The Ultimate Guide to Feeding Your Cat

No matter if it’s your first cat or an older one, this guide can help you figure out their needs.

Starting off, let’s assess your cat or kitten’s daily calorie requirements (also referred to on food labels as kilocalories). In order to track weight properly, weigh their food frequently as well.

How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

If your cat is sick or recovering from surgery, they may require special nutrition needs. Speak to your vet for the latest guidance.

Consider their ideal body weight when determining how much to feed your cat; not only is this healthy but overfeeding can increase their risk for diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

One way to determine whether your cat is at a healthy weight is to feel their ribs. A healthy kitty should have easily palpable ribs and an indentation on its spine that makes the ribs noticeable.

An additional consideration when determining how much to feed your cat is their activity level. If they tend to graze throughout the day, it may be more suitable to offer several smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to one large one; you could even provide dry kibble in between wet meals – creating a routine can help avoid weight issues in cats!

To determine how many calories your cat requires on a daily basis, use a food scale or measuring cup to take their daily portion of either wet or dry food and divide that figure by the kilocalories listed on its label (typically shown as part of its name). This will provide a rough estimate of their food consumption during each mealtime.

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need meat in order to consume essential proteins essential for building muscles, tendons and ligaments as well as providing energy for activities such as chasing laser pointers around the house or knocking rats out of hiding places.

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Idealy, feeding your cat should involve regular meals at set times of day, to regulate its appetite and help them achieve a healthy weight. Furthermore, this allows you to keep track of their meal intake if they become forgetful (cats are notoriously notorious in this respect!). Furthermore, this allows you to keep tabs on how much they are actually consuming if they become overzealous about grazing!

Since cats have small stomachs (about the size of a ping pong ball), it’s best to feed several smaller meals throughout the day rather than large portions all at once. Otherwise, too much may make them sick afterward or cause weight gain over time.

As this can be challenging if your cat prefers to snack throughout the day, a programmable automatic feeder might be an option to help maintain their happiness and not overindulge in food. Always consult your veterinarian first regarding what feeding schedule and amount would work best for your cat.

What Should I Feed My Cat?

Cats are carnivorous by nature, so to ensure proper protein levels, good vision and hearing, reproductive health, and overall good wellbeing they should consume plenty of meat-based foods such as cooked poultry, beef and fish – with deli meats having too much sodium being avoided as possible.

Veterinarians generally advise meal feeding your cat for optimal nutrition and to establish a regular routine, making any future diet changes easy and smoother. Meal feeding also can create an easy transition should any special requirements arise later on.

Even though occasional treats can be beneficial to cats, it’s vital that your feline maintains a balanced and nutritional diet on a daily basis. Treats shouldn’t account for more than 10-15 percent of its total daily caloric intake and should always be low-fat options.

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When purchasing pet food, look for the phrase “complete and balanced” on its label. This will indicate that it meets AAFCO nutrition standards, meaning your cat or kitten will get all of the essentials they require to thrive. Some veterinarian-recommended brands include Wellness Core, Hill’s Science Diet and Purina Pro Plan.

What Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?

Although many owners may think giving table scraps to their cat is tempting, this should not be done. Table scraps can reduce appetite for regular food and may contain ingredients not suitable for cats – not to mention some potentially toxic items!

Atkins Nutritionals offer quality pet nutrition to keep cats in top form. With such foods as onions and other Allium family members (garlic, leeks and chives) being highly toxic to cats due to the fact they break down red blood cells leading to anemia, as well as raw meat, eggs and fish as well as dairy products such as milk cheese yogurt which may cause digestive upset in cats.

Cats may enjoy eating cooked green beans and peas; however, you should offer them sparingly to ensure their safety. Cucumber is another food item cats might like; it should either be steamed or lightly boiled before being offered raw to reduce risk of digestive upset.

Some fruits can also be enjoyed by cats as treats; however, their high sugar content should be monitored as part of an overall balanced diet. Examples of suitable treats for your feline friend would include bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelons (without seeds) and peeled apples – however it should be remembered that most domestic cats aren’t natural carnivores and thus require high-quality canned or dry cat food as well as fresh water as part of a well-rounded meal plan.