Guidelines For Feeding Your Cat
If you still feel unsure of how to start, look at your cat’s weight compared to the “average” weight of an adult cat which is about 8 pounds for a male and 6 pounds for a female.
- If your cat is within 1-2 pounds of these weights and appears to be a healthy body weight, start by feeding two-thirds of the amount listed on the can. So if the can states you should feed one full can per meal, scoop out approximately two-thirds of a can into your cat’s bowl.
- If your cat is more than 1-2 pounds off from the average weight but is still a healthy weight based on body size and type, follow the same directions. Otherwise, if your cat is clearly underweight or overweight, start with a whole can for an underweight cat, and half a can for an overweight cat.
- When measuring out the food, you can also use a simple food weight scale if you want to be more exact.
- Do this for about one to two weeks and observe your cat’s weight. Is he gaining or losing weight or staying on track?
- If he’s gaining, reduce the amount you feed by about a tablespoon and continue monitoring.
- If he’s losing, reduce the amount you are removing from the can by about a tablespoon.
- Continue weighing and monitoring and reducing/adding by a tablespoon until you’ve found the amount that keeps your cat at a steady, healthy weight.
What Is My Cats Weight
OK, Garfield, this is where it gets real! It is time to weigh your cat. This is because the amount you feed your cat depends on their size .
A set of scales that can accurately weigh your cat is a worthwhile investment. Place a carry cage on the scales, set the scale to zero, and then place kitty in the cage and record the weight.
Alternatively, record the carrier weight, and then subtract this from the combined cat plus carrier weight.
A third method is to weigh yourself with and without the cat and calculate the difference this works if kitty is not too squirmy!
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.
Don’t Miss: Teaching Kitten Not To Bite
How Much To Feed A Cat
To successfully create a diet, you need to know the daily intake of calories youre looking for. Its similar to how you calculate your own diet. And if you dont, you can start with your pet because it relies on you to do the math and cat food portion control. Calories are used to measure how much energy a product provides. Thats right, the same energy your friend will need during the day for running, jumping, hunting, playing, climbing, or even snoozing. Even during sleep, there are processes taking place inside of any body, and those need energy.
So, the amount of calories is written on food packaging, usually displayed as kcal per kilogram, pound, bag, or can. Once again, you may see the recommended distribution of this food given as well, but those instructions are way too general and may not be the best for your puss.
Never you mind fully understanding the science of it all. As long as you know how to calculate the appropriate number of kcals per day and per meal, as well as paying attention to certain parameters of your cat, all you will need is our calculator. Well go over each of those in more detail below, covering how to control the amount of food to feed a cat to witness the desired result.
Scheduled Feeding Vs Free Feeding
There are two different types of feeding routines: Scheduled feeding vs. free feeding.
Scheduled feeding is giving your cat meals at a certain time every day. Feeding an adult cat at regular times provides the security and predictability of a routine, Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM and Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP write for VCA Animal Hospitals. Meals become a cornerstone event of the day around which other activities are added.
Routine feeding is the best way to monitor your cats eating habits, and its recommended for multi-cat households to make sure that one cat isnt getting all the food. The only disadvantage here is that your cat isnt in control and may develop a habit of excessive meowing or begging around feeding times.
Free feeding is leaving out food for your cat to graze. This gives them full control of when they eat, which can help cut back on begging. However, free feeding has a few notable disadvantages. Jackie Brown of Catster explains that wet food wont stay fresh very long, so its not a successful free-feeding option. You also cant keep track of how much they are eating, and this can lead to overweight cats. Its also difficult to make sure each cat is eating enough in multi-cat homes.
VCA Animal Hospitals advises that many cats receive too many calories and because they do not get enough physical activity, grazing or free feeding is not recommended.
Also Check: 9 Month Old Cat In Human Years
What Are The Benefits Of Wet Cat Food
Other Benefits of Wet Cat Food. Wet food is highly digestible. Plus, it contains all the same essential nutrients as dry food, including vitamins and minerals such as: Iron, which supports healthy blood and tissue. Zinc, to help support the development of the immune system and to help maintain the skin, eyes and bones.
