How Much Food Should An Adult Cat Eat
From the age of 12 months, our cat will already be an adult and, as mentioned above, the amount of daily food will depend on the weight, physical activity and personality of the breed. But as a rule, a healthy cat with normal daily activity needs approximately 15 to 20 grams of dry food per kilogram of body weight. The amount of wet cat food that is recommended is 1/2 or 1 can per day. Ideally, you should first check the package directions where the exact quantities according to the type of food and weight are detailed. However, if that information is confusing, then you can follow these guildelines:
- If the cat weighs 1 kg, you should give them about 15-20 grams of dry food a day.
- … 2 kg, between 30 and 40 grams.
- … 3 kg, between 45 and 60 grams.
- … 4 kg, between 60 and 80 grams.
- … 5 kg, between 75 and 100 grams.
- … 6 kg, between 90 and 120 grams.
- … 7 kg, between 105 and 140 grams.
Do not forget that these measurements are indicated for cats with moderate physical activity and without any health problem or allergy. If you have a pregnant cat, for example, they need a greater quantity of proteins, fats, and calcium for the correct development of the pregnancy. We elaborate on this further in our article what is the best diet for a pregnant cat.
As mentioned before, the intake of food in an adult cat should be distributed in 2 portions a day, so it is recommended to alternate dry and wet food to feed our pet correctly and safely.
It’s Not Just How Much You Feed It’s What You Feed
I would be negligent if I didn’t 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 don’t 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. You’ll 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.
Understanding Cat Food Labels & Feeding Portions
When you see the recommended daily amount to feed your cat on the side of a bag or can of Purina cat food or Iams kitten food or even diet cat food that you may have chosen hoping it would be the magical answer, ignore it. Sometimes the cat owner tells me it says 1/2 cup while the obese cat I’m examining only eats 1/4 cup each day and is still obese. Sometimes it says 1/4 cup when the slender kitty that is my next appointment eats one whole cup a day and is still very thin.
The only way you can possibly find out how much to feed your cat is by trial and error. To do this, you need to buy a digital scale, a notebook, and a set of measuring cups.
Start by thinking back or recording your actions for the next few days as to how much you usually put in the cat food bowl. If you don’t know, feed a little more than usual for a few days. Be sure and measure it out carefully. Write it down, and write down how much is left exactly 24 hours later. Subtract that from the starting number and you’ll know how much your cat ate in 24 hours.
Do that for several days and then figure out the average. That is the amount you’re going to feed each day for awhile.
At the same time, you need an initial weight for your cat. Stand on your digital scale alone and record your weight. Then hold your cat and record the weight. Obviously, subtract and you’ll have your cat’s weight. Write it down!!!
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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.
How Much Wet Food Or Dry Food To Feed A Cat
Once youve determined how many calories your cat needs every day, you need to figure out how much food to feed a cat to provide those calories. Thankfully, manufacturers now have to list a foods caloric content on the label. It will be written as kcal/kg and kcal/can or kcal/cup . In nutrition circles, a kcal is the same as a calorie.
Divide your cats caloric needs by the foods caloric content . The answer will let you know how much wet food to feed a cat or how much dry food to feed a cat. To figure out how much food to feed a cat at each meal, simply divide the daily amount of food by the number of meals you plan to offer each day.
For example, lets say your cat is 10 pounds and very active, and they are on a diet of Tiny Tiger Pate Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Wet Cat Food. According to the chart, your cat should consume 346 kcal/day.
Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 95 kcal/can, you would determine how much wet food to feed your cat by dividing 346 kcal/day by 95 kcal/can.
346 kcal/day ÷ 95 kcal/can = 3.64 cans of Tiny Tiger Pate Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food per day.
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Q: If My Cat Doesn’t Eat An Entire Can In One Sitting How Long Is It Safe To Leave Out
Dr. Leslie: Since the canning process is the preservation method, opening a can starts the clock on the food spoiling. If a cat doesn’t eat her portion within an hour, it should be securely covered and refrigerated up to four days, and then whatever is not consumed during that time should be discarded. Stale food may cause aversions to food, making cats not want to try it again.
How Much To Feed A Cat By Weight
Once a cat has passed kittenhood, and has stopped growing, it is possible to work out how much to feed based on their body weight. The recommended daily caloric intake can be calculated using a formula to work out the Resting energy requirement :
RER=70 x to the power of 0.75
To work out the to the power of 0.75 part of the equation, you can either use a calculator that allow you to use exponents, or you can multiply the weight in kilograms by itself 3 times , then work out the square root of that sum, twice.
This calculation will give you the resting energy requirement for your cat in kilocalories. You then need to multiply this by a different factor depending on your individual cat to estimate their total daily energy needs, with possible variables listed below.
|Neutered adult cat|
|Cat aiming to lose weight||1.0 x RER for ideal weight|
|Cat trying to gain weight||1.2-1.8 x RER for ideal weight|
|Very active outdoor cat||2.0-4.0 x RER|
You should remember that an individual cats needs may vary by as much as 50% from these calculated values, and that it is always necessary to modify feeding quantities depending on how a cats body weight changes over time.
This method will allow you to calculate for yourself, from first principles, approximately how much food you should be feeding your cat.
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Other Factors To Consider
It is important to monitor your cat to make sure he isnt having trouble maintaining weight at this time of his life. A very active young cat, especially if he goes outdoors, may simply need more calories per day. A mouse is reputed to have 30 to 35 kcal, and most outdoor cats are said to eat eight to 10 mice a day. They expend numerous calories catching those mice first though.
