If you happen to’re a first-time cat owner, “How much should I feed my cat?” is more likely to be considered one of your first questions once you bring your cat home. Even for those who’ve owned cats for years, you might sometimes wonder if your cats are getting too little food or an excessive amount of. Let’s undergo a number of aspects to contemplate when answering “How much should I feed my cat”?
How much should I feed my cat? The fundamentals
If you happen to’ve ever wondered “How much should I feed my cat?” We’ve got the answers. Photography ©g215 | Thinkstock.
The reply to “How much should I feed my cat” is predicated on many variables, including a cat’s weight and a cat’s age, whether you’re feeding wet cat food or dry cat food, the cat’s activity level, and whether or not she is pregnant or nursing.
The brand of food you’re feeding also makes a difference once we’re answering the query “How much should I feed my cat.” A dense, prime quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the identical amount of nutrition to your cat.
Many cat owners allow their cats free access to dry food, supplemented by canned food a couple of times a day. A dry-food-only eating regimen will not be necessarily a foul pet eating regimen for those who’re feeding prime quality food, however it does require that you simply encourage your cat to drink rather a lot more water to compensate for what she’s not getting in canned food.
When to feed your cat
Whenever you bring a brand new cat home, it’s necessary to proceed to feed her the identical amount of the identical food on the identical schedule that’s she’s been accustomed to, then steadily migrate to your individual food and schedule. Cats are very sensitive to alter, and a brand new cat might be coping with plenty of new-environment stress, so keeping the food and schedule consistent will ease her transition and keep intestinal upset at bay.
Whenever you’re able to transition your cat over to your individual food and schedule, you’ll need to find out what form of food you’ll be feeding her (wet or dry, raw food or a combo), and using the calorie counts in each food, determine how much of which type to feed her.
What to feed your cat — wet food or dry food?
How much to feed a cat also is determined by for those who feed your cat wet or dry food. Photography by africa studio/shutterstock.
One other necessary think about answering “How much should I feed my cat?” is considering what you’re feeing your cat. The inspiration of a healthy cat eating regimen is flesh-based protein like meat, fish or poultry. Dry food ought to be high in animal proteins, and low in plant proteins (which cats are ill-equipped to digest). Carbohydrates should make up not more than ten percent of the combo 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 I feed my cat?” Some calculations
In accordance with the Animal Medical Center in Latest York, a healthy, energetic 8-pound adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the common 8-pound cat requires about 240 calories per day.
Typically, dry food comprises about 300 calories per cup, and canned food comprises 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 want 4/5 of a cup of dry food or simply lower than a full 6-oz can (or two 3-ounce cans) of wet food per day. You’ll be able to adjust the proportions based on whether your cat prefers kind of dry or wet food.
If you happen to’re free feeding your cat dry food, every day measure out the day’s allotment of food into your dry food feeder. This decreases the quantity of food that gets stale and wishes to be discarded. It can also enable you to monitor how much your cats are eating. If you might have to take a skinny cat to the vet, it is going to assist in the diagnosis for those who can discover exactly how much she eats per day.
Portioning out the food will keep your cats from overeating. Free alternative feeding is considered one of the highest contributors to feline obesity.
How often to feed a cat
Your cat’s feeding schedule is one other thing to contemplate. Photography by Stays/Thinkstock.
One other think about determining “How much should I feed my cat” is determined by how often you feed your cat. And the way often to feed a cat is determined by what you’re feeding her. Most cat owners feed their cats within the morning and at night, and will or may not complement those feedings with free feeding of dry food throughout the day.
Is your cat eating enough — or too little?
Throughout your cat’s life you have to to change her eating regimen to accommodate changing metabolism and dietary needs. Feel your cat’s backbone and ribs. If the ribs and backbone show through her skin, she is just too thin. If you happen to can’t feel the ribs, your cat is probably going obese. Adjust her portions accordingly.
Keeping your cat from becoming obese is far easier than forcing an obese cat to eating regimen. And it is going to make each you and your cat rather a lot happier.
Thumbnail: Photography ©bluebeat76 | Thinkstock.
This piece was first published in 2009.