How much should a cat eat is a question to ask because there are many overweight cats, especially in our apartments. One in three cats is. But it doesn’t take much, just pay attention to how much a cat has to eat to keep it healthy. The tendency is to exaggerate with the doses, compared to what a cat must eat, but the speech is not so simple and it is good to observe all the nuances of flavor.
How much should a cat eat: the doses
For every kilo of body weight, about 40 grams of wet food, whether it is cans or home-cooked food: this is how much an adult cat must eat. So a 5 kg feline must eat 200 grams of wet food per day. If you want to get what a cat should eat in dry food so that it is an equivalent dose, divide by 3 and in our case you get about 70 grams. This is quickly explained by the fact that dry food is dehydrated, more concentrated: to obtain the same daily nutritional requirement, less is needed.
How much should a cat eat: how to customize the doses
If it were so easy to understand how much a cat should eat! These numbers are valid but indicative, but each cat has its own metabolism and lifestyle, its age and physical condition are still other factors that affect how much a cat should eat. This does not mean that you have to give a damn about the indications, “anyway they are not true”, no. But proceed with criteria and patience, and a lot of attention for our cat, to see how he reacts to our calculations.
For example, you can give it how much a cat should eat in theory, and then study the consequences. If the cat maintains its ideal weight, bingo. We went well, or we have a standard cat, we continue like this and consistently. If the cat is gaining weight it may be because it has a slow metabolism or because it moves little. How much should a cat like this eat? Less, or otherwise. In fact, you can change food, focusing on one with less fat and carbohydrates, but making sure that it is not too rich in fiber or protein. In the first case, intestinal problems can arise, in the second damage to the kidneys.
If what a cat should eat in theory turns out to be an amount that in practice makes it lose weight, it may have a too active metabolism or will do a lot of physical activity. Also in this case you can change the quality of food, or give it more. In general, the doses that indicate how much a cat must eat does not take into account physical activity, the fact that it is neutered, the age group and the climate in which it lives. And lifestyle, for example. A non-sterilized kitten walking around the countryside has to eat one and a half times more than a neutered cat living in an apartment with the same weight.
How much should a cat eat: against obesity
If he is underweight, the answer to the question “how much should a cat eat” is: more. Without limits, it can be freely managed. But in case of obesity it is necessary to replace our animal and decide how much a cat should eat. Usually obese cats have to eat about 66% of the calculated “theoretical” value, this until they reach the optimal weight, then they can return to 100% or how much a cat should eat according to our personalized calculations, with the help of the veterinarian.
To better measure and evaluate the nutrition of our cat, especially if we have many, it is better for each one to eat in his own bowl. This also prevents us from letting the food dry out, especially in summer. To prevent a non-obese cat from becoming obese, we do not leave the croquettes available “all you can eat” style. Ninth cats often do not know how much a cat should eat, and are greedy.
How much should a cat eat: brands
To say how much a cat should eat, it is also necessary to evaluate the brand. The brand of the cans and croquettes, and the type. And if we do not stop at advertising with the cute kitten to decide, but look at the information reported on recommended quantities and contents, nutrients and more, we discover that there are many and great differences. Most are related to more or less marked variations in the amount of water present or even in the fiber, and involve changes in how much a cat should eat in grams.
As we should already do, or learn to do, for human foods, even for dry ones for cats, it is better to be wary of big discounts. They are not necessarily to be avoided but to be contextualized also by thinking about how much a cat should eat not in grams but in nutrients. So if we find dry foods that cost 60% less than the others, it is soon said that most likely the daily dose is much higher. This is because they are usually full of fiber and grains, less protein but the cat has a need to satisfy.
How much should a cat eat: how to combine dry and wet food
If it ever occurs to us to feed our cats with both dry and wet food, we need to recalculate how much a cat should eat. The dose is evaluated in grams of kibble as if the cat ate only dry food and separately the grams of wet food as if the cat ate only wet food. Then the percentages are made, taking into account that it is possible to feed a cat only with kibble but it is not possible only with wet food. It should make up a maximum of 20% of the total unless it is a complete food.
How much should a cat eat: mistakes and advice
Never trust us, we never evaluate how much a cat should eat by listening to our cat. Sometimes it meows, but asks for attention, not food. So it should not be stuffed with croquettes but caressed. In general, domestic cats prefer to eat many small and frequent meals, which is also useful for making sure that wet food does not go bad if left there for hours and hours waiting for the cat to nibble on it. Speaking of nibbling, a cat does not know how much a cat should eat, so those owners who for convenience fill the bowl and let the cat self-manage, are either lucky and have one of the few cats with a sense of satiety, or they have a cat obese.
Another common mistake to avoid is thinking about how much a cat should eat regardless of how. The low price does not mean “I made the bargain” but it often happens that of the food we pay less per kg we have to consume a greater dose. On balance, those who spend less spend more, also for food brands, it is better to consult with your trusted veterinarian who often has an idea of what is best for our hungry cat.
Feeding the cat only meat or only fatty trimmings is not the best, even stuffing it with lung and cartilage that have a very poor nutritional value, high quantities of liver instead can cause hypervitaminosis A. Other foods to avoid, beyond how much a cat should eat are raw egg white, fish bones, onion and garlic, chocolate and in general sweets and fruit, which are too sweet.
How much should a cat eat: timing
Once you understand how much a cat should eat, it is also good to understand how many “meals” to distribute it during the day. Sure they have to combine with our presence at home, but it’s not that impossible. Just read below to see that a cat is a perfectly compatible animal even for large domestic absentees.
For a small kitten of 2 – 6 months, the recommended number of snacks during the day is 3, with regular hours and at regular intervals of time from each other. After weaning we can move on to two meals, then at our choice or the vet’s, or our agenda, we can also move on to one.