How Often Should You Feed Your Cat a Day?

As a cat owner, of course, you only want the best for your kitty – but how do you know what is best? For example, how many times a day should you feed your cat? Once, three times or even more? Your animal world knows – and tells you.

No matter who you ask – every cat owner will have a different opinion about how much food is right for a cat and how often it should be fed each day …

No wonder your head is spinning.

It’s also a difficult decision! If you feed your cat too often and too much, he will become overweight. If, on the other hand, it does not get enough food, it lacks essential nutrients when in doubt. So both have negative effects on your health.

In fact, your kitty’s need for food depends on a number of factors – and can therefore vary from animal to animal. You should therefore know in advance: If your cat is very young or very old, sick or pregnant, you should ask your vet for advice. When in doubt, the experts know best what, when, and how much your cats should eat.

How Often Do I Have to Feed My Cat?

In addition to your cat’s age and state of health, there are other factors that can influence your cat’s eating behavior. Including:

  • whether your cat has been neutered or neutered and;
  • whether she is an outdoor cat or an indoor cat.

Outdoor cats, for example, are not only dependent on the feed ration at home. You can also go looking for food outside – and catch a mouse in between, for example. And young kittens need more food than adult cats. They should therefore be fed more often.

The natural eating behavior of cats means that they are more likely to eat several small servings throughout the day than one large one. So it is usually best to feed your cat in smaller amounts two to three times a day.

“Kittens up to six months old might need three meals a day,” explains Dr. Francis Kallfelz from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. “After that, most cats are enough to eat two meals a day.” In fact, many healthy cats have no problem with being fed only once a day. But four to five meals are also possible. It is best to observe which feeding routine your cat is most comfortable with.

Do You Prefer Dry or Wet Food?

Whether you give your cat dry or moist food is irrelevant at first. Your cat’s preference and whether you can always provide fresh wet food play a role here. Because once the food from the can has been in the bowl for several hours, it is no longer hygienic and should be disposed of.

Important with dry food: Your cat must have enough freshwater around the clock. Otherwise, your kitty threatens to get too little fluid.

If, on the other hand, you give wet food, it will absorb some liquid over it. You can choose wet food as an alternative to dry food or feed it in addition.

“You can mix the two types of feed without any problems,” says Dr. Kallfelz. “Make sure, however, that you only feed as many calories as your cat needs and not more.”

Free Feeding

Some owners provide their velvet paws with a large bowl of dry food in the morning, which they can devour throughout the day. This is generally possible – but only if your cat can divide its food well. On the other hand, if your cat likes to snack in between times without being hungry, this can lead to obesity. And the dry food should also be fresh and changed every day.

Another challenge: if several cats live in a household, one cat could feed the entire portion out of food envy. The other kitties then go away empty-handed. In this case, it is better to give the cats their own servings at feeding time, which they will eat immediately.

Conclusion: There is no general recipe for success when it comes to food. Try to recognize your cat’s needs and meet them optimally. And if in doubt: ask the vet!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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