Sunday, September 21, 2008
How Much Should You Feed Your Cat
When I started learning about cat nutrition, an obvious question was how much should I feed my cat. Feeding guides on the labels of cans or bags recommended a quantity, usually in terms of cups or cans, to be fed daily. Since I wanted to combine wet and dry food, I needed to know how many calories a cat needed per day. Then I needed to know how many calories were in the foods I intended to feed my cats, so I could portion them accordingly. I could not find this information on the labels, and even the websites of many pet food companies seem to be reluctant to share this information.
Cats need about 20-30 calories per pound of body weight. So a 10 lb. cat should have 200-300 calories per day, depending upon how active the cat is. I think most cats should have between 200-250 calories per day of a good quality, no grain food. I was able to find these sources on the internet of nutritional information of some cat foods:
If you can't find the information you need there, go to the website of the brand that you currently use. Send them an email requesting nutritional information and specifically ask for calories per cup or can.
I am currently feeding four of my cats 215 calories per day. Abby, my IBD kitty, is getting 277 calories, but now that the diarrhea is gone, I will feed her a bit less. All of my cats have good weights for their sizes, except Abby (she could lose a pound or two). In my next post, I will talk about body shapes and how to know if your cat is over-weight.