Cat Feeding Guidelines: How Often Should I Feed My Cat

May 11, 2021

Cat Feeding Guidelines: How Often Should I Feed My Cat

Every pet owner wonders if they are taking good care of their pet (spoiler: you’re doing great sweetie!), with questions about feeding being one of the number one concerns. Cats are mercurial much of the time; they often do what they want and can switch between being a cuddler and a distant loner in a second. Talk about mixed signals! It makes it hard to determine their basic needs, like how often they need to be fed.

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

This answer depends on the age of your cat. Most adult cats eat up to two times per day. Don’t be alarmed if you struggle to get your cat to eat more often, it may just be because your cat is full already if you are trying to feed more than twice per day.

Kittens, on the other hand, need to eat more often. Kittens need to eat more than adult cats to support their growth. Rather than feeding them more in fewer feedings, spread the amount out over three or four feedings throughout the day. That way, your kitten won’t overeat and still gets the right amount of food to grow big and healthy. Once your kitten reaches adulthood, which is usually around one year, then you can consider tapering the number of feedings down to two or one feedings per day.

Chart: How Much to Feed a Cat

There is a relatively easy way to find out how much you need to feed your cat: find a chart that outlines cat food requirements. Fortunately, many intelligent cat enthusiasts have done the research to figure out exactly how much food your cat needs under different circumstances. Here is a chart so you can see just how much to feed your cat: 

Cat Wet Food Feeding Chart

0-5 lbs

5-10 lbs

10-15 lbs

15-20 lbs

Kittens

200 cal

400 cal

600 cal

800 cal

Cat (Adult, Lean)

170 cal

280 cal

360 cal

440 cal

Cat (Adult, Heavy)

180 cal

240 cal

280 cal

310 cal


If you are feeding a combination of wet and dry food, it is a good idea to start with the wet food. Cats are not big fans of drinking enough water (let’s face it, most people aren’t either). Wet food keeps them hydrated, which makes it easier to digest dry food.

How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat?

If you are feeding with wet food, control how much your cat has access to at one time. The problem with wet food is that cats love wet food! Your cat will continue eating far past when they normally would stop if you let them. This happens less often with dry food. Check out this chart to see how much wet food to feed your cat:

Cat Wet Food Feeding Chart

0-5 lbs

5-10 lbs

10-15 lbs

15-20 lbs

Kittens

up to 1 oz per day

up to 5 oz per day

up to 8 oz per day

up to 11 oz per day

Cat (Adult, Lean)

up to 3 oz per day

up to 7 oz per day

up to 9 oz per day

up to 12 oz per day

Cat (Adult, Heavy)

up to 5 oz per day

up to 8 oz per day

up to 10 oz per day

up to 15 oz per day


How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Cat?

A dry cat food diet is not as hydrating or nutritionally dense than a wet food diet, which is why you will feed your cat less if only using dry food. Dry food diets can be adequate for your cat’s health as long as you pick a quality food and your cat stays hydrated throughout the day. You’ll have to give your cat water and make sure that your cat drinks enough. Otherwise, incorporating wet food into your cat’s diet may be needed. Here is a chart to help you stay on track with your cat’s feeding schedule:

Cat Dry Food Feeding Chart

0-5 lbs

5-10 lbs

10-15 lbs

15-20 lbs

Kittens

less than 1 oz per day

up to 1 oz per day

up to 2 oz per day

up to 3 oz per day

Cat (Adult, Lean)

up to 1 oz per day

up to 2 oz per day

up to 3 oz per day

up to 4 oz per day

Cat (Adult, Heavy)

up to 1 oz per day

up to 2 oz per day

up to 3 oz per day

up to 4 oz per day





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