Its Not Just How Much You Feed Its What You Feed
I would be negligent if I didnt mention just a word about the other problem we have with feeding our cats. WHAT we feed our cats is a huge problem. Cats are obligate carnivores. They were designed to eat meat and the commercial cat food you buy has far more than meat in it. The carbohydrate levels of cat food, especially dry cat food, are ridiculously high, dangerously high. We have created an obese cat population and one with an increasing number of cases of diabetes.
If you dont change anything else in the way you feed your cats, please stop feeding dry food. Not only does dry food not have the water content that cats need to maintain proper hydration, but it is too high in carbs and fat and lacking in good quality meat. Check the label. Youll see by products and maybe even grains and vegetables first on the label. That is not what carnivores should be eating.
Feeding your cats a high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate diet is very easy to do. There are even pure protein cat treats available to reward your kitty after play time or for doing so well on her new diet!
Also, to increase your knowledge and awareness of cat nutrition in general and to make your cats healthier cats, please see CatInfo.org.
How Much Food Should A Kitten Eat
From 8 weeks to 4 months of age, it is necessary to give young cats 5 servings of food a day , with 5 grams of dry or moist food per serving. Remember that these animals do not usually drink a lot of water, so you should alternate the dry feed with wet food to supplement this lack of fluid. So, if during the first months of life it is necessary to give them 5 meals a day as already mentioned, try to have 2 servings of dry food and 3 servings of moist food, for example.
At this stage of their life, their stomach is very small and cannot fit large amounts of food for each meal, but as our pet grows, they will need a little more food at each sitting. So, from 4 to 6 months of age, it is necessary to increase their portions by 10 grams per intake so they are not lacking any nutrients. You should always try to maintain their ideal weight.
After 6 and up to 8 months, you should reduce their food intake to 3 meals per day, with between 20 and 30 grams per serving. And from 8 to 12 months, meals should be reduced to 2 times per day. This pattern will be maintained throughout their adult life, which will begin at the age of one. Remember that the data we provide here is from a general perspective and the exact measurements of food and calories they will eat per day will depend on the health and weight of your pet. If you have any questions, promptly consult your trusted veterinarian.
How To Feed Your Cat So It Stops Begging And Starts Losing Weight
Cats receiving an adequate number of calories per day will be hungry . So feeding a cat until it is full is almost always overfeeding unless it is an actively growing kitten under eight months of age.
Naturally, cats eat multiple small meals a day by hunting and eating what they catch. Having a bowl of dry food available allows multiple small meals of a high caloric feed with no effort on the cats part, this is a recipe for weight gain.
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How To Calculate Food Doses
Before filling your cats bowl with kibble, it is advisable to consider the age, habits, lifestyle and his physical characteristics. An adult cat has different needs and requirements from a few months old kitten. Furthermore, it is necessary to evaluate what type of food you intend to give the cat: dry food or wet food?
If the cat eats wet food, the correct dose of food is about 40 grams per kilo of body weight, for example an animal that weighs 4 kg should eat 160 grams of treats per day. However it should be specified that in the cats diet there cannot be only wet, but this must constitute at most 20% of the total.
If the cat eats dry food, the correct dose of food is about 40 grams for each kilo of weight, and the total divided by three, because dry food is more concentrated than wet and to obtain the same requirement, a smaller amount is needed.
So be careful not to stuff the bowl when it is empty cats, in fact, have a tendency to eat everything they find inside, just for the sake of emptying it, but then they will have to deal with diseases such as obesity, just as happened to the cat Bazooka, which was continuously fed by its elderly owner, up to weighing 16 kilos!
What Sort Of System Should I Use For Feeding My Cat
The way you feed your cat can be almost as important as how much you feed them.
In the past, many people have given their cats free choice , free-feeding, or ad libitum i.e. offering them as much in their food bowl as they wish to eat. In particular, a bowl of dry food has often been continually topped up, allowing the cat to eat this whenever they wish to do so.
