Create The Right Environment For Feeding Your Kitten
Cats are very sensitive and a variety of factors can create food aversion. They prefer to eat somewhere calm, out of sight, and with an easy escape route, and don’t like their food bowl being near their litter box. Keep your kitten’s food bowl away from their water bowl, too, to prevent the water becoming contaminated with food. And create their feeding area away from your own dining area so they’re not tempted to nibble at your meals.
Events such as strangers arriving, arguments, changes in lighting, and sudden noises may all affect how much your kitten eats, so keep disturbances to a minimum.
Feeding Wet Cat Food Vs Dry Cat Food
Most veterinarians recommend that cats eat primarily wet food. The higher water content in wet foods can help treat or prevent kidney and lower urinary tract disease as well as obesity and all its associated health problems. High quality wet foods like Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals tend to contain more meat and protein and be lower in carbohydrates than dry foods and this better matches a cats nutritional needs in comparison to dry.
The chief benefits of dry foods are their lower cost and the fact that they are the best option when food needs to be left out for extended periods of time. If you choose to feed dry, opt for a quality, high protein cat food, like Solid Gold Indigo Moon with Chicken & Eggs Grain-Free High Protein Dry Cat Food, and try to maximize your cats water intake. If your cat likes to drink from running sources of water, consider purchasing a kitty water fountain like the Catit Flower Pet Fountain.
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.
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How Much Food Should An Adult Cat Eat
From the age of 12 months, our cat will already be an adult and, as mentioned above, the amount of daily food will depend on the weight, physical activity and personality of the breed. But as a rule, a healthy cat with normal daily activity needs approximately 15 to 20 grams of dry food per kilogram of body weight. The amount of wet cat food that is recommended is 1/2 or 1 can per day. Ideally, you should first check the package directions where the exact quantities according to the type of food and weight are detailed. However, if that information is confusing, then you can follow these guildelines:
- If the cat weighs 1 kg, you should give them about 15-20 grams of dry food a day.
- … 2 kg, between 30 and 40 grams.
- … 3 kg, between 45 and 60 grams.
- … 4 kg, between 60 and 80 grams.
- … 5 kg, between 75 and 100 grams.
- … 6 kg, between 90 and 120 grams.
- … 7 kg, between 105 and 140 grams.
Do not forget that these measurements are indicated for cats with moderate physical activity and without any health problem or allergy. If you have a pregnant cat, for example, they need a greater quantity of proteins, fats, and calcium for the correct development of the pregnancy. We elaborate on this further in our article what is the best diet for a pregnant cat.
As mentioned before, the intake of food in an adult cat should be distributed in 2 portions a day, so it is recommended to alternate dry and wet food to feed our pet correctly and safely.
Feeding Wet Kitten Food Vs Dry Kitten Food
Wet cat food has some significant nutritional advantages over dry cat food. Cats are notoriously poor water drinkers, so feeding wet food can help ensure that they remain well-hydrated. High quality wet kitten foods, like Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, tend to contain more meat and protein and be lower in carbohydrates than dry foods, which better matches a kittens nutritional needs in comparison to dry. For these reasons, many veterinarians recommend that most, if not all, of a cats diet consist of wet food.
While most kittens benefit from a diet of wet canned food, there are advantages to feeding them dry food. Dry kitten food tends to be less expensive and can be left out for longer periods of time without spoiling. Kibble can also be used in food puzzles like the PetSafe Funkitty Egg-Cersizer Treat Dispenser Cat Toy, which provides both entertainment and exercise.
Early in life, cats develop strong preferences for how food should taste and what it should feel like in their mouths. Offer your kitten a variety of foods if you want to keep all your options open. However, youll have to keep exposing them to a variety of foods as an adult if you want to avoid food rejection in the future. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the right mix of foods for your kitten.
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Is It Necessary To Feed Both Wet And Dry Food
Wet food is an excellent treat that can be fed alone or mixed with dry food. Although our wet cat foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, it is not necessary to offer wet food at every feeding. Our dry foods are formulated with high-quality protein sources such as chicken, lamb or fish and contain all the essential nutrients pets need. The crunchy texture of dry food also promotes healthy teeth and gums, and provides overall good oral hygiene.
How Do I Decide How Much Food My Cat Needs
Different cats have different nutritional needs based on their size, life stage and more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how much food your cat should eat:
- Age & Life Stage: Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult or senior cats. Cats who are pregnant or nursing also have different needs.
- Weight: If your cat is not at her ideal weight, you may need to give her smaller or larger portions to help her achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Energy Level: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may require more calories than those who prefer to spend their time napping.
- Type of Food: Dry and wet cat food differ in calories, as well as portion sizes. Youll want to ensure youre feeding an appropriate amount of food, whether you feed dry, wet or a combination of both.
- Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats may not get as much exercise as an outdoor cat would, so they need fewer calories. Outdoor cats living in regions with cold winters may need more food in the winter.
The best way to determine how much food your cat needs is to talk with your veterinarian. They can determine how much food your cat requires based on the above factors.
They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise, such as your cat eating less or more than usual.
