal for your cat.
What Is My Cats Weight
OK, Garfield, this is where it gets real! It is time to weigh your cat. This is because the amount you feed your cat depends on their size .
A set of scales that can accurately weigh your cat is a worthwhile investment. Place a carry cage on the scales, set the scale to zero, and then place kitty in the cage and record the weight.
Alternatively, record the carrier weight, and then subtract this from the combined cat plus carrier weight.
A third method is to weigh yourself with and without the cat and calculate the difference this works if kitty is not too squirmy!
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How Do I Decide How Much Food My Cat Needs
Different cats have different nutritional needs based on their size, life stage and more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how much food your cat should eat:
- Age & Life Stage: Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult or senior cats. Cats who are pregnant or nursing also have different needs.
- Weight: If your cat is not at her ideal weight, you may need to give her smaller or larger portions to help her achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Energy Level: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may require more calories than those who prefer to spend their time napping.
- Type of Food: Dry and wet cat food differ in calories, as well as portion sizes. Youll want to ensure youre feeding an appropriate amount of food, whether you feed dry, wet or a combination of both.
- Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats may not get as much exercise as an outdoor cat would, so they need fewer calories. Outdoor cats living in regions with cold winters may need more food in the winter.
The best way to determine how much food your cat needs is to talk with your veterinarian. They can determine how much food your cat requires based on the above factors.
They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise, such as your cat eating less or more than usual.
How Much Canned Food Should I Give My Cat In A Given Day
One of the hardest tasks is to determine the kind of canned food and the actual amount of this food to give your cat. Rather, you will need to determine how much your cat eats in a given day to keep it healthy, happy and satisfied.
The nutritional needs of your cat plays a critical role of determining the quantity of wet food required. For instance, if your cat needs a lot of calories. Then it has to consume a lot of canned food and when it doesnt require a lot of it. Then it will better consume less of canned food and more of dry food.
The cats weight can also help in determining the amount of canned food that you should give to your cat. Weight alone, however, may not provide an important pointer. Rather, you will also have to determine your cats bodys condition.
Apart from weight, another factor that determines the amount of canned food to give to a cat is its age. Older cats, due to their digestive challenges and probably dental problems will need a lot of canned foods. Canned foods are easy to digest for old cats. It may, therefore, consume 100% canned food.
The activity level of your cat also plays a critical role in finding out the amount of canned food that your cat needs. A very active cat uses a lot of calories, which is provided by wet food. Kittens also use more calories than older cats.
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How To Get Nutritious Food For Your Kitten
To make sure youre getting food that meets all of your kittens nutritional needs, WebMD says you should be looking for a statement on the packaging that reads Meets the nutritional requirements of kittens established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials . Even better than that would be a sentence indicating the food has gone through trials, which would mean a statement like Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials.
Once youve found the right food for your kitten, youll want to take your early time together as an opportunity to set a feeding routine. Cats appreciate knowing when their food is coming, and it can stave off bad behavior like constantly begging for treats.
How Much Wet Food To Feed Your New Kitten
Once kittens are weaned, wet food may be more appropriate than dry food for a while, as their teeth may not be ready for kibble yet, according to WebMD. The ASPCA says you can start feeding kittens kibble as supplemental to their mothers milk as early as five to six weeks old. Both wet food and dry food are appropriate for older kittens and adult cats.
The fact that its wet food is a giveaway, but wet food has more hydration properties than dry food. If you feed your adult cat dry food, youll want to make sure they have plenty of access to a regularly refreshed and refilled water bowl.
As far as how much wet food to feet your new kitten, youll need to read the label on your kitten food. For example, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Grain-Free Canned Cat Food advises that you feed your kitten as much as theyll eat in three or four daily feedings until theyre 20 weeks old. After that, ½ can of food per pound of body weight every day is appropriate until 30 weeks. And from 31-52 weeks, about ¼ can of food per pound of body weight. After that, you can start looking at adult foods.
Switching different flavored foods is useful when your pet is still a kitten, so cats dont develop an unshakeable preference for one flavor. WebMd vet suggests swapping foods regularly when your cat is still a kitten, but being careful not to mix the old food and new food. If your cat doesnt like the new food and theyre mixed, they could end up not liking either food.
