How Much Should I Feed My Overweight Cat
a very fat cat should go without food for nearly two weeks while overweight cats should go without food for more than 36 hours, such as hepatic lipidosis, which often causes severe liver failure. In general, cats should drink 4-6 ounces of canned food on a day split between two to three meals, but this is just a general guideline.
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.
Wet Vs Dry Food Vs Both
Many pet parents feed their cats wet food, and some provide a mix of dry and wet food. Wet food is denser calorically than dry food. If youre feeding a combination of wet and dry food, its important to measure out the amounts so that your cat is getting the correct number of calories. 6 oz of wet food, or a little more than one can, averages about 250 calories. So, one can of cat food per day is enough for most cats daily if its supplemented with a little bit of dry food or treats. The trickiest part is that different foods will offer an additional number of kcals per oz. So, its essential to check the feeding instructions on the bag to get a feel for the caloric content of the specific food that youre feeding your cat.
Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess containedyou can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl.
Our product is designed with your cats comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it shouldinside the bowl.
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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.
How Much Wet Or Dry Food To Feed A Cat
Now you know your cats body weight, how many calories it needs each day, and the calorie content of your cats food, so lets do this!
A good starting place is to find out how many calories your cat should eat from the feeding guide below .
For example, the table below shows a 10lb cat needs 216 calories per day. Simply divide this number by the calories in the food, as shown on the package.
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Two Feeding Options To Try:
Measure once a day
Weigh out your cats total amount of food for the day. Dry food can then be left out all day for kitty to come and go from the plate at will.
Once the days food has gone, there is no more until tomorrow! This method is ideal for cats who do not tend to overeat.
Measure each meal
Measure out food for each meal, with at least three meals a day being ideal. You can always retain some of the measured dry kibble in a container to be used as treats or snacks.
How Much Should A Nursing Cat Eat
A nursing cat should eat as much as four times more than normally. Cats with two or more kittens need at least three times more calories than usual. In terms of calories a 10-pound cat nursing at least four kittens should have more or less 603 calories each day, and a 15-pound cat with at least four kittens should eat at least 851 calories per day.
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How Exercise & Fitness Can Help
Cats are typically sedentary creatures, but during the hours your kitty is awake, get them moving! Nutritious food is just one part of weight loss. Think of yourself as your cat’s personal trainer. Toss around a small toy that they can chase, or build a DIY cat scratching post. Even a wadded-up piece of paper will entertain your little hunter. Mix up activities to keep them interested.
Want to combine exercise with your cat’s feeding time? Consider getting a puzzle feeding box. These special dishes require your cat to work to get their food out, helping them burn those extra calories.
What Is Your Lifestyle Like
If you are not home regularly or gone for extended amounts of time, a cats independent nature can be a great fit. If your life includes other people or pets, make sure their behaviors, personalities and lifestyles suit having a cat family member both for their sake and the cats. Allergies can be a dealbreaker, so take note of anyone in your home with cat allergies and their or your willingness to take allergy medication, vacuum constantly and groom the cat regularly to alleviate symptoms.
Your home should also have the space for play and exercise and shouldnt harbor anything dangerous to your cat.
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What’s A Healthy Rate Of Weight Loss For A Cat
Just like for people, cats need to either burn more calories or take in fewer calories to lose weight. You do not want your cat to lose more than a 1/2 pound per month. Therefore, even if your cat has a significant amount of weight to lose, such as 10 lbs., do not rush the process. Weight loss takes time. No one likes a diet, which includes cats, so if you attempt to make the process go too quickly you will end up with a grumpy cat.
As a final word, I want you to know I understand how hard it can be to get cats to lose weight. I struggled with one of my cats, so I know the suffering you are enduring. But I want you to know it is possible to get your cat to lose weight and in the long run, it is the best thing for both of you!
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Overweight
Cats who are overweight have fat covering their ribs, making it challenging to feel easily, Dr. Burch said. Their waist can be poorly discernible or absent. The abdomen will be rounded to distended with fat.
You can look at the images on the body condition chart and compare them to your own cats size to see if he seems to be a little too chubby. But basically, if his stomach sticks out and you cant see his hips, its probably time for a diet.
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Help Your Cat Lose Weight
If your cat is overweight, ask your vet for advice on an appropriate feeding regime to ensure they get enough nutrients, without being overfed.
Weighing food out daily is a helpful way to control portions. Some dry foods come with calibrated scoops, but these are easy to overfill.
If you like to give your cat treats, reduce the amount of normal food you provide.
Never starve overweight cats or put them on ‘crash diets’. Any period of time without food can potentially be dangerous. A slow, steady weight loss is ideal. It can take as much as a year for a severely overweight cat to reach its ideal weight.
