How Much Should My Cat Eat Daily – How much should you feed your cat? Is half a glass of dry food enough? How many ounces of wet food is the correct amount? Should your cat eat three meals a day like humans?
There is no universal answer to any of these questions because every cat is different. The exact amount and type of food your cat needs will depend on many factors. Read on for details.
How Much Should My Cat Eat Daily
Note: This blog post contains general information from various reputable sources. However, you should always consult your vet before changing your cat’s food or feed.
How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat?
DVM, Ph.D. from Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine. Francis Kallfelz advises that “growing kittens up to six months of age may need three meals a day. ” Kittens need more food per kilogram of body weight than adult cats to get the nutrients they need to grow.
For adult cats, “most cats from six months to adulthood are fine when fed twice a day,” says Kallfelz. Just make sure the two meals are not too far apart. VCA Animal Hospitals says “if there are more than 12 hours between meals, the stomach can become hyper acidic, causing nausea.”
While a cat is pregnant, PetMD advises “feeding your queen the foods she always enjoys, but start by adding protein to her meals.”
Also, don’t forget about the place where the kittens are inside your cat. “There won’t be much room for food, so your cat will need to eat smaller and more frequent meals,” says PetMD. “Make sure he always has food when he’s hungry, and most importantly, water he can always use.”
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The last few weeks of pregnancy are when a cat’s appetite increases the most and her belly begins to show. In the later stages of pregnancy, you can combine food to replace growing kittens. PetMD continues, “You can continue this diet while nursing and until weaning your puppies, supplementing them with a quality canned food.”
To maintain a normal, healthy weight, Fetch by WebMD says cats should eat 24 to 35 calories per pound per day. For an eight pound cat, this equates to 192 to 280 calories per day. To put this into perspective, a 5.5-ounce serving of RAWZ turkey and turkey liver pack is 199 calories. Half a bowl of RAWZ salmon dry cat food has 230 calories.
If your cat is overweight or obese, you need to work closely with your breeder to make sure you are feeding them properly. Cats that are overweight, especially those with diabetes or other health conditions, should always receive a moderate amount of food. The Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University says that “frequent exercise is recommended to support slow and safe weight loss.”
There are certain health issues that affect how much and when you should feed your cat. If your cat is recovering from surgery or has an illness, they will likely have special nutritional needs so their bodies can heal or fight.
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Some medications may need to be given to your cat on an empty stomach or with food. This is especially important for cats with diabetes. “Coordinating your meals with insulin dosing is critical,” says Kathryn Michel, DVM, professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “You have to put the food in with their insulin so they absorb those calories when the insulin peaks so they don’t become hypoglycemic [with low blood sugar].
Always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s health and diet. They provide detailed guidance based on your cats past and present health.
Is your cat more playful than most or would it prefer a more relaxed lifestyle? Especially since obesity is the most common nutritional disease in cats, activity levels are one of the most important factors to consider when feeding your cat.
Your vet can recommend the most suitable level of nutrition for your cat. The ASPCA describes three categories of activity levels to help you identify your cat’s needs:
How Much Should I Feed My Cat?
Scheduled feeding is giving your cat its meals at a specific time each day. “Feeding an adult cat at regular intervals ensures current safety and predictability,” wrote Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM, and Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP for VCA Animal Hospitals . “Foods become the main event of the day where other activities are added.”
Regular feeding is the best way to monitor your cat’s eating habits and is recommended in households with multiple cats to ensure that one cat is not getting all the food. The only downside here is that your cat is out of control and may get used to yelling or begging too much at feeding times.
Free feeding leaves food out for your cat to graze on. This gives them complete control over when they eat, which helps reduce begging. However, the free feed has some distinct advantages. Jackie Brown from Catster explains that “wet food doesn’t stay fresh as long, so it’s not a successful option for free feeding. You also can’t keep track of what they eat , which cats can be overweight.” In multi-cat households, it is also difficult to ensure that each cat is eating enough.
VCA Animal Hospitals advises that “free grazing or feeding is not recommended as many cats consume too many calories and do not get enough physical activity.”
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Catster notes that “cats fed only dry food are slightly more prone to obesity and diabetes than cats that eat wet cat food.” This is due to two reasons. First, dry foods often contain higher amounts of carbohydrates compared to wet foods. Secondly, it is likely to be offered as free food, which means that cats have constant access to dry food and may be consuming more than necessary.
Dry food has very low water levels which cats need from food as their thirst is low. Any cat that eats dry food should have access to fresh water 24/7.
The high moisture content in wet canned food (about 78% compared to 10% in dry food) can help compensate for your cat’s low thirst sensitivity. The moisture in freeze-dried foods can be as low as 3% to 5%.
However, it’s important to remember that low-quality wet food is no better than premium dry food, so make sure you feed your cat the highest quality dry or wet food.
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When in doubt, Catster provides useful advice when choosing between wet and dry food for your cat. Finally, whether you choose wet cat food or dry cat food, it should be premium cat food with quality ingredients. The higher initial cost will be offset in the long run by lower vet costs.
An associate veterinarian at Boston Animal Hospital, Dr. Sarah Gorman explains that eating behavior in cats is a combination of acquired and learned components. “It’s not just about what the cat does naturally with the food, it’s also about how that cat is fed in a way that suits the feeding time,” he said.
Cats are naturally carnivores, which means their diets require nutrients found only in meat. In the wild, cats prefer to eat alone unless they share food with their kittens. If you have more than one cat, it may be best to separate their food bowls when eating.
Although the recommended weight for domestic cats is about 10 pounds, this depends on the breed. “A Siamese cat can weigh up to 5 pounds, and a Maine Coon can be 25 pounds and healthy,” says WebMD’s Fetch.
How To Get A Cat To Eat Wet Food + Benefits Of Eating Wet Food
Obesity is a major concern for all races as it can lead to arthritis, diabetes and urinary tract infections. Diabetes is a particular concern—an obese cat is three times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than a normal-weight cat, according to Fetch by WebMD. Cornell University also says that “obese cats are twice as likely to die in middle age, which is six to 12 years for cats.”
“Probably the most common mistake people make when feeding cats is overfeeding,” says Joe Bartges, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVN, and professor of medicine and nutrition.
It’s easy to overfeed a cat because its nutritional needs vary. “Cats are quieter and more active compared to the days when they were barn cats,” says Linda P. Case, MS.
In addition to dry food or only high-quality wet food is recommended. Cats don’t have a natural thirst like dogs do, so they have to get their water from their food.
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While only 10% to 12% of dry food is water, 78% of canned food is water. “Canned food does a much better job of keeping your cat hydrated,” says Lisa A. Pierson of DVM. “Think of canned food as putting down your cat’s paws.
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