Petting a cat is not as easy as it might sound. When you own a cute little cat, your utmost duties decide its survival. Obligations towards your cat usually include vaccination shots, feeds, baths, playtime, house training, and much more. People may think it is pretty manageable to pet a cat, but we believe only you would know how much dedication, attention, and time it demands!
Leaving all the other duties of a cat owner behind, only if we would pick up the ‘feeding’ task, it is itself quite complex! To prove yourself as a responsible cat owner, you must learn what type of food suits your cat, how much you should feed your cat every day if homemade cat food suits your little fellow, and the typical know-how about dry and wet cat food.
If you have no clue how much food should a cat eat per day, you do not have to worry! This article will give you answers to the relevant questions.
Which factors determine the amount of food?
Multiple factors are essential for determining the amount of food that you must serve your cat. The nutritional requirement varies from cat to cat because every cat has a different age, body size, weight, etc. Let’s have a look at the factors that decide the quantity of food for your cat;
Understandably, younger cats have more nutritional needs as compared to older ones.
Special life stages
If your female cat is pregnant or nursing, it would need more food than ever before.
Your cat’s body weight is a critical factor when it comes to deciding the amount of food. If your cat is underweight, you need to serve your small cat portions of food many times a day. However, if the cat is obese, you can feed it with healthy food to cut off the fats.
The more your cat plays around, the more you need to feed it! If your cat loves playing all the time and is super active typically, it would demand more food than other cats.
Another critical factor is the type of food you feed your cat. There are two types of cat foods; dry and wet. You must understand that both types are highly different from each other when it comes to calories. Besides, you would also have to decide the portion sizes in two kinds of foods accordingly.
Mostly, the pet cats live indoors and do not have much exposure to exercises and extremes of weather. However, on the contrary, if we talk about an outdoor cat, it has to deal with all kinds of weather. Therefore it may need more food than indoor cats.
Wet food vs dry food – what is best for my cat?
As mentioned earlier, both the dry and wet food types differ in calories and portions’ sizes. Many vets suggest that you give your cat both kinds of food in a perfectly balanced ratio, but different cat owners indicate that only wet food works best for cats.
However, since each cat’s liking can vary, therefore, if your cat refuses to eat when you provide it with only the wet food, you must understand that it demands you for the dry food. If you are sure that you can manage the calories of both the food types and fulfill your cat’s daily requirements, you can serve your cat with a combination of both food types.
Moreover, you must know that your cat’s dry food must contain high animal proteins while it should not possess many plant proteins. You must know that no cat can digest plant proteins easily. Therefore, it is better to avoid these. However, the wet food type should contain meat only with extremely low fillers when it comes to the wet food type.
We believe that you would not care about your money regarding what is best for your cat. However, we would like to mention that dry food goes light on your pocket compared to the wet food type for obvious reasons.
Can I feed both dry and wet food to my cat?
Though there is no prohibition when it comes to giving a combination of both food types to your cat, you must know how to calculate and manage the total calories of your little friend. As mentioned earlier, most cats love to have the wet type of food, while some also like the dry one.
Besides, if you have an indoor cat, you would have to make sure that your cat burns the calories it has gained throughout the day. The indoor cats tend to become inactive over time. All they want is food without playing around. If you keep providing your lethargic indoor cat the wet food type, you would see your cat gaining weight, and the consequences are unhealthy.
When should I feed my cat?
The feeding schedule of your cat depends on you and your cat’s convenience. For example, if you have to get up in the morning and leave for your job, knowing that you would not be home early, it would be best to leave your cat its food. On the contrary, it would be best to serve your cat in the morning if you have busy evenings. Long story cut short, please choose a schedule wisely and stick to it.
Moreover, the frequency of feeding your cat depends on the type of food you are providing it. For example, if you serve your cat with wet food two times a day, you may need to give it little supplements of dry food as well.
How much should I feed my cat?
As mentioned earlier, the quantity of food required by every cat varies since it depends on several factors discussed above in the article. Your cat’s age, lifestyle, weight, physical activity, and type of food decide how much food you should feed it. As a cat owner, you must take care of your cat’s calories to make sure it lives healthily for a long time.
You can also take your cat to a vet to determine its weight, and if your cat turns out to be overweight, your vet will suggest a diet to reduce its weight. However, you can also read and follow the instructions available on the food type that you usually bring for your cat.
We cannot precisely estimate how many calories you should give to your cat. However, below is the table as per guidelines provided by The National Research Council.
|5 lbs||10 lbs||15 lbs||20 lbs|
|Kitten||200 kcal||400 kcal||600 kcal||800 kcal|
|Lean Cat||170 kcal||280 kcal||360 kcal||440 kcal|
|Overweight Cat||180 kcal||240 kcal||280 kcal||310 kcal|
|Pregnant Cat||336 kcal||603 kcal||851 kcal||1091 kcal|
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Undoubtedly, keeping a watch on your cat’s diet is time-consuming, but it is indeed one of your essential duties towards your cat. Unfortunately, deciding what to feed your cat and how much is pretty much baffling indeed. However, in this article, we have tried our best to briefly discuss how much you should feed your cat, dry food vs wet food, and your cat’s feeding schedule.
Hopefully, it will prove helpful!