“How much should I feed my cat?” – is a common concern among cat owners. If you feed your cat less than it needs, it will get weak, or even sick. If you feed more than the ideal amount, it will grow fast, slow, and catch weight-related health problems.
So, what is the right amount of food you should give your cat? – In this article, we are going to answer that question as well as possible.
The correct amount of food for cats based-on bodyweight:
The right amount of food for a cat varies according to age and size. Normally, the weight of adult cats varies from around 2.3 to 6.8 kg, depending on their race and locality.
If you feed your cat with canned cat food, look at the labeling of the pack, there should be an indicator of food measurement for cats of different weights.
Take a look at the table below:
|2.3 kg||30-40 g (1/4-1/3 cup)|
|4.5 kg||45-65 g (3/8-1/2 cup)|
|6.8 kg||65-95 g (1/2-3/4 cup)|
Those measurements can give you a ballpark idea as to how much should you feed your cat, however, it’s always good to consider some other factors as it still varies from cat to cat. You should always remember the measurements mentioned in the chart is for each day, not each meal. You should measure the food for each day and keep it out of the cat’s reach.
Also, consult with your vet about whether your cat’s weight is ideal or it is a little more or less than it should be. If the weight is more than ideal, give it less food for a few days until it comes to its ideal weight. If the weight is less than ideal, do the opposite for a few days.
When your cat’s weight is not what it should be, follow the instruction on the paragraph above and reassess your cat’s condition once in every two weeks or so, and adjust the amount.
If you make your cat’s food yourself, you should know the right amount of each ingredient to put in the meal. Also, there are a few differences between the kitten and adult cat foods. Remember that your beloved feline’s eating habits and needs vary from season to season.
We are going to talk about all of those for you to come up with an ideal meal plan for your cat.
How much should you feed your cat in different seasons:
It is actually scientifically accepted that seasons affect the food intake of cats. A study published in 2014, undertaken by some English and French researchers suggests that cats eat more in some months of the year than the other months and vice versa.
They involved 22 normal-weight and 16 overweight cats in the study. Some of them had outdoor access, and some didn’t.
The researchers recorded their eating patterns for 6 years and this is what they found out:
- The cats involved in the study ate the least food in the summer months. They ate 50-54 grams per day in June, July, and August.
- The food intake was at its most during the late autumn and winter. The cats ate on an average of 55-59 grams of food in the months of October, November, December, and January.
- In the months of early autumn and spring, their food consumption was intermediate. The cats ate 53-58.9 grams during March, April, May, and September.
Take a look at the following chart to get a more detailed view:
|Month||Food Intake (per day)|
|January (late autumn and winter)||57±2.2 g|
|February (late autumn and winter)||56±2.3 g|
|March (spring)||55±2.2 g|
|April (spring)||51±2.1 g|
|May (spring)||52±2.1 g|
|June (summer)||52±2.0 g|
|July (summer)||51±2.3 g|
|August (summer)||52±2.2 g|
|September (spring)||53±2.1 g|
|October (late autumn and winter)||56±2.3 g|
|November (late autumn and winter)||55±2.2 g|
|December (late autumn and winter)||57±1.9 g|
The cats ate in these measurements regardless of their weight, gender, neuter status, and living status – according to the researchers.
Based on this research, we can say that it could be the cat’s nature to eat in this measurement, and you could follow these measurements when you feed your cat in different seasons.
The takeaway: If you see your cat is eating or craving for more food at some times of the year, and eating less in the other times – don’t get worried just yet. It’s a natural behavior of cats. What you should do is keep an eye on how your cat is eating at different times of the years, and consider this statistic.
Calculating the nutrients:
An active, healthy adult cat of 8 pounds needs to consume 240 calories per day, according to Animal Medical Center in New York. That means an adult cat needs 30 calories per pound every day.
A cup of dry food typically contains around 300 calories, and canned wet food has around 250 calories in a 6 oz can, and a 3-ounce can contain about 125 calories.
If you have an eight-pound cat, you should give it 4/5 of a cup of dry food. If your cat likes wet food, give it little less than a 6 oz can or two 3-ounce cans per day.
