Am I Feeding My Cat Enough?

June 28, 2017

How Much Should Cats Eat?

Before we can assess whether we are feeding our cats enough, we should understand how much they should be eating in the first place. On average, a mouse contains 30 calories. The average adult cat should eat five to eight mice per day, while hunting in between each meal. This means that the average, healthy adult cat needs 150 – 240 calories or 45 calories per kilogram per day, while being fed in multiple mini meals.

In the world of non-mouse cat food, 150 – 240 calories is roughly one small (85 g) can of wet food and 1/3 of a cup of dry food OR 1/3 – 2/3 of a cup of dry food only. Because calorie amounts can vary wildly, especially among dry diets, it is important to check your cat food to know how many calories per cup or gram it contains before working out a feeding strategy. If that information is not found on the package, you can call the manufacturer to determine the amount of calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

Feeding Strategies for Cats

If you have a cat that likes to eat quickly, having a proper feeding strategy will help your cat slow down during eating time. Also, this can provide some nice mental stimulation for your cat. Some of our favourite feeding strategies include food and treat balls, automatic feeders and food mazes.

While it is easy to create a diet strategy, it can be hard to implement, especially for cats that are very good at manipulating for food treats. It’s important to stick to your diet strategy because even a little overeating can lead to significant weight gain over time. For example, if you or I overeat by 100 calories every day, which is the equivalent of a mini chocolate bar, we can gain 12 pounds in a year! For cats, this is equivalent to only 10 pieces of kibble.

With a feeding strategy in hand – and earplugs to prevent those 3 am wake up calls – the next step is to monitor eating times. Routine weigh-ins will help you determine if you are feeding your cat too much or too little.

Sick, Kittens and Senior Cats Feeding Requirements

On a per kilo basis, sick cats, kittens and senior cats have different nutritional requirements and generally require more calories than their adult counterparts. Speak with your veterinarian about how much, and what you should feed your cat if they fall into these special categories.

When in doubt about how much to feed your cat, or just in need of moral support, your veterinarian and cat health care team are here to help.

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