Worried about your cat’s appetite? It has been over 3 years since I started raising cats and this question of “How much should I feed my cat” still worries me.
The reason for it is that there is no iron-clad rule when it comes to feeding the cats. There can be several factors that distinguish one cat’s diet from the other. Sometimes even I feel doubtful whether I am feeding my cats too much or little food.
This becomes especially difficult if you have just started raising a cat and you know so little about their behavior. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a proper job in feeding your cat.
In this post, I’ll be sharing with you some insights that might help you figure out how much should you feed your cat by keeping an eye on your cat’s physicality, surrounding environment, and the type of cat food.
Major factors relating to a cat that you should always keep in mind before feeding them:
- Age: As is the case with every living being, age plays an important factor in one’s nutrition requirement. If your cat is young or old then he/she may not require too much food but if they are in their prime, their nutritious needs may be more.
- Weight: Consider the weight of your cat while feeding them. This will give an idea of whether to increase their diet or put a cut in it.
- Metabolic Rate: This knowledge comes with experience and the time you spent with your cat. Only you know the eating habit of your cat and how often your cat demands food. With this info, determine whether your cat has high or low metabolism and feed them as such.
- Daily Activity: Increase or decrease in the amount of food for your cat also depend on how much your cat moves every day or does different activities.
- Pregnancy: If your cat is pregnant then slowly move her to a more nutritious diet filled with calories and protein, both of which can be found in high-quality kitten food.
- Type of food (wet or dry or homemade): Every food has different caloric and nutritional contents. Your cat must get an equally healthy meal, so always check the ingredients and nutritious value of the food that you give to your cat,
- Environmental Temperature Changes: Some cats eating behavior changes with the change in the natural temperature. Keep an eye out for such changes and try to make sure that your cat eats enough to keep them healthy.
Before we dive into the question of “How much to feed my cat daily?”, we must address the question of:
What to feed your cat?
If you come from a family where meat is not a staple food then don’t just feed your cat veggies. Cats are omnivores and meat is an important part of their diet. So you have to make sure to maintain this balance by giving your cat both types of food.
However, if you can afford cat food then there are different types available in the market that are specifically designed to meet all the nutritious needs of your cat.
Even in cat food, there are varieties like dry food and canned food also called wet food.
- Dry Foods: Dry cat food as the name suggest contains only 10% of water (Approx), and the rest 90% is carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins in the dry state.
Dry cat food is less expensive than wet food, so people who are on a strict budget or those that feed community cats may choose this option.
- Wet Food: It contains 70% water and 30% dry matter. It is good for a cat’s health and protects against kidney disease, diabetes, or lower urinary tract disease.
Cats that are picky eaters prefer wet food over dry food. But it is higher in cost.
NOTE: It is always a right choice to take the advice of a certified veterinary if you feel that your cat is acting weirdly around food or any other behavioral change.
Also if you have just got a new cat, it is important to not immediately make a change in their food habits and feeding time because it can put them under stress and it is also not good for their tummy. Let them adjust for some time and slowly bring about the changes in their diet.
How much to feed your cat?
According to the Kirkwood Animal Hospital, an average indoor cat that weighs approximately 8 pounds (3.62 kg) needs 200 calories a day.
Then a healthy and active cat may require 30 Calories per pound per day.
So if you have an 8 pounds adult cat (3.62 Kg) then she’ll need: 8 X 30= 240 Calories per day.
Similarly, a 12 Pound cat would need: 12 X 30= 360 Calories per day (Approx)
- Most Dry Food Contains 300 Calories per cup
- Most Canned Food/Wet Food contains about 375 Calories per cup
Keeping this in mind, an 8-pound adult cat would need:
- Dry Food: 4/5 of a cup
- Wet Food: 3/4 of a cup
NOTE: 1 US cup is equal to 8 Ounces or 227 Grams.
Properly read the nutritional chart of the cat food you buy and then make changes to the amount of food you are going to feed the cat.
If you feed your cat both types of cat foods then you’ll have to balance the proportions based on your cat preferences.
Also, if your cat is of the ideal weight then you can just follow the recommended diet plan. However, if he/she is a little thin or on a heavier side, then you should consult a doctor and get a proper diet plan from them for your cat.
What to give your cats other than cat food?
There can be times when you have no access to cat food and you have to feed your cat home-cooked food then these are some food options for you that you can replace with cat food:
- Fresh raw meat, fish, eggs
- Cheese, yogurt, finely chopped boiled vegetables
What not to give to your cats ever?
There are some foods which you should completely avoid feeding your cat. These including:
- Caffeine, bread dough, chocolates, mushrooms
In the end, I would only say that if you just keep an observe eye on your furry friend’s health and know a decent do’s and don’ts regarding cats then you don’t have to worry a bit about their well-being because you’ll automatically make the right decisions for them.