How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

Cats are magnificent creatures; they’re independent, curious, and each one possesses a unique personality. As a responsible cat owner, ensuring your feline friend is well-fed is one of the most important tasks. Yet, the question remains: How much should I feed my cat? Let’s dive into the details.

How Much Food Does a Cat Need?

Cats have different nutritional requirements based on their age, size, activity level, and overall health. A general rule of thumb, especially for adult cats, is to feed them about 2-4% of their body weight daily. For instance, if your cat weighs 5 kilograms, you would provide them with 100 to 200 grams of food a day. However, this is a general guideline and might vary depending on other factors. Kittens, lactating mothers, or highly active cats might require more nutrients.

Dry Food Vs. Wet Food: A Balancing Act

When it comes to feeding your feline companion, the choices are primarily divided into dry and wet food. Both have their merits, so let’s break them down:

  • Dry Food (Kibble)
    • Pros: Convenient, generally less expensive, good for dental health.
    • Cons: Can be less hydrating, might contain more fillers.
    • Recommended Amount: For the average adult cat, about 60 to 120 grams daily.
  • Wet Food (Canned)
    • Pros: Provides hydration, often higher in protein.
    • Cons: Can be pricier, shorter shelf life once opened.
    • Recommended Amount: This varies by the brand and can content. Typically, an 85-gram can per 1.4 to 1.6 kilograms of body weight daily is recommended.

Some cat owners opt for a mixed approach – offering dry food freely throughout the day and supplementing with wet food once or twice. This provides cats with the best of both worlds: the dental benefits of dry food and the hydration and high protein content of wet food.

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Do I Feed My Cat Too Much?

Overfeeding is a prevalent issue, and with the rise in feline obesity, it’s crucial to ensure your cat is not consuming more than necessary. Signs that you might be overfeeding your cat include:

  1. Weight Gain: If your cat is gaining weight and isn’t pregnant or growing (in the case of kittens), overfeeding might be the issue.
  2. Leftovers: If food is consistently left uneaten, consider reducing the portion size.
  3. Behavioral Changes: An increase in lethargy or reduced interest in play can sometimes (though not always) be a sign of overeating.

Regular check-ups with the vet and monitoring your cat’s weight are the best ways to ensure you’re not over or underfeeding.

We have also created a handy calculator to find out the daily calorie intake for your cat:

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How Often Should Cats Eat?

Cats, in their natural habitat, are hunters who eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Domestication, of course, has changed some of these habits. Still, for optimal health, it’s advised to feed your cat multiple smaller portions instead of one large meal.

For kittens, 3 to 4 times a day is ideal because of their rapid growth and boundless energy. As for adult cats, twice a day – morning and evening – mimics their natural eating habits closely. However, if you’re feeding them dry food, some cats prefer grazing throughout the day, which is fine as long as they don’t overeat.


In the end, the ideal food amount and frequency will depend largely on your cat’s individual needs. Regularly monitor their weight, activity levels, and overall health. Collaborate with your vet to tailor a feeding regimen that’s perfect for your purring friend. Remember, a well-fed cat is a happy cat!

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