“Honey, did you feed the cat?” That’s a question you might hear a lot at home. But a question we hear a lot at the rescue is: “HOW do I feed my cat?” Here are answers to some FAQ’s you might have about feeding your new kitty:
How much do I feed my cat each day?
Great question! Kitty’s nutrition needs can vary depending on her age, her activity level, and her current BCS (body condition score). To figure out your cat’s needs, we recommend following the feeding guidelines listed by the manufacturer of the brand of food you give kitty. Be sure to speak with your vet about an appropriate amount of food, too!
When do I feed my cat? How many times per day?
The answer to this question also depends on many factors, including age and activity level. Kittens are growing little sprouts with appetites to match: you’ll need to feed them more food, more often.
With adult cats, it’s fairly standard to feed them twice a day. Your kitty will probably like the routine of morning and night time feedings, and that also usually works well with your human schedule as well. (It is usually not recommended that you free-feed adult cats, especially if there is more than one cat in the house.)
What does Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) mean and what is the purpose?
Limited Ingredient Diets are foods with a single protein source. For example a “Limited Ingredient” duck food diet contains only protein from duck meat. Limited Ingredient Diets can be a great option for a kitty with a sensitive stomach or food allergies. However, if you’re considering a LID, please consult with your veterinarian before changing foods.
*NOTE: if you’re thinking of making any changes to your cat’s diet, make sure the transition is slow and gradual. Sudden changes are upsetting for kitties and can even put their health at risk.*
I think my cat might be gaining too much weight… What should I do?
First step: consult with your veterinarian to figure out an ideal weight for your cat. (Cats are just like us humans in that each body is different!) No matter what, though, there are a few things you can do at home to keep kitty more healthy and active:
1) Use food toys!
There are a variety of food toys available on the market that make kitty move and play in order to reach her kibble. You can even DIY and craft your own: just search for “DIY cat food puzzle toy” and the internet will give you many ideas and how-tos
2) Create an eat/play routine.
Before kitty has her meal, play with her! Wand toys and laser toys are especially fun, interactive toys that promote lots of running and leaping. (When you use a laser, be sure to give kitty a physical toy to play with afterwards, though, so that she can have the satisfaction of putting her paws on something!
3) Limit the treats you give each day.
Then when it is time for kitty to have her daily treat, she’ll be extra excited. Maybe you can even teach her some tricks!
Although these might be the most common questions we get regarding how to feed your cat, we are always happy to answer any other questions you have. At SAFe Rescue, one of our goals is to make owning a cat as easy and fun as possible. We are happy to help take the guesswork out of caring for your feline friend!