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.
Breed Specific Feeding Requirements
You may be wondering if large cat breeds like the Maine Coon, might have a bigger calorie requirement than smaller cats. Or maybe your super active Abyssinian might have greater energy requirements than a lazy moggy?
The good news is, you can still use the same calculations we have used, as they are based on body weight. It is still important to monitor weight and body condition score and adjust for the individual cats needs.
Step 1: Use A Body Condition Score Card
First, you must determine if your cat is at a healthy weight.
A body condition score card will show you:
- Under ideal weight
- Ideal weight
- Over ideal weight
This is important to see if your cat is eating too little, the right amount, or too much.
Look at your cat from above and from the side. Then feel along your cats sides.
According to the body condition score card, you should be able to see and slightly feel your cats ribs, with a thin layer of fat covering.
You should be able to see a clear indication of your cats waist. But not so much that his bones are sticking out.
How Much Raw Food To Feed A Cat Check Our Raw Feeding Guides
How much raw food do I feed my cat? Is there a raw feeding guide for cats? Those of two of the questions were often asked by readers transitioning their cats to a raw food diet.
> Scroll down to view our Raw Feeding Guide charts, which show you how much raw food to feed your cat based on their bodyweight.
Image: Cloudtail via Flickr
Mealtime Is A Special Time For Cats
Feeding not only satisfies a cats abundant energy needs, but also provides her with the right nutrients she needs to stay healthy and strong. Although some cats have the ability to regulate their food intake, others will overindulge or have difficulty eating around other cats. Inside this guide, youll find helpful tips and suggestions to help you understand your cats unique feeding behavior and how to properly feed her for the best possible results.
How Much Should A Cat Eat When Feeding Raw
The general consensus for raw is to feed 2-4% of your cats ideal weight.
You may use a raw feeding calculator to calculate this amount.
If you dont know where to start, you may start at 3%.
Adjust the amount that you feed your cat based on his individual needs.
For example, Jericho has a lot of energy, and hes very active.
So I feed him an amount thats between whats recommended for 2% and 3%.
Step 2: Weigh Your Cat
Your cats numerical weight will help you determine the number of calories recommended for your cat.
I use a box and a to weigh Jericho.
- Put the box on the scale
- Tare out to zero
- Put your cat in the box
Cats love boxes so this is easy. You may also use a to weigh your cat.
Using the body condition score card along with your cats numerical weight will give you a good starting point on how much to feed.
Again, every cat is an individual.
So I cannot say this is what your cat should weigh and this is how much you should feed your cat.
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.
Does Your Cats Age Affect Their Food Intake
Young cats need to be fed more than the older ones. KittensÂ need to be fed at least three times a day as their body grows fast and thus need more nutrition.
Kittens till the age of 4-6 months of age, need frequent feeding to maintain their health. According to Dr. Francis Kallfelz when the kittens reach adulthood, even feeding a couple of times a day is sufficient.
Older cats, at an age of seven or above, can remain healthy with a single feed in a day. However, the health and condition of your cat does play an important role in that decision.
Cat Feeding Mistakes: Creating Nutrient Deficiencies
The interest in homemade food for cats is on the rise, say the pros. It is important to realize however that homemade does not always mean healthy.
A mistake that I often see well-meaning people make is the feeding of unbalanced homemade diets, Pierson says.
Thats because when making cat food from scratch, some people fail to balance the meat with the correct amount of calcium, forgetting that a cat would be eating both the meat and bones of their prey, which provides a proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
A cat diet too heavy in tuna, liver, or liver oil , can lead to vitamin A toxicosis, resulting in bone and joint pain, brittle bones, and dry skin. A diet too rich in raw fish can destroy vitamin B1, causing muscle weakness, seizures, or brain damage. If a feline caregiver wishes to make their pet’s food, they need to follow a properly balanced recipe, Pierson says.
One way to do that is to start by talking to your veterinarian, who can guide you away from food fads and steer you toward a balanced, healthy eating plan for your cat.
Linda P. Case, MS, adjunct assistant professor, University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine; Author “The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition, and Health, Co-author of “Canine and Feline Nutrition.
Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, professor of medicine and nutrition, the Acree Endowed Chair of Small Animal Research,College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee.
Whats Better: Wet Food Or Dry Food
Many cats are not content to be fed only twice a day. Some get very worried if they dont see food available at all times! Many cat owners turn to dry food for free feeding since it doesnt spoil throughout the day like wet food.
Dry food generally has a slightly lower nutritional value than wet food, and quality dry products will still have the recommended healthy amount of nutrients for your cat. The big difference between benefits, however, is the moisture content.
You may be wondering if cats can live on dry food only. Cats can live on dry food only, but it is not the most nutritional food available.
