If you are confused by how often or how much you should feed cat
food to your pet you are not alone. Eat brand of food has their own
recommendations which vary widely. But those are just guidelines, you
must adapt your cat's diet to his individual needs and that of your
Establish a Regular Feeding Routine
Kittens need more food per pound of body weight to support growth. Until
the kitten reaches an age of six months feed three times per day. It is
acceptable to place a day's ration of dry food out for kittens to graze
on during the day. Since kittens are growing and their metabolism is so
active, this will not usually lead to weight problems. Kittens from six
months to one year feed twice a day; adulthood and beyond feed once or
twice a day. If cats are otherwise healthy and in good condition, there
is nothing wrong with feeding once per day.
Cats with health problems need to be fed according to their needs. Cats
on insulin will need to be fed around the time of their insulin
injections. Cats that have an over active thyroid may be hungry all the
time; treat the thyroid problem and then feed the cat on a normal
Feed a Balanced Diet
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they must eat meat for
their long-term health. In the wild, a cat's diet is composed almost
entirely of meat. This type of diet ensures that the cat receives two
essential amino acids taurine and arginine.
should be fed a diet that is 30 to 45 percent protein and 10 to 30
percent fat on a dry matter basis. A good commercial high protein food
will meet these requirements, but be sure to read the label.
Free feeding of cats by placing food out in a bowl for them to graze on
at will is an acceptable feeding method, however, it is not without
problems. Some cats will tend to overeat using this method. If you have
multiple cats, this can cause some to be underfed if one hoards all the
Feline obesity causes a multitude of health problems. Obesity leads to
lameness, joint and muscle disease, and diabetes. Skin problems can
occur due to the cat becoming so obese that he cannot reach all areas of
the body to groom and care for the skin. Cats that are obese are twice
as likely to die in middle age 6 to 12 years old.
Cats that are obese must be fed a measured amount of cat food on a daily
basis. If the cat is a free feeder, you can place half the daily amount
in his bowl morning and evening, or place the entire amount out at
once, but once the food is consumed feed no more until the next day. The
cat should be fed away from other cats and not have access to the food
of other cats. This will ensure that the cat receives only his allotted
portion and no more.
One other consideration to feeding your cat is your household schedule.
If you are a two-income household or a single working person, mornings
may be hectic and an evening feeding schedule may work best. Some people
like to feed the cat during their evening meal to keep the cat occupied
and avoid the cat interrupting their meal. If there is a stay at home
caregiver, then multiple feedings per day will work fine.