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How Often to Feed a Cat?
Cat FoodCat Needs

How Often to Feed a Cat?

As pet parents, we may be worried about how often to feed a cat! It can be quite tempting to feed kittens whenever they demand it. However, it is essential to stick to the proper feeding routine and ensure your pet is eating the right amount.

How Much Should My Cat Eat?

Most of the time, pet owners think about what special kind of food their cats need, but puzzling out how much they should eat is also essential. Underfeeding isn't the only scare here, as overfeeding is the most common problem. Some cats are deficient in nutrients due to underfeeding, but most cats have been reported to be obese due to overfeeding.

So, you might be wondering, "How much do I feed my cat?" Well, your precious kittens are known to have small stomachs (about the size of a ping-pong ball); hence, they are better off eating small but often. Letting your pets have a few smaller meals rather than a huge meal works best. 

Cats are known for being habitual, and if they have a specific feeding routine, they would easily stick to it. However, several factors influence felines' feeding routines.

Age Makes a Difference

Kittens require sufficient food intake to grow properly, but their stomach size is much smaller than that of an adult cat. Thus, they would require numerous small meals per day formulated with the correct nutrient and caloric intake.

Unlike adult cats, kittens have higher energy and nutrient requirements, with a daily caloric need of about 300 to 500 calories. Hence, a healthy kitten should be able to gain a pound each month. Senior or adult cats, on the other hand, require less caloric intake, averaging 20 calories for each pound of body weight each day.

Special Dietary Needs

Special diets are required based on a pet's body condition and health status, which further influences a cat's feeding schedule. For example, cats that need to lose weight need to be fed fewer calories. 

A low-protein cat food would be the best choice for pets with certain health conditions, like kidney disease. Similarly, felines with hyperthyroidism will most likely consume more calories since their altered metabolism rates cause them to burn more calories.

How Many Meals Should My Cat Eat Each Day?

This is a highly debatable question, but Vet Cornell suggests that felines are fed three meals daily until they are six months old. Nevertheless, pets between six months to one year should be fed twice daily. 

In most cases, an adult cat would do fine with a meal or two each day; all needed is the right proportion of nutrients in your cat's food. If you still need to figure out your kitten's feeding routine, consult a veterinarian to help determine your pet's ideal feeding and exercise program. 

What Should I Feed My Cat?

Cats require properly formulated food that supports their growth and health. Today, pet foods with proper nutrients for any cat diet are commercially available, so you can find age-appropriate products for kittens, adults, and seniors. 

Homemade cat foods can be a delightful treat, but it's crucial to understand that feeding cats food meant for humans can pose risks unless your vet says otherwise. Felines with certain health conditions would require a vet-prescribed diet to ensure they remain healthy.

Can I Give My Cat Treats?

Apart from good cat food, felines love occasional treats. However, limiting the treats you offer your pet throughout the day is essential to ensure they don't gain excess weight. Also, cat parents offering treats may want to reduce the pet’s usual daily food allowance. You can keep your cat happy by placing treats in food puzzles or toys and offering them additional playtime.

Conclusion

Many households' cats have evolved to consume numerous meals per day, exposing them to the risks of obesity. Sticking to a healthy feeding routine is essential; two meals (or three for kittens) should be fine daily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a cat go without eating?

While cats can survive longer without food than water, your pet can mostly go three days without food. But, the longer felines go without proper nutrition, the weaker they get.

How much wet food should a cat be fed?

While the exact recommended amount depends on different circumstances, an adult cat would require 115-140 grams or 4-5 ounces of wet food each day.

How much dry food should a cat be fed?

While dry food tends to be lower in volume, they provide more energy than wet food. So, a cat weighing about 8-9 lbs would require 1.13 - 1.94 ounces of dry food.