Should my cat have a feeding schedule?
Should I feed my cat on a schedule? When’s the best time to feed a cat? It’s never just a straight yes or no when it comes to answering feeding or food questions about our pets, such as cats. They are all different, just like us. Some things to take into account when it comes to cats is their individual appetite, size, habits and more.
They all affect their needs when it comes to scheduling meals. To assist you in formulating your own response, let's delve into the different factors that can influence feeding schedules.
The age of the cat affects feeding in terms of the amount of food the cat needs. For kittens, they need to eat smaller meals more often. Because they are still growing, they need more food per kilo of their body weight. Generally, for kittens who are zero to six months old, they should eat at least three times a day.
Once or a maximum of two meals a day is often advised for adult cats. From here on, they should follow the same amount and feeding schedule. Most cats are not like dogs, however, and they won’t just gobble up everything you give them at every meal. With time you can see their habits and adjust portions accordingly.
It’s important to note that regardless of the breed of your cat if there is food available for 24 hours, your pet will eat at their convenience. Monitoring access to food is critical when it comes to making sure that they follow a strict feeding schedule.
So, as we’ve shared, growing kittens should eat more than their weight, which means that they need at least 250 calories every day. With large breeds, such as Maine Coons or Ragdolls, they’ll need 360 calories a day. For other smaller breeds, 280 - 300 calories a day is acceptable.
The behavior and lifestyle of your pet are also critical in ascertaining a schedule for their meals.
If you are out for work during the day, we recommend that you choose an automatic cat feeder that’s safe and convenient for your pet to access. You can check out some of our cat feeding accessories here.
If you have more than one cat, it’s also best to give them their own individual food bowls. This avoids queuing for food and competitive behaviours around food too.
This is important because it’s normal for cats to eat small amounts of food within a feeding period. Not having to fight for food, or protect their leftovers, helps them maintain this healthy habit.
Your vet will also recommend a feeding schedule for you. This is often your best guide to feeding schedules for your pet. This is especially true if your cat is sick or needs to gain weight. Make sure to follow the diet and feeding schedule they suggest to avoid any health issues in the future.
The answer to the question is, “yes”, it is better to have a regular feeding schedule for your cat. They like a routine lifestyle. You should create a program or pattern to suit their age, breed, size, lifestyle, and health. Your own schedule should also be considered too.
Establish a routine
It's important to establish a routine for your cat's feeding schedule. This helps them maintain a sense of security and predictability in their daily lives. As mentioned earlier, cats thrive on routine lifestyles, and feeding them at the same time every day is a great way to establish this. Here are some tips for getting your cat used to the routine:
- Start by feeding your cat at the same time every day. This will help them get used to the schedule.
- Place your cat's food in the same location every day. This will help your cat associate that area with mealtime.
- Use the same type of bowl or dish for your cat's food. This will help them recognize when it's time to eat.
- Avoid feeding your cat table scraps or human food. This can disrupt their feeding schedule and cause digestive problems.
- Make sure to provide fresh water for your cat at all times. This will help keep them hydrated and healthy.
By following these tips, you can establish a good feeding schedule for your cat that meets their individual needs. Remember to consider factors such as age, breed, lifestyle, and health when creating your cat's feeding schedule. And most importantly, stick to the routine to help your furry friend thrive.
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