Cats need a set diet, but is there a meal plan for cats? There are very varied and contradictory recommendations on when to feed cats: some give food every hour, some once a day, and some always keep treats in the bowl. To understand how much and how often to feed your cat, you need to know your cat and your cat’s natural eating habits.
Natural Eating Habits of Cats
Cats are very habitual animals. This can be understood because cats know when it’s time to eat before we pick up the bowl and come to call us if we forget to feed them.
In the wild, they will hunt even if they are not hungry because they do not know when food will be available. This behavior is also why they complain when their bowls are empty, even if they are not hungry, as if they are starving, they will look at us and meow frantically if there is no food in the bowl. Like humans, their bodies are accustomed to receiving food at certain times of the day, and when that time comes, they become hungry.
How Often Do Cats Eat?
The anatomy of a cat’s stomach is very simple: when the stomach is complete, it empties in a few hours along with digestion, and the food passes to the small intestine. 8 to 10 hours later, the empty stomach starts to send out signals to the brain to stimulate hunger, so as a rule, cats should be fed about twice a day.
It is a good idea to keep the bowl full so that the cat can eat when it wants to. Some cats can regulate themselves and do not eat their food, while others eat out of boredom and overeat and gain weight. You need to observe your cat’s habits and understand whether or not he is prone to gaining weight before deciding whether or not to keep a food bowl on hand.
For instance, if a cat has difficulty gaining weight, it can munch on some ground meal five to six times a day without exaggeration. Keep an eye on how much they eat throughout the day, and don’t fill their bowl with water more than once.
Also, watch your cat’s diet to see if there are any health problems. It’s normal for cats to eat a little less in the summer, but if they go a day or two without eating anything, there may be a problem.
How Often Should a Kitten Be Fed?
Things are a little different for kittens; they have to grow up, so they eat more often than adult cats. Again, leaving food on the table until they are full or all the time is not a good idea because it risks leading the kitten to obesity, but in this case, it is still a good idea to give them the right amount of food several times a day. Feeding even a tiny cat can cause bloating and stomach upset, resulting in poor digestion. Controlling the growth of kittens slowly will help balance their weight as they grow into adult.
How Many Times a Day Does Your Cat Eat?
You can always adapt your cat’s meal times to your family’s habits, as long as you don’t change them, but how often should your cat eat? Ideally, as we have seen, they should eat twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, for example.
However, if you determine that your cat can regulate his food intake, you may leave some food, as long as the daily total does not exceed your cat’s recommended amount.
In any case, feeding time is an opportunity for your cat to interact with humans, and it is a good idea to enjoy that time together.