How Often Should I Feed my Cat – 10 important things you should know

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The amount and frequency of meals depends on your cat’s age, health and preference.

Check the pet food aisle at your local supermarket, and you’ll find dozens of varieties of food to entice your cat. Feed your cat too little or the wrong kind of food, and he won’t maintain good health. Feed him too much, and he’ll get fat. But you can help get your cat off on the right paw by establishing regular feeding routines.

How Often Should I Feed my Cat ?

FAQs

How much dry food should I feed my cat?

Most dry foods contain about 300 calories per cup, so most adult cats will need a bit less than a cup of food per day. Six to eight ounces of wet food would be the equivalent number of calories, depending on the brand

What time should I feed my cat?

Cats should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner, and right before bed schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.

How many cups of food should a cat eat?

Most dry foods contain about 300 calories per cup, so most adult cats will need a bit less than a cup of food per day. Six to eight ounces of wet food would be the equivalent number of calories, depending on the brand.

Although the food you feed your cat should be complete and balanced, the simple answer to how often you should feed him is that there isn’t a simple answer.

This post include on query How Often Should I Feed my Cat full explainantion and everything you should know before feeding your cat or kitten by thevetscare.com

You might be interested in : Feeding a kitten with schedule feeding of kitten

How Often Should I Feed my Cat by thevestcare.com
How Often Should I Feed my Cat by thevestcare.com

The amount and frequency of meals depends on your cat’s age, health and preference.

Check the pet food aisle at your local supermarket, and you’ll find dozens of varieties of food to entice your cat. Feed your cat too little or the wrong kind of food, and he won’t maintain good health. Feed him too much, and he’ll get fat. But you can help get your cat off on the right paw by establishing regular feeding routines.

How Often Should I Feed my Cat ?

FAQs Info

How much dry food should I feed my cat?

Most dry foods contain about 300 calories per cup, so most adult cats will need a bit less than a cup of food per day. Six to eight ounces of wet food would be the equivalent number of calories, depending on the brand

What time should I feed my cat?

Cats should eat at least two meals each day, about 12 hours apart. But a breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner, and right before bed schedule is an equally great option. If more than 12 hours elapses between meals, the stomach can become hyperacidic causing nausea.

How many cups of food should a cat eat?

Most dry foods contain about 300 calories per cup, so most adult cats will need a bit less than a cup of food per day. Six to eight ounces of wet food would be the equivalent number of calories, depending on the brand.

Although the food you feed your cat should be complete and balanced, the simple answer to how often you should feed him is that there isn’t a simple answer.

Age Makes a Difference

Kittens require more food per pound of body weight to support their growth than do adult cats, and therefore should be fed more often throughout the day. “Growing kittens up to six months of age may require three meals a day,” says Francis Kallfelz, DVM, Ph.D., board certified by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and James Law professor of nutrition at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “From age six months to maturity, most cats will do well when fed two times a day.”

Once the cat becomes an adult, at about one year, feeding once or twice a day is appropriate in most cases. Senior cats, age seven and above, should maintain the same feeding regimen. “Once cats reach adulthood, once a day feeding is fine as long as they are healthy and have no disease problems suggesting a reason to feed differently,” says Dr. Kallfelz.

How Often Should I Feed my Cat by thevestcare.com
How Often Should I Feed my Cat by thevestcare.com

The Health of Your Cat Matters

If your cat suffers from a health problem such as diabetes, you may need to feed him based on whenever he is administered insulin, depending on the type. “Talk to your veterinarian,” says Dr. Kallfelz.

If your cat has hyperthyroidism, he may want to eat all the time. “Treat the disease,” says Dr. Kallfelz. “If it is a treatable problem, treat it and then feed your cat normally.”

When a cat ages, his teeth may go bad, or he may develop gum disease that may make it difficult to chew dry food. “If they get to that point, then offer them canned food or dry in a finer nugget size,” says Dr. Kallfelz. You can also mash up the dry and mix it with water to make it easier to chew.

A Best Type of Food?

Many cat owners feed only dry food to their felines. “Dry food is fine as long as it is complete and balanced,” says Dr. Kallfelz. Dry food may be less expensive than canned cat food and may stay fresher longer. Cats that eat only dry food need to be provided with lots of fresh water, especially if they are prone to developing urinary tract blockages. For all cats, constant availability of fresh, clean water is important.

Canned cat food is typically about 70 to 80 percent water, and can be fed in addition to or instead of dry. Some cats may find canned food more palatable. These cats may consume too much if they are allowed free access to food. Of course, this may occur with dry food as well. “Food with average palatability may be preferable,” says Dr. Kallfelz. If it is extremely palatable, the cat may be more likely to overeat. If it is not quite so palatable, he may be less likely to overeat.

Super-sizing food portions is not just a problem for people. Since the feeding instructions on pet food labels are based on the needs of the average cat, you may be feeding more than necessary if your cat’s needs are lower than average. If you feed your cat dry food, you may provide it to him at specific mealtimes in measured quantities. Dry food can also be supplemented with a small amount of canned food to make meals more appealing.

“There’s no problem mixing the two types of food,” says Dr. Kallfelz. “Just make sure the calories are what your cat needs and not more.”

Free feeding dry food is acceptable for the cat who exercises self-control, but some cats like to snack, and for them, free feeding can add up to extra pounds. “If a cat can maintain his weight, free choice feeding is okay,” says Dr. Kallfelz. Even dry food left out for your cat to free feed needs to be fresh, so be sure to provide new food each day. If free feeding doesn’t work, you need to control how much they eat. “Several small meals may make them feel less hungry,” says Dr. Kallfelz. “But one is okay nutritionally.”

