The members of your household might eat three square meals a day plus a healthy snack or two, but don't assume that that schedule is necessarily appropriate for your beloved cat, too. Establish a predictable and consistent feeding schedule to keep little Tiger Lily healthy and happy.
Adult Cat Daily Feedings
All cats are different, but many mature felines flourish when they consume two meals each day, sometimes more. Don't feed your cat back-to-back meals, and instead separate them by eight to 12 hours. Although lots of felines thrive on two daily dining sessions, this might not be the most fitting solution for your pet. Talk to your veterinarian to figure out just how many meals a day might be most beneficial for your cat.
Kitten Daily Feedings
Kittens up to 1 year in age need to eat a lot more frequently than adults. During the neonatal stage, they have to nurse or consume kitten formula each couple of hours. They shouldn't ever go more than two hours without feeding during this tender time frame. By the time they're in the 3- to 6-month age bracket, they can start eating a lot less often, say three meals daily. Once the fur balls are old enough to start eating commercial foods tailored to adult felines, they're generally old enough to start eating the same number of meals as mature cats each day -- perhaps two in total.
As far as planning how many meals your pet needs to stay fit as a fiddle, it's also important to evaluate your options. Some cat owners opt for free-choice feeding, which gives their pets the ability to eat their desired amounts on their own clock. This often works with cat food formulas with reduced calories. On the other hand, owners of overweight felines or felines who pack the pounds on easily tend to gravitate toward portion management rather than free-choice feeding. Portion management involves carefully setting aside amounts of food through measuring them. Again, your vet can be an excellent resource for making these types of crucial feeding decisions regarding your cat.
Water All the Time
No matter how you approach your cat's feeding needs, one thing is 100 percent certain, and that's that your cat always needs to have clean water available to her. Although kittens and cats often seem rather nonchalant about water intake, it still remains their most vital nutrient. Make sure to replace your pet's water supply a few times a day. If your cat doesn't drink enough of the stuff, help her out in the hydration department by feeding her moistened food, which includes water.
- ASPCA: Feeding Your Adult Cat
- ASPCA: Nutrition Tips for Kittens
- ASPCA: Newborn Kitten Care
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Growing Kitten
- Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: Nutrition for the Adult Cat
- PDSA: Kittens and Cats - Diets