A First Time Cat Owner’s Guide to the Question “How Much Should I Feed My Cat?”

kitten-food

If you’re a cat lover who has been around cats but never actually owned one until recently, one of the first questions you may have is “How much should I feed my cat?” It’s a legitimate question – one that only cat owners can answer after much experience with felines in their household. In fact, even if you’ve owned cats for years, you could still be a bit unsure of how much is enough for your kitty. It’s not the hardest thing to figure out, but it does depend on variables such as your cat’s weight and age, its activity level, if it is nursing or pregnant, and/or if it eats wet or dry food that determines just how much is not too little or not too much food for it.

According to New York’s Animal Medical Center, an active adult cat that weighs 8 pounds needs about 30 calories per pound a day. In that case, an 8-pound feline needs about 240 calories worth of food on a daily basis. Canned food contains about 250 calories in a 6 ounce can, while dry food is about 300 calories per cup. With this in mind, you can adjust the portions as fit for your cat’s needs. Many people also free feed their cat’s dry food, but portioning out your cat’s sustenance for the day is a way to prevent your feline from overeating. In fact, free feeding is actually one of the top contributors to feline obesity, which can become a major problem. When it comes to how often you should feed your cat, it depends on what exactly it is you are giving it. Most owners tend to feed their felines twice a day, morning and night. For the most part, it is a recommended tip that all cats be fed twice daily using portion control feeding, about 8 to 12 hours apart. Also, keep in mind that it is a lot easier to keep your kitty from becoming obese than it is forcing your feline to diet.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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