What Treats Can I Feed My Cat
Every cat-owner will be all too aware that cats love treats. If you do opt to give your cat treats, make sure you limit the amount throughout the day so they dont gain weight. Treats specially formulated for cats are a much better option than leftovers or raw meat, although a small amount of cooked chicken or fish is fine.
Food enrichment puzzles and toys are great ways to keep your cat occupied as well as limiting their treat intake. Alternatively, why not treat your cat to a little extra attention or play time? Youll strengthen the bond between you and your cat, without the potential weight gain.
Breed Specific Feeding Requirements
Can a cats breed define the amount of calories it needs? Of course, although that will still be related to its weight, activity level, and body type. So, naturally, the larger and more active breeds will require more kcals per day, and our guide and calculator still will be able to help you establish the starting point.
Nevertheless, there are diets and foods advised for specific breeds to keep their health in the best condition, so you should consult a vet for that kind of advice on what exactly to feed to your cat.
- Top rated cat food
Understanding Cat Food Labels
Now that we understand the basic nutrient requirements of an adult cat, lets take a look at the basic guidelines for cat food and who regulates them.
In the United States, pet foods are overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations Center for Veterinary Medicine, notes Dr. Fascetti. They rely on the NRCs expertise for information about specifically what pet foods should contain to ensure their safety and efficacy.
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Choose The Food Thats Best For Your Cats Individual Needs
Many cat owners give their cats a combination of wet and dry food. A dry food diet is fine, but choose a high-quality option that is well-balanced and nutritious. Additionally, make sure your cat always has access to fresh water as dry food is not nearly as hydrating as wet food.
Dry food typically lasts longer than wet food. If wet food is left out too long because your cat didnt finish his meal, youll have to throw it away. Your best bet is to experiment with your cat to see what he likes best. Just be sure that your cat isnt overeating obesity isnt just a problem for people. If your cat is overweight or underweight consult your vet to determine the best course of action.
Although caring for a cat might be challenging, its also rewarding. Cats thrive on a consistent diet and feeding schedule because they are creatures of habit. Consider your cats age, underlying health issues, and your schedule to create the perfect feeding routine for your cat. You will find yourself loving the consistency as much as they do.
Canned Food Is The Best Choice For Healthy Cats
Canned food is more beneficial than dry food for several reasons. But, it is also more expensive and messier to feed. As fresh-kill hunters, cats in the wild consume most of their water along with fresh prey and do not have a strong drive to drink independently of eating. I believe most dry food cats under consume water resulting in stress on their kidneys and overly concentrated urine. Canned food mimics the water content of their prey in the wild. This encourages more dilute urine that is less likely to lead to bladder and kidney issues overtime.
Canned food also tends to be lower in carbohydrates compared to dry food and thereby higher in protein. High protein, low carb diets are touted by some to be less likely to cause obesity in cats, but this has been disproven in feeding studies total calories consumed is most important. Most cats need 4-5 ounces of canned food per day, total. Pate-style varieties tend to be higher in calories per can than the varieties that more resemble people food with chunks and gravies- this can be useful when trying to fine-tune the number of calories per day being consumed.
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How Often A Dry Food To Feed A Cat
The number of meals you give your cat consistently will rely upon various components. Up until the age of a half year, little cats will develop quickly and exhaust a ton of energy, so you should feed them kitten-specific food four times each day. After this stage, their meals should be decreased to prevent unnecessary weight gain and you may choose to feed your cat two times every day.
In case youre feeding your cat only dry food, you can likewise leave their everyday serving in their bowl and permit them to snack on it for the duration of the day at whatever point they feel like it. Most cats like to graze and leaving some dry nourishment out for the day permits them to fulfill themselves.
How Much Should You Feed Your Adult Cat
As your kittens metabolism starts to slow down and he reaches adulthood, you might notice him start to put on excess weight. Obesity is a common issue among adult cats and, when not corrected early on, may lead to complications later in life. Regular exercise and a well-controlled diet will help to prevent obesity and keep your cat in good shape.
