Do you think you know how to feed your cat…?
You always want the best for your kitty. It’s obvious. If your cat spend the majority of the day by himself, you want to make this time pleasant to him. You leave toys around, clean litter box, fresh water and a bowl full of food. Well, the kitty won’t open a can with food shall he feel a little peckish…
Unfortunately, making sure that your cat’s bowl is never empty is the most common mistake as regards feeding…
Cats (both small and large) are predators. It means that in their natural habitat they only eat when they catch a prey. Small cats (including domestic cats) are used to eating in small portions, several times a day. Their stomachs are too small to fit a lot of food at once. Even though it may seem shocking, out domestic pets should be fed exactly like that: small portions 4-5 times a day. It’s acceptable to give your cat two larger portion twice a day, given that your kitty will not eat all of this at once.
Regardless of whether you choose option 1 (several small portions during the day) or option 2 (two larger meals a day), it is absolutely unacceptable to let your cat snack in-between the meals! It’s the easiest way to overweight and obesity, and all of the consequences that follow (e.g. diabetes, kidney or liver disease). Cats who have regular, unlimited access to food is more likely to be picky. And there is still the issue of night activity. Cats who are fed at regular intervals are more likely to sleep at night than his buddies who have a full bowl at all times. I’ve discussed this topic in details in the article “What to do about night-time frolics?”.
In this case, should all cats have limited access to food? Not really, this rule does not apply to small cats. They can have their bowls full at all times, although it is better to just feed them whenever they are hungry. A young body develops quite intensively and it need a large dose of energy. 12-month-old cat should be already used to the regime of eating two large meals or 4-5 small meals a day. For large-breed cats this system may be introduced a little later, at around 15-16 months.
If you’ve been giving your cat unlimited access to food until now, start introducing meals at regular intervals today. Try to do it gradually, slowly reducing the amount of food in-between meals. It’s also very helpful to introduce some intense play just before the meal. Remember, nothing will stimulate the predator to eat like a proper hunt!