Why Do Cats Need Wet Food
Many veterinarians recommend that cats eat a diet of exclusively or mostly wet food. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, cats are obligate carnivores and are not designed to ingest many carbohydrates . Dry food will automatically contain many more carbohydrates than wet food. For many cats, dry food consumption leads to obesity.
Secondly, most cats are not big water drinkers and tend to keep themselves on the edge of dehydration. Wet food naturally provides more water in the diet, which supports the kidneys, urinary tract, and overall health.
How Much Fiber Should A Cat Get
Before we discuss daily fiber requirements, it is important to note that you should not increase a cats fiber intake too quickly. This can cause digestive upset because it leads to stools being too loose and too watery. This causes diarrhea and stomach pain, and it may mean that your cat is not getting all of the other nutritional benefits from their food.
Increase levels gradually, and always ensure that you meet the daily requirements. It is also worth noting that you should follow your vets advice if this differs from the recommended daily allowance. Recommended daily figures are based on healthy adult cats and do not take into account factors such as weight, activity levels, existing health complaints, or even the breed of your cat.
Experts recommend that cat food should contain around 10% fiber but no more than this. Check the label of your cat food, and if it is lower than this figure, you can increase your cats fiber intake by adding some of the foods we list below but do ensure that the figure does not go above 10% of the total food that they eat.
If you are making your own cat food as part of a natural or raw diet, this means first determining how much food you are giving your cat, per day, and then ensuring that between 8% and 10% of that food is fiber.
How Much Shall I Give Them
The specific amount will vary depending on the exact diet you are feeding, so always check the quantities listed on the packaging. These are just guidelines, however, so the best thing to do is to keep track of your kittens weight and condition and adjust the amounts accordingly.
Most kittens will self-regulate their food intake, especially if on dry food. Cats are natural grazers and so may eat up to 15 small meals in each 24 hour period! Free access to a complete dry kibble is therefore a common feeding strategy for kittens just set out each morning the amount they need for the day and leave it available.
If your kitten is on a wet diet, or is prone to over-eating, fractioned feeding may be more appropriate. This is when you give the kitten set meals. Remember: they are grazers, so multiple small meals are better than one large. Care must be taken not to overfeed if using this technique.
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Determining How Much To Feed A Cat
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 adults or senior cats. Pregnant or nursing cats also have different needs.
- Weight: If your cat is not at her ideal body condition, you may need to adjust what and how much you feed her, says Dr. Callie Harris, DVM.
- Activity Levels: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may need more calories than those who prefer to spend their time napping.
- 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 cold months.
The best way to determine how much food your cat needs is to talk with your veterinarian. They can tell you how much food your cat needs based on the above factors.
They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise, such as your cat eating more or less than usual.
How Can I Know Im Selecting A High
Mindy Bough, CVT, senior director of client services for the Midwest Office of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals emphasizes the importance of high-quality kitten food. I dont recommend generic or store brands, Bough says. Buy from a reputable company — one that veterinarians recommend more frequently, she says. Research has determined these kitten foods provide excellent health.
But how can you be certain a kitten food is of high quality? One way is by checking the label. It should at least contain the following: Meets the nutritional requirements of kittens established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials . AAFCO is a group of state and federal officials who regulate pet food. Even better, look for this: Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials. Complete and balanced nutrition means your kitten will require no mineral or vitamin supplementation. In fact, remember that too much of a good thing can be bad for your kitten, causing severe medical problems. Use supplements only if your veterinarian recommends them.
Also use caution with homemade diets. For example, all-meat homemade diets can be low in calcium, leading to a mineral imbalance that causes hyperparathyroidism, a disease more common in rapidly growing kittens. If you use a homemade diet, make sure its been formulated by a reputable nutritionist, Bough says.
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How Do I Switch From One Kitten Food To Another
Cats are often considered the epitome of the picky eater. But it doesnt have to be that way. Get your kitten started off on the right paw.
Its easier to switch foods if a kitten has been exposed early on to different textures and flavors, Larsen says. If exposed to the same food over and over, cats tend to get a fixed preference for a particular flavor and texture.
If youre trying to make a switch to a new kitten food, Larsen recommends not mixing it with the old food. If the kitten dislikes the new food, this can put them off the old food, too, she says. Instead, offer the new food and old foods in separate bowls. Over time, offer smaller and smaller amounts of the old food along with the new food. A little bit of hunger will help them make the transition – and resign them to at least trying the new food.
Remember that making rapid changes in food can cause stomach upset or hunger strikes. So you may need to make the transition to a new food over four to seven days.
Young Kittens Up To Four Weeks
If you have found an abandoned kitten or your female cat gave birth, you might find yourself hand-rearing newborn kittens. Up to the age of four weeks, kittens should only be eating milk. Cows milk wont do though a kitten milk formula is the best bet to ensure they thrive.
At this age, your kitten will need to be bottle-fed every 2-3 hours. Youll also need to ensure theyre toileting by stimulating them with a wet cloth if the mother cat isnt there to do it. Raising kittens is hard work, and its best to seek professional advice.
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Activity Level And Metabolic Rate
Since were calculating how much energy your cat needs to get with food, its just as important to consider how much energy it spends during the day. So, the calories have to be adjusted in accordance with your pets lifestyle. Thats one of the reasons why kittens require on average twice as many calories per their body weight as grown-up cats. As a rule, they are extremely active, running around, exploring the world, and wrestling with one another.
Now, theres no need to overfeed your cat if it prefers to stay inside and just lie in different places. However, if your adult feline spends a lot of time outside or is simply more active and playful, you may need to increase the cat food amounts by 1.5 or even 2 times, depending on its metabolic rate. The same goes for breeding tomcats, who obviously require more energy.
Recognition And Treatment Of Illness In Kittens
If kittens cry excessively, or fail to suck, they are usually hungry or ill. Common signs of illness include the kittens being cold , lethargic , or regurgitating milk. Sick kittens respond poorly to their environment, they often lay separated from the other kittens, and are often ignored by their mother. They typically have either very empty abdomens from lack of food or very swollen abdomens from swallowing air. Since kittens can die very quickly, they should be examined by a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible to ensure that nothing serious is going wrong.
The most common health problems seen in young kittens are probably hypothermia , hypoglycaemia , dehydration, diarrhoea and constipation. Newborn kittens may die suddenly, or present as poor doers and fade within a few days. Unfortunately, the clinical signs of many kitten diseases are very similar and vague.
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Royal Canin Recommended Daily Amount
Royal Canin recommends giving your little 10-week bundle of joy either:
- 2 and a half to 3 and a half pouches of their wet food, or
- 1 pouch of wet food and 35-50 grams of their dry kitten food
Their wet pouches weigh 85 grams. So this means you should be giving your kitty :
- 212- 297 grams of wet food, or
- 85 grams of wet food and up to 50 grams of dry.
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.
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How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat
For starters, have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian. He or she will weigh your cat, identify your cats ideal weight, and determine the number of calories your cat should take in every day to reach that goal.
A pet calorie calculator can also get you into the ballpark. If your cat is severely overweight, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription cat food for weight loss otherwise an over-the-counter weight control cat food should suffice.
Next, look at the label of your cats wet food. At best, the feeding instructions will be somewhat vague, and they certainly dont apply to every cat in every situation. It helps do some math. A wet cat foods caloric content should be listed somewhere on the label.
For example, American Journey minced chicken and tuna recipe provides 73 calories per 3-ounce can. If you cant find this information, look it up on the manufacturers website or give them a call.
Lets say your veterinarian has determined that your cat should take in 240 calories per day. In this example, you simply need to divide 240 by 73 to determine how many 3-ounce cans of the American Journey chicken and tuna recipe you should offer your cat daily.
240 / 73 = 3.3
Therefore, your cat needs to eat roughly 3 1/3 cans of this food per day.
What Does Fiber Do
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. Although, and because, the body is unable to digest fiber, it is considered essential to cats, just as it is to humans. Primarily, it is used by the body to regulate blood sugar levels. And, because it doesnt get broken down into sugar molecules, it helps your cat feel fuller without putting on weight.
There are, in fact, two types of dietary fiber, both of which are advantageous and important for your cats nutrition.
- Soluble Fiber Soluble fiber is dissolved in gastric juices when it reaches the cats gut. The gel that is created effectively holds water and this gives stools a wetter consistency, making them easier to pass without complications. Soluble fibers primary role is to help form and pass healthy stools.
- Insoluble Fiber Insoluble fiber can also help form stools with a wet consistency, but they also add bulk to meals. This bulk means that your cat will feel fuller without adding unnecessary or unwanted calories and sugar to meals.
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Feeding Kittens That Are 6
At 10 to 12 months old, you can transition your kitten onto an adult cat food. The time at which you make the switch will depend on the breed and body build of your kitten. If your kitten is prone to weight gain, then you may want to switch them onto adult cat food sooner, as this contains fewer calories, proteins, and fats than kitten food.
If your kitten is a larger breed, like a Maine Coon, then they can benefit from staying on kitten food until theyre 12 months of age. If youre not sure when to make the switch, your veterinarian can help by assessing your cats body condition in conjunction with their breed and overall health.
How Much To Feed A Cat By Age
Growing kittens need comparatively more food than adult cats, because they need nutrients to allow their body to grow. This can be difficult to calculate precisely, and professional veterinary nutritionists have charts and guides that may be applied.
For most cat carers, it is simpler to recognise that kittens do have higher requirements, and that it is rare for kittens to become overweight or obese. Using the broad guidelines on the packaging, it is fairly safe to say that kittens can be fed almost as much food as they wish to eat at each mealtime, within reasonable limits.
- If the kitten is still chasing the bowl, looking for more food when they have finished, they should be offered a little more.
- If the kitten routinely does not finish the food that is offered in the bowl, they should be offered less the next time.
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How Often Should I Feed My Kitten A Vets Advice
ByDr Joanna Woodnutt MRCVS25 June 2021
How often should I feed my kitten? is a common question so we asked a vet to answer it
If youve brought home a new bundle of fluff, all of the conflicting information on the internet probably has you asking ‘how often should I feed my kitten?’. Although the answer might seem simple, it can vary depending on your cats age, growth rate, and even breed. Knowing how much and how often to feed a young kitten the best kitten food is key to ensuring they have a healthy start in life.
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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.
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How Should I Feed My Kitten To Avoid Obesity
Obesity is one of the biggest animal welfare concerns for vets today, and its estimated to affect over half of all cats. Once cats become obese, slimming them down is much harder so preventing unhealthy weight gain, right from kittenhood, is the best bet.
Calculating the required daily allowance for a growing kitten is difficult, and feeding too little is just as dangerous as feeding too much. Its best to talk to your veterinarian to find out how many calories your kitten needs each day, and calculate their feeding allowance, in grams, from there.
Your vet can also recommend regular weigh-ins and check your kittens growth against a chart to make sure they arent gaining more weight than is healthy for their age. For more info, read our guide to weight loss for cats.