The Ultimate Guide to Feeding Your Cat

Cats have specific dietary needs; they must receive sufficient water, vitamins and minerals as well as protein from animal sources for proper health maintenance.

Pet food aisles offer many products claiming to meet your cat’s nutritional needs, yet not all are created equally. Read labels carefully to make sure protein sources are listed prominently among them.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat?

On the backs of bags and cans of cat food you will often find information regarding the number of calories per serving, which will allow you to determine how much to feed your cat. Remember, however, to begin by first identifying their ideal weight (check our step-by-step guide on How to Body Condition Score Your Cat for this) before altering their food amount accordingly in order to maintain this.

Decide whether or not you would like to feed your cat 100% wet food, dry food, or both options together. Each choice has their own advantages and disadvantages, so the decision depends on personal choice, current health conditions, practical considerations, finances and finances.

Beyond calories, you should read and follow the feeding recommendations on cat food packaging and consult with your veterinarian about special dietary needs. Many food manufacturers provide feeding charts on their websites that will give an estimate of how much food to give to your cat each day.

Once you know the daily caloric requirements for your cat’s diet, investing in a digital kitchen scale and regularly measuring out his food will ensure he receives exactly the appropriate amount every time. This way, it will also serve to ensure his overall wellbeing!

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

Since cats have small stomachs, it’s best to feed them small meals throughout the day to prevent their stomachs from producing excess acid and leading to vomiting. A light meal every 6-8 hours should keep your feline happy and healthy!

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Many high-quality cat foods will come with recommended daily amounts on the package for you to follow, but it is still wise to monitor their weight and condition to make sure they don’t become too skinny or fat.

Establishing a regular routine with your cat can be beneficial in terms of both comfort and health, with them appreciating its routine activities. Furthermore, feeding at the same time each day has proven more efficient for their digestive systems.

Kittens, pregnant or nursing cats and senior cats need food available at all times of day to meet their increased caloric requirements; adult cats should ideally be fed two or three times daily at set times so as to establish healthy feeding routines while not burdening busy owners who are out at work all day long with feedings. You could always leave some dry kibble out as snacks throughout the day for your cat if possible; just be wary that too much could end up leading to weight gain!

What Should I Feed My Cat?

Cats are obligate carnivores, so their diet should include an abundance of proteins, moderate levels of fats, and minimal levels of carbohydrates. In addition, cats require over two dozen other essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.

When purchasing cat food, make sure it is specifically formulated for felines. Avoid pet-grade dog foods as these may contain ingredients not suitable for feline consumption and cause nutritional deficiencies. Choose a diet which provides your feline the appropriate number of calories based on her size and age; the feeding recommendations can usually be found either on the product label or the food guide section of its manufacturer’s website.

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Your cat should receive two meals daily to maintain her appetite and prevent weight gain. If she struggles with self-regulating her food intake, a refrigerated feeder may help by dispensing an accurate amount of wet food at specific intervals throughout the day.

Add cooked, unseasoned chicken to her meal as an easy way to increase protein. Just be careful not to include seasonings such as onions or garlic which could prove toxic to her health. Other human food items that are safe to feed your cat in small amounts include mashed potatoes, cooked carrots and green beans.

What Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?

Cats are obligate carnivores, with digestive systems optimized to process meat-based foods such as chicken and fish (especially salmon) as primary protein sources. Although occasional treats should include other kinds of protein sources like grains and nuts, raw meat contains bacteria such as salmonella or E coli that could put your cat’s health at risk, while an enzyme found in raw fish could break down essential B vitamins that reduce brain function causing seizures, tremors or even coma in some cases.

Other human foods that may be harmful or toxic for cats include:

Fat trimmings (cooked or uncooked), bones that could potentially splinter and cause intestinal obstruction; table scraps with many potentially dangerous ingredients for cats such as:

Chocolate is highly toxic to cats and contains compounds that are poisonous to them, while cherries, grapes and raisins contain sugar that may contribute to kidney failure in certain cats. Onions, garlic and chives can all be dangerously toxic in large quantities as they break down red blood cells resulting in anemia.

Many medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, can be toxic to cats; be sure to store all medicine away from where your cat could reach it. Consult with your veterinarian regarding food trends that would best benefit your pet.