If you’re a new pet cat owner and wonder exactly how much you should feed your cat, unfortunately, there is no definite answer. Fortunately, there are ways through which you can calculate how much you should feed your cat. Here, we’ll cover all the essential aspects to remember while planning portion sizes for your kitty’s meals. So, if you’re looking for a step-by-step meal plan method, you’ll love this article!
Factors to remember for meal portioning
Just as important as giving your cat medicine regularly, be it food supplements, vitamins, or an organic hairball remedy by well-known brands such as VetriScience, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, or Nutri Vet, maintaining the right diet is also extremely important. Cats can develop a liking for good food just like humans. If you overfeed them, their appetite will only increase, causing your cat to gain unhealthy weight. Keep in mind the following factors while preparing your cat’s meals:
Age – Younger cats require more food as they require more energy to grow. As they age, the amount of food they will require will continue to decrease.
Size – As you’d expect, smaller-sized cats require less food than bigger ones. However, this depends on the average size of the breed and not your cat, as older cats will be bigger than younger ones but will require lesser food.
Activity level – If your cat spends most of his time running around, then it will require more food for energy. If your cat is mostly sedentary, keep a strict limit on the amount of food.
Present weight – If your cat struggles to walk and is unable to carry its own weight, you will have to reduce portion sizes. This will maintain a calorie deficit. On the other hand, if your cat is frail and thin, increase portion sizes to maintain a calorie surplus.
A rough figure for portion sizes based on weight
The most important factor to be considered is the weight of the cat itself. Here is a list of portion sizes according to weight. Do note that these numbers will vary due to the other factors mentioned above. Regularly observing your cat’s activity levels and its movement will help determine if you’re overfeeding or underfeeding.
- 5 lbs/2.3 kgs – If your cat’s weight is around the normal mark, it must eat about 183 kcal/day. If your cat needs to maintain a calorie deficit, feed your cat somewhere 105 – 131 kcal/day.
- 10 lbs/4.5 kgs – For cats with normal weight, feed it about 303 kcal/day. To maintain a calorie deficit, feed your cat with 173 – 203 kcal/day.
- 15 lbs/6.8 kgs – For cats with normal weight, your cat should get 413 kcal/day. To maintain a calorie deficit, feed your cat 236 – 295 kcal/day.
- 20 lbs/9.1 kgs – For cats with normal weight, feed your cat 513 kcal/day. To maintain a calorie deficit, feed your cat 293 – 367 kcal/day.
These daily calorie limiters will help in creating a daily meal plan that equally divides the calories in each meal. Use a measuring cup if needed to ensure you stay below the daily calorie limit. Fortunately, most food packages have a calorie breakdown mentioned at the back. Use those numbers to prep each meal for your cat.
Meal portioning: wet food and dry food
Meal portioning can differ when you’re choosing between wet food and dry food. Most cats prefer wet foods as they are easier to consume, hold water and extra nutrients that also increase their weight while providing a more nutrition-packed meal.
It would be safe to say that most wet foods are more calorie-dense than dry foods. These meals also contain more protein and less carbs than dry foods, making them a better choice for meals.
If you do wish to provide dry foods, it’s best to give them to your cat when you’re going out and don’t wish to leave food that gets easily spoilt. Moreover, dry foods can also be better when your cat isn’t drinking enough water. Dry foods can encourage your cat to drink more water and maintain its hydration. Wet foods can be a hindrance in the habit building of drinking water regularly.
Visit a vet to get the best results
Using the numbers mentioned above, you can provide your cat meals that are close to the daily required calories. Consulting a vet can help you make this process a lot more effective, as they can do a quick checkup and tell you if you’re overfeeding or underfeeding your cat.
Over time, you’ll learn how to prepare the perfect meals and maintain your cat’s weight and energy levels. Regularly check your cat’s weight and activity levels while reading more about nutrition. This way, you’ll always stay on top of your cat’s proper well-being.