If you’re a first-time cat owner, “How much should I feed my cat?” is likely to be one of your first questions when you bring your cat home? Even if you’ve owned cats for years, you may sometimes wonder whether your cats are getting too little food or too much. Let’s go through a few factors to consider when answering “How much should I feed my cat”?
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.
The answer to this question is based on many variables, including your cats weight and age, whether you’re feeding wet cat food or dry food (or a combination of both) and whether or not she is pregnant or nursing.
Many cat owners allow their cat’s free access to dry food, and supplement with wet food once or twice a day. It is important to note that if your cat is only eating dry food, you should encourage them to drink lots of water to compensate for what she is not getting in wet food.
Different cats have different nutritional needs based on their size, life stage and more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how much food your cat should eat.
Age: Kittens have different nutritional needs and will require more regular feedings throughout the day to assist in healthy growth. Pregnant and nursing cats will also need more fuel and senior cats benefit from a diet tailored to their aging body.
Weight: Cats with a tendency to gain weight may benefit from more structured feeds, and it may be best to take away the ‘unlimited’ dry food bowl, instead feeding them 2 portion controlled meals a day with access to lots of clean drinking water.
Activity Levels: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may need more food than those who prefer to spend their time napping. The same goes for those cuddly couch potato cats, they may need less food.
Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats may not get as much exercise as an outdoor cat would, so they need fewer calories. Outdoor (or indoor/outdoor) cats living in regions with cold winters may need more food in the cold months.
Exactly how much should I feed my cat?
There is no cemented answer to this question as it all comes down to your cats needs as listed above. The best way to gauge how much food they should eat is by reading the feeding recommendations on the back of your cat’s food. These charts will often give you an idea based on their age and weight. It is also advised that you speak with your vet if you have any questions or concerns regarding your cats eating habits.