Despite their independent spirit, cats rely on a nutritious diet and just the right amount of food each day to stay healthy.
If you are a new cat owner, you’ll need to know everything there is about feeding your pet.
Factors to Consider
There are a few different factors to consider when determining how much food to feed your cat. I
The age of a cat is one of the variables that affect how much food it needs each day. For instance, kittens require more food for every pound body weight than adult cats. Kittens are still developing physically, so they need tons of nutrition on a daily basis.
It is not uncommon for kittens to require three meals every single day until they have reached six months old. Cats that are older than six months are typically fine being fed twice daily.
2. Overall Health
Your cat’s health is something else that you need to consider. Cats with diabetes should typically be fed when they are given their insulin injection.
Cats that have problems with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) usually want to eat every second of the day. It is important that your pet receives the proper treatment for their condition. If the prescribed treatment is effective, you should be able to feed your cat as you normally would.
There are also cats that have problems with their teeth and/or gums. Some cats find it difficult to chew dry food, so you might have to give them canned food. These cats may avoid eating because it hurts, in which case an appetite stimulant might be needed.
3. Activity Level
Another key factor when it comes to feeding your car is how active they are. Some breeds are always racing around, while others lead a much more sedentary lifestyle.
Cats that are very active on a daily basis can be fed a little more than ones that lie around all day. If your cat falls in to the former category, you don’t need to worry as much about overfeeding.
4. Type of Food
Even the type of food that you give your cat can help you determine how often you should feed it. Dry cat food can be left out for an entire day before it starts to go stale. Wet food, on the other hand, will quickly go bad if it isn’t eaten within several hours or so.
If you feed your cat canned food, you don’t want to keep it in the fridge for too long. While your cat might still eat it after a certain point, it could negatively affect its health.
5. Your Schedule
Most people have busy schedules, which can make feeding their pet at the same time each day a real challenge. If you know that you are going to be very busy later in the day, you should try to feed them when you wake up.
It is incredibly important that you are as consistent as possible when it comes to feeding your cat. You also need to make sure that you don’t give your cat too much food at once, as they are likely to eat it all up very quickly.
Meal Feeding vs. Free Feeding
A lot of cat owners take the “meal feeding” approach with their cats. This is when you feed your cat a certain number of meals at the same time each day. While it is not the most convenient option for people with erratic schedules, it does allow you to keep close track of your cat’s appetite.
Cats are, however, more likely to beg for food when you feed them this way. Is there anything more annoying than a cat howling for food while you are trying to watch TV?
“Free feeding” refers to leaving out all of the food your cat needs for the day. This is something that you can only do with dry food. As we mentioned above, canned food goes bad quite fast.
One of the advantages of free feeding your cat is that it will be able to eat when it wants, but that’s not always a good thing. There is always the possibility that your cat is going to end up eating a lot more than it should.
Monitoring Your Cat’s Eating Habits
One of the best ways to monitor your cat’s appetite/eating habits is to measure out precise amounts of food before giving it to them. This way you will know precisely how often your cat is eating each day. It can give you a better idea as to whether you should choose meal feeding or free feeding, as this is not always clear.
Selecting the Right Cat Food
It is absolutely imperative that you make a point of finding the right food to give your cat each day. Keep in mind that older cats tend to have a slower metabolism, so you might need to give them food with a special formula.
You should look for foods that are packed with a variety of nutrients, as it is important for your cat to have a balanced diet. If your cat is very picky, it might take some time to find the right brand.
- If you have a more active cat, overfeeding isn’t so much of an issue.
- Lazy cats that don’t move around a lot throughout the day should be fed less than active ones.
- Consider any health conditions your cat might have before deciding how much to feed them on a daily basis.
- Weigh the pros and cons of meal feeding versus free feeding before deciding on one to use with your pet.
- You should make an honest effort to feed your cat on a consistent basis, regardless of your schedule.
- Try giving your cat pre-measured amounts of food to find out how frequently they eat every day.
- Take the time to find a cat food that will provide your pet with a balanced overall diet.