Since cats are desert animals, their bodies are meant to hold water from their diets. This means they do not naturally drink a lot of water from a bowl-like dog do. A cat that is drinking a lot of water may be dehydrated. This is where wet foods come into play as being a better overall choice for your cat. The moisture content helps them stay hydrated in a way that is natural for their species. Dehydration can lead to urinary problems, which are common in cats, especially as they age.
So How Much Should I Be Feeding My Cat
The average cat weighs around 8 pounds. According to some animal medical experts, a healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 25 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-pound cat requires about 200 calories per day.
This means you should follow these guidelines* when serving up SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS meals:
Feed adult cats three to four servings per 5 pounds of their ideal body weight daily.
Feed pregnant and nursing cats two to three times their normal amount.
Feed a kitten four to seven servings daily.
*These feeding guidelines apply only to SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS Premium Pâtés, Cuts in Gravy and Garden Medleys meals. Different cat foods have different nutritional values, so always check the packaging for feeding guidelines.
Cat Feeding Guide / Chart
This is an estimate for a Daily Feeding Guide for an Adult cat eating a standard Maintenance diet with a lifestyle factor of 1.0.
The ounces have been rounded, but you can assume a slight increase for each pound your cat weighs.
*Based on a Dry Kibble of 100Cal/oz and Canned food of 28Cal/oz .
If you would like to personalize the results for your cat, you can include the calorie content of the food in this online calculator: https://petnutritionalliance.org/cat.php
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
Write down your cats feeding plan, and keep it where you prepare your pets meals.
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.
Raw Feeding Guide For Cats
The charts below include the recommended amounts of raw food to feed your cat based on 2%-4% of your adult cats bodyweight.
The per meal amount is based on feeding two meals per day. Although some people prefer to divide the daily amount into three daily meals. For example, if your cat weighs 3kgs and you want to feed them 2% of their bodyweight, you would adjust the daily amount of 60 grams into 3 meals of 20 grams each, rather than 2 meals of 30 grams each. Make sense?
I have provided the daily and per meal feeding amounts in grams, but it is EASY TO CONVERT these numbers into ounces.
To convert into ounces manually simply divide the amount in grams by 28.35
> OR use an online grams to ounces Conversion Calculator.
For an inactive OR older cat OR a cat that needs to lose weight, 2% of your cats bodyweight is a good place to start.
If your cat has normal activity levels OR you want to maintain their current weight, use the 3% bodyweight chart to determine how much to feed your cat.
If you have an active OR younger cat OR a cat that needs to gain weight use the 4% of bodyweight chart to calculate how much to feed your cat.
Monitor your cats weight with regular weigh-ins and adjust the bodyweight percentage you feed your cat accordingly.
How Much To Feed A Senior Cat
Most senior cats will have about the same caloric needs as an adult catroughly 280 to 360 daily calories depending on the normal lean weightas long as they are healthy. Some older cats will actually have an increase in energy requirements. That increase may be due to a decrease in the ability to digest and utilize calories or it may be due to health problems that are commonly seen in senior cats.
Use your cats food label to calculate how much you need to feed your senior cat to meet their caloric requirement. Most cat food has calorie counts on the packaging. Initially, its best if you weigh out the daily meals. That will help you feed precise amounts.
What Types Of Foods Should Be Provided
How Much Should You Feed Cats per day?This is one of the first questions new cat owners typically ask. And while it might seem like a simple one, the answer is anything but. In fact, there are almost as many answers to this question as there are cats.Because there are many factors that control the amount of cat feeding per day in general.
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.
How To Calculate Calories For Weight Loss
If your cat is overweight, it is healthier to help them reach an ideal weight.
Here is an example of how to calculate calories for weight loss. During a recent visit to the vet, they point out that your catâs body condition is considered too high. Their belly is sagging and when you view it from above, there is no âhour-glassâ to their figure. The catâs weight was 19 pounds. When we look at Table 1, the basic RER requirements for a 19-pound cat is 353 calories. When you look at Table 2, you want âweight lossâ which gives us a factor = 0.8 x RER to attain an ideal weight.
The calculation is 353 calories x 0.8 = 282 calories. For this 19-pound cat, 282 calories is the appropriate amount for losing weight.
How Often To Feed A Cat
Another factor in determining How much should I feed my cat depends on how often you feed your cat. And how often to feed a cat depends on what youre feeding her. Most cat owners feed their cats in the morning and at night, and may or may not supplement those feedings with free feeding of dry food throughout the day.
Final Thought Mixing Wet And Dry Cat Food
Blended and mixed both wet and dry cat food can be a good solution. With a good feeling, routines can offer the best of both worlds. You can feed your cat dry food in the morning. And wet cat food in the evening. Therefore, in this way, she can the benefit of both cat food.
