Canned Food Is The Best Choice For Healthy Cats
Canned food is more beneficial than dry food for several reasons. But, it is also more expensive and messier to feed. As fresh-kill hunters, cats in the wild consume most of their water along with fresh prey and do not have a strong drive to drink independently of eating. I believe most dry food cats under consume water resulting in stress on their kidneys and overly concentrated urine. Canned food mimics the water content of their prey in the wild. This encourages more dilute urine that is less likely to lead to bladder and kidney issues overtime.
Canned food also tends to be lower in carbohydrates compared to dry food and thereby higher in protein. High protein, low carb diets are touted by some to be less likely to cause obesity in cats, but this has been disproven in feeding studies total calories consumed is most important. Most cats need 4-5 ounces of canned food per day, total. Pate-style varieties tend to be higher in calories per can than the varieties that more resemble people food with chunks and gravies- this can be useful when trying to fine-tune the number of calories per day being consumed.
How Much Should I Feed My Cat Cat Feeding Guide For Wet And Dry Cat Food
How much should I feed my cat must be one of the most commonly asked questions I hear at the vet clinic. While the answer will be as individual as your cat, with a few simple steps, you can find out how much canned or dry food your cat should be eating each day.
There are several things to consider when working out the amount to feed:
- How many calories are in the food I feed my cat?
- What is my cats weight?
- How many Calories does a cat need?
- Is my cat in perfect body condition?
- How active is my cat?
- Has my cat got any special needs?
OK, so that might sound a little complicated but trust me here, it is not so tricky!
Spending a little time working out the correct amount of cat food to feed will greatly benefit your cat.
How Much They Weigh
To maintain a normal, healthy weight, Fetch by WebMD says that cats should eat between 24 to 35 calories a day, per pound. For an eight-pound cat, this would equate to 192 to 280 calories a day. To put this into perspective, a 5.5 ounce can of RAWZ turkey and turkey liver pate is 199 calories. Half of a cup of RAWZ salmon meal free dry cat food is 230 calories.
If you cat is underweight or overweight, you will need to work closely with your veterinarian to make sure youre feeding them appropriately. Overweight cats, especially those with diabetes or other health conditions, should always receive measured food amounts. The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University notes that frequent weigh-ins are recommended to promote slow, safe weight loss.
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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:
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.
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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.
How Many Meals Should My Cat Eat Each Day
The number of meals a cat eats per day depends completely on the family schedule. Cats should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner, and right before bed schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.
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Is Your Cat Eating Enough Or Too Little
Throughout your cats life you will need to modify her diet to accommodate changing metabolism and dietary needs. Feel your cats backbone and ribs. If the ribs and backbone show through her skin, she is too thin. If you cant feel the ribs, your cat is likely overweight. Adjust her portions accordingly.
Keeping your cat from becoming obese is much easier than forcing an obese cat to diet. And it will make both you and your cat a lot happier.
In This Example You Would Feed Cup Of Dry And 1 To 2 Cartons Of Wet Per Day
How much dry kibble to feed cat. If your cat isnt used to eating at fixed times the first step is to begin feeding on a routine. Like free feeding the only downside to combined feeding is that it will cause obesity in cats. Kibble is bad for cats because cats need appropriate nutrition and moisture in their food.
For example an 8-pound kitten should consume about 240 calories per day. For example the dry food I give my cats says that for a cat that weighs x lbs give x cup of dry foods. A typical dry food instruction might be to feed a 12lb cat of a cup of kibble per day Iams.
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. If youre switching from dry to wet cat food its completely normal for your cat to drink a little less than usual and eat more food in less time than they usually do. The approximate carb amount is 6 on a dry matter basis compared to an average of 25-50 in most dry cat food.
That is why you find dry food packaged in bags while wet food is in cans or pouches. Kibble is only around 10 moisture. Similarly you can add some kibble as a topping to her wet food dinner.
And the wet cat food has much more than that at least 65. Start by setting dry food out 3-4 times a day and be sure to take it away after 20-25 minutes. 8 lbs cup.
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Monitoring Your Cats Weight
These calculations are guidelines only.
It is important to weigh kitty every 1 to 2 weeks to check if they are gaining weight, losing weight, or staying the same. This will help us adjust the amount we are feeding.
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
If your cat is losing weight and getting too thin, increase the amount you feed by 10%. If your cat is gaining weight and getting too fat, reduce the amount you feed by 10%.
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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I Was Told That Kittens Should Eat All They Want 3 Or 4 Times Per Day Is This True
Feeding a kitten all it can eat at one time is called ad libitum or free choice feeding. This is not recommended as it can create juvenile obesity, encourage binge eating, as well as setting the stage for some orthopedic problems and diabetes. Over-eating at any one meal can also cause stomach discomfort and bloating causing slower digestion. Cats are acknowledged to have a genetically determined “set point” for their adult size. Slower, controlled growth in kittens optimizes body condition in adulthood.
