The Wet Cat Food Debate
So, is it mean that wet cat food is better, right? Well, not necessarily all the time. A very cheap wet food is not good for your cat to compare to a premium quality dry food.
Always check the ingredients. It should list an animal protein and the source of it as its number one ingredient. And, They should not contain meat by-products.
Some people argue that a cat is living on only canned food diet can lead to dental problems. That including gingivitis. But if you schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. This really isnt an issue. The mix of dry cat food and canned wet cat food can help your cat with dental health. If you are worried about her teeth you can probably give her raw chicken, chicken neck to chew for her teeth once or twice a week for exercise her jaw.
How Much Wet Or Dry Food To Feed A Cat
Now you know your cats body weight, how many calories it needs each day, and the calorie content of your cats food, so lets do this!
A good starting place is to find out how many calories your cat should eat from the feeding guide below .
For example, the table below shows a 10lb cat needs 216 calories per day. Simply divide this number by the calories in the food, as shown on the package.
Your Cats Dietary Needs Evolve Over Time
As your cat moves through kittenhood, early adulthood, and beyond, his nutritional needs will change. Meeting those requirements at every phase of life sets the stage for good health.
Your first stop when choosing the right food for your cat? The nutritional adequacy statement.
Usually located on the back of the bag or can, this statement indicates whether or not the food is nutritionally complete and balanced for its intended life stage. The label will read, for example, formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO cat food nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Foods that arent nutritionally complete and balanced will usually be labeled for supplemental feeding only. These foods dont contain the appropriate balance of macronutrients and micronutrients and shouldnt be your cats sole source of nutrition.
While youre looking at the label, check out the feeding instructions as well. For the average house cat, the appropriate feeding instructions are usually already placed on the packaging of the cat food.
The nutritional guidelines on the package will point you in the right direction, though you may need to make some modifications to fit your cats exact needs.
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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.
A Note On Milk For Kittens
You may be wondering if your cat needs to drink milk alongside their regular food . Kittens should be either on their mothers milk or kitten milk. After your kitten stops nursing from their mother, they dont need it in their diet anymore.
Most adult cats are actually lactose intolerant, so avoid giving them milk altogether.
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How Much And How Often Should You Feed Your Cat
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Many cat owners, myself included, love a big chunky cat.
Maybe its because they seem cuddlier when they are in the mood to cuddle that is.
Or perhaps we feel more loved when they are begging for food or purring as we feed them.
But in reality, as cute as they may be, excess weight isnt healthy for our cats. Studies show that pets on the leaner side live longer than their heavier counterparts. Also, cats with a healthy body weight will suffer less from issues like arthritis and other illnesses.
The best way to show love is by managing your cats weight to help them live a long and healthy life.
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Lets get started on some basics of how you can help your furry friend lose weight and keep it off. One of the first things I suggest is consulting with your cats veterinarian. They can guide you on how much weight your cat needs to lose, how much to feed them, and how to establish an exercise routine for your cat. It is recommended just like it is for people to have your cat get a complete physical exam and possibly blood tests to be sure there are no underlying medical issues before starting a weight loss program.
Is It Ok To Moisten Dry Food
Adding water will not change the nutritional value of dry cat food. However, once moisture is added the food should be eaten relatively soon, and any uneaten portion should be discarded to avoid spoilage. Feeding your cat dry food is usually encouraged because of the benefit to your cats dental health.
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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?
How Much And When To Feed Your Cat
Once or twice a day is suitable for feeding most cats. Kittens may need three meals a day to make sure theyre getting enough nutrients. Try to get your cat on a consistent feeding schedule that works well with your own. Most cats naturally want to eat several small meals a day. Less frequent, large meals may lead to more begging .
Its very important that senior cats stick to the same feeding routine. Feed them the same amount at the same time every day. The time of day you feed your cat isnt too important, just as long as youre feeding at consistent times. The daily calories your cat consumes should also remain the same.
If you do leave your cats food out for them to nibble throughout the day, make sure the food is always fresh. You can leave small amounts of dry food out to be picked at and feed canned food once or twice a day.
Never leave cat food out for more than a day. Dont leave out wet food for more than thirty minutes because it will go bad.
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What Is Body Condition Score
Body Condition Score is a way of assessing whether your cat is at an optimal weight. Sadly, many cats are overweight , leading to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.
A cat in ideal body condition should have a visible waist, and you should be able to feel its ribs.
If you can see your cats ribs and its backbone feels knobbly, kitty is too thin, and the amount you feed should increase.
If you cannot feel your cats ribs, and it has a rounded shape from above and from the side, kitty is overweight, and the amount you feed needs to be reduced.
Refer to the chart below to assess your cats BCS. If you need help with scoring your cat, or if you are concerned your cats body condition score is too low or too high, discuss this with your veterinarian at kittys next health check.
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
If your cats Body Condition Score is less than 3, increase the amount fed by 10%. If your cats Body Condition Score is more than 3, decrease the amount fed by 10%. Review this every few weeks.
