Felines tend to nibble throughout the day. But the needs nutritional differ in a kitten, an adult cat and a senior. Physical activity is also an important parameter to take into account. Update on amount of food to give to your feline throughout its life.
Feed your cat according to its energy needs
In the wild, the cat consumes multiple small preys and keeps the same rhythm at home by nibbling up to twenty times a day. The quantity of food will have to be modulated three main stages of his life :
- The growth. During this decisive period for its development, the young cat must absorb all the nutrients necessary for the essential functions of its organism. Until the age of one, he needs food to strengthen his muscles and bones. To grow well, animal protein intake will be higher than that of an adult;
- The adult phase. On your cat’s first birthday, you need to adapt her diet. In order for him to stay in good shape, his diet requires a good balance of protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates;
- Old age. From 8-10 years old, the cat is a senior: his energy needs change because his activities decrease. Its immune defenses weaken and the first signs of disease appear, which is why the quality of proteins and nutrients is of major importance.
During the three major phases of his life, his needs energetic should be adjusted based on:
- His weight ;
- His lifestyle (indoor or outdoor);
- Special situations (sterilization, gestation);
- His health.
How Much Food to Give a Growing Cat?
During the first months of life, a kitten needs to ingest as much nutrients and protein as possible. You will offer him a daily ration based on the instructions provided by the manufacturer. It’s up to you to choose the method feed that seems best suited to your pet:
- Access to the feed during a determined time;
- Food as a meal split. In this case, the recommended quantities are as follows (for information only. See details on the food packaging):
- From 4 to 6 months: 4 meals per day each comprising between 55 and 60 g of food;
- From 6 to 8 months: 3 meals per day each comprising between 60 and 75 g of food;
- After 8 months: 2 meals per day each comprising approximately 100 g of food.
- Food available: the kitten eats mini portions throughout the day and you will make sure to throw away what has not been consumed after 24 hours; Monitor the amount of food ingested daily and adjust the doses depending on whether the kitten is consuming all of it or on a leash; Distribute a few little extras, like pieces of cooked minced chicken or tuna; Make water available at all times.
How Much Food for a Healthy Adult Cat?
On the first birthday, the cat is considered an adult. For him to benefit from a sufficient daily ration, it takes between 40g and 50g of food per kilo, or up to 150g for a 3 kg feline. This ration should be adapted to their lifestyle (activity) and given according to the distribution method you have adopted:
- Self-service. This system remains the easiest to set up because many cats know how to ration themselves naturally. Serve mash morning and evening accompanied by the portion of croquettes left available during the day meets the cravings of felines. However, this option requires vigilance in order to avoid too much weight gain. You must distribute his daily ration for 24 hours by referring to the table indicated on the packaging of the food and do not fill his bowl as soon as it is empty;
- In meals. In this case, two rations per day (morning and evening) are generally recommended;
- In snacks. If you are at home during the day, you can split your pet’s daily food and thus control its consumption. This method may be suitable for an overweight cat because it saves him the stress of a diet. However, be sure to give him foods suitable for his overweight problem.
Cat food during special events
According to certain situations, it will be necessary to propose more or less food for your cat:
- Gestation. It is recommended that a greater amount of protein, fat and calcium be distributed to a pregnant cat. To make the transition, start by giving them 20% premium kitten food and 80% of their usual diet. Continue by gradually increasing the amount of kitten food while decreasing the adult food. The transition must be operated over seven to ten days. The cat’s daily ration should increase by about 10% each week for the duration of her pregnancy. Ideally, serve him several meals throughout the day but in small quantities to optimize his energy on a constant basis.
- Lactation. With a lactating cat, do not change the diet given during gestation. The premium kibbles specially designed for kittens allow the transmission of all the nutrients that their babies need to develop well. Your cat must have the opportunity to feed at will and will know how to regulate itself according to its hunger. For the quantity, you will maintain the rations given at the end of pregnancy and return to its usual diet when weaning the kittens, around 8 weeks;
- Sterilization. This intervention changes the behavior of the cat. It is generally estimated that its energy needs drop by 20 to 30% due to reduced physical activity and hormonal disturbances. From then on, you will offer him a diet special for sterilized cats (lighter) at a rate of 50 to 70g of dry food per day for a 3kg animal. If possible, break down their food into small amounts throughout the day. There are kibble dispensers that allow distribution if you are away.
Elderly cat: feed it how often and in what quantity?
From 8-10 years old, your animal becomes a senior and its capacity to digest proteins and fats decreases. In an aging feline, food rituals remain sacred: it will therefore be essential to continue to feed it with the same frequency as before at the risk of creating in it a state of anxiety, or even depression. On the other hand, its nutritional needs change and a food senior special should be served. The recommended amount is 50 to 65g. His diet must also take into account his possible chronic diseases (renal failure, diabetes, etc.) for which there are suitable foods. To prolong its life in optimal conditions, it is advisable to develop your pet’s menu with the help of your veterinarian.