All cat owners have a common question to ask “How much should I feed my Cat?” Even if you are an experienced feline owner, still many times you wonder if your cat is getting too little or too more food.
It seems to be a simple question to answer. But is it really that simple? No, it is not something you can have an easy answer to.
Also, there is no one answer that answers for every cat or every food.
The Basics of Cat Feeding
- Cat’s Age & Weight
- Cat’s Activity Level
- Wed or Dry Food
- Brand of Food
- Metabolism of the Cat
- Whether she is pregnant or not
It is an important lesson for both the feline and also the owner to habituate with proper and healthy feeding. Cat’s daily meal must contain foods with all of the required nutrition as defined by Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). The number of calorie intake should be considered to determine how much to feed your cat.
When to feed your Cat?
Cats are sensitive animals. Once you bring a new cat to your home it is important in the initial stages so as to continue with the schedule she followed before. You have to feed at that very time that she was habituated to at least for first few days. Gradually, you can start following your own schedule. You’ll also have to determine what type of food to provide to your furred-pet.
It is important to decide which type of food to provide at what time. Mostly feline owners provide ample amount of dry food. And along with that wet food is given as add-on, to supplement maybe twice a day. It is a difficult task to balance the diet of our cat so that it doesn’t lack any nutrition. It is important to understand the fact that cats prefer to come back and nibble small amounts several times a day. They are not likely to finish off all of the given foods in one sitting. So, you would not want to feed all in one serving. Rather you should consider feeding your cat in portions multiple times in a day.
What to Feed: Wet Food or Dry Food?
This is yet another important question that is so common that whether to feed the cat with dry food or wet food or both. It is basically up to you to decide. Many veterinarians suggest canned food over dry food.
Cats do not have a strong drive to drink water on their own. It is believed that Cats were ancestrally desert animals. So, there drive to drink water is very very low. The canned foods have more than 75% water contents. While the dry foods contain only 10% of it. So, considering this fact vets believe that the moisture content in wet foods may help cats in multiple organal functions. So, you would want to discuss that with your vet based on your cat’s history.
Dry food is much more convenient to feed as you can leave it out for a pretty long period of time till your feline just comes and nibble’s it. Also, dry food is nice and shelf stable so one bag will last you pretty long enough. But dry foods do not really seem to help your cat’s teeth.
Heard of Puzzle Toys? Dry foods allow you to use puzzle toys much more easily. There are puzzle toys where you put dry food inside and let your cat work for all of her meal. This is one of the best cat food feeding technique to keep your furred pets out of trouble.
While in case of wet foods you would be required to serve in smaller proportions so that it is eaten quickly and does not spoil. Also, canned food will last for not more than 24 hours after it has been opened. Surely the health benefits of canned foods are much more than dry foods. Also, it is important to focus on the urinary tract and the kidneys which is a common problem as they age. And it really is important to maintain the health of your cat.
How much should I feed my Cat?
As defined by the Animal Medical Center that is in New York, an average adult feline requires near about 25-30 calories per pound of food on daily basis.
So, it would be around 250 calories per day for an 8-pound cat. Both types of foods have specifically mentioned calorie content on its packing. Consider these calorie values mentioned and set your cat’s daily proportions accordingly. Measure every day’s allocation of food in the feeder. This will reduce the chances of food getting rotten. Moreover, by doing this you can keep a track record of how much your cat eats on daily basis. It will also help prevent your cats from over-eating.
Most of the feline owners believe in the concept of free choice feeding. They provide free access to dry foods. And canned food is provided as a supplement maybe once or twice a day. Free feeding to cats often leads to obesity. According to the latest survey, more than half of the cats in America are considered obese or overweight. Obesity in cats comes with same problems as it comes in humans – respiratory problems, diabetes, heart problems, immune system problems, arthritis, etc.
Are you feeding enough?
Consider this topic relating humans. There is no specific answer to the question how much should a person eat. A person who has a desk job would not require as much as an athlete would. Your 75 years old mother would not have similar requirements as your 25 years daughter. Similar is the case with cats.
So, you would be required to modify the contents you feed to your feline according to its need. You have to focus on her metabolism and the dietary requirements that she has. You can get a rough idea of her requirement by rubbing your hands on your cat’s backbone and ribs. If you can feel the ribs, that means she’s too thin and requires proper nutritious food contents from time to time. And if you are unable to feel her ribs, this means she’s likely to be overweight. So, you have to adjust the proportions you serve accordingly.
Provide Fresh Water
As mentioned earlier on petlovesbest, Cats are not likely to drink water by themselves. Water is an essential stuff to sustain. So, it is important to keep your felines always hydrated. You should keep this fact in mind that dry foods do not have enough moisture in them. So, if you believe in free feeding make sure that you provide your cat with an ample amount of water so that it compensates the lack of water contents by drinking water in higher proportions. Even for the cats who eat wet or canned foods, it is important to keep the level of water in their body up to the mark.
Cats are natural hunters and not gazers. As told earlier this question does not have one unique answer. So, it is always safe so as to consult a vet. Let your vet know each and every detail about your cat. Also, remember the factors change from time to time. There are no set instructions on how much to feed your cat. Just keep a record and analyze your cat’s health and also her lifestyle and keep on updating it with your vet. So, that an optimal diet is followed.
Remember, Every Feline is Precious. What and how much you feed would be the biggest factor in deciding how long and how well your cat lives.