It is hard to notice weight change in a cat you see every day, so regular weighing is a useful way to monitor progress. Your cat probably won’t sit still on your scales, so weigh a carrying box or yourself, then weigh the cat in the box or while holding it and subtract the excess to get your cat’s weight.
Some vet practices offer weight clinics, where they can regularly weigh your cat using their specialist scales.
Hide Their Meals And Litter Box
Indoor cats often want little to do with exercise, and that contributes to their weight problems. Encourage more movement by moving your cat’s food bowl and litter box around the space. Place them in a different location each day, so your cat has to seek it out and get some exercise along the way.
If your home has more than one story, you could place them on the floor where they spend the least amount of time, or on separate floors, so theyll have to go up and down the stairs regularly.
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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.
How Much To Feed A Cat Chart
|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.
Once the daily recommended number of kilocalories has been calculated, you then need to discover how many kilocalories are in the food that you are offering. This depends on the ingredients in the food. You can usually discover this, if not on the food label, by visiting the pet food manufacturers website, or by contacting them directly.
This method will allow you to calculate for yourself, from first principles, approximately how much food you should be feeding your cat.
For many people, this type of calculation is too complex, and they prefer to simply follow the manufacturers guide on the label, modifying this over time depending on how their pets body weight changes.
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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.
Getting Your Cat To Lose Weight
It might mean a change in diet and lifestyle, and a little effort on your part, but you can get your cat down to an ideal weight and improve their quality of life.
Maintenance. The average indoor cat should have 20 calories per pound to maintain weight. The average outdoor only cat should have 35 calories per pound to maintain weight. Indoor/outdoor cats are somewhere in between.
If your indoor cat weighs 10 pounds, then they should be eating approximately 200 calories per day. If they weigh 15 pounds, then they should be eating approximately 300 calories per day to maintain their weight.
Weight loss. If your cat is overweight, you will want to feed for 2 pounds less, or 40 fewer calories a day, and readjust every time your cat loses a pound, until you hit a healthy weight, and then maintain.
Differences in metabolism. Not every cat will fall into the average of 20 calories per pound to maintain weight, just like not every person will have the same weight by eating the same foods every day. Different cats have different metabolism levels, the 20 cal/lb is just a rough guideline. If your cat is not losing weight after 6 months on the above guidelines, then you may need to lower that level.
If you free feed and you have multiple cats, you can still figure this out. Put a pre-measured large amount of food in the bowl each morning at the same time, and keep track of any wet food or treats you give during the day.
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A Complete Cat Feeding Guide Wet And Dry Food Covered
Whether you have been a proud owner of a feline for many years, have been presented with a fur pet, or have adopted one, you may be wondering, How much food should I feed my cat? The question may come as a natural inquiry when you are facing a new task introduced into your life or as a concern for a four-pawed resident of your house.
The wrong ways you could go about solving the problem are either by letting your cat eat as much as it will or relying on the general instructions you can find at the back of the package containing nutrients for your kitty. Those may work, but thats like playing a lottery. Instead, we would like to equip you with the knowledge that will let you know for sure.
Its crucial to make a feeding plan individually for your cat so that the animal receives an ideal amount of calories. That way, you can avoid overfeeding your pet, as well as denying it the necessary nourishment. Both could equally be bad for the cats current health and life expectancy, so its crucial that you know all the factors to account for.
How Much And How Often You Should Feed Your Cat
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Many cat owners, myself included, love a big chunky cat.
Maybe its because they seem cuddlier when they are in the mood to cuddle that is.
Or perhaps we feel more loved when they are begging for food or purring as we feed them.
But in reality, as cute as they may be, excess weight isnt healthy for our cats. Studies show that pets on the leaner side live longer than their heavier counterparts. Also, cats with a healthy body weight will suffer less from issues like arthritis and other illnesses.
The best way to show love is by managing your cats weight to help them live a long and healthy life.
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Lets get started on some basics of how you can help your furry friend lose weight and keep it off.
One of the first things I suggest is consulting with your cats veterinarian. They can guide you on how much weight your cat needs to lose, how much to feed them, and how to establish an exercise routine for your cat.
It is recommended just like it is for people to have your cat get a complete physical exam and possibly blood tests to be sure there are no underlying medical issues before starting a weight loss program.
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How Do I Know If And How Much Weight My Cat Needs To Lose
Determining an ideal weight for your cat can be difficult. In fact, most owners are unable to identify obesity in their pets. What is actually ideal, most owners think is too thin. Just as in people, frame size differs from cat to cat, and weight loss should be based on body condition, not just the number on the scale. There are a number of reputable websites that can help you determine your cats current and ideal body condition and weight: