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One of the first things pet parents buy for their cats is food. High-quality food is essential for maintaining good cat health. However, knowing how much to feed their cat can be a challenge for many pet parents.
Pet parents often refer to the bag or can of cat food to answer the question, "How much should my cat be eating?" Unfortunately, there are many variables pet parents need to consider when deciding how much to feed their cats, and many pieces of advice aren't included on the bag.
Pet parents with multiple cats may need to feed their cats different foods and different amounts. A few factors to take into consideration include:
Activity level: A very active cat is going to need more calories than a less active cat.
Breed: Some cat breeds, such as Bengals, require a breed-specific diet.
Health concerns: Many cat health concerns can affect their dietary needs, such as cats with diabetes.
Stage of life: Cat's nutritional needs change throughout their life.
No two cats are the same, and proper cat nutrition can differ from one cat to another. So don't simply ask, "How much should I feed my cat?" Instead, pet parents should ask, "How many calories does my cat need?"
Determining how many calories a cat needs can vary depending on who the pet parent asks. Expert recommended calories per pound ranges from 24 to 35. However, many vets agree that a healthy adult cat requires 200 to 250 calories per day.
Kittens grow fast, and their diets should be updated frequently. Most kittens should get 30-60 calories per day.
Cats will usually begin to lose weight when they become seniors. Pet parents should discuss a diet plan with their primary vet based on the cat's health.
A pet calorie calculator can help a pet parent determine the proper amount of food their cat needs each day. A pet calorie calculator uses the cat's weight and resting energy requirements to determine an appropriate daily caloric intake.
It's essential for pet parents to keep in mind that their cat's health problems are taken into consideration when determining how much to feed them. One of the most common cat health problems is obesity, which can lead to heart disease, respiratory issues, joint pain, and more.
An overweight cat is also four times more likely to develop diabetes. Therefore, they should not be fed a caloric diet based on their weight because the goal is for them to drop the excess pounds. Instead, pet parents should work closely with a cat nutrition specialist to ensure their cat gets the essential nutrients they need while losing weight.
Pet parents can use a body condition score chart to help them determine if their cat is a healthy weight.
For more cat advice on nutrition, Fuzzy is here to help 24/7 via Live Vet Chat and can answer any questions or concerns.They can help the pet parent understand the individual dietary needs of their cat. Additionally, as the cat ages, the pet parent should make changes to their cat's diet as needed.