While you may love the look of a big chunky kitty this added weight can be detrimental to their health. An easy way to avoid a cat being overweight is to ensure that you follow feeding guidelines for your cat. Today, our Belle Forest Animal Hospital vets in Nashville share how much your cat should be eating and how often you should be feeding them.
Feeding Your Cat
While we don't typically give much thought to our cats and how much they weigh, it is important to monitor them to ensure that they stay at a healthy weight. Your vets in Nashville will be able to help you determine the appropriate food and feeding schedule for your cat and their unique needs.
One of the best ways that we can help provide lifelong care for our feline friends is by ensuring that we monitor and manage all aspects of their health including their diet.
Factors That Affect Your Cat's Diet
While there are general guidelines on feeding a cat properly, there are different factors that can make the required food intake for each cat different. Some of the factors affecting how much you should feed your cat are:
- Your Cat's Age: If you have a kitten then they will utilize a lot more energy during the day than an older cat would therefore require more calories to use as fuel.
- The Size of Your Cat: Different breeds of cats come in different sizes, therefore if you have a slim breed such as a Siamese versus a large cat such as a Maine Coon, this will affect the amount of food that your cat will eat.
- How Active Your Cat Is: If your cat is a quiet and relaxing type of cat they may not move around as much and will not require as much energy throughout the day as a cat that likes to run around constantly.
- Whether Your Cat Lives Indoors or Outdoors: If you have an outdoor cat that is exploring the world they will require more to sustain their lifestyle and allow them to continue running around.
- Your Cat's Current Weight: While a cat of average weight can eat the typical amount of food with no problem, cats that are overweight however, will need a reduction in how much food they get in order to help them move towards a healthier weight.
- Your Cat's Health Condition: If your cat is experiencing any type of condition or disease they will have different dietary requirements depending on each individual situation.
- Reproductive Status of Your Cat: If you have a cat that is expecting kittens or has recently had kittens then they will need to eat more in order to provide enough nutrients for themselves and their nursing kittens. Just as spayed or neutered cats will not need to eat as much due to the reduction in hormones that they have experienced.
How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?
The frequency in which you feed your cat will depend on your cat and their specific situation. Your vet in Nashville will be able to help you determine how often you should be feeding your cat or kitten.
If you have a kitten then they burn through more daily calories than an average adult cat and so while your adult cat may be content with only being fed twice daily you should feed your kitten more frequently throughout the day in order to provide them with the continuous energy that they will need.
Typically it is ideal for your cat to be fed roughly every 10 hours but never going any longer than 12 hours without eating. You can discuss your cat's specific needs with your vet in Nashville to determine the feeding schedule that will be right for them.
How Much Should You Feed Your Cat?
The amount of food that you should feed your cat will depend on a variety of factors such as their weight, age, health, and the type of diet they have. Speak with your vet at Belle Forest Animal Hospital to learn more about your cat's dietary needs.
Here are some charts to help you with the average amounts of food to feed your cat on a daily basis:
How Much Wet Food To Feed Your Cat
|0-5 lbs||5-10 lbs||10-15 lbs ||15-20 lbs |
|Kittens||up to 1 oz per day||up to 5 oz per day ||up to 8 oz per day ||up to 11 oz per day |
|Adult Cat - Average Weight ||up to 3 oz per day ||up to 7 oz per day ||up to 9 oz per day ||up to 12 oz per day |
|Adult Cat - Overweight ||up to 5 oz per day ||up to 8 oz per day ||up to 10 oz per day ||up to 15 oz per day|
How Much Dry Food To Feed Your Cat
|0-5 lbs||5-10 lbs||10-15 lbs||15-20 lbs|
|Kittens||less than 1 oz per day ||up to 1 oz per day ||up to 2 oz per day ||up to 3 oz per day |
|Adult Cat - Average Weight||up to 1 oz per day ||up to 2 oz per day ||up to 3 oz per day ||up to 4 oz per day |
|Adult Cat - Overweight||up to 1 oz per day ||up to 2 oz per day ||up to 3 oz per day ||up to 4 oz per day|
What Should You Do If Your Cat Needs to Lose Weight?
If your cat has become overweight then they will need to have a reduction in their overall food intake. Cats don't do well with being hungry so it is best to do a diet slowly, only cutting back by half a teaspoon to a single teaspoon per meal and not doing another reduction for at least 3 weeks.
Some other things that you can do to help your cat lose weight are:
- Find ways to make them follow you around the house
- Provide an abundance of toys that will get them active and playing
- Use a laser pointer to provide them with something to chase
- Install a cat exercise wheel in your home
- Build a playhouse for your cat to play in and explore
- Leash train your cat and take them for walks
- Use puzzle feeders to keep them active and slow down their eating
- Build an obstacle course that they need to clear to get to their food
- Provide exercise and stimulation through interactive hunting games and toys
If you would like some advice about how you can help manage your cat's weight please contact your Belle Forest Animal Hospital vets in Nashville.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.