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Adult Cat Dry Food Feeding Guidelines
Dry food can make feeding easier, as you can leave a portion out during the day for your cat to eat in their own time. However, remember to discard any leftovers to avoid spoiling. Always read the package instructions because portions vary between food flavours, or go to the product pages for more information:
When And How Often You Should Feed Your Cat
Theres no universal cat feeding guide. While some cats seem to get a bite out of their food bowl throughout the day, others prefer eating at strictly set times. In general, you should offer your cat a balanced diet, serving their food about two to three times a day, at equal time intervals.
The most important thing to keep them healthy is to never feed them more calories than they need.
|DID YOU KNOW: Not eating for a long stretch of time can cause your cat to experience stress, nausea, and aggression towards people or other pets. Thats why its crucial to feed it at regular intervals.|
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Feeding Kittens That Are 6
At 10 to 12 months old, you can transition your kitten onto an adult cat food. The time at which you make the switch will depend on the breed and body build of your kitten. If your kitten is prone to weight gain, then you may want to switch them onto adult cat food sooner, as this contains fewer calories, proteins, and fats than kitten food.
If your kitten is a larger breed, like a Maine Coon, then they can benefit from staying on kitten food until theyre 12 months of age. If youre not sure when to make the switch, your veterinarian can help by assessing your cats body condition in conjunction with their breed and overall health.
Changing From Commercial To Homemade Cat Food
If your cat has been on commercial cat food for most of its life, his digestive enzymes and digestive system has most likely acclimated to this unnatural diet. Slowly transition over to raw food, 1 teaspoon at a time, over the course of a month.
You will want to follow the advice of your veterinary professional, but for many this will look like:
Day 1-5: Mix 1 teaspoon of raw food into whatever your cat normally eats.
Day 5-10: Increase the raw food by double.
Day 10-15: Feed your cat half raw, half what they were eating before.
Day 15 on: You may be able to switch to all raw food as your cat has had time for their digestive system to catch up. If your cat is fussy, continue the slow transition.
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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.
Monitoring Your Cats Weight
These calculations are guidelines only.
It is important to weigh kitty every 1 to 2 weeks to check if they are gaining weight, losing weight, or staying the same. This will help us adjust the amount we are feeding.
IMPORTANT Pro Tip
If your cat is losing weight and getting too thin, increase the amount you feed by 10%. If your cat is gaining weight and getting too fat, reduce the amount you feed by 10%.
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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.
Healthy Kitten Growth Rate
A general rule of thumb in kittens is that they typically gain about 1 pound per month.
Often, a kittens weight is about 1 pound at 1 month , 2 pounds at 2 months , and so on until about 4-5 months.
Kittens do most of their growing within the first year and then stabilize from there. Many of the growth plates of the bones in the kitten skeleton close by about one year old.
At this time, after much of the growth is finished, your vet will typically switch your kitten to an adult diet.
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Are There Foods I Should Avoid Giving My Kitten
Its OK to feed your kitten treats, as long as you follow the 10% calorie rule, Larsen says. This means that treats should make up less than 10% of your kittens total calorie intake. But this doesnt mean its a good idea to turn your leftover table scraps into treats for your kitten. Also, take precautions with the following foods:
- Raw meat or liver may contain parasites and harmful bacteria.
- Raw eggs may contain Salmonella and may decrease absorption of a B vitamin, leading to skin and hair coat problems.
- Raw fish may lead to a B vitamin deficiency, causing loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.
- Milk may cause diarrhea in weaned kittens and cats because they lose the enzyme needed to break down milk.
In addition, onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee, tea, raisins, or grapes can be toxic to kittens and cats.
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Lets Talk About The Dry Cat Food Debate
Many cat owners leave dry food out for their cats. Some people supplement it with wet food and some dont. Is it the equivalent of feeding your kids on a steady diet of fast food.
If you are giving your cat only dry food to eat. She is likely to be getting less nutrition to compare to other cats eating canned wet cat food. A lot of fillers are present in many low-quality dry cat food. In the wild, only five percent of carbohydrates is in cats diet. That carbohydrate she gets from ingesting the stomach contents of her prey.
As many fillers are the necessary requirement for the extrusion process to shape dry food nuggets during manufacturing dry cat food. Dry cat foods are cost-savings Since theyre a cheaper ingredient than meat.
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Determining How Much To Feed A Cat
Different cats have different nutritional needs based on their size, life stage and more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how much food your cat should eat.
- Age & Life Stage: Kittens have different nutritional needs than adults or senior cats. Pregnant or nursing cats also have different needs.
- Weight: If your cat is not at her ideal body condition, you may need to adjust what and how much you feed her, says Dr. Callie Harris, DVM.
- Activity Levels: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may need more calories than those who prefer to spend their time napping.
- Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats may not get as much exercise as an outdoor cat would, so they need fewer calories. Outdoor cats living in regions with cold winters may need more food in the cold months.
The best way to determine how much food your cat needs is to talk with your veterinarian. They can tell you how much food your cat needs based on the above factors.
They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise, such as your cat eating more or less than usual.
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