There is also a good option of mixing the cats dry food with wet cat food. This can also help your cat to get additional moisture in her meal. But, Keep in mind, though, This is still very important to maintain proper portion control to make sure that your cat is getting the right amount of nutrients to maintain a healthy diet and weight.
You can choose wet and dry cat food. But, the debate between both cat food does not easily answer. Each cat is unique with their own taste. Some cats are picky over other cats. Things can work for your cat may not work for your neighbours cat.
For best advice always consult with your vet. Your cats nutrition and diet is an important part of her health.
Cat Size And Body Type
Cats come in many shapes and sizes, from a six-pound Siamese to an 18-pound Maine Coon. Even comparing two cats of the same weight is not accurate as one may be slender and athletic while the other is stocky and muscled. Each cat will need a different amount of nutrition to fit their healthy weight and build.
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.
On What Basis Is Determined The Amount Of Cat Feeding Per Day
First things first: Your veterinarian is the best source to answer this question. He or she knows your cat and can provide more customized information, plus answer any questions or concerns you may have. In the meantime, this article does offer some helpful guidelines for feeding cats.
To determine the amount to feed your cat, there are many factors to consider, including:
- Her age
- Whether she is pregnant or nursing
- Whether you feed wet food, dry food or both
- The nutrient content of your cats food
- Whether shes an indoor cat, outdoor cat or both
The brand of food youre feeding also makes a difference when were answering the question How much should be cat feeding per day? A dense, high quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the same amount of nutrition for your cat.
Many cat owners allow their cats free access to dry food, supplemented by canned food once or twice a day. A dry-food-only diet is not necessarily a bad pet diet if youre feeding high quality food, but it does require that you encourage your cat to drink a lot more water to compensate for what shes not getting in canned food.
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.
Sheba Perfect Portions Meals Are Well The Ideal Solution
SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS single-serving meals are aptly named because they come in ideally measured containers, so you know exactly how much youre feeding them. The single-serve packets allow you to treat your cat to food thats fresh every time. So feel free to mix up the menu! Salmon for breakfast?Chicken for dinner? No complaints here.
In other words, SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS are the preferred way cats like to eat. No mess, no guess, nothing being sent back to the kitchen from the dining room.
Staying Full On The Correct Amount Of Food
What food you feed and when you feed it can have a huge effect on how full your cat feels. In many cases, cats given free access to dry food for their entire diet have a tendency to become overweight.
If your cat is always hungry or needs to lose weight, there are several techniques to help your feline pet stay full.
- At Least Three Meals Daily
Cats naturally eat over eight meals a day when they are hunting for their food. Some of them tend to graze on an excessive amount of food because of this multi-meal instinct.
When switching to measured meals, they are likely to feel very hungry in between. Feeding many small meals can help.
Once you know how much your cat should be eating daily, divide the food into at least three meals per day. One meal in the morning, one in the evening/afternoon, and one meal right before bed. This last meal is critical to prevent excessive begging first thing in the morning.
- Weight Loss Food
Food marketed as weight-loss food has fewer calories per cup and is typically more filling than normal cat food. The high fiber content in this food can help keep your cat feeling full longer.
- Switch to Wet Food
All dry foods are high in carbohydrates which can cause glucose spikes and crashes that trigger hunger. Replacing all or a portion of your cats dry diet with wet food can help.
Wet food is lower in calories, has a lower carbohydrate content, and must be eaten in meals. In multi-cat households, wet food can help portion the meals for each cat.
How Much Should You Feed Your 4
At this stage, kittens still need about twice as many calories per pound than adult cats. Refer to the feeding guidelines on your kittens food to determine how much to give him per pound of bodyweight.
Kittens in this age group need around 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. For example, an 8-pound kitten should consume about 240 calories per day.
How Many Calories Does Your Cat Need
In order to maintain a healthy weight, cats need different amounts of calories at different periods in their lives. Other factors also come into play such as how active the cat is, whether s/he is spayed/neutered, your cats ideal weight, and his overall health and condition. For example, a cat that has been through a severe illness or trauma may require extra calories to help him recover. A 5-lb kitten after weaning may need 200 calories per day since kittens use a lot of energy while they grow. But a fit, lean adult cat weighing 10 pounds may only need 280 calories per day since adult cats use less energy than growing kittens.
If your cat needs to lose or gain weight, you can use these daily calorie guidelines as a target. Keep in mind that cats dont usually enjoy dieting any more than people do. If your cat is several pounds overweight because you have been giving him twice as many calories as he needs, its not a good idea to cut your cat back to minimum calories overnight. Your cat is not going to be very happy with you if you do. Its better to work on slow weight loss and cut back on your cats calories gradually. Try to aim for 2 to 3 percent loss of body weight per week. This may not sound like much it may only be a couple of ounces of weight for your cat. But the weight loss will add up and it will be easier for your cat to sustain without being miserable .