It is now recognised that feeding cats using this method is likely to lead to cats eating too much, leading them to be overweight or obese. Instead, cat carers should calculate the correct daily amount to feed, and either weigh this amount daily, or use a feeding container to give the measured amount every day as their cats food supply.
Many people already know these facts but they are still left with the question: how much should I feed my cat? This article will help you discover how much food you should be feeding, so that you can ensure that your cat stays at their optimal body weight.
Whichever method is used to calculate how much a cat should be fed, it is impossible to generalise for every individual cat, because of several variables that are not the same between different animals.
The first three variables can be factored into calculations:
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Age Life Stages And Lifestyle Factor Calculations
Remember how active kittens are, especially at bedtime when they are racing up the curtains. Kittens have greater calorie needs than adult cats they are busy and growing!
Momma cats feeding kittens, and breeding cats, have greater energy needs than adult neutered cats.
If your cat falls into these categories, then we use the lifestyle factor to allow for this.
Multiply the calorie calculation by 2.5 for kittens and queens who are feeding kittens.
Super active adults may need their calorie needs multiplied by a lifestyle factor of 1.5-2.
The bottom line is simplestart with the best calculation you can for your cat, and then MONITOR their weight and adjust accordingly.
Well done on making your way through this article there was a lot of technical information in here. Now you should know the answer to the age-old question of How much should I feed my cat?.
The good news is this: the dedication you have shown reading through this and working out a feeding guide for your cat tells me you are doing everything possible to keep your fur family happy and healthy!
Remember, if your cat continues to gain or lose weight when it shouldnt be, a veterinary check is recommended.
How Many Calories Are In My Cats Food
You know how you read the back of the cereal box while you eat your breakfast? There is also a lot of useful information on the back of any bag or can of pet food!
This information includes the Calorie content. Have a look at this example, where the Calorie content has been highlighted. This can of food contains 1000 Calories per kg of food . Each can contains 185 calories.
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How Much Should A Maine Coon Eat Every Day
This answer will vary based on each cat. There are general guidelines on the back of cat food bags, so owners have a general idea. But that doesnt apply to every cat. Older cats or less energetic cats need less food. Just like people, they dont burn as many calories, so they cant consume as many calories.
Younger Maine Coons or those with high energy levels need more food. You can go with the recommended guidelines on your chosen food container and flex up or down from there. Always partner with your vet for more information.
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Still Wondering How Much Should I Feed My Cat Some Calculations
According to the Animal Medical Center in New York, a healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-pound cat requires about 240 calories per day.
Typically, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food contains about 250 calories in each 6 oz can. . Using these counts as a guide, an 8-pound cat would need 4/5 of a cup of dry food or just less than a full 6-oz can of wet food per day. You can adjust the proportions based on whether your cat prefers more or less dry or wet food.
If youre free feeding your cat dry food, each day measure out the days allotment of food into your dry food feeder. This decreases the amount of food that gets stale and needs to be discarded. It will also help you monitor how much your cats are eating. If you have to take a thin cat to the vet, it will help in the diagnosis if you can identify exactly how much she eats per day.
Portioning out the food will keep your cats from overeating. Free choice feeding is one of the top contributors to feline obesity.
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Feeding Recommendations From Your Local Veterinarian
Canned food only is my first choice. For an adult cat, start with ½ of a 5.5 oz. can twice daily and no additional food. This is the starting point and likely will need to be adjusted downward.
For little cats, a half of a 3 oz. can twice daily may work better. This amount is also cat-specific and often needs adjusting up or down. Feeding canned food seems to create the best balance between calories and feeling full, and the meal seems to tide the cat over better than a dry food meal.
Ideal Weight For Cats
Although the recommended weight for domestic cats is about 10 pounds, this will depend on the breed. Fetch by WebMD says that a Siamese cat may weigh as few as 5 pounds, while a Maine Coon can be 25 pounds and healthy.
Obesity is a big concern for all breeds, as it can lead to arthritis, diabetes and urinary tract disease. Diabetes is particularly concerning an obese cat is three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than a cat of normal weight, according to Fetch by WebMD. Cornell University also says that obese cats are twice as likely to die in middle age, which for cats is six to 12 years.
