Cats are natural hunters and in the wild they survive on many small meals (e.g. mice, birds) each day. Cat feeding studies have been done that prove scientifically that domestic cats will be healthier if fed at least 5 small meals per day. A ten pound cat should only consume about 200 calories each day to stay at a healthy weight.
Provided below are 5 tips to help you feed your cat properly and keep them healthy.
- Smaller Portions – in the wild, cats eat very small portions. The calories in a bird or mouse only account for about 1/5th of their daily calorie allotment
- Feed More Frequently – in the typical cat home feedings are provided 2 times per day. Up that number to 5 times (in the smaller portions per number 1 above) for a healthy feeding pattern
- Varied Feeding Times – vary the times that you feed your cats from day to day. This will stimulate more activity from your cats like climbing, hunting, and exploring. This will keep them from living a sedentary, unhealthy life
- Count Calories – a typical ten pound cat should consume approximately 200 calories per day. That’s not much and it is easy to exceed that amount when treats are provide and calories are not controlled day-to-day. Ask your veterinarian for the proper calorie allotment for your cat and stick to that each day
- Feed Healthy Food – every cat has unique food needs for their age, type, and size. The major pet food manufacturers provide prescription foods for special needs like arthritis and kidney issues. Consult with your vet for the proper food needs of your cats
Busy cat owners tend to feed their cats 2 big meals each day or they allow their cats to free-feed by leaving out an unlimited supply of food. Cats were not designed to eat this way. They have an instinctive need to hunt and by feeding infrequent large portions, the hunting instinct is diminished and cats will typically become overweight and sedentary. The statistics prove this as 58% of all domestic cats are overweight or obese resulting in many health issues including arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease.
By following a healthy feeding program, you will boost your cat’s positive behavior, mental health, and physical health. So, make a few simple changes in the way you feed your cats and help them live longer, healthier and happier lives.