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Cat/Kitten Food- How Much Do You Feed?

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  • Cat/Kitten Food- How Much Do You Feed?

    Clearly I should stop reading the nutritinal info, it took all the fun out of eating some of the best snacks, makes my head spin from so many big words, and reminds me that my mother is right- you're not supposed to eat half a container of ice cream in one sitting.

    But now I have a new problem- cat food!

    My young kittens are on Wellness Kitten, and get about 2/3 of your regular 3oz can total each day... according to the can- they should be getting this much PER POUND. They're all in the 2-2.5 lbs range at the moment.

    To give you an idea of the body condition of these guys- my big guy is named Handles, because he's so chub if he were a person there would be love handles. They all seem very healthy right now. I can only imagine if I were feeding these guys twice what they're currently getting!

    Am I wrong? Do they really need to be getting more to continue growing properly? Anyone else ever read the back panel, or pay any attention to it?

  • #2
    My cats and dogs who eat premium food (Evo and Innova) eat less than the suggested amounts. They are maintaining their weight just fine and would be fat if I fed as much as the back of the bag said! High quality foods are usually more calorie dense and the nutrition is absorbed better, so you can feed less.

    I fed at the very bottom range of the recommended amount for my kitten and he grew up fine! As long as they are healthy and growing, I wouldn't worry. There are so many problems with dogs and horses with feeding too much at a young age, it wouldn't surprise me to find the same with cats.


    • #3
      They have regular feeding times, with bowl full. They can eat for an hour, as I clean stalls, dump buckets. I then pickup the bowl, put away until the next time. These are barn cats, kittens. Nothing special in feed, cheap store brand dry, with some dry milk sprinkled on top. Occassional yogurt or cream cheese that is outdated for calcium.

      Everyone is plump, but not porked out. They run and play, have NICE hair coats. If troublesome, you threaten to make gloves out of them!

      I believe it would be easy to over feed the cats. They eat what they are hungry for, walk away and you pick up the dish to put away. Time span is adequate for a couple visits if they want. The next meal is NOT that long away. Food left down does not feed my cats, ferals and varmints come eat it. Don't need them coming, so remove the attraction.

      Not-hungry cats then will look for mice to chase around, chipmunks in the woods, eat bugs in summer. No more kittens, getting them all fixed as I can afford. 4 cats and 4 kittens to feed is not cheap, even with generic cat food!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Eventaholic View Post
        My young kittens are on Wellness Kitten, and get about 2/3 of your regular 3oz can total each day... according to the can- they should be getting this much PER POUND. They're all in the 2-2.5 lbs range at the moment.
        Weird. The recommendation for my cats (who are both full grown and weigh in teh 7-8 lb range) is 1 6oz can per day, each.

        They normally get dry food, though (1/4 cup 2x/day). If they do get canned, it's just half a can for one meal.

        If your kitty is fat... he needs to be fed less. Like LegalEagle said, both dogs and horses can develop problems from being too hefty when they're growing. I adopted this approach with my cats and they're both beautifully healthy and in a wonderful weight now (at age 1.5 yrs).

        Maybe try switching over to an adult food? How old are they?


        • #5
          I have never had an overweight cat who lived outdoors and was free fed. The amount they need varies SIGNIFICANTLY based on the temperature. Indoor cat? I am clueless.


          • #6
            Well, just like humans, all cats are individuals. Some have faster metabolisms than others. I would basically pick a certain amount (say, 3/4 of a can, or a full can, per day) and adjust over time if the kitty is gaining weight or losing weight.

            But with kittens, I know I heard you shouldn't hold back with food. They're constantly growing, always running and playing, and always hungry. If they start getting fat, start limiting their intake by judging just how fat they're getting versus how much they're eating. But I don't think I've ever seen an overweight kitten, to be honest.

            I have 3 girls, 7lb, 8lb, and 11lb, and they all get 1 6oz can per day, each. I'll vary amounts depending on the season and what I'm feeding. Sometimes I let Molly (the 11lb) have a little more since she's so much bigger than the other two and is always stealing Willow's (8lb) food. Willow should weigh in at around 9lbs, but when we got Molly and Molly began stealing Willow's food, Willow dropped to 6 or 7 pounds. Scared the snit out of me. Now I referee for Willow because she just doesn't have any sense to guard her food. Will just lift her head and look around as Molly draws a paw into Willow's bowl and drags the bowl towards herself. And nowadays, Buffy has decided her food serving isn't sufficient so she helps herself to Willow's food too. *sigh* Probably time to add another 1/2 can to their daily meal. Well, 1/4 can for Buffy and Willow, 1/2 can for Molly.

            Some cats (like my Molly) are more bigger boned and heavily built. A good guide to figuring out if they're overweight or not is to check their ribs. You should be able to feel them by lightly running your fingers along their sides. If the ribs are all but rattling along your fingers, she's too thin. If you have to rub back and forth a few times to feel them, she's too fat. Basically, they should feel like the knuckles on the back of your hand when your hand is fisted. If it feels like the back of your hand, she's too fat. If it feels like the knuckles of your fingers, she's too thin. But the knuckles at where the fingers meet the hand, that's juuuuuust right. Personally, I ignore saggy bellies. Lots of healthy cats have saggy bellies, nothing they can do about it, and it's not related to their weight.
            Some people are like slinkies...not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.


            • #7
              OMG. My cats would be obese if they got the recommended amount. Plus if they are outside cats and eating mice and *other* nasty things they might not need much at all. Mine are not outside cats, but to give you an idea... they all only eat Wellness canned food, no dry. I have 4 on this ranging from 7 lbs-13 lbs and they each get 1/4 5 oz. can at each 3 feedings, 3/4 can a day.so 3.75 oz. I also add extra water to every meal and make it a mush. I have a lot of urinary problems here so that helps. 1 is on the hefty side still on that. Depending on how young of a kitten though, I wouldn't limit the intake. When my guys were on wellness as kittens they ate more. They each got 1 whole 5 oz. can a day!!! I fed 1/4 can each 4x a day. Their little bellies couldn't eat that much in fewer sittings though. All kittens and puppies tend to have little rolly polly bellies in my experience, it's just limiting the food as they get older so they don't stay obese. Mine all thinned out when they hit that "teenager stage" where you could start seeing them look more full grown than kittens. Mine honestly would have starved on only 2/3 a small can! But... again, they're all individual!


              • #8
                Per the sticky at the top of the forum, we're trying to limit the general pet care questions in this forum to keep it focused on more farm-specific issues.

                We'll continue to evaluate our approach going forward, and the forum topics we offer, particularly after we get through the transition period to the new site.

                Mod 1