Firstly What Type Of Food Should Cats Eat
Its critical to feed your cat a nutritionally complete and balanced diet that contains all of the nutrients your cat needs to thrive.
You can meet a healthy cats nutritional needs met by feeding the right amount of the right type of food every day. This diet should give your cat the correct quantities of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and proteins/ amino acids, including essential nutrients like taurine.
The easiest way to do this is to use a nutritionally balanced complete commercial pet food, whether wet cat food or dry cat food or a mixture of the two types.
Good quality food should be fed in the right quantities, with other aspects being far less important than many owners may believe.
Cat treats can also be offered, in limited quantities. Fresh water, of course, is calorie-free and should always be available to cats. A cats litter box should be monitored by cat carers. Normal feces is an important guide to the suitability of a diet to an individual cat.
The daily food offered to a cat is an important contributor to their overall health.
Pregnant Cats And Mum Feeding Kittens
If youve got a pregnant cat or a cat that is feeding her new kittens, youll need to provide additional nutrients and the same high-protein kitten food as weaned kittens.
Give your pregnant cat unlimited access to kitten food, as well as a supply of fresh drinking water. While you might notice that during pregnancy, she may only eat a little more than usual she might eat double or triple the usual amount of food when she is suckling kittens.
For more advice on pregnant cats, read our guide.
Raw Rules Food For Cats
There are two main rules for feeding cats. When you follow these, youre working with the cats natural nutritional patterns.
After seeing so much success with switching our cat Bob to a raw food diet for kidney disease, friends and family and readers have been asking me about a recipe for kittens and healthy cats.
The only change to the Feline Kidney Care Raw Food recipe is that I used bone-in chicken in place of the beef, as it contains the healthy fats from the skin as well as bone bone that cats need to grow and maintain bone health. Cats with kidney disease need to limit their phospherous, but cats without kidney disease should NOT limit phosphorous and should include bones in the diet.
Is this recipe enough taurine? I wasnt sure, since taurine in the chicken heart may degrade when its frozen, and my chicken hearts come frozen. Since taurine is so essential to cats, I sprinkle powdered taurine, 1 pinch, on each container of his food .
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Should You Feed The Amount Listed On The Cat Food Bag
The directions on your cats food bag are just rough guidelines. Their purpose is to cover ALL life situations, and amounts are often set for the most demanding of those, such as an unneutered male cat. Each cat has their own unique needs. The guidelines on food bags can be significantly more or less than what your cat needs. You can use it as a starting point but be sure to adjust the amounts, either up or down, to what is appropriate for your cat to meet the goal of weight loss or maintenance.
As a general average, if you are feeding a commercially produced high-quality dry food with a good quality protein source, then an indoor cat would be fed about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of food per day. This amount of quality food is approximately between 167250 calories. For cat owners that prefer canned wet food, the average calories for a 5.5 oz can is 150200 .
Can Cats Eat Vegetables
Cats are meat eaters, making vegetarian and vegan diets unsuitable for their needs. Your cat needs more protein than many other mammals and they need specific amino acids such as taurine in order to survive. This is why it is important to feed your cat food that is made just for them.
There are a few vegetables that you can feed your cat These include: carrots, peas, corn, broccoli and spinach. Steer clear of garlic and onion as these can be difficult to digest and can make cats very ill.
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Sheba Perfect Portions Meals Are Well The Ideal Solution
SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS single-serving meals are aptly named because they come in ideally measured containers, so you know exactly how much youre feeding them. The single-serve packets allow you to treat your cat to food thats fresh every time. So feel free to mix up the menu! Salmon for breakfast?Chicken for dinner? No complaints here.
In other words, SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS are the preferred way cats like to eat. No mess, no guess, nothing being sent back to the kitchen from the dining room.
Measuring Out The Food
The best way to measure out the food for your cat is to use a digital kitchen scale. Weighing food per oz or gram is much more accurate than estimating the per cup measurement.
If your cat eats a combination of wet and dry food, a good place to start is measuring out half of the dry food allowance and half of the wet food allowance for the day.