Ultimately, the ideal weight for your cat should be determined by your veterinarian.
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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.
How Much Food Should A Cat Eat
Last Updated on March 10, 2021 by
The amount of food varies on the different life stages of your cat as well as his activity level and size. There are now a number of brands of cat food that are designed to meet a cats nutritional requirements at different stages.
It is always best to follow the recommended feeding guidelines on the packaging as these may vary from brand to brand. Below are guidelines only, if you have any questions you should consult your veterinarian.
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About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
Feeding The Cat Throughout The Day
How many and at what times of the day should the cat eat?
An adult cat must eat no less than three times a day, especially if he feeds on biscuits it is recommended to let him have eat several meals throughout the day. In any case, the first rule to adopt is certainly to follow the indications given on cat food package.
A kitten up to six months old needs a lot of energy, so it doesnt need a large quantity of food, but rather a series of closer snacks, even four, five a day.
Other factors must always be taken into consideration: a cat living in an apartment is more sedentary than a cat living in the garden, the latter burns more calories and has a higher energy requirement, consequently it needs more food. A tip we give you is to always feed at the same time and in the same place, away from the toilet box and in a quiet corner, cats are known to be creatures of habit.
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Free Feeding Vs Measured Meals For Cats
If you feel like once a day is too seldom but cant afford to be home to feed your cat more often, you can consider free feeding. It works best with dry food, of course, because it doesnt get spoiled too soon. Still, that does not mean that you can just pour a pile of it and come back in a week. No, even dry food has to be renewed on a daily basis so that it doesnt go stale.
So, you can see if your cat can do the further division of food, eating in convenient portions and letting it last through the day. If it likes to come and get an occasional snack, that should not exceed the cat food per day that you have calculated with calories in mind.
If that practice turns out to be unsuccessful, for example, if the kitty consistently gulps everything there is and comes back screaming for more later, you will have to switch to measured meals. That way, you can help it to have better distributed and timely meals that will provide it with just enough energy until the next feeding occasion.
What Should A Nursing Cat Eat
A lactating cat should be given high-protein food that is energy-dense and rich in vitamins and minerals. The best type of food for mama cats is kitten food because it is rich in essential nutrients and supports the development of the kittens. Canned kitten food is also highly-digestible and provides calcium and phosphorus that are good for kittens bone development.
Mama cats should also have all-day access to dry food or kibble which should be mixed with a little water to moisten it. A steady supply of clean and fresh water should be provided all day since mama cats need to stay hydrated while nursing their litter.
The peak food requirement for mama cats is during the sixth to the seventh week after childbirth. This is because the kittens are consuming more of the mama cats food as they approach the weaning stage. At about four weeks old, the kittens may be gradually transitioned to solid food although vets recommend that they should drink their mothers milk until they are nine weeks old.
For more information see our what to feed a nursing cat.
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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.
You Can Also Calculate How Much To Feed Your Cat By Reading The Label
Most commercial pet foods include a guide to feeding quantities on the label of the packaging. Typically there is a chart, with the cats weight in the left column, and the recommended amount of food in the right column e.g 4kg and 65g for dry food, or 4kg and 2 sachets or pouches for wet food, a mixture, such as 4kg and 30g dry food plus one sachet of wet food.
Sometimes there are different recommendations for active and inactive cats, neutered or entire cats, and for cats that are obese, overweight, or at their correct body weight.
These recommended amounts represent the manufacturers calculation of the correct amount of daily food for an average cat.
Often, a range of recommended quantities is given, rather than a single specified amount. This is recognition of the fact that it is impossible to say precisely how much any individual cat should be fed: there is always variation based on a number of factors.
There is an untrue myth that pet food manufacturers deliberately overstate the recommended feeding amounts on the label in an attempt to make people use more pet food. In fact, the recommended feeding amounts do represent a reasonable estimate that is useful for many cat owners who may not be able to calculate correct feeding quantities using other methods.
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