Saturday 14 January 2023

How often should domestic cats be fed in 24 hours?

 A lot has been said about the frequency and number of meals over 24 hours. I think 2 meals a day is too low a number (but Cornell, VCA Hospitals and most other sources disagree with me 😢 - they advocate 2x). 

There could/should be more meals but less quantity in each meal I believe. I believe this to be more natural but it is up for debate (definitely). Although the domestic cat's wild ancestor, the North African wildcat, eats 7-20 small meals over 24 hours according to Science Direct. The domestic cat has inherited all of the wildcats attributes. We follow the ancestor to figure out these issues.

How often should domestic cats be fed in 24 hours?
How often should domestic cats be fed in 24 hours? Image: MikeB

RELATED: Some more on the topic.

I also believe that the typical sachet of wet cat food contains too much at one sitting. In my experience cats are more inclined to eat all of their food if the sachet is small. They tend to leave some otherwise which is annoying for a number of reasons including where do you put it and it is a waste of money. I believe that larger amounts can be too much for the domestic cat's stomach which is the size of a ping pong ball!

RELATED: How big is a cat’s stomach? And are we feeding our cats all wrong?

I also think that wet cat food should be the default selection (to replicate the rodent as the classic meal) and dry should be for night time grazing. Dry has to contain a lot of carbs to make it. And it is addictive because of the flavourings. 

If your cat is obese and, on a diet, has he lost weight? If not, he'll need to be more active, I am afraid. I sense that this is a problem as many cat owners are working and out all day. Not enough play time for full-time indoor cats. And he'll have to eat less. No magic formula. No treats too! 😊. Tough love comes to mind. 

But it should be a gradual change in food reduction as quick change can cause hepatic lipidosis. Sorry if this sounds too tough. One last point: dry cat food + stress can = cystitis. I am not saying this alaays happens but it can occur. Inappropriate elimination is quite a big issue with cat ownership and not infrequently it is for the above reason.

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