Proper feeding and nutrition is an important consideration for every cat owner. You want to make sure that health requirements are met. On the other hand, you also want to want to prevent your cat from overeating, as obesity can cause for bigger health problems later on. Some cat owners choose the “free feeding” method, where the cat has free access to food anytime, while others apply “portion control” and feed their cat more than once a day. But following a cat feeding schedule, alongside close weight monitoring, can definitely help you ensure that your cat gets the nutrition he needs every day.
So, what’s the best cat feeding schedule? Cats are pretty much like people, in that, every cat may have different needs and requirements. How much to feed a cat, how often should you feed him, and what types of food are just some of the questions that you might be asking. Knowing about the basics of feline habits and physical needs can help you can come up with an ideal feeding schedule for your cat. Here are a few things you must remember about cats:
· Cats are creatures of habit. A consistent feeding routine makes your cat feel more secure.
· Cats usually get hungry 8-10 hours after the last meal. Feeding your cat once or twice a day is generally acceptable.
· Cats that suddenly show loss of appetite are likely ill.
· Kittens have different feeding requirements compared to adult cats. See our detailed kitten feeding schedule and guide.
· Some cats are more finicky than others. You may have to combine wet and dry food, switch food brands occasionally, and make adjustments according to your cat’s eating habits.
· A cat’s daily calorie requirement would depend on his weight. Referring to a cat feeding schedule chart could serve as your guide in making sure your cat is eating healthy.
How Often Should I Feed My Cat?
How often should cat owners feed their pets? The answers would vary according to some factors, according to your cat’s age, health, preference, and habits.
Your Cat’s Age
Kittens would require more food per pound and thus, more frequent feeding time until they’re about six months old. Based on this kitten feeding schedule, kittens need to be fed lee frequently as they grow older. At six months onwards, feeding your cat once or twice a day is considered sufficient and is common practice, given that the cat maintains a healthy weight.
Specific Health Needs
Diet and feeding would also have to be adjusted if your cat has a health condition. For instance, veterinarians commonly advise feeding diabetic cats at the times when they’re administered insulin. In some cases, cats may develop gum or mouth problems, which would call for finer sized kibbles or wet canned food to help them chew easier. Your vet would offer recommendations on feeding in case your cat falls ill or has a health condition.
You may be wondering if it’s better to feed your cat wet or dry food. Both types of food have their own advantages. You can certainly feed your cat a combination of wet and dry cat food for a healthier, well-rounded diet. The varying textures could be exciting for your pet, too. However, your cat may actually prefer one type over another and this is of course, something you’d also need to consider.
Feeding your cat specific portions at certain times of the day comes with several advantages. For one, you can schedule feeding, according to your own schedule, in consideration of your cat’s eating habits. “Free feeding” or leaving out food available to your cat all day can be a cause for obesity. It would be a better idea to provide treats or snacks in between meals if your cat begs for food.
Portion-controlled meal feeding also makes it easier for you to monitor your cat’s eating habits and see right away if there is an arising health problem. If there are changes in appetite levels, or if you notice anything like your cat guarding his food or speed-eating, you might need to have him checked by the vet. If your cat is sick, it’s also easier to administer medicine with meal-feeding.
Cat Feeding Guide: Wet and Dry Food
Combining a diet of wet and dry food can be good for your cat. Dry food is easier to store, but lack the moisture that can be found in wet cat food. The following cat feeding schedule template can help you better estimate how much and how often you should feed your cat.
So how does this feeding chart work? As you can see, the schedule takes into consideration how much your cat weighs, his daily caloric requirements, and how much wet and dry food you can feed him in order to meet those requirements. Every cat has different caloric needs, depending not only on weight, but also on how active they are, whether or not they’re neutered prone to obesity, and other “lifestyle factors.” You can use some an online calculator to determine your cat’s unique calorie needs.
The cat feeding guide by weight will help you maintain a healthy weight for your cat. As an example, a cat weighing 10lbs can be fed roughly 230 calories per day. Check his weight every week. If your cat is gaining or losing weight, you definitely have to make some feeding adjustments. Read the nutrition labels on your wet and dry the cat food. Check for caloric content on the label and divide this number to your cat’s daily calorie requirement. The total is the number of calories your cat needs to consume within a 24-hour period.
Feeding cats properly isn’t exactly rocket science. As long as you understand your cat’s preferences and needs, you can come up and follow a healthy feeding schedule for your cat. If this is the first time, you’re hearing about the advantages of a good feeding schedule, it’s certainly worth considering if you want to ensure that your pet grows healthy. Just remember to ensure your cat is getting the nutrition and calories he needs. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to consult your vet.