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Is Commercial Cat Food Necessary For Cats
We keep dry food as recommended by our vet available at all times to our cat. He greatly prefers the wet food, and most weeks doesnt even touch the dry food. Still, I dont want to have to worry that Im not giving him enough, so I do have a feeder for Bob that always has dry food in it.
I dont think that a little dry food here and there is bad for cats, but I would always want to have raw meat, including organ meats, as the main part of their diet.
Measure Your Cat’s Food
It is very important to measure your cat’s food with a proper measuring cup. Depending on the situation, when we are asked or think about a cup, our answers will be very different. When we think of a cup of coffee, especially if the morning is a bit rough, a cup better be the size of a soda bottle. But if we think of a cup of espresso we think of a tiny cup. Either way, we just think of a cup.
Why should this matter to you as a cat owner? It matters because when it comes to your cats weight and their overall health, the myriad of empty containers people frequently use to scoop their cat’s kibble aren’t the cups we veterinarians are talking about. This especially becomes a problem when a cat owner feeds the number of cups the pet food bag suggests and they are using the extra-large coffee cup variety.
Using a Digital Scale to Measure Cat Food
As doctors always say, The scale dont lie! That is why measuring your cats food by weight rather than volume is more accurate. While a measuring cup is great, we can always be off a little when we eyeball how much is in the measuring cup. And the size of dry kibble can affect how much food actually fits in a measuring cup. But when you know the weight of what you should feed your cat, you can be exact every time you feed with a digital scale.
Why Measuring Your Cat’s Food Matters
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Still Wondering How Much Should I Feed My Cat Some Calculations
According to the Animal Medical Center in New York, a healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-pound cat requires about 240 calories per day.
Typically, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food contains about 250 calories in each 6 oz can. . Using these counts as a guide, an 8-pound cat would need 4/5 of a cup of dry food or just less than a full 6-oz can of wet food per day. You can adjust the proportions based on whether your cat prefers more or less dry or wet food.
If youre free feeding your cat dry food, each day measure out the days allotment of food into your dry food feeder. This decreases the amount of food that gets stale and needs to be discarded. It will also help you monitor how much your cats are eating. If you have to take a thin cat to the vet, it will help in the diagnosis if you can identify exactly how much she eats per day.
Portioning out the food will keep your cats from overeating. Free choice feeding is one of the top contributors to feline obesity.
Manually Finding Your Cats Caloric Needs
Determining your cats caloric needs manually can help you understand the specifics of your cats nutritional needs.
Step 1: Ideal Body Weight
Cats daily caloric requirements are based on their ideal body weight. For most cats, the ideal weight is somewhere in the 8 to 12-pound range.
However, this healthy weight can diverge based upon the cats frame and breed. For example, a healthy Siamese may weigh between 8 and 10 pounds, whereas, at maturity, a Maine Coon can weigh up to 25 pounds.
Based on your cats weight, the food label should provide a guide of how much to feed. For example, a bag of dry adult cat food may read as follows:
- 5 to 9 lb cat ½ to ¾ cups
- 10 to 14 lb cat ¾ to 1¼ cups
Remember that the number of cups or cans listed is for the whole day NOT for each meal. You may also notice that the ranges of how much to feed are very large even if you know your cats weight.
This is because the label doesnt account for the many other factors that go into the amount of food your cat should eat. Factors such as obesity and activity level also have a significant effect. The label is only providing a rough guideline.
If your cat is overweight, being overfed might be the issue and it is essential to cut down on the daily treats. Your veterinarian will be able to accurately decide if your cat is obese, but there are also a few ways that you can do this yourself.
Look at the cats ribs and stomach. Your kitty shouldnt have a saggy belly that is hanging down.
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How Much Wet Food Or Dry Food To Feed A Cat
Once youve determined how many calories your cat needs every day, you need to figure out how much food to feed a cat to provide those calories. Thankfully, manufacturers now have to list a foods caloric content on the label. It will be written as kcal/kg and kcal/can or kcal/cup . In nutrition circles, a kcal is the same as a calorie.
Divide your cats caloric needs by the foods caloric content . The answer will let you know how much wet food to feed a cat or how much dry food to feed a cat. To figure out how much food to feed a cat at each meal, simply divide the daily amount of food by the number of meals you plan to offer each day.
