As a first-time cat owner, “How much should I feed my cat?” is likely to be one of your first questions when you bring your cat home. Even if you’ve owned cats for years, you may sometimes wonder whether your cats are getting too little food or too much. And that's the situation am in right now. Please help.
The answer to “How much should I feed my cat” is based on many variables, including a cat’s weight and a cat’s age, whether you’re feeding wet cat food or dry cat food, the cat’s activity level, and whether or not she is pregnant or nursing. These are the factors you must consider first.
How much you should feed your cat actually depend on the brand of food you’re feeding also makes a difference when we’re answering the question “How much should I feed my cat.” A dense, high quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the same amount of nutrition for your cat.
Some cat owners allow their cats free access to dry food, supplemented by canned food once or twice a day. A dry-food-only diet is not necessarily a bad pet diet if you’re feeding high quality food, but it does require that you encourage your cat to drink a lot more water to compensate for what she’s not getting in canned food
When you bring a new cat home, it’s important to continue to feed her the same amount of the same food on the same schedule that’s she’s been accustomed to, then gradually migrate to your own food and schedule. Cats are very sensitive to change, and a new cat will be dealing with a lot of new-environment stress, so keeping the food and schedule consistent will ease her transition and keep intestinal upset at bay.
Another important factor is considering what you’re feeding your cat. The foundation of a healthy cat diet is flesh-based protein like meat, fish or poultry. Dry food should be high in animal proteins, and low in plant proteins (which cats are ill-equipped to digest). Carbohydrates should make up no more than ten percent of the mix of cat food ingredients.
Wet foods should consist predominantly of meat with as few by-products and fillers as possible.
Here is what my vet gave me when I was about bringing in my cat few months ago.
A healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-pound cat requires about 240 calories per day. Typically, dry food contains about 300 calories per cup, and canned food contains about 250 calories in each 6 oz can. (or, 125 per 3-ounce can). Using these counts as a guide, an 8-pound cat would need 4/5 of a cup of dry food or just less than a full 6-oz can (or two 3-ounce cans) of wet food per day. You can adjust the proportions based on whether your cat prefers more or less dry or wet food.