How Much Food Does a Full Grown Cat Need?

By December 10 | See Comments

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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 customized guidance.

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?

Physical Assessment

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.

Cat’s Age

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.

Energy Levels

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.

Additional Tip

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 needs. By determining how much food your cat needs and how often to feed it, your cat will be happy and healthy.

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