For example, lets say your cat is 10 pounds and very active, and they are on a diet of Tiny Tiger Pate Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Wet Cat Food. According to the chart, your cat should consume 346 kcal/day.
Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 95 kcal/can, you would determine how much wet food to feed your cat by dividing 346 kcal/day by 95 kcal/can.
346 kcal/day ÷ 95 kcal/can = 3.64 cans of Tiny Tiger Pate Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food per day.
Feeding Your Cat At Different Ages & Stages
A cat’s feeding habits will change as they age. Their nutritional needs will, too. “We know that kittens and reproducing cats, queens specifically, have higher nutrient needs than adult cats at maintenance,” said Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist. Beyond that, Heinze said there is not much research that has been done to tell pet owners what a one-year-old cat needs versus a much older cat in terms of nutrients. “There are a lot of senior cat diets out there, but there are no standards by which those diets have to be designed to meet,” Heinze says.
According to Heinze, it’s possible your older cat might benefit from a senior food, but also possible that they will not. Her best advice is remembering that your cat’s diet is going to depend on your specific animal and making a plan for what nutrients they need at that stage of their life.
Your cat’s weight and health issues will also play a role in determining what and how often they should eat. Asking your veterinarian for guidance, especially if they are on a therapeutic diet, is always an option or you can use a cat food calculator to select a food that is best.
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How Much Food Should A Kitten Eat
From 8 weeks to 4 months of age, it is necessary to give young cats 5 servings of food a day , with 5 grams of dry or moist food per serving. Remember that these animals do not usually drink a lot of water, so you should alternate the dry feed with wet food to supplement this lack of fluid. So, if during the first months of life it is necessary to give them 5 meals a day as already mentioned, try to have 2 servings of dry food and 3 servings of moist food, for example.
At this stage of their life, their stomach is very small and cannot fit large amounts of food for each meal, but as our pet grows, they will need a little more food at each sitting. So, from 4 to 6 months of age, it is necessary to increase their portions by 10 grams per intake so they are not lacking any nutrients. You should always try to maintain their ideal weight.
After 6 and up to 8 months, you should reduce their food intake to 3 meals per day, with between 20 and 30 grams per serving. And from 8 to 12 months, meals should be reduced to 2 times per day. This pattern will be maintained throughout their adult life, which will begin at the age of one. Remember that the data we provide here is from a general perspective and the exact measurements of food and calories they will eat per day will depend on the health and weight of your pet. If you have any questions, promptly consult your trusted veterinarian.
Tips For Putting Your Cat On A Diet
Some cats will drive you insane if you cut their food back. They act as if they are starving all the time. This is one reason to make sure that any cutbacks on amounts of food are slow and steady.
You can start by cutting back on your cats food by a ½ to 1 tablespoon each meal. This will be, on average, a 15 to 30 calorie reduction. Give the cutback about two to three weeks before doing additional reductions in food. Each continued reduction amount will be dependent on how much more weight your cat needs to lose.
If cutting calories is a bit harder for some, then you need to help your cat lose weight by burning more calories each day. Exercise your cat. I know, you think I am crazy! I know we cant make our cats do anything since they are the ones in control, but still try. Here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Get them to follow you from room to room
- Playing with toys
- Feed them with interactive puzzle feeders
- Hide these interactive “hunting” food toys in different spots every day searching increases activity
- Make an obstacle course to get to their food bowl
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Is Chocolate Poisonous To Cats
While most human treats should be avoided, chocolate is a complete no-no for cats. Just 2g of chocolate not even as big as a square is enough to do serious damage to your cat due to its levels of theobromine. Theobromine acts as a stimulant, increasing the heart rate and acting as a diuretic to increase the loss of bodily fluids. As cats struggle to metabolise theobromine, the chemical stays in the bloodstream and quickly reaches dangerous levels.
Keep chocolate out of reach of your cat, and if you suspect they have eaten any chocolate, head to the vet straight away.
Important Things About Feeding Your Cat
Speak to your vet if you have any diet questions or youre concerned about your cats weight.
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