Is It Ok To Feed A Dog Once A Day
The owner of a dog should ensure that it eats twice a day, including during the morning and evening. Neither feeding adults a nightcore dog nor pets are recommended by all veterinarians . The problem of feeding only once a day to dogs is sometimes illustrated by the excessive thirst those feeds can sometimes cause and they can sometimes become prone to bilious vomiting .
Read Also: Hp Lovecrafts Cats Name
When Should I Feed My Cat
Cats have adapted to eat small meals , interspersed with sleeping and bursts of activity. Providing multiple smaller meals in a day mirrors this natural feeding pattern and can, in turn, increase activity level and reduce the risk of obesity .
This can be achieved by leaving the calculated amount of dry food out for your cat to free feed at will. Alternatively, for cats prone to eating too much, work out at least three meal times in a day that work with your schedule and measure each meal as described above.
Should I Leave Food Out For My Cat At Night
In general, the free feeding setup is all about leaving food out and allowing the cat to eat as it pleases. This ensures the cat has an opportunity to eat without having to worry about scheduling. However, for those who do follow a meal schedule for their cat, it is not a good idea to start leaving food out at night.
Read Also: What Is A Cat’s Normal Heart Rate
Cat Feeding Guide Wet And Dry
You already know the difference between wet and dry cat food. But you may not have the idea about how much moisture is required. According to purina.com, In the U.S, dry cat food must have no more than 20% moisture content. And, the wet cat food has much more than that at least 65%. That is why you find dry food packaged in bags while wet food is in cans or pouches.
Do Cats Need Wet Food
While there are plenty of arguments to suggest that wet cat food may be preferable to dry alternatives, it is not necessary for wet cat food to be given every day and some cats actually do better on a combination diet. With that being said, there are some instances where the wet cat food is the preferable option.
Don’t Miss: Are Tuxedo Cats Smart
Measuring Out The Food
The best way to measure out the food for your cat is to use a digital kitchen scale. Weighing food per oz or gram is much more accurate than estimating the per cup measurement.
If your cat eats a combination of wet and dry food, a good place to start is measuring out half of the dry food allowance and half of the wet food allowance for the day.
Weigh Your Cat To Ensure A Healthy Rate Of Weight
Regardless of diet, limiting access is the key. And a scale to accurately weigh the cat on is handy. Peoples digital scales can be used by weighing the person with and without holding the kitty. Monthly weights at the same time of day are sufficient.
We want about a pound a month of weight loss, not more. Sudden weight loss in a cat can result in serious health issues. Weight loss is hard to accomplish in a cat, no short cuts exist, and it takes an active process to achieve.
Just like people, it is an individualized program for each kitty and dealing with the behavioral consequences of a hungry cat can be one of the largest challenges. The hardest thing for people to accept is that a hungry cat is okay and healthy, it does not require fixing despite what the kitty may think.
Dr. Matt McCormick, DVM
Companion Animal Clinic has been serving Blacksburg, Virginia and surrounding Montgomery and Christiansburg communities since 1974. We are an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital and provide quality, professional care for dogs, cats, exotics, and small mammals. Learn more about our amazing team.
You May Like: What Is A Cat’s Normal Heart Rate
What Is Body Condition Score
Body Condition Score is a way of assessing whether your cat is at an optimal weight. Sadly, many cats are overweight , leading to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.
A cat in ideal body condition should have a visible waist, and you should be able to feel its ribs.
If you can see your cats ribs and its backbone feels knobbly, kitty is too thin, and the amount you feed should increase.
If you cannot feel your cats ribs, and it has a rounded shape from above and from the side, kitty is overweight, and the amount you feed needs to be reduced.
Refer to the chart below to assess your cats BCS. If you need help with scoring your cat, or if you are concerned your cats body condition score is too low or too high, discuss this with your veterinarian at kittys next health check.
