How Often Should You Feed Your Cat And How Much Food?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. The best thing to do is talk to your veterinarian and get recommendations for your specific cat at its age and condition.
Even though there is not a one size fits all answer, there are some general guidelines based on the cat’s age.
You want to feed your cat enough that it stays healthy, but not so much that it gets fat. Like humans, obese cats are far more likely to have serious health problems and earlier mortality.
Kittens need more food per unit of their body weight than adult cats; feed them 3 meals a day for the first 6 months. This of course applies AFTER the kitten has finished nursing and is fully weaned. It is recommended to use kitten specific foods with nutritional formulas optimized for kittens.
-Growing kittens need a lot of food to give them the energy they need to develop and stay healthy.-
After 6 months go down to 2 meals until the cat is fully grown; that is, when it is about a year old.
Normally, an adult cat can be fed one meal a day as long as it doesn’t have a condition that requires a different feeding schedule. Again, check with a veterinarian to get a better idea.
Dry Vs. Canned Cat Food
It is perfectly fine to feed only dry food to your cat, as long as it has a good balance of all of the nutritional requirements. Dry food is more economical; it is cheaper and stays fresh longer than canned food. With dry food, it is especially important to always keep your cat supplied with fresh water. It helps prevent urinary tract blockages.
Canned cat food is much more palatable for most cats and can be substituted for dry food. You can also mix canned and dry food, as long as you watch the total calories. Some people who normally feed their cats dry food, will use canned food as an occasional treat.
Controlling Your Cat’s Food Intake
If you want to control how much your cat eats, you can give it measured portions of food at specific times of the day. It is a good idea to stick to this schedule, as cats are creatures of habit.
If your cat has self control and doesn’t over eat, you can give it free access to food. The food should be replaced with new, fresh food every day. Be careful; a lot of cats like to keep snacking all day, taking in excess calories.
-A self replenishing cat food bowl can be used for free feeding.-
Feeding your cat several small meals a day instead of one big one will help your cat to feel less hungry throughout the day.
As mentioned before, it is important to keep a constant supply of fresh water for your cat. There are numerous automatic water dispensers on the market for cats.