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We Are Feeding Cats Too Many Carbohydrates
Note: I have stopped using the term grain-free since it has become somewhat meaningless. Many companies tout that their products are grain free but then they just load up the food with high carbohydrate ingredients like potatoes and peas which are not grains but still contribute a significant carb load to the food. The grain-free descriptive has become very deceptive and misleading.
In their natural setting, catswhose unique biology makes them true carnivoreswould not consume the high level of carbohydrates that are in the dry foods that we routinely feed them. You would never see a wild cat chasing down a herd of biscuits running across the plains of Africa or dehydrating her mouse and topping it off with corn meal.
In the wild, your cat would be eating a high protein, high-moisture, meat/organ-based diet, with a moderate level of fat and with only approximately 1-2 percent of her diet consisting of carbohydrates. The average dry food contains 35-50 percent carbohydrate calories. Some of the cheaper dry foods contain even higher levels.
This is NOT the diet that Mother Nature intended for your cat to eat.
Many canned foods, on the other hand, contain approximately less than 10 percent carbohydrates.
Please note that not all canned foods are suitably low in carbohydrates. For instance, most of the Hills Science Diet and the Hills prescription diets are very high in carbohydrates and are not foods that I would ever choose to feed.
Setting Up A Feeding Station
Each cat can be fed in a separate room in the home with the door closed. Typically, a regular feeding schedule is used, and each cat is given a certain amount of time to eat . Water is freely available in several places at all times.
There are ways that overweight cats can be fed separately from their slimmer housemates. For example, a hook and eye closure can be put on the door to one room to allow the door to remain open enough so that the slim cat can fit through, but not the overweight cat. Or the slim cat can be fed on a high surface, such as a shelf or counter, where the overweight cat is unable to jump up. It may also be possible to use a baby gate to feed cats in separate rooms if the overweight cat cannot jump over the barrier.
Feeding stations can be homemade using a plastic storage box and a cat flap operated by your cats own microchip . Commercial feeding stations are also available . Food can be freely available in the feeding station if recommended by your veterinarian, or a meal-feeding plan can be used. Another option is to use a timed feeder inside the feeding station.
Regardless of the feeding plan that is chosen, it is important to consult your veterinarian about the amount of calories your cat should consume each day. If a free choice or combination feeding plan is used in a multi-cat home, it is important that the volume of food offered should not exceed the total calorie requirements for all the cats each day.
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Facts On How Much Wet And Dry Food To Feed A Cat
August 5, 2019 by Kristen Torres
Cat parents like us get often puzzled by the question like this: How much wet and dry food to feed a cat. We are here to help you to find out, all you need to know about feeding wet and dry cat food to your cat. If you just got a new cat and a first time cat owner, how often should I feed my cat wet food and dry cat food to a cat and How much should I feed my cat? This type of question is likely to come to your mind when you bring your cat home. But, if you are a cat owner for more than a year. Sometimes you may whether your cats should raw cat food or wet cat food. Either, you should be mixing raw cat food or raw cat food. Lets go through a few factors to decide while answering How much wet and dry food to feed a cat?
Watch Their Water Intake
While it is important for all cats to have fresh water available at all times, it is especially vital for older cats. Feline kidney disease can be a silent killer that creeps up on an older cat. Drinking and flushing out toxins helps to keep kidney problems at bay.
If your older cat is drinking less than they should there are ways to tempt them. Consider adding the juice from canned tuna to their water bowl. Some cats are attracted to moving watera slow drip faucet or a pet fountain may be the stimulus for more drinking. Also, your veterinarian may recommend a move from dry to canned food if you have been feeding a strictly dry diet.
Both feline kidney disease and feline diabetes may show up as your cat drinking more water than usual. At the same time, a cat with diabetes may seem ravenous and will eat more than usual while losing weight. The same symptoms can be seen in hyperthyroidism. Both conditions are treatable and respond best if caught early.
Our senior cats are treasures, and every day with them is a gift. They rely on us to keep them happy, healthy and provided with the very best cat food for older cats. So, make sure you are feeding your senior cat the right amount of calories and monitoring their eating habits!
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