General Feeding Guidelines For Different Ages Of Cats
How Often Should You Feed a Pregnant or Nursing Cat?
Due to the demand on their bodies for nutrients, I suggest leaving food out at all times. Make sure you are providing enough calories for the increase in metabolism they are experiencing during pregnancy and nursing.
How Often Should You Feed a Kitten?
Because of the nutrient requirements for growth and high energy demand, leave food out at all times for kittens up to six months old. You should only feed kittens a diet specifically formulated for them so that they are getting the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Kitten-specific food is designed to be nutrient-dense. This allows them to get the needed nutrients and calories in smaller amounts.
How Often Should You Feed an Adolescent Cat?
For cats between the age of six months to one-year-old, I suggest feeding at least twice daily but again monitor total calories for the day.
How Often Should You Feed an Adult Cat?
For adult cats over one year old, in most cases feeding at least twice daily is ideal. But if need be, once daily is acceptable. This can be impacted by certain health issues, such as diabetes, where it is critical that a cat eats prior to receiving insulin.
How Often Should You Feed a Senior Cat?
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When To Feed Your Cat
When you bring a new cat home, its important to continue to feed her the same amount of the same food on the same schedule thats shes been accustomed to, then gradually migrate to your own food and schedule. Cats are very sensitive to change, and a new cat will be dealing with a lot of new-environment stress, so keeping the food and schedule consistent will ease her transition and keep intestinal upset at bay.
When youre ready to transition your cat over to your own food and schedule, youll need to determine what kind of food youll be feeding her , and using the calorie counts in each food, determine how much of which kind to feed her.
Should You Feed Your Cat Both Wet And Dry Food
First, determine if you will be feeding your cat a 100 percent wet food diet or including some dry food. While the gold standard is to feed all wet food to cats, some cats love dry food and will undereat if they are only given wet food. In addition, dry food is more affordable, so feeding part dry will be easier on your budget.
Feeding a mix of wet and dry may require a bit of math to make sure your cat is getting the appropriate number of calories. One easy starting point is to look at the recommended daily feeding amounts on each type of food and half them.
Once you have settled on the ratio of wet-to-dry, it’s time to determine the calorie count of the food. Make sure you are feeding a quality diet that’s listed as “complete and balanced” by AAFCO. Then, determine the number of calories per portion.
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Measure Your Cat’s Food
It is very important to measure your cat’s food with a proper measuring cup. Depending on the situation, when we are asked or think about a cup, our answers will be very different. When we think of a cup of coffee, especially if the morning is a bit rough, a cup better be the size of a soda bottle. But if we think of a cup of espresso we think of a tiny cup. Either way, we just think of a cup.
Why should this matter to you as a cat owner? It matters because when it comes to your cats weight and their overall health, the myriad of empty containers people frequently use to scoop their cat’s kibble aren’t the cups we veterinarians are talking about. This especially becomes a problem when a cat owner feeds the number of cups the pet food bag suggests and they are using the extra-large coffee cup variety.
Using a Digital Scale to Measure Cat Food
As doctors always say, The scale dont lie! That is why measuring your cats food by weight rather than volume is more accurate. While a measuring cup is great, we can always be off a little when we eyeball how much is in the measuring cup. And the size of dry kibble can affect how much food actually fits in a measuring cup. But when you know the weight of what you should feed your cat, you can be exact every time you feed with a digital scale.
Why Measuring Your Cat’s Food Matters
Ideally You Should First Check The Package Directions Where The Exact Quantities According To The Type Of Food And Weight Are Detailed
How much kibble should a cat eat per day. Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 95 kcalcan you would determine how much wet food to feed your cat by dividing 346 kcalday by 95 kcalcan. Cats who have a hard time keeping slim should be fed several measured meals of cat food throughout the day rather than having 247 access to food. But in general cats do best.
According to the dry food Whiskas instructions a 4 kg cat should eat 55 g per day. That is not the case with a Maine Coon. Introduce mixed gruel in a dish as well as some dry kitten food in a separate dish.
An overweight 15-pound cat needs about 280 calories per day. An overweight 5-pound cat needs about 180 calories per day. And the wet cat food has much more than that at least 65.
For example if your veterinarian recommends giving your cat 300 calories per day youll want to feed her two meals with a total of 150 calories in each. Assessing Your Cats Feeding Once you determine how much food to feed your cat use that as a guide for a. An overweight 20-pound cat needs about 310 calories per day.
How much a cat needs to eat depends on a variety of factors including size age metabolic rate the amount it exercises and even environmental temperatures. Regular size cats may eat 12-34 of dry kibble a day. They eat very little kibble about a tablespoon each per day.
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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.