Your cat is probably the first to tell you that they need to eat. However, as with humans and other animals, your cat needs a specific diet to stay healthy. Each cat is different, which means that they have different needs.
These guidelines for how to feed your feline friends well can help!
Whether you’ve recently adopted a cat or you’re trying to improve their diet, it always helps to have some good advice on what to feed your cat to keep them as healthy as possible.
At our home, meal time is serious business! My baby boy Pips is a very well-mannered kind of guy until food gets involved. 😂
If food prep is taking longer than his liking, he has mastered a “one-claw” technique that is sure to get your attention and the service moving more quickly!
All jokes aside, a well-balanced, healthy diet, is as important for our cats as it is for us.
In this brief post, we will focus on the questions, “What should I feed my cat, and how much do they need to eat exactly?”Not sure what to feed your cat or how much? This simple guide will help! #cats #catcare #cathealth #pets Click To Tweet
First, let’s take a look at the what.
What should I feed my cat?
Some people like to feed their cats wet food, while others prefer dry food. Then you have those who like to give their cats a variety, giving them one meal of wet and another of dry food.
The thing is, as long as the food is well-balanced and healthy, then pick what your cat prefers.
In our home, we feed canned food for brunch and supper. Then we feed dry food in our PetLibro automatic feeder. We currently allow them to snack any time, but as you will see in our review, portion control is easy with that feeder as well.
If your cats eat mainly dry food, bear in mind that they will need more water as they aren’t getting it in their food. Healthy wet cat food should contain a lot of protein combined with a broth and perhaps a small amount of vegetables. Cats aren’t omnivores, they need meat to be healthy.
To encourage our cats to drink more water, we have several water fountains and they absolutely love them! I’ve also given them as gifts to family and friends for their furbabies.
You should feed your cats at least twice a day, although feeding them once a day is acceptable if need be. Cats digest their food and empty their stomachs within about 8-10 hours, so leaving them for longer than 12 hours will make them uncomfortable.
Is it safe to give my cat cow’s milk?
While cats are adorable when they lap at milk, too much cow’s milk is bad for them and some cats can be lactose intolerant. As an occasional treat, you could try small amounts of lactose-free cow’s milk or a little goat’s milk instead.
Don’t forget to be mindful of how much your kitty is eating. Healthy treats count too!
How much is too much food?
Am I overfeeding my cat?
Your cat may need more or less food, depending on several factors. These include:
- Your cat’s age. Kittens tend to need more food, while adults and seniors need less.
- Your cat’s size. Larger breeds need more food, while more petite cats eat less.
- Activity level and condition. Overweight cats and cats that don’t move much need fewer calories than more active cats. Similarly, outdoor cats are usually more active than indoor cats, so will burn more calories.
- Health. Some diseases, like feline diabetes, alter what kinds of food your cat needs, or affect their metabolic rates and cause them to burn more calories.
- Reproductive status. Pregnant and nursing cats need more calories, while neutered cats have a slower metabolism and should eat less.
As you can see, your cats will have different needs. So, even if your slender indoor siamese only needed a certain amount of food, your larger maine coon who goes outside will likely require far more.
This variation means that the directions on your cat’s food bag are rough guidelines. They may be considerably more or less than your cat’s current needs. You can use these as a starting point, and consult your veterinarian if you aren’t sure.
You could also measure your cat’s food so that you’re giving them an accurate amount. Cats are small animals, which means that an extra 50 calories is a massive difference compared to what it would be for humans.
One of the most ingenious ways for how to feed your feline friends are slow feeders! These puzzle-type feeders make your cat work for their food, much like they would in the wild.
Not only do these stimulate their hunting instinct, but it also prevents the “scarf-and-barf” syndrome that some kitties tend to have!
If over-eating, eating too quickly, or cat boredom are issues in your home, I highly recommend looking into these fun ways to feed dry food or their favorite treats.
We all know eating well with the right portions saves lives and keeps us healthy! So what did we learn about how to feed your feline friends well?
It’s important to remember these tips:
- Your cat is unique and so are their feeding needs. A Vet can help you decide on the best diet for your fur-baby. Prescription food may be required.
- Consider an automatic cat feeder for portion control to prevent obesity
- Diets with only dry food can dehydrate your cat and cause health problems. Canned food helps to hydrate your pet and provide better nutrition.
- If only feeding dry kibble, a cat water fountain can help save your pet from dehydration.
- Let your cat hunt for their food with slow feeders
- Over half of cats are lactose intolerant. Cow’s milk makes their tummy hurt! You can try lactose-free milk or goat’s milk but only for a small treat. In many cases, it’s best to avoid completely.
- Try an additive like Dinovite for cats to supplement what is lacking in store-bought foods
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Does your cat have a favorite food or treat? Tell me about it!
As always, please share this post with your social media family. I genuinely appreciate your support!
Love & Healing Purrs,