Owner’s Guide: How Much and How Often Should You Feed Your Cat

Cats are known to be fickle creatures, and every cat owner struggles to keep their diets at bay. Despite this, cats are among the most beloved pets in the world. There’s no wonder that cat owners would spoil their pet cats with toys – and especially food. 

However, indoor pet cats have a higher rate of obesity due to these practices. 15.33% of cats in the US are obese, while 59.5% have weight problems. For the last ten years, there has been an increase of 114% of cats that have obesity and or overweight.

Cat diets vary; pet cats will live longer and healthier lives by determining what needs to change. In this article, we will discuss how much food your cat should eat, how often they should be fed, and the benefits of following a feeding schedule;

How Much Food Should You Feed Your Cat?

Different cats have different appetites and dietary needs. What works for a large cat might not work for a lean cat. Determining how much food you should feed your cat should base on the following factors:

  • Age – Kittens need more food and nutrient-based food than mature and senior cats.
  • Size – Bigger cats require more food than smaller cats.
  • Body Condition and Activity Level – Active cats require more food than overweight and lazy cats.
  • Indoor or Outdoor – Outdoor cats require more food than indoor cats.
  • Reproductive Status – Pregnant and nursing cats consume more food than spayed or neutered cats.

Daily Calorie Intake

Cat’s age and weight determine its calorie intake. This table shows how many calories your cat should take in a day:

Age/lbs 0-5  5-10  10-15  15-20 
Kittens 200 cal 400 cal 600 cal 800 cal
Lean Adult Cat 170 cal 280 cal 360 cal 440 cal
Heavy Adult Cat 180 cal 240 cal 280 cal 310 cal

Wet Food vs. Dry Food

Wet and dry food have different nutritional values but provide a balanced diet. 

Wet food has a higher moisture content, fat, and protein, with lesser carbohydrates – which can benefit cats with urinary tract issues and kidney diseases. Dry food contains lower moisture content but higher nutrient concentration – which can help cats with dental problems and increase weight for lean cats.

Here is a chart of the suggested amount of wet or dry food your cat should eat daily:

Cat Wet Food Feeding Chart 

Age/lb. 0-5 lbs. 5-10 lbs. 10-15 lbs. 15-20 lbs.
Kittens 1 oz. daily 5 oz. daily 8 oz. daily 11 oz. daily
Lean Adult Cat 3 oz. daily 7 oz. daily 9 oz. daily 12 oz. daily
Heavy Adult Cat 5 oz. daily 8 oz. daily 10 oz. daily 15 oz. daily

Cat Dry Food Feeding Chart

Age/lb. 0-5 lbs. 5-10 lbs. 10-15 lbs. 15-20 lbs.
Kittens 1 oz. daily 1 oz. daily 2 oz. daily 3 oz. daily
Lean Adult Cat 1 oz. daily 2 oz. daily 3 oz. daily 4 oz. daily
Heavy Adult Cat 1 oz. daily 2 oz. daily 3 oz. daily 4 oz. daily

It is good to remember that switching from wet to dry is one of the best and most sustainable options for your cats. This provides them with the proper nutrients and healthier eating habits – because, as we know, cats are like humans too. They get tired of eating the same thing every day.

How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?

This will depend on the age of your cat. Kittens require more food per pound of their body weight. It is advised that kittens should eat 3-4 times daily. Kitten owners should divide equal portions of a kitten’s suggested daily food intake in select feeding times to avoid overfeeding or underfeeding in one meal.

Adult cats need less feeding. Twice daily is okay, but once a day is ideal. Their feeding routines will also depend on their needs and other health problems. Dividing food according to suggested daily portions for adult cats is best for maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.

Bottomline: Ask Your Local Vet 

It’s important to know how much and how often you should feed your cat to ensure its diet is healthy. The information above can serve as a general guide, but it’s highly recommended to ask cat’s needs may vary. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to feed my cat 3 times a day?

For kittens, 3 times daily. For older cats, 1-2 times a day is recommended.

Which is better for my cat, wet or dry food?

This depends on your cat’s dietary regimen. Wet food helps overweight cats and cats at risk of urinary tract disease. Dry food helps thin cats in gaining calories.

Is leaving food out at night for my cat okay?

Yes, as long as it’s dry food since wet food spoils faster. But most cats will be okay if they don’t have food left for the night.

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