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. (Sort of like your cat herself.) 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.
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 (but general) guidelines for feeding cats.
To determine the amount to feed your cat, there are many factors to consider, including:
- Her age
- Her weight
- Her energy levels
- Whether she is pregnant or nursing
- Whether you feed wet food, dry food or both
- The nutrient content of your cat’s food
- Whether she’s an indoor cat, outdoor cat or both
The brand of food you’re feeding also makes a difference when we’re 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 you’re feeding high quality food, but it does require that you encourage your cat to drink a lot more water to compensate for what she’s not getting in canned food.
an important first step is to take a close look at your cat. Body condition is easy to assess. Is your cat slim and trim with a well-defined waist, or does her tummy brush the floor as she waddles along? Does she spend most or all of her time outdoors? Outdoor cats may need more food during the cold winter months and less in the summer. Age matters too: Kittens should be experiencing periods of rapid growth during those first 12 months, which means they’ll eat more compared to adult cats.
And finally, think about your cat’s energy level. Is she your beloved “Lady Lounge-a-lot,” often mistaken for a sofa pillow? Or a high-energy daredevil who only uses the sofa as a springboard to other adventures? As you can guess, each of these cats needs a different number of daily calories.
When could be cat feeding per day??
when you bring a new cat home, it’s important to continue to feed her the same amount of the same food on the same schedule that’s she’s 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 you’re ready to transition your cat over to your own food and schedule, you’ll need to determine what kind of food you’ll be feeding her (wet or dry, home cooked food), and using the calorie counts in each food, determine how much of which kind to feed her.
Kittens require more food per pound of body weight to support their growth than do adult cats, and therefore should be fed more often throughout the day. “Growing kittens up to six months of age may require three meals a day,” says Francis Kallfelz, DVM, Ph.D., board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and James Law professor of nutrition at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “From age six months to maturity, most cats will do well when fed two times a day.”
Once the cat becomes an adult, at about one year, feeding cat once or twice a day is appropriate in most cases. Senior cats, age seven and above, should maintain the same feeding regimen. “Once cats reach adulthood, once a day feeding cat is fine as long as they are healthy and have no disease problems suggesting a reason to feed differently,” says Dr. Kallfelz.
How often should be cat feeding per day may depend on your schedule as well. Mornings may be hectic as you get the kids off to school and yourself off to work. Under those circumstances, feeding your cat may be easier in the evening when it’s quieter and less busy. If you are running around a lot in the evening, feed your cat in the morning before everyone else is up. Find a schedule that works for you and your cat – and then keep it consistent.
In a multi-cat household, not all cats automatically come when called for dinner, potentially making it difficult for some to get food unless it is left out all the time. And other cats may eat too much when food is always available. “You just need to come up with a plan,” says Dr. Kallfelz. You can feed them separately or in different parts of the house.
What to offer during cat feeding??
Another important factor in answering “How much should be cat feeding per day?” is considering what you’re feeding your cat. The foundation of a healthy cat diet is flesh-based protein like meat, fish or poultry. Dry food should be high in animal proteins, and low in plant proteins (which cats are ill-equipped to digest). Carbohydrates should make up no more than ten percent of the mix of cat food ingredients.
Wet foods should consist predominantly of meat with as few by-products and fillers as possible.
Still wondering, “How much should be cat feeding per day?”
According to the Animal Medical Center in New York, a healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-pound cat requires about 240 calories per day.
Typically, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food contains about 250 calories in each 6 oz can. (or, 125 per 3-ounce can). Using these counts as a guide, an 8-pound cat would need 4/5 of a cup of dry food or just less than a full 6-oz can (or two 3-ounce cans) of wet food per day. You can adjust the proportions based on whether your cat prefers more or less dry or wet food.
If you’re free feeding your cat dry food, each day measure out the day’s allotment of food into your dry food feeder. This decreases the amount of food that gets stale and needs to be discarded. It will also help you monitor how much your cats are eating. If you have to take a thin cat to the vet, it will help in the diagnosis if you can identify exactly how much she eats per day.
Portioning out the food will keep your cats from overeating. Free choice feeding is one of the top contributors to feline obesity.
Throughout your cat’s life you will need to modify her diet to accommodate changing metabolism and dietary needs.
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.