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“How much should I feed my cat?” is as important as “What should I feed my cat?”. With more than 40 hours of research and discussion with our team vet Dr. Iulia Mihai, with a Master’s degree in Pets’ Pathology and PhD in Pets’ Cancer, we have come up with the best accurate details to every cat owner’s basic question on how much to feed a cat.
As in the case of humans, where a proper diet is needed for a healthy lifestyle, even in cats, the same rule applies. To prevent a cat from getting sick and suffering medical issues such as kidney, diabetes, and other diseases, a regular consistent diet must be provided of calculated quantity.
Since indoor cats run the risk of being more sedentary, creative and innovative ways must be used to improve your cat’s activity and metabolic rate. You can use this as a guide but don’t forget to consult your veterinarian before changing or creating new food habits for your kitty.
Let’s look at the following sections that will provide you with more details:
Factors That Influence How Much Should I Feed My Cat
The quantity you must feed depends on a lot of factors including critical factors such as your kitty’s age, size, and activity level.
Age of your cat definitely determines the quantity you want to feed. Kittens eat more calories, proteins, and fat compared to an adult cat or senior cat. For an adult cat or senior cat, the amount you feed doesn’t depend a lot on age.
Your cat’s size or frame determines the amount of food you give your cat because size is proportional to your cat’s weight. Big domesticated cats like Maine Coon require more food, whereas smaller ones such as American Curl or Singapura require less food.
If your kitty is always moving and energetic, it might need more calories compared to sedentary cats because the metabolic rate increases and the calories burned also increase for an active cat.
Quick Guidance Feeding Chart
The chart below shows you a range of daily calories based on your cat’s weight. If your cat is of ideal weight, then you can stick to the middle of the range. Consult with your vet before changing your cat’s feeding habits.
To know about monitoring your cat’s feeding habits, feeding recommendations for obese cats, and quantity recommendations for dry or wet food, please continue to read.
(In nutrition, kcal is same as calorie)
|Weight in lbs (Kg)||Calories/day (kcal/day)|
|1 lb (0.45 kg)||20-30|
|2 lbs (0.9 kg)||40-60|
|3 lbs (1.4 kg)||60-90|
|4 lbs (1.8 kg)||80-120|
|5 lbs (2.3 kg)||100-150|
|6 lbs (2.7 kg)||120-180|
|7 lbs (3.2 kg)||140-210|
|8 lbs (3.6 kg)||160-240|
|9 lbs (4.1 kg)||180-270|
|10 lbs (4.5 kg)||200-300|
|11 lbs (5.0 kg)||220-330|
|12 lbs (5.4 kg)||240-360|
|13 lbs (5.9 kg)||260-390|
|14 lbs (6.4 kg)||280-420|
|15 lbs (6.8 kg)||300-450|
|16 lbs (7.3 kg)||320-480|
|17 lbs (7.7 kg)||340-510|
|18 lbs (8.2 kg)||360-540|
|19 lbs (8.6 kg)||380-570|
|20 lbs (9 kg)||400-600|
|21 lbs (9.5 kg)||420-630|
|22 lbs (10 kg)||440-660|
|23 lbs (10.4 kg)||460-690|
|24 lbs (10.9 kg)||480-720|
|25 lbs (11.3 kg)||500-750|
What To Feed My Cat?
Since your kitty’s health comes first, always stick with high-quality food. Since cats are obligate carnivores, ideal high quality food must contain high-quality meat and other essential ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Feeding poor quality food means your cat will get poor quality meat and more plant-based ingredients which aren’t very efficient when compared to meat-based ones. So, before you buy cat food, please check the manufacturer’s label, read the list of ingredients, and consult with the vet before buying it.
Wet Food, Dry Food, or Both?
There is a certain confusion when it comes to choosing a diet for your cat. We recommend giving both types of food for your cat so that benefits are received from both varieties. Pay close attention to your kitty’s water intake while feeding them dry food because it has low moisture content. So, increase water intake when it comes to dry food such as kibbles. Dry food prevents plaque and is beneficial for your feline’s oral health.
Wet food takes care of your cat’s water intake and since cats have evolved from desert environments, they tend to derive more moisture from wet food. Giving the right amount of food will ensure your cat doesn’t get obese and also prevents kidney diseases and lower urinary tract infections.
How Much To Feed My Cat?
You will be surprised to know that every manufacturer’s pet food product (either wet or dry food) varies in terms of calories per serving. In the case of dry food, it can vary from 300 to 400 calories per cup and in terms of wet food, it could be 90-120 calories per can or pouch (considering an average of 3 ounces per can).
The above chart comes in handy to decide how much should I feed my cat. Read your manufacturer’s label and it will mention kcal/cup for dry food and kcal/can for wet food. Divide your kitty’s daily calories with either kcal/cup or kcal/can based on dry or wet food. This will provide you the number of cups per day in case of dry food or the number of cans per day in case of wet food to serve your cat.
Based on the frequency of servings, which is usually 2 to 6, split this quantity proportionately and serve them throughout the day to your beloved pet. The more meals per day, the better for your cat! For example, if your kitty’s daily requirement is ½ cup, and you want to serve it in the morning and evening, then provide ¼ cup in the morning and ¼ cup in the evening.
How much to feed if my cat is obese
If your cat is obese and you want your kitty to loose weight, use the chart above to reduce its weight. For your cat’s weight, feed the lower range of calories mentioned in the chart mapped to its weight. Monitor your kitty’s weight every 2 weeks. If the weight drops continue to stick to the lower range on the chart, and once your kitty reaches its ideal weight, shift to the middle range. A regularly measured diet and weight is the key for a healthy cat!
Tips To Improve Your Cat’s Eating Habits
- Never free-feed your cat. If your cat has stayed outdoors, it doesn’t get the meal served when it wants. It takes time for cat to hunt and find its prey to eat.
- Hide food and let your cat search for it and eat it. In the wild, it has to run, jump, and hunt its prey and burn enough calories before feeding. They feed on an average of 8 mice per day. Replicate a similar environment at home to burn enough calories and keep your cat healthy.
- Play with your cat because it keeps it busy and its body moving. Use laser-pointed toys and keep your cat active.
If you have read the above content, you might have a big picture of how much to feed your kitty and how to manage your cat’s feeding habits. As I recommend every time, always consult your vet first if you are feeding something new or changing the dietary habits of your cat. We want your cat to remain joyful and happy for its entire life!
If you are interested to know about food types that cats can eat, please check what human foods can cat eat and what they cannot eat.
Other links are below:
1. Is Dry Food Bad for Cats? Pros and Cons of Wet and Dry Cat Food