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
If your cats Body Condition Score is less than 3, increase the amount fed by 10%. If your cats Body Condition Score is more than 3, decrease the amount fed by 10%. Review this every few weeks.
Body Condition Score Chart
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.
Recommended Reading: Lovecraft Cat Meme
Healthy Homemade Dog Food Ingredients
According to WEBMD your dog needs protein from animal meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. They need fat from meat or oil and carbohydrates from grains or vegetables. In addition, essential fatty acids from plant oils, egg yolks, oatmeal, and other foods. The question is in what amounts? After much research, we created a recipe that our dogs love they are healthy, have tons of energy, and their coats and eyes shine!
- From the Cutting Board.
- Joanies Ancient Food Processor!
- Finished Dog Food!
- Ready For Freezing!
The listed ingredients are used most of the time. Fresh meats like lean ground beef, ground turkey, and chicken gizzards provide a heavy dose of protein. Tuna, salmon, or sardines are always used. The eggs also add protein and essential oils. There are fruits and vegetables in the mix and even rice for digestion, although no wheat grains or sugars! Our homemade dog food is human grade. The main point is we know and control what goes into their food!
So How Many Calories Does My Cat Need
A cats daily calorie needs are based on your cats healthy weight. We put together a simple chart for you to easily work out your cats daily calorie needs here.
For the math geeks who need more detail on our calculations, here goes
Use this formula to calculate how many calories a cat should consume in a day:
70 x 0.75 x Lifestyle Factor
The lifestyle factor modifies the results for the individual cat. This factor can range from 0.6 for a cat prone to weight gain, 1.2 for a neutered adult cat, and 2.5 for a growing kitten .
Using this formula for an adult neutered 10 lb cat, we get a result of 259 calories .
This is an estimate of the number of calories that this particular cat would need to consume per day. Remember though, every cat is unique, and depending on the lifestyle factor, the actual amount could range from 173 to 302 calories per day.
If you want a calorie calculation tailored to your own cats individual nutritional needs, heres a good one:
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
Start with the basic calculation as the calorie needs for your cat . Weigh kitty weekly, and adjust the amount of cat food fed up or down to keep kitty at ideal condition score.
In other words, feed your 10 pound cat roughly 230 calories per day. After a week, check his weight again. If hes losing weight, but shouldnt be, bump it up to 250/day and weigh him again in 1 week.
Read Also: When A Cat Head Bumps You
Cat Feeding Mistakes: Adding Garlic For Tapeworms
Some of us have seen those strange wiggly white segments near our cats posterior. About the size of rice grains, those segments belong to a tapeworm thats taken residence in your cats small intestine. Some believe the best home remedy to foil these squirmy parasites is fresh, pungent garlic added to kittys chow.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions around, Bartges tells WebMD. There is no proof that garlic prevents any parasitic infestation, including intestinal worms or fleas. On top of that, if given in too high of a dose, garlic can destroy a cats red blood cells.
The most common parasite found inside adult cats, tapeworms are usually caused by kitty swallowing a flea. Although tapeworms arent life-threatening, they can lead to weight loss, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and other issues if left untreated.
If you notice tapeworm segments in your cats feces or near the anus, talk to your veterinarian, who will probably prescribe an oral deworming medication. Dont treat kittys worms yourself — not all treatments work on all worms and you could end up doing more harm than good with the wrong medication.
Why Should I Feed My Cat Wet Food
The main reason why people choose to feed their cats wet food is because of the fact that there is a higher water content in this type of food. This could be especially important if your cat has certain health conditions.
If your pet has an ailment that requires them to intake more water than a cat would usually have to, they might particularly benefit from wet cat food. This is due to the fact that there is more water.
Another reason why itâs a good idea to give your pet canned cat food is that itâs largely considered to be highly palatable. In other words, your cat could be more likely to eat their canned food than their dry food.
If youâre worried about your pet not intaking enough food, try to give them some wet food and see how it goes.
Also Check: Why Does My Cat Flop On Her Side
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.