Calculate the amount needed for your cat by measuring its weight and feed it accordingly.
How much meat should you feed your cat:
Cats, like all other felines, are carnivorous animals, and they love meat. But how much meat is good for a pet cat?
For a 4-kg pet cat, 50 grams of meat is a good amount. It’s better to divide the meal into two sessions, 25 grams each time. You can feed them with poultry, they seem to like it. You can also offer them beef, lamb, rabbit, ostrich, etc.
Remember to ensure that the meat is fresh and suitable for even human consumption. If you want to give your cat raw meat, it could take some time for him/her to accept it.
Heart is good:
A particularly good meat diet for cats is the animal hearts (cow, lamb, etc.). It contains taurine, which is a really essential element for feline health. Even lions and tigers like to eat hearts. It has a balanced amount of fat so that your cat won’t consume unnecessary fat.
Kittens and raw meat:
It’s best not to feed a kitten with raw meat until it is 20 weeks (about 5 months) old. Their immune system doesn’t get strong enough to fight off the potentially harmful micro-organisms within the meat until they reach a certain age. At least boil the meat before you give your kitten a meat-treat.
Fish diet for cats:
Feeding your cat with fish can be a tricky task. Always try to avoid raw fish. Many cats can’t digest it and it can cause vomiting. However, fish is one of the most popular diets among cats, and you shouldn’t completely deprive your cat of it.
Fishes contain a lot of high-quality protein, fat, and taurine – which is really essential for a cat’s health. As feline tongues are keyed to fat and protein, the fish diet seems really toothsome to cats.
However, you should only feed them with boiled, fresh fish instead of canned fish, let alone dried fish. Canned fish are often low quality and don’t have the necessary vitamin and calcium a cat needs. Fresh, wild fishes, on the other hand, are not processed and can provide the necessary nutrition.
All that being said, do not give feed your cat with fish every day. A little once in a while maybe okay, but fish in the everyday diet can cause health problems for your cat. Avoid predatory fishes such as tuna, king mackerel, swordfish, tilefish, etc.
Those fishes contain high levels of toxins like heavy metals, pesticides, BCBs etc. and they can cause allergies to your cat. Moreover, cats often tend to get addicted to tuna, which can lead to a number of health problems.
Always try to feed your cat with cooked, freshwater fish.
Is there a notable difference between kitten and adult cat’s diet?
First of all, kittens are smaller and have significantly less weight than adult cats, which don’t allow them to consume much food at once.
That being said, kittens actually need to consume more food per pound of their body weight than adult cats. They need it to support their growth rate as young cats.
Professor of nutrition at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, James Law says that kittens should be given three meals a day until they are 6 months of age. When they reach that you can reduce that to two meals per day. One good meal or two meals per day is good enough for adult cats.
Foods to avoid:
While domestic cats put their mouth on anything thrown at them, all of them are not good for their wellbeing. Some of the foods that they seem to love, can be really bad for them. Bad cat foods include milk and dairy foods; carbohydrates such as corn, wheat, rice, and potato; almost all kinds of fruits (grapes and raisins are particularly harmful), caffeinated products such as coffee or chocolate. Nuts, mushrooms are also bad for cats. Always try to avoid those.
Bonus to wrap it up: how to make eating fun and healthier for your cat:
We hope this article could help you with how much should you feed your cat, and the information will help you to better feed your cat and keep it healthy.
Now, lets’ talk about a hunting exercise that will make your cat’s eating sessions fun and healthier.
Cats are originally hunters of nature. Before they were domesticated, they used to hunt to acquire their daily food. While modern-day pet cats don’t need to hunt, it can be a healthy exercise for them. It can uplift their spirit and make them use their brain.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to provide a mouse or a little chicken for it to hunt. When your cat’s eating time approaches, simply put the food somewhere in the house without letting it know. The cat will smell it and look for it, and eat it when it finds it. Change the location every day. This game will enable your cat’s hunting instinct and make eating fun in the process.
We hope this article has helped to deal with the concern “how much should I feed my cat.” Check out our other articles on cats. Have a wonderful day.