Cat Feeding Guide

Tabby cat eating out of food bowl

Whether you're a new cat owner or a lifelong feline keeper, you may have occasionally wondered how much food is appropriate for your cat or whether to opt for dry or wet food. There are certainly many schools of thought on these topics, and your vet may have their own recommendations. Find out everything you need to know, including how much food is a sufficient amount for your kitty and whether dry or wet food is best with Purina Canada's cat feeding guide.

Cat Feeding Guide: Feeding Your Adult Cat

You may remember when your fur babies were kittens and full of energy. Kitten food is generally higher in protein and fat to support their growing bodies, and adult cat food is adjusted slightly to be lower in protein and fat. This is because although adult cats are still quite active, once they're full-grown, they don't need as much protein or fat as kittens do to stay healthy.

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat?

Your cat's vet is probably the best person to answer this question. Since he or she knows your kitty's health history, they can provide more customized information and address your concerns. When deciding on amounts of food, some factors to consider include:

  • Your cat's age
  • Her weight
  • Her energy level
  • Breed
  • Whether she is pregnant or nursing
  • Whether you want to feed dry food, wet food or a combination of both
  • Nutrient content of your cat's food
  • Whether she is an indoor cat, outdoor cat or spends time inside and outside

Cats who are more active, for instance, may require more food to fuel their outdoor adventures, whereas cats who are more sedentary may require less food. For more specific amounts, guidance is often provided right on the cat food package.

Assess Your Cat's Body Condition

Every cat needs enough food to help them maintain a healthy body weight. A simple way to find out if your cat is maintaining a healthy weight is to run your hands around their sides and tummy. At an ideal weight, you should be able to feel, but not see, their ribs easily without a heavy covering of fat.

If you think your cat may be overweight, you can contact your vet, and they can help you work out a diet and lifestyle plan to help your kitty return to a healthy weight.

Dry Food or Wet Food?

Good-quality feline food should provide everything your cat needs — the right balance of protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. Many cat owners, especially new ones, have questions about whether dry or wet food is best. Whatever you decide, remember that cats tend to be creatures of habit, so the faster you get your kitty into an eating routine, the happier she's likely to be in the long run.

Unless your cat is afflicted with a specific medical condition, the choice of whether to feed her wet or dry food is entirely up to you (and your kitty, of course!)

Feeding Both Wet and Dry

Many cat owners provide their fur babies with options and include both wet and dry food in their cats' diet. For instance, you might choose to put out wet food in the morning and then leave a bowl of dry food for your kitty to graze on throughout the day.

Dry Cat Food Advantages

  • Dry cat food is easy to portion and measure, and it tends to have a longer shelf life once opened compared to wet food.
  • Dry kibble may help keep your cat's teeth healthy because they have to chew more actively and take longer to eat.
  • Many cats prefer the satisfying crunch of dry food.
  • Dry cat food can be purchased in bulk, so you have enough to last your kitty several weeks.
  • It can be left out during the day without spoiling, unlike wet food, which shouldn't be stored opened for more than 24 hours.
  • Dry food is easily stored in resealable plastic food bins with tight-fitting lids so it can maintain its freshness, aroma and taste.

Wet Cat Food Advantages

  • Has a stronger flavour and smell than dry food — many cats prefer it for this reason
  • Often comes in single-serve pouches and trays for built-in portion control
  • Lets your cat eat more in one sitting
  • Contains more water than dry food so your kitty stays consistently hydrated

How to Feed Your Cat

Cats are naturally routine-oriented animals — they tend to eat, sleep, wake and be active at the same times each day.

Most cats prefer to eat a little at a time and often. If you're home a lot and able to provide them with several small meals each day, that's great. But if your lifestyle doesn't allow for that or you're feeding exclusively wet food, two meals a day is fine for most cats. You could also consider feeding them wet food in the morning and then leaving dry food for them to graze on the rest of the day, or just stick to dry food and always keep their bowl full.

Here are some additional tips for feeding your cat:

  • Feed your kitty in the same place and time each day. Make sure their feeding area is situated in a quiet place where they can relax, and that it's well away from their litter box area.
  • Choose to place bowls on a surface that can be easily cleaned, or put bowls on a cat feeding mat for corralling messes.
  • Ceramic or metal bowls are good choices, or you can opt for a flat saucer to slow down fast eaters.
  • If you have multiple cats who don't get along very well, you may consider separate eating areas for each of them.

Purina Food for Cats

Purina Canada offers many options for indoor and outdoor cats in delectable flavours your kitty is sure to love.

  • Indoor cats may benefit from Purina's special indoor formulas, including those designed to minimize hairballs.
  • Neutered cats may benefit from Purina One Urinary Care, which can help them maintain a healthy urinary tract.
  • Senior cats usually need a diet that's slightly adjusted from how they ate in their younger days, and Purina's ProPlan line is ideal for these cats.

Follow the tips in this cat feeding guide to keep your kitty feeling happy and healthy, and if you ever have questions about how much to feed or if your kitty's getting enough food, you can talk to her veterinarian for guidance.

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