Whether you feed your cat homemade cat food or the best commercial cat foods, its critical to feed him the right amount per day. But theres no single amount of food that every cat should eat each day.
Calorie needs vary from cat to cat, with many factors coming into play. When deciding how much to feed your cat, youll have to consider his breed, age, reproductive status, underlying health conditions, and more. In general, however, the recommended daily caloric intake is about 20 calories per pound of bodyweight.
that helps you identify how many calories your cat needs per day.
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Feeding Recommendations From Your Local Veterinarian
Canned food only is my first choice. For an adult cat, start with ½ of a 5.5 oz. can twice daily and no additional food. This is the starting point and likely will need to be adjusted downward.
For little cats, a half of a 3 oz. can twice daily may work better. This amount is also cat-specific and often needs adjusting up or down. Feeding canned food seems to create the best balance between calories and feeling full, and the meal seems to tide the cat over better than a dry food meal.
How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Cat Calculator
- Is it safe to free-feed your cat?
- Is dry food good for the cats wellbeing?
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Feeding The Cat Throughout The Day
How many and at what times of the day should the cat eat?
An adult cat must eat no less than three times a day, especially if he feeds on biscuits it is recommended to let him have eat several meals throughout the day. In any case, the first rule to adopt is certainly to follow the indications given on cat food package.
A kitten up to six months old needs a lot of energy, so it doesnt need a large quantity of food, but rather a series of closer snacks, even four, five a day.
Other factors must always be taken into consideration: a cat living in an apartment is more sedentary than a cat living in the garden, the latter burns more calories and has a higher energy requirement, consequently it needs more food. A tip we give you is to always feed at the same time and in the same place, away from the toilet box and in a quiet corner, cats are known to be creatures of habit.
Special Considerations When Feeding Kittens
While there are general rules when it comes to feeding a kitten, its important to keep in mind that health conditions can impact the way you feed your kitten. Conditions such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism can lead to changes in appetite and other symptoms that may affect a cats diet. You may want to talk to your veterinarian about how your cats medical condition may affect their diet and feeding schedule.
You might be concerned if you notice your kitten isnt eating normally. In some cases, you may notice an irregular diet in kittens as a result of tapeworms, which live in the intestines and absorb nutrients from food. However, an irregular diet may also be a result of pet anxiety, especially if you notice other signs of anxiety.
Irregular eating may be caused by anxiety or tapeworms, but there are other potential causes. Your cat may simply need time to adjust to the food youre feeding them, or you may need to switch the location of their food bowl so they feel more comfortable while eating. It could even be that your cat has simply eaten too much that day.
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My Cat Doesnt Finish Her Meal All At Once I Think She Prefers To Graze What Should I Do
Some cats really can regulate their food intake fairly well. It is still a good idea to create the expectation of mealtimes. This will help make it easier if another pet is added to your family at some point in the future. For grazers, simply measure out the entire day’s portion of food in the morning and offer the bowl several times throughout the day. Choose regular times in order to create the routine we know is helpful. The important thing is to use a measured portion, either with a measuring cup or a kitchen scale, for the day.
“The important thing is to use a measured portion for the day.”
Another consideration is the use of food toys. Many options exist from rolling food toys that just drop out a kibble of food intermittently to stationary food toys that require the cat to work for the food. See the handout Feeding the Mind and Body: Interactive Feeders for Dogs and Cats for more information on these types of feeders. Food toys are almost as entertaining for the people in your family as they are for your cat!
Your veterinarian remains the best source of nutritional guidance for your cat, answering important questions such as the type of food to feed, how much to feed, and how frequently to feed. Feeding time can be an important bonding time. Creating routine and regular feeding times builds fun into everyday activities.
|Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Robin Downing, DVM, DAAPM, DACVSMR, CVPP, CRPP
Body Condition And Health
While some cat owners are used to their pets being overweight and think it makes them cute, that obviously has a negative effect on their health and how long they will be around. And since they may not be able to regulate how much and what kind of food they eat, its your responsibility to help them get into shape and avoid serious health issues.
