This is typically the most frequently asked question by
new cat parents. Although it appears to be a simple question, the answer is
quite tricky. The best answer is: it depends on your cat!
The best place to start seeking answers is by speaking to
your veterinarian. They will have sound knowledge about your cat and will give
How to determine
the amount of food to feed your feline?
Consider the following factors:
- Cat’s age
- Cat’s weight
- Energy level
- Is your cat nursing or pregnant?
- The nutrition content in the cat’s food
- Do you need to feed dry food, wet food or both?
- Is it an outdoor cat, indoor cat or both?
First, closely examine your kitty. Her body condition is
the best place to start. Does she have a tummy that touches the floor when she
waddles, or does she have a defined waist with a trim body? Is your feline
indoors most of the time or outdoors? If your cat likes to spend time outdoors,
they will need more food in the winter due to the cold temperatures. These same
cats require less food in the summer.
Age also matters when it comes to assessing food quantity.
Kittens undergo a rapid growth spurt during the first year and will eat a lot
more than adult cats.
Don’t forget to assess your fur ball’s energy levels. Does
your cat love to lounge around and is often mistaken for a cushion? Or is your
kitty a ping pong ball who loves to jump off the sofa? Maybe your cat has lazy
days and active days? Each energy level will require different amounts of food.
How much food
should you give?
Keeping these factors in mind, an active and healthy cat,
weighing around 10 pounds, will require up to 320 calories per day. The amount
of food will differ for kittens, inactive senior felines, nursing cats, and
obese cats. Kittens will require small quantities of food at frequent
intervals, whereas obese and elderly cats require smaller portions than a
regular, adult cat. It's always best to check with your veterinarian to ensure
your cat is getting his or her nutritional requirements. The total calorie
count matters as much as the nutritional content.
How often should I
feed my cat?
This question goes hand in hand with how much? Most cat
owners provide food during the mornings and evenings. Some put out dry food
during the day. The reality is that cats are grazers. They eat several small
portions throughout the day, evening, and even night.
It’s also important to check the food bag. Look at the
food label. This will also provide a general indication of ‘how much’ to give.
Keep in mind; you will need to adjust the quantity according to your cat’s
By determining how much food your cat needs and how often to feed it,
your cat will be happy and healthy.