We all know the importance of giving your pet a proper diet, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Not only do you need to be providing food that offers the correct balance of nutrients but you need to feed them at the correct times for maximum benefit, so just how often should you feed your cat?
KITTENS: Younger animals will need to be fed on a regular basis until they reach 6 months old—aim for 4 times/day when they’re 8-12 weeks, 3 times/day when they’re 3-6 months and twice a day thereafter. It’s all about little and often as they’ll have smaller stomachs than adults, and you’ll need to make sure you don’t over-feed them.
ADULTS: There are three main schools of thought when it comes to feeding an adult pet—free choice (when food is available all the time), time-limited feeding (when it’s available at set times only) and meal feeding (where a specific amount of food is available at meal times). The one that’s right for your pet will depend on a whole range of factors and you’ll want to discuss the options with your vet to decide which would be best.
SENIORS: Appetite can often start to diminish as your pet gets older, so for seniors you’ll want to revert to the little and often concept. You don’t want to overwhelm her with food but nor do you want her to overeat, so if you aim for smaller meals throughout the day and keep an eye on her weight you can get the right balance.
This is just a rough guide as to how often to feed your pet, and if you make sure to discuss the options with your vet you can’t go wrong.