How Much Should I Feed My Cat a Day? Recommended Diet Explained

If you’re wondering, how much should I feed my cat a day, read here. We explain what vets recommend every day and other bonus dietary tips.

Whether you or a new cat owner or a long time pet person, you are likely still asking yourself “how much should I feed my cat a day?’ The answer to this is dependent on many variables and you should know if your cat is getting the proper nutrition every day.

This guide will break down your questions about diet for cats.

How Much Should I Feed My Cat a Day?

Cats of different ages, weights, and lifestyles all have different nutritional requirements. The first area to look at when determining how much to feed your cat is her age.

By Age Group

Kittens are cats less than 1 year of age. Kittens should nurse for the first month of life—they don’t need anything else if they are nursing. If the mother isn’t producing milk or the kittens have been separated from their mother, your vet can recommend a replacement.

After four weeks, you should introduce dry kitten food and leave it out for them at all times. Protein should make up about one-third of their diet.

Adult cats, from 1 to 7, should be fed according to their activity level and size. A cat that lounges around doesn’t need to eat as much as an energetic, playful one. You can free-feed adult cats or give them specific amounts twice a day, about 8 hours apart.

Cats need meat-based food that contains the amino acid taurine to remain healthy.

Senior cats, age 7 and up, often have more detailed dietary needs to keep them healthy. As cats age, their fur, skin, muscle, immune, digestive, and bone health may begin to deteriorate. Do your best to establish and maintain a routine with senior cats. This includes a constant feeding schedule.

All cats, regardless of age, need a constant supply of clean drinking water at all times.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Indoor cat food is different from food for outdoor cats. Indoor cats need more fiber but don’t need as many calories: around 20 per pound of weight is usually enough.

Outdoor cats, however typically require 35 calories per pound of weight. A vet can help you figure out how many calories your cat should eat. For feeding outdoor cats, it is ideal to feed them on a schedule twice a day.

Pregnant Cats

Pregnant cats should not be overfed. Your vet may recommend kitten food because of its nutritional and caloric density. She should eventually be fed small meals around 4 to 6 times per day so as to not put pressure on her stomach.

Why Isn’t My Cat Eating Her Food?

If you have noticed your cat showing indifference to food, the first thing you should do is contact your vet. Some cats are fussy eaters and you may need to change the type of food she is eating. If she is turning her whiskers up at wet food, you should consider trying her on dry cat food. High-quality dry cat food plays a small part in improving their oral health.

Feed Your Feline Friend Right

Even lifelong pet owners still have the question “how much should I feed my cat a day?” We hope this guide to cat nutrition has helped you feel more confident to take care of your cat. A healthy diet is key to a long, happy life.

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