Feeding your Cat

 

Feeding your Cat 

 

Your cat will need a healthy and balanced diet to keep her happy and active.  Cats need meat in their diet, so can never be vegetarian or vegan.  

 

Choosing the right food for your cat

How and what you feed your cat depends on four important factors:  
1. the type of breed,
2. whether your cat is an indoors-only cat,
3. how old your cat is,
4. whether your cat has a medical condition. 

The key nutrients your cat should get from her food are:

Visit our Cat Products section for a wide variety of cat foods

 

How much do I feed my cat?

Cats naturally eat little and often; their saliva has no digestive enzymes and their stomachs are designed to digest quickly.  Many owners will leave cat food down for their cats so that they can eat in their own time however most cats can adapt to eating two meals a day quite happily. 
 
The table below is a general guide on how much to feed your cat.

 

Age of Cat

Amount of Food

Kitten: Weaning – 2 months

4 – 6 meals a day

Kitten: 2 – 3 months

4 meals a day

Kitten: 4 – 6 months

3 meals a day

Kitten: Over 6 months

2 meals a day

Adult: 1-7 years

2 meals a day

Senior: over 7 years

2 meals a day - can be increased if necessary

 

1.  What breed is your cat?

Size and shape 
The majority of cat breeds are medium sized cats but there are exceptions.  The large sized Maine Coon can weigh 11kg or more, stand 41cm high and measure a metre in length!  In contrast the little Singapura can weigh only 2.3kg.  The larger the cat, the larger the appetite.  As a rough guide medium sized cats weigh between 2.5kg – 4.5kg, medium/large weigh 5kg – 8kg and large weigh 8.2kg – 11kg.

Breed specific cat foods
Different breeds of cat also have different nutritional requirements.  The Siamese is an energetic, short haired, well-muscled cat and needs a high protein diet to stay in good shape.  Whereas the Persian has a flat face (brachycephalic), long hair and a laid back nature and needs a cat food that reduces obesity, aids digestion, prevents hairballs and has small sized kibbles.   Some pet food companies have designed cat foods for different breeds targeting their specific needs and problems.

Visit our Cat Products section for a large choice of breed specific cat foods

 

2.  Is your cat an indoors-only cat?

Indoors-Only cats have less opportunity to exercise and need less energy. They are also prone to obesity. There are specially developed indoor cat foods that have 'light' formulas to help avoid weight gain as well as reducing hairballs and improving the digestion of sedentary cats.
 

3. What age is your cat?

The 3 stages of life:  Kitten, Adult and Senior

Your cat's age affects what food you need to select for them.  The cat's average lifespan is 14 years, but they can live to over 20 years of age.  Kittens burn three times more calories a day than adult cats and can grow 20 times bigger than their birth weight in just 5 - 6 months.  Feeding a cat food made for Kittens will give them a healthy start that will last a lifetime.  Adult cats require foods to help them stay in good condition and as cats reach their later years, maintaining healthy weight, joints and digestion all become important issues. Senior cats need fewer calories in their diets as they are not as energetic and may also suffer from loss of appetite as well as have difficulty in chewing.  

Visit our Cat Products section for our range of age specific cat foods
 

What should I feed my kitten? (6/8 weeks – 1 year)

Visit our Cat Products section for our range of cat foods for kittens

What should I feed my adult cat? (1 - 7 years)

Visit our Cat Products section for our range of cat foods for adult cats

What should I feed my senior cat? (over 7 years)

Visit our Cat Products section for our range of cat foods for senior cats

 

4.  Does your cat have medical / health issues?

Does your cat have allergies?
Many cats suffer from food intolerance, IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and skin irritations. The most common causes of food allergies are fish, beef, eggs, wheat and milk. You can help relieve your cat's symptoms by choosing hypo-allergenic foods for 'Sensitive' cats which are made without these irritants and don't contain artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Visit our Cat Products section for our range of cat foods for sensitive cats

Does your cat have dental problems?
An estimated 70% of cats over 3 years of age develop dental problems. These issues often go unnoticed until your cat starts to decline in mood and general health.   Several manufacturers make dental care cat food which has specially shaped kibbles to help reduce tartar.
If you suspect your cat has tooth decay call Vet Clinic for a consultation.  

Is your cat overweight?
It's estimated that 1 in 3 cats in the UK are overweight or obese.  Less active, senior or indoor-only cats are particularly prone to piling on the pounds, with overweight cats more likely to develop diabetes, heart and respiratory problems and arthritis.  
If your cat becomes overweight it's best to consult your vet and there are 'Light' cat foods available which can also help. These are lower in fat but contain all the vitamins and minerals your cat needs, so you can reduce the amount of calories without cutting down on portion size or nutrients.
Cut down on treats and tit bits as giving any extras in addition to your cat's food ration will spoil what you are trying to achieve in dieting your cat.  If you have several cats, feed her separately in a different room.
Increase your cat's exercise slowly to help burn off the calories – a dedicated playtime may help.  Split your cat's food into smaller, more frequent meals.

Is your cat pregnant?
Good, balanced nutrition is vital during pregnancy as all pregnant and nursing cats need an extra boost of protein and energy to help them.  A cat will need extra nutrients starting from mating.  Gestation in cats takes approximately 9 weeks and throughout your pregnant cat's food intake will rise - it's not unusual for levels to reach twice her regular intake.  Nursing leads to an even greater demand on intakes due to the quantities of nutrient-rich milk needed to feed the kittens.
Adult cat food simply won't provide all the nutrients required and only a specific diet will allow her to meet all of her needs.  You can feed your pregnant cat a high quality kitten formula, both during gestation and for some weeks after the birth. The additional calories and higher levels of other key nutrients are just what a pregnant cat needs.

Does your cat have a medical condition?
If your cat has a medical condition such as diabetes, liver, heart, bladder or kidney problems you should seek veterinary advice about prescription diets available for your cat. Pet foods bought in shops are not suitable for cats with such conditions.

 

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