feeding your cat

How much should I feed my cat?

Your cat food packet should have a feeding guide on it which will give you a guide of how much to feed your cat depending on its weight. This should always be used as a guide and you should feed your cat ‘to condition’. This means if your cat is the correct bodyweight you should continue to feed as you are. If your cat is underweight you should feed more and if your cat is overweight you should cut down the amount of food you are feeding.

How often should I feed my cat?

Cats like to graze on food throughout the day, eating 20-30 small meals. If yo feed only a dry diet then you can leave the food out for the cat to eat as they choose. If you feed a mixed diet then you may want to leave the dry food out during the day and feed the wet food at the same time every day.

Feeding for the life stages of a cat

Feeding kittens requires a special diet suitable for all the growth and development they will do over their first year if life. During this time feeding a super premium kitten food will give your kitten a much better start in life than feeding a normal premium food. Products like Royal Canin Kitten Food and Science Plan Kitten contain and easily digestible mix of ingredients for the delicate stomachs kittens can have. They also have increased energy levels to help the kitten grow.

Adult cat foods are designed to maintain a cats condition and make sure they get all the energy and nutrients they need every day. Super premiums brands can be much more specific for a cats lifestyle than supermarket brands. To choose which one is best you need to think about things like does my cat go outside? Are they generally very active? Are they showing signs digestive or condition problems that a specific diet can help with?

When your cat reaches the age of around 7 they are usually ready for a senior diet. The amount of activity they do will start to fall and they will need extra support for joints and body condition. This will be a food with lower calories and protein levels, and with added ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin for joints. There are a large amount of senior diets on the market and can still include specialist diets for problems like excess hairballs or obesity.

Changing your cats diet

Cats can be choosy eaters and any change in diet will take time. You should slowly introduce the new food by feeding it along side your current food for at least 10-15 days. Slowly decrease the amount of the old food and increase the new food. Don’t feel disheartened if your cat doesn’t seem to be keen on its new food, it can take time but persist and you should succeed.

Feeding pregnant and lactating cats

Pregnant cats have an increased energy and nutrient need from the start of their pregnancy. The best thing to feed them is a food with higher nutritional output and more energy which will be a kitten food. Always make sure fresh water is available as the cat will need to drink more as they are eating more food. You should not have to supplement the diet of a pregnant cat if you are feeding a good quality kitten food, in fact too many supplements can harm the development of the kittens. When the mother is lactating you should make sure they get enough nutrients. The peak of their needs are at the 3rd week where the mother will need up to 4 times their normal nutritional amount. During this time you could consider leaving food out all the time for the mother to feed as and when she needs to.

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