How Much Should I Feed My Cat

December 27, 2018

Feeding your cat the right amount of food with enough nutrients is paramount to ensuring your cat will be in the best of health. The problem is a lot of cat owners get this wrong. Whether this is due to a lack of knowledge or just plain old laziness on the part of cat owners is not important. The more critical issue is that this question of “How Much Should I Feed My Cat” is being asked all the time. Therefore, it is important for all cat owners, especially new cat owners to know dos and don’ts of feeding their pets. This article will attempt to address the answer to this question.

How Much Food Does A Cat Need

A typical cat will requires about 25 to 35 calories per pound of body weight in order to function in its best mental and physical capabilities. If you go below this recommended amount, your cat may suffer from nutrient deficiencies and lead to more serious health conditions in the future.

Older cats will have to depend on their muscle condition. As cats grow older, they may start losing muscle mass once they reach a certain age. Senior cats may also suffer from certain medical or health conditions which may require special diets or food depending on the advice of your vet in these types of situations. If you have a senior cat, it is important to consult your vet first before making changes to your pet’s diet.

For kittens, they will require more food per pound of body weight as compared to older or mature cats. It is also a good idea to feed your kitten as much canned or raw food as possible until it is about 4 to 6 months old. Monitor your kitten’s body condition and weight more closely during this period of time as they have more special requirements. You need to make adjustments accordingly to their needs. This will last until your pet reach adulthood at 6 months old.

Cat Feeding Mistakes

There are a number of mistakes that cat owners make when feeding their pets. New cat owners are more susceptible to this issue as they are inexperienced and may not be aware of the implications of feeding their pets too much or too little food. These mistakes will result in your cat having nutrient deficiency and will lead to health problems in the future. As a cat owner, it is important for you to take note of these mistakes that other cat owners have made before you and learnt from them not to repeat the same mistakes again.

Providing too much food
This is a very common mistake among cat owners. Feeding your cat too much is totally detrimental to your cat’s health. Eating too much will only lead to obesity, which in turn will lead to other health issues. There are a number of reasons or factors why cat owners overfeed their pets. One of them is some cat owners used gravity fed cat feeders to feed their pets while they are away to work.

Gravity fed cat feeders cannot control the amount of cat food being dispensed. This will lead to your cat feasting all day if you use a gravity fed feeder. The best option is to get an automatic cat feeder which allows you to control the amount of food dispensed per meal.

Feeding only dry food
Dry food alone will not make for a well balanced diet for your cat. Dry food also contains less water, which prevents your cat from properly hydrated. This is essential for cats as they normally get their water through the food they take.

Providing too little water
If you feed your cat a lot of dry food, it is important to provide more water for your pet. Cats normally derive their water from the food they consume. With dry food, water is not present and as such your pet should drink more water to compensate. Cats are also prone to urinary tract problems and a water rich diet is recommended to resolve these problems.

Vegetarian or vegan diet
Cats are obligate carnivores which means they eat meat or need meat to thrive. They get all their nutrients from meat and certain issues can only be found in animal tissue such as the amino acid taurine. Lack of taurine will lead to a host of health and medical issues for your pet. Avoid giving your pet a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Unbalanced diet leading to nutrient deficiencies
Feeding your cat only one type of food will definitely lead to nutrient deficiency. Having a well balanced and nutritious diet is very important. You need to add in a variety of food such as dry and wet canned food, homemade cat food as well as raw cat food for best effect. While a lot of veterinarians do not advocate a raw food diet, I find it best to mix the diet around a bit. This is based on my personal experience and preference.

Adding garlic to the food
Some cat owners add garlic to their pets’ food in order to get rid of tapeworms. I’m not sure where people get this information from, but from whatever research I have done, it indicates garlic has no effect at all on preventing tapeworms. Consult your vet if you suspect your cat is suffering from tapeworms.

Once you are aware of the feeding mistakes that a lot of cat owners make, it will be easier to answer your question on “How Much Should I Feed My Cat”.

How Much To Feed Your Cat

Since you are aware of the basic needs of a cat and mistakes that most cat owners made, it will be much easier for you to gauge how much to feed your pet cat. If you avoid making the same mistakes as mentioned above, your pet will be in good hands.

Now, as to how much to feed your cat, the answer is really simple. You need to experiment a bit and only through trial and error will you be able to find out approximately how much to feed your cat. Yes, if you are looking for the magic answer, I’m afraid I don’t have it.

As mentioned, nutritional needs can vary a lot depending on a number of factors such as age, gender, genes, health and medical conditions, metabolic rate, nutritional needs and more. It can be very confusing for cat owners initially, but if you take the effort to read up a bit, experiment a bit, you will find it is not so confusing after all.

How Often To Feed Your Cat

To answer this question, you have to ask yourself this question whether your cat is too fat or too thin. Once you have identified his weight categorization, you can then begin making adjustment to the frequency of meals to be dispensed.

By this time, you should be aware of the mistakes that cat owners have made. By following the tips in this article, you will know how much to feed your cat in due time.

Image Credit
Photo by irrational_cat - CC BY-SA 2.0

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