A cat who spends time outdoors may also contract tapeworms either from fleas or from the mice he eats. Tapeworms will drain nutrients from your cat. Owners identify tapeworms by seeing the segments on a fresh stool in the litterbox or noting dried ricelike segments around the tail area. Your veterinarian will prescribe medication to treat the tapeworm infestation, but if your cat acquires more fleas or continues to hunt, he will re-infest himself.
Young cats may still have some internal parasites leftover from kittenhood as well. It is always a good idea to have a fecal check done on a young cat who has trouble keeping his weight up.
Adolescence is a wonderful time in your cats life. He will be energetic, fun and highly amusing. He will explore and race about but also come to cuddle with you at quiet times. Feed to his energy requirements and keep him in tip-top shape as he grows into his adult size.
When To Feed Your Young Cat
Cats do best with multiple meals a day. Two or three meals a day is fine. By feeding meals instead of free-freeding , you can measure out exactly how much your cat is eating. You will also be alerted immediately if he skips a meal.
Use your cats food label to calculate how much you need to feed to meet his caloric requirement. Most foods have calorie counts on the packaging. Initially, it is best if you weigh out the daily meals. That will help you feed precise amounts. You can then put the weighed food into a container so you know to simply scoop out 1/8 or 1/4 cup as needed.
If your adolescent cat is one of those wild teenagers who is always on the go, he may beg for a snack in between. Keep these snacks small, and monitor his body condition weekly. You dont want him to join the ranks of pudgy cats. Instead of feeding cat treats, you can set aside a portion of his daily diet to use as rewards and for training.
Yes, I did say training. Cats can learn and perform tricks just like dogs. There are even agility competitions for cats! Adolescence is the ideal time to start your cat on his performance career.
A cat who is wild in the evening when you get home from work or who runs around after lights out may need more exercise. One easy way to increase exercise is to use a food puzzle or a food game to feed him his meals. These are commercial products that require your cat to work to earn his kibble. They would work with dry food or freeze dried chunks of food.
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How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat
See files for Cats
Cats are carnivorous animals that prefer to eat several times a day instead of once, as if they did in the wild. In addition, they do not eat more than what they need. Even so, the amount of daily cat food depends on several factors, such as age, size, physical activity or personality of the animal. It is our responsibility to provide them with a balanced and high-quality diet to avoid them becoming overweight, or on the contrary, malnourished.
AnimalWised will show you just how to properly feed these pets depending on what stage they are in life. Remember that the daily amount of food for an adult cat will be different than that of a kitten or senior cat.
Avoid Feeding Your Maine Coon These Foods
Not all foods are good for your treasured furry friend.
Take a look at this table, to make sure you are not including these foods as part of your Maine Coon cats daily diet.
|Larger fish, such as tuna is not advisable. This is because large fish may contain higher levels of mercury, not beneficial to your Maine Coon. If you are keen to feed your Maine Coon fish, stick to smaller fish, such as sardines since they are likely to contain less mercury.|
Foods To Avoid Feeding Maine Coon Cat
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Breed Specific Feeding Requirements
Can a cats breed define the amount of calories it needs? Of course, although that will still be related to its weight, activity level, and body type. So, naturally, the larger and more active breeds will require more kcals per day, and our guide and calculator still will be able to help you establish the starting point.
Nevertheless, there are diets and foods advised for specific breeds to keep their health in the best condition, so you should consult a vet for that kind of advice on what exactly to feed to your cat.
- Top rated cat food
Choosing Between Dry Food Canned Food Or Both
In general, you need not offer multiple flavors and textures to cats. They get very good at training their owners to add something else to the mix if the cat shows any hesitation to eat what is given. If the cat is otherwise acting fine, a choice to not eat what is offered can be normal, or a test by the cat to see if something better will show up. Very, very few cats need any encouragement to eat. The opposite is usually a goal.
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Feed Your Cat At Least Twice A Day
Did You Know …
Like us, a cats stomach structure is simple. Once their stomach has filled it up with food, it begins to empty over a few hours. When their stomach is empty, which usually can take 8 to 10 hours, the brain begins to get signals from the stomach that it is hungry. This is one reason why it is generally recommended to feed cats at least twice daily. We all know what it feels like to skip a meal or have to fast NO FUN! Additionally, your cats stomach can produce extra acid if they go longer than 12 hours without food. This can cause your cat to become nauseated and possibly vomit. I dont know about you, but I am not a fan of cat vomit!
Whatever schedule works for you and your cat, stick to it. Cats like a predictable routine, just as most people do! Their day is designed around feeding and for some cats, it is how they cope with the day-to-day events of the household. Feeding routines can also help you switch foods more easily. A hungry cat will be a little less picky. Finally, a feeding routine allows you to better monitor how much your cat is eating or if there is a change in their behavior when eating. These can signal early health issues that might be missed without a schedule.
Changing To A New Food
Dietary changes are made for many reasons, such as the need to control weight or to manage a health risk or condition. If your cat has been ill and now requires a new food, it is important to wait until she is feeling well, eating her usual food, and is home from the hospital before attempting the change.
If your cat has previously been fed by the free choice method, this can be a good time to change to meal feeding as she is more likely to be hungry at feeding time and try the new food.
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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.