And here’s a useful hint: If you have a finicky cat, switching foods occasionally may help keep from him becoming hooked on only one diet.

Consider Your Schedule

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Schedule feeding of kitten

How often you feed your cat may depend on your schedule as well. Mornings may be hectic as you get the kids off to school and yourself off to work. Under those circumstances, feeding your cat may be easier in the evening when it’s quieter and less busy. If you are running around a lot in the evening, 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 for dinner, potentially making it difficult for some to get food unless it is left out all the time. And other cats may eat too much when food is always available. “You just need to come up with a plan,” says Dr. Kallfelz. You can feed them separately or in different parts of the house.

Types of  Commercial Cat Food
Commercial cat foods are formulated as dry, semimoist, and canned. These products differ in water content, protein level, caloric density, palatability, and digestibility.

Dry Food
Dry food contains between six and 10 percent water. Depending on the specific formulation, a mixture of ingredients are combined, extruded, and dried into bite-sized pieces. Ingredients may include:

  • meat and/or meat byproducts
  • poultry and/or poultry byproducts
  • grain and/or grain byproducts
  • fish meal
  • fiber sources
  • milk products
  • vitamin and mineral supplements


The pieces of dry food are often then coated with flavor enhancers, such as animal fat, to make the food more appetizing.

Dry cat food is relatively inexpensive, and since it does not dry out, it offers owners the convenience of “free choice” feeding. However, dry food may be less palatable to a cat than moist or semi-moist food, and depending on the types and quality of the ingredients, may also be less digestible. If you do use dry food, it is important to store unused portions in a cool, dry location, and not to use the food after its expiration date.

Owners often buy large amounts of dry food that can sometimes be stored for months, so checking the expiration date before feeding it to your cat is very important. Storing food for a long period of time decreases the activity and potency of many vitamins and increases the likelihood that fats will become rancid. It’s a good idea to store dry cat food in an airtight container to help prevent nutrient deterioration and maintain flavor.

Semi-Moist Food
Meat and meat byproducts are the primary ingredients of semi-moist food, which contains approximately 35 percent moisture. Other materials, including soybean meal, cereals, grain byproducts, and preservatives are added to make the final product. The cost of semi-moist food is generally mid-range. Semi-moist foods may be more appealing than dry cat food to some cats and can also be fed free choice. After the package is opened, however, the food can dry out, becoming less palatable and/or becoming rancid.

Canned Food

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Canned cat food has a moisture content of at least 75 percent, making it a good dietary source of water. It is generally the most expensive type of cat food, but is also highly palatable for most cats. Many different varieties are available, which can be helpful if your cat is a finicky eater.

Canned food has the longest shelf life when unopened, but any unused portion of opened canned cat food should be refrigerated to maintain quality and prevent spoilage. Gourmet canned cat foods generally feature meats, such as kidney or liver, and whole meat byproducts as primary ingredients. Some brands, however, may be nutritionally incomplete, and it is important to read the nutrition labels carefully on such specialty cat-food items to ensure that they have a nutritional guarantee.

Choosing A Food


Commercially prepared cat foods have been developed to give your cat the correct balance of nutrients and calories. Basic minimum nutritional requirements for cats have been established by the Feline Nutrition Expert (FNE) Subcommittee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), and manufacturers use these standards in producing cat foods.

Reading the nutrition label on food packaging is the best way to compare cat foods. Pet food manufacturers are required to supply certain nutritional information on the package. Labeling regulations are established by the AAFCO and the United States Food and Drug Administration. All pet foods that carry an AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee, often referred to as the“AAFCO statement,” are considered to be nutritionally complete and balanced.

A cat’s nutritional requirements change through different stages of life. These stages include kittenhood, adulthood, pregnancy, and lactation. The nutritional claim on the cat food label should state the stage of a cat’s life cycle for which the food is complete and balanced, and that it meets the requirements of the AAFCO. Some cat foods are formulated for all life stages, which can simplify the selection process for owners with multiple cats of different ages.

In choosing a cat food, it is also important to read the ingredients list. As with human foods, the items are listed in order of decreasing proportional weight. Look for foods in which meat, meat byproducts, or seafood are listed among the first few ingredients, as this indicates the food probably contains enough animal-source ingredients to supply essential amino acids and fatty acids.

Once you have determined that a food is complete and balanced, choosing between the types of food may be a matter of what your cat prefers. Some cats like canned food, some like dry food, and some like a combination of the two. Choose the ones that work best for your cat.

Homemade Diets

Easy homemade kitten formulas

Making your own cat food is a difficult and time-consuming process, as the recipe may not contain the right quantities and proportions of nutrients for your cat. It is generally recommended that cat owners purchase nutritionally balanced commercial foods, unless a veterinarian recommends a home-formulated recipe for medical purposes. In that event, your veterinarian will likely recommend a recipe developed by veterinarians certified in animal nutrition.

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Treats for your cat

While giving your cat an occasional treat is not generally harmful, they are usually not a nutritionally complete and balanced source of nutrition and should only be fed occasionally. A good rule of thumb is not to let treats exceed 10 to 15 percent of a cat’s daily caloric intake.

In addition, some foods should be avoided completely. Although raw meat is an excellent source of many nutrients, it is not recommended as a food or a treat for cats, because it is a potential vehicle for toxoplasmosis and other infectious diseases. Some cats that have consumed canned fish products meant for humans have developed potentially serious neurological disorders.

Milk is not generally recommended as a treat for cats, as many cats are lactose-intolerant and can develop gastrointestinal problems if fed dairy products.