The cat is an animal that usually prefers to eat several times a day than just one. In addition, he eats a small amount at a time, and in summer he takes even less. That is why it is very important to give him a quality and balanced diet to avoid health problems such as malnutrition or overweight.
But, how much daily cat food should be given? If you have doubts, we will solve them below.
How much should I feed my cat?
This is one of the first questions new cat owners often ask. And while it may seem simple, the answer is quite the opposite. In fact, there are almost as many answers to this question as there are cats in the world.
First things first: your vet is the best source to answer this question . He or she knows your cat and can provide more personalized information, as well as answer any questions or concerns you may have. In the meantime, we offer you helpful (but general) guidelines for feeding cats.
In determining how much to feed your cat, there are many factors to consider, including:
- Your age
- His weight
- Your energy level.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Eating wet food, dry food, or both
- The nutrient content of your cat’s food
- Whether it is an indoor cat, an outdoor cat, or both
Daily amount a cat should eat according to its age
A newborn cat and until it reaches 6-7 weeks of age should feed only on its mother’s milk . In the event that she was not present or not for health reasons, she could not take care of the little one, then we would have to give her replacement milk for cats that we will find in veterinary clinics and pet stores. We will find more information here .
From 2 to 4 months you should get used to eating soft solid foods, such as cans of wet food or kitten food without grains or by-products. We will give them about 5 times a day . In case you are not very amused – something that would be completely normal at this age – we will soak it with chicken or fish broth without salt, onion or seasonings.
It is important to read the table on the container to know how much we should give it, but more or less it will be about 30-55g per day , depending on the weight of the furry.
From 4 to 6 months we must increase the food ration at a rate of 10 grams per intake . But, I insist, we have to read the label on the container to avoid overdoing it, since otherwise you would end up being overweight, which would not be a good thing.
After 6 months, the cat is considered an adult, except if it is a large or giant breed such as the Maine Coon or even the Savannah . Even so, at this age it is highly recommended to leave the trough always full of food since it can eat between 10 and 20 small meals a day.
With 7-8 years we will have an older cat. As a consequence, your food intake will decrease. Therefore, your weight could drop. So it is very, very necessary to give him very nutritious meals, always without grains or by-products, and if possible wet since his teeth could start to be very worn. At a minimum, we must give him two servings a day. The amount will vary depending on your weight, but more or less between 40 and 100g per day.
Do an assessment
Before looking at cat food labels, an important first step is to take a close look at your cat. Body condition is easy to assess. Is your cat slim with a well-defined waist, or does her belly drag on the ground as she moves? Do you spend most or all of your time outdoors?
Outdoor cats may need more food during the cold winter months and less in the summer . Age matters too – kittens should experience periods of rapid growth for the first 12 months, which means they will eat more compared to adult cats
Finally, think about your cat’s energy level. Do you often mistake your cat for a sofa pillow? Or a high-energy daredevil who only uses the couch as a springboard for other adventures? As you can guess, each of these cats needs a different number of calories each day.
Here’s a general guideline that nutrition experts agree on: A healthy, active adult cat weighing about 10 pounds requires 270-320 calories per day. The amount you feed will be different for kittens, nursing mothers, inactive older cats, obese cats, etc. If you might need help with this process, ask your vet during your next appointment. Your vet knows your cat’s current health status and can give you a personalized daily feeding recommendation for your cat’s specific health needs.
Check the cat food package
Now that you’ve taken a look at your cat and maybe even asked your vet for advice, check out the feeding guide on the cat food label . This will give you a general idea of how much to put on your food plate.
You will often find a variety of feed amounts to cover different types of cats. Where does yours fit? That is what you should think. And don’t worry – you can always adjust to make sure your cat gets what it needs.
Once you’ve determined how much to feed, the inevitable question for your cat is, “How often?” Many cat owners feed their meals in the morning and at night, while others leave their food dry during the day.
Cats actually love to graze, eat various small meals during the day and at night. But when it comes to how much, all that matters is the total calorie count. Decide how often you will prepare food each day and divide the calories accordingly . Yes, it may sound like a lot of math, but your cat’s health is worth it!
Use the keys as a guide
Once you determine your feeding amounts, use them as a guide for a couple of weeks. Then evaluate how your cat’s diet is working. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Do you usually have some food in your bowl? Or is it waking you up at night for more?
- Are you cleaning your bowl, but is it getting a little thicker? Is your cat too thin?
- Are you eating happily and maintaining a healthy weight and body condition?
A couple of final thoughts: If your cat needs to gain or lose weight, try giving her the daily amount in several smaller meals throughout the day. This will help you determine the amount of food that is best to help you reach that healthy weight. If you see diet-related changes that concern you, talk to your vet.
With the right food, fed in the right amounts, you can help your cat live a healthier and happier life . And while he may not always appreciate your role as his personal chef, you will know that the effort you put into his seemingly simple plate of food means that you will reap a lot of reward in the form of feline affection.
Consider your schedule
How often you feed your cat can also depend on your schedule. Mornings can be hectic when you take the kids to school and you go to work. In those circumstances, feeding your cat may be easier at night when you are calmer and less busy. If you run a lot at night, 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 to dinner, which can make it difficult for some to get food unless food is within reach all the time. And other cats can eat too much when food is always available. You just need to make a plan. You can feed them separately or in different parts of the house.
As you can see, it is just as important how much you give the food, as when and how. Think of a plan that works well for both of you and that way your cat will be well fed and you will be calmer because his health is in good hands.
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