Body Condition Score Chart
Why Its Crucial To Calculate How Much Food To Feed A Cat
You might wonder why its important to determine the exact amount of wet cat food you should give your cat? As of 2017, an estimated 60 percent of cats in the US are classified as clinically overweight or obese. Thats about 56.5 million cats who are too heavy, and extra weight has a dramatic, negative effect on feline health.
Overweight cats are at an increased risk for congestive heart failure, skin disorders, infections, diabetes mellitus, complications associated with anesthesia and surgery, hepatic lipidosis , and some types of cancer.
Feeding cats wet food is never as simple as just opening up a can and letting them eat until theyre full. Indoor cats, in particular, tend to burn few calories throughout the day, and they become bored, which we all know can lead to excessive eating and weight gain. Pet parents need to take a strategic approach to measuring out cat food to prevent or deal with weight gain in cats.
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Ideal Food Portions For Kittens
Anyone who has ever owned a kitten before knows how rambunctious and curious they are. They need more food than adult cats so they can fuel their thirst for adventure.
Kittens cant eat as much as adult cats at one time, so you may want to consider feeding them smaller meals more often instead of a few larger meals. They need all of the nutrients they can get to maintain their energy levels and keep up with their daily activities.
Here is a general guide for feeding raw food to your kitten:
- 2-4 months old: 10%-13% of their current body weight per day
- 4-8 months old: 6%-10% of their current body weight per day
- 8-12 months old: 3%-6% of their current body weight per day
How Much Wet Food Does Your Cat Need
Your cat’s caloric needs depend on several factors. Your cat’s weight can give you a basic guideline of how much to feed. However, it’s essential to determine your cat’s body condition. A lean, muscular cat with large bones may weigh 15 pounds and be at a healthy weight. This cat will require more calories to maintain that healthy weight. However, a 15-pound, small-boned, overweight cat needs fewer calories. The overweight cat should be fed according to her ideal weight, not her actual weight.
Age and activity level also play a role in determining the proper amount of calories needed. A growing kitten needs many more calories than an adult or senior cat. An active cat that runs and plays frequently will need more calories than a cat that remains sedentary most of the time. A nursing mother needs extra calories to produce milk and stay healthy.
If you wish to be accurate in calculating the number of calories you feed your cat, then start by finding out how many calories your cat needs. The National Research Council offers a general guideline of nutritional needs of cats:
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What To Feed Your Young Cat
Feline diets should always be heavy on the protein content side. Thirty percent protein is certainly appropriate for your adolescent feline. Meat is the best source of protein for cats, as they are obligate carnivores. Be careful not to overdo organ meats, however. Too much liver could lead to vitamin A toxicity with various skeletal deformities.
Your best bet is to choose one of the balanced feline diets that are labeled for growth for your young cat up to about a year of agefor example, Blue Buffalos Healthy Growth kitten food, which contains taurine and DHA omegas to boost healthy growth and development. Then he can switch to a diet that is approved as balanced for all cat life stages, like Dr. Tims Chase cat food.
By now, your cat may have some distinct preferences for flavors and types of food. Dry cat food, as long as there is plenty of fresh, clean water available, will work, or you can use canned food.
If you prefer to use a homemade diet or try raw feeding, you need to consult a veterinary or animal nutritionist. You cant simply hand your young cat a raw chicken leg twice a day!
How To Feed Your Cat So It Stops Begging And Starts Losing Weight
Cats receiving an adequate number of calories per day will be hungry . So feeding a cat until it is full is almost always overfeeding unless it is an actively growing kitten under eight months of age.
Naturally, cats eat multiple small meals a day by hunting and eating what they catch. Having a bowl of dry food available allows multiple small meals of a high caloric feed with no effort on the cats part, this is a recipe for weight gain.
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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.
How Much Canned Food To Feed A Cat
How much-canned food to feed a cat? Canned foods, commonly known as wet cat food are so important for your pet. They provide it with the crucial nutrients that make them healthy. However, not all cats should be fed with canned foods rather one should consider the health condition of your cat.
Another factor to consider before feeding the cat with canned food is if the cat is an indoor one or an outdoor one. Indoor cats should be given more wet food as compared to outdoor cats for the simple reason that it provides them with nutrients that they miss for not being active.
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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.
Dry Cat Food Diets And Dehydration
In wild cats eat their prey animal. They get about 70 percent of water from their prey animals. Canned wet cat food has averaged 78 percent of water. And the dry cat food has averaged 10 percent of water. Therefore, if a cat is eating only dry food diets, usually dont get enough water. They could become chronically dehydrated. That can cause health problems like Chronic Renal Failure and urinary crystals.
According to Purina, if a cat eating cat dry food. Then, she should drink approximately one cup of water for every ten pounds of body weight in a 24-hour period.
And, the weather is warm. Then, she will need even more. And in other hand, Cats are eating canned wet food diets. They only need to consume one-third to one-half that amount of water.
If you are feeding your cat kibble. It is essential to provide a clean, appealing source of fresh water. Pet water fountains work very well. It will encourage your cat to drink water. And, their filters ensure a fresh, clean water supply for your cat.