There are hundreds of different cat food products available. Beyond the types of flavours, you have wet and dry food varieties. This makes deciding what to feed your cat difficult. Feed the wrong type of food in incorrect amounts and your cat will not be as healthy as they should be.
However, establishing regular feeding routines is something you can control with ease. And while the best policy on feeding your cat food should be to ensure his diet is complete and balanced, the simple answer to how often you should feed him is not as clear cut.
Your Cat’s Age Is A Factor
Kittens actually require more food per pound of body weight than adults. This is to enable their rapid growth. A kitten should be provided with cat foods specifically designed for young kittens (products often label themselves as suitable for up to 1 years of age) and should also be fed more often throughout the day.
With this in mind, kittens up to 6 months old may actually require 3 meals a day. From age six months to maturity, most cats will do well when fed two times a day.
An adult from about one years of age can be fed once or twice a day as long as the meal is hearty enough and provides sufficient calories and nutrition.
Senior cats, age seven and above, should maintain the same feeding regimen as long as they are healthy and have no disease problems suggesting a reason to feed them differently.
The Health Of Your Cat Is A Factor
If your cat suffers from a health problem such as diabetes this will effect his feeding times (and type of food) depending on when the insulin is administered.
On of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism, is an increased appetite. You may need to feed your cat more often as a result. However, it is important to treat such a condition so that their diet can return to normal.
A older cat may develop gum disease which would make chewing dry food painful for them. If this occurs it might be time to slowly introduce wet food based diet.
What Type Of Food To Feed Your Cat?
Now this is a wide ranging question and entire books and websites exist to attempt to answer it.
Many cat owners feed only dry food to their felines. The reason dry food is such a popular choice is because it is convenient (it stays fresher for longer when compared to an open tin of wet food and does not smell). It is also generally less expensive. Dry food is fine as long as it is complete and balanced.
It is important to remember that if your cat is fed dry cat food, you should provide them with lots of fresh water.
Canned cat food is typically about 70 to 80 percent water and can be fed in addition to or instead of dry.
Many cats may find canned food more appealing. That’s great however, a cat is more likely to consume the amount that is put in front of them, meaning overeating is a possibility.
Over-size portions are bad for your pet. Food labels will provide feeding instructions, although you should remember that these are based on the needs of the average cat.
If you are giving your cat a mixture of food types you will need to take that into consideration, as you should any health and age variables we have already mentioned.