How To Properly Feed Your Cat
Last Updated March 05, 2020
"What to feed my cat and how many times should I feed my cat?" is a pretty common question for all cat owners.
One common way for us cat owners to show our love for our kitties is through feeding them. As the saying goes, the way to a cat’s heart is through their stomach! However, despite our unending and unconditional love for them, giving them food the wrong way and the wrong amount can do more harm than good to our cats. While lazy, chubby cats are super adorable and extremely cute, it is not healthy for them.
What To Feed Your Cat:
It is important to consider the age, weight, health, and general lifestyle when feeding your cat. Doing so will help you avoid accidentally giving your cat diseases on a silver platter - including obesity, feline urinary tract disease, and many more dangerous illnesses.
First thing’s first - it is important to know the basic nutrients needed by cats.
- Cats are “obligate carnivores”. This means that their diet is very similar to the diet of an animal that can survive on its own in the wild - they cannot survive solely on plants or other plant-based products. This means that your cat should be fed with the right amounts of fats and proteins to get the correct nutrition.
- Avoid giving them kibble. As convenient as it may sound, feeding your cat kibble can actually harm your them. It’s hard to believe the listed nutrients found in kibble as these ingredients are highly processed which affects the nutrients found in them.
- Cats rarely drink water, as long as their food is wet or moist. If you do decide to get them dry kibble, then consider keeping a supply of water steady for your cats to drink.
Next - as stated above, it is important to consider the age, weight, health, and general lifestyle when feeding your cat as this will determine the things that you will give your cat. Do your own investigation and assess first the following:
- Daily activity level
- Current state (pregnant, nursing, neither)
- Whether your cat currently feeds on wet food, dry food or both
- The current nutrients that your cat is getting from what she eats right now
After assessing the points above, your can refer to this quick guide:
Suggested feeding amounts for Cats:
Weight of Cat
Amount to Feed
125-200 grams per day
200-250 grams per day
Depending on the age, activity level, and condition of your cat, the feeding guidelines will need to be adjusted.
The above quantities can be fed as one meal or divided into two meals based on your cat's preference. Please adjust the amount you serve to ensure your cat finishes the food within three hours.
For Pregnant or Lactating Females - offer around two to three times the normal adult requirement. This is required as they also need to keep healthy for their litter.
For Kittens - feed up to twice the normal adult requirement from two to fourteen months of age in three to four feedings. Kittens need more protein and other nutrients as they are still growing.
Weight - for overweight cats, it's obvious that you should feed them less while still considering the nutrients that they get. As a general rule, your cat's tummy should not hang low. If it does, then this is a sign that your cat is overweight. On the other hand, if you can easily feel your cat’s ribs without any effort, then she is most probably underweight. Based on the grams per day above, you can increase the amount by 10% (if underweight) or decrease by 10% (if overweight).
Activity Level - if your cats are active and/or is an outdoor cat, then the food you are giving is probably the right amount. This is because they use the energy they get from the food you give and would keep them in shape. For indoor cats or inactive cats, it might be better to monitor what they eat to avoid them becoming obese.
Kind of food - as stated above, it's important to avoid feeding them dry kibble as it may not be as healthy as you think. However, if their diet consists already of predominantly dry food, then it might be smart to slowly introduce your cat to wet food. To do this, slowly add some wet food to their current dry food until it is all wet.
Feeding your cat the right amount can be intimidating but it shouldn’t be. After all, nothing says ‘I love you’ to your cat more than feeding them the right amount and the right kind of healthy cat food to keep them fit and happy!