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How A lot Ought to I Feed My Cat?

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In case you’re a first-time cat proprietor, “How a lot ought to I feed my cat?” is prone to be one in every of your first questions once you deliver your cat residence. Even if you happen to’ve owned cats for years, you might typically wonder if your cats are getting too little meals or an excessive amount of. Let’s undergo a number of components to contemplate when answering “How a lot ought to I feed my cat”?

How a lot ought to I feed my cat? The fundamentals

If you've ever wondered

In case you’ve ever questioned “How a lot ought to I feed my cat?” We’ve bought the solutions. Images ©g215 | Thinkstock.

The reply to “How a lot ought to I feed my cat” is predicated on many variables, together with a cat’s weight and a cat’s age, whether or not you’re feeding moist cat meals or dry cat meals, the cat’s exercise stage, and whether or not or not she is pregnant or nursing.

The model of meals you’re feeding additionally makes a distinction after we’re answering the query “How a lot ought to I feed my cat.” A dense, prime quality dry cat meals will include extra vitamins by weight than a low-quality meals, and thus require smaller parts to ship the identical quantity of vitamin on your cat.

Many cat house owners permit their cats free entry to dry meals, supplemented by canned meals a couple of times a day. A dry-food-only weight-reduction plan is just not essentially a foul pet weight-reduction plan if you happen to’re feeding prime quality meals, however it does require that you just encourage your cat to drink much more water to compensate for what she’s not getting in canned meals.

When to feed your cat

Whenever you deliver a brand new cat residence, it’s necessary to proceed to feed her the identical quantity of the identical meals on the identical schedule that’s she’s been accustomed to, then step by step migrate to your individual meals and schedule. Cats are very delicate to vary, and a brand new cat shall be coping with quite a lot of new-environment stress, so retaining the meals and schedule constant will ease her transition and hold intestinal upset at bay.

Whenever you’re able to transition your cat over to your individual meals and schedule, you’ll want to find out what sort of meals you’ll be feeding her (moist or dry, uncooked meals or a combo), and utilizing the calorie counts in every meals, decide how a lot of which sort to feed her.

What to feed your cat — moist meals or dry meals?

A closeup of a gray cat eating wet food.

How a lot to feed a cat additionally will depend on if you happen to feed your cat moist or dry meals. Images by africa studio/shutterstock.

One other necessary think about answering “How a lot ought to I feed my cat?” is contemplating what you’re feeing your cat. The inspiration of a wholesome cat weight-reduction plan is flesh-based protein like meat, fish or poultry. Dry meals needs to be excessive in animal proteins, and low in plant proteins (which cats are ill-equipped to digest). Carbohydrates ought to make up not more than ten p.c of the combo of cat meals components.

Moist meals ought to consist predominantly of meat with as few by-products and fillers as attainable.

Nonetheless questioning, “How a lot ought to I feed my cat?” Some calculations

In accordance with the Animal Medical Middle in New York, a wholesome, lively Eight-pound grownup cat requires about 30 energy per pound per day. So, the common Eight-pound cat requires about 240 energy per day.

Sometimes, dry meals accommodates about 300 energy per cup, and canned meals accommodates about 250 energy in every 6 ozcan. (or, 125 per Three-ounce can). Utilizing these counts as a information, an Eight-pound cat would want four/5 of a cup of dry meals or simply lower than a full 6-oz.can (or two Three-ounce cans) of moist meals per day. You possibly can modify the proportions based mostly on whether or not your cat prefers kind of dry or moist meals.

In case you’re free feeding your cat dry meals, every day measure out the day’s allotment of meals into your dry meals feeder. This decreases the quantity of meals that will get stale and must be discarded. It can additionally assist you monitor how a lot your cats are consuming. If it’s important to take a skinny cat to the vet, it is going to assist in the prognosis if you happen to can determine precisely how a lot she eats per day.

Portioning out the meals will hold your cats from overeating. Free selection feeding is without doubt one of the high contributors to feline weight problems.

How typically to feed a cat

A multicolored cat eating food out of a bowl.

Your cat’s feeding schedule is one other factor to contemplate. Images by Stays/Thinkstock.

One other think about figuring out “How a lot ought to I feed my cat” will depend on how typically you feed your cat. And the way typically to feed a cat will depend on what you’re feeding her. Most cat house owners feed their cats within the morning and at evening, and should or could not complement these feedings with free feeding of dry meals all through the day.

Is your cat consuming sufficient — or too little?

All through your cat’s life you have to to change her weight-reduction plan to accommodate altering metabolism and dietary wants. Really feel your cat’s spine and ribs. If the ribs and spine present by means of her pores and skin, she is just too skinny. In case you can’t really feel the ribs, your cat is probably going chubby. Regulate her parts accordingly.

Conserving your cat from turning into overweight is far simpler than forcing an overweight cat to weight-reduction plan. And it’ll make each you and your cat quite a bit happier.

Thumbnail: Images ©bluebeat76 | Thinkstock.

This piece was first printed in 2009. 

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  • Adam Johanson

    Adam Johanson is an animal lover and a blogger at Panelpets. He writes regularly regarding pets and how to take care of them, as well as general news stories about animals. When he isn't writing, Adam can usually be found playing with his two dogs or cuddling his cat.