Now, it may be easy to determine when a cat is obviously way too skinny or too fat. Determining borderline cases may be more challenging, yet it can be done by a simple visual check.
If your cats ribs, spine, and pelvis are easily palpated and even visible, its thinner than it should be. Its a good sign that cat food portions should be increased.
Ideally, the animals waist should be visible, but there should be a slight amount of fat covering its body.
If the felines abdomen is rounded, the waist is partially or completely obscured, and if fat prevents you from feeling its ribs, well, you clearly need to reduce the food it gets and establish a more balanced diet.
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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
- Make an obstacle course to get to their food bowl unless they suffer from arthritis
- Hide interactive “hunting” toys in different spots every day. Searching increases activity, like with these “mice-like bowls” featured in the video below.
The Best Senior Cat Food: A Guide To Feeding Your Older Cat
Hootie, a 15-year-old shelter cat living in Salt Lake City, Utah, faced a tough road to adoption. Not only was he surrounded by younger, cuter cats, but the poor little guy looked sickly and unwell. His coat lacked luster, and he had no energy to greet prospective adopters. But thanks to veterinary care from Best Friends Animal Sanctuaryand the best senior cat food to meet his special needsthat road to adoption became a lot easier.
After moving from a city shelter to Best Friends, Hootie was diagnosed with age-related kidney disease and immediately was put on extra fluids and a diet to help manage his illness. He started to feel and look better. And when foster mom Amy Rohman Needham brought Hootie home to recuperate, his personality blossomed.
He came with a lot of burps and sneezes, but he was just the sweetest guy, she says.
With his kidney disease managed on the special diet, Hooties heath continued to improve, so he returned to Best Friends to find a forever home. Thats when Kelly Smith fell in love. With open arms, the graduate student and animal lover welcomed Hootie into her family, which included another rescued cat named Bonnie.
Hootie and Bonnie love me just because I exist, and they are happy to see me regardless of how my day went, Smith says. Its made my life so much better. I cant believe I got so lucky.
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Cat Treats And Extras
We all know how talkative cats arebut Meow does not always equal I am hungryit can be a greeting or a demand for attention and affection.
Resist the temptation to feed at every meow, instead substitute something else pleasurable such as a groom, or a game with a favorite toy. Treat balls are another way to help kitty work off some energy while making a meal last longer.
Treats do contain calories too! Dont forget to take any cat treats into account when measuring out your pets meals.
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
Have one person be responsible for feeding pets and monitoring their weight.
Should I Go For Wet Food Or Dry Food When Feeding My Cat
Determining what to feed your cat is quite important in answering the basic question, How much should I feed my cat? A healthy cat diet is largely made up of animal proteins rather than plant proteins. Poultry, fish, and meat are excellent sources of animal-based proteins. Cats cannot properly digest plant proteins while the diet you choose should contain a maximum of 10% carbohydrate.
In wet food, meat should be the main content while the fillers and other by-products should be as reduced to the minimum.
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Add Moisture For Best Health
Unlike lots of other animals, cats do not thirst easily. This is a result of the environment in which they evolved. The evolution of the indoor cat can be traced back to the wildcats which lived in the Middle East and Northern Africa. These were regions that offered more arid conditions. To survive such conditions, cats absorb water from their prey. They can get up to 75% of water from some prey. On the other hand, using a diet based on Kibble will provide only about 10% of the water they require. Understanding that your cat will most likely not drink the right amount of water from a bowl, it is important you add moisture to the cats diet. In a diet consisting of kibble, raw food is necessary to provide water to the cat. You can also use grain-free canned food. The cat will end up dehydrated if you provide only dry kibble.