How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

If you are a cat owner, one of the most important questions you may have is how much food to feed your feline companion.

As a cat owner, one of the biggest responsibilities is ensuring that your furry feline friend is happy and healthy. While this involves providing them with love, attention, and a comfortable home, it also means paying close attention to their diet. Feeding your cat the right amount of food can be tricky – you don’t want to underfeed and leave them malnourished, but overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues. Many factors come into play when determining how much to feed your cat, such as age, weight, activity level, and type of food. In this blog post, we will delve deep into these key considerations and provide you with expert advice on how much you should be feeding your beloved kitty.

How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

Feeding your cat appropriately requires considering several factors including their age, weight, activity level, and overall health. Here’s a general guide:

Kittens: Kittens require more food per pound of body weight to support their growth than adult cats. Typically, a balanced cat food for growth should be fed until they reach 80% of their expected adult size which may be at around 1 year of age.

Adult Cats: They should be fed depending on their weight and activity level. Usually, an adult cat requires approximately 20 calories per pound of body weight to maintain their current weight.

Senior Cats: Senior cats, aged seven and above, should maintain the same diet as an adult cat, unless they have specific health concerns that require a dietary change.

Overweight Cats: If your cat is overweight, reducing their daily calorie intake gradually is essential for safe weight loss.

Remember, these are just guidelines and individual variations can occur. Always consult with your vet to determine the best feeding regimen for your feline friend.

Related: Why Is It Important To Measure My Cat’s Food?

What Are The Basic Nutritional Needs Of A Cat?

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Cats, being obligate carnivores, have distinct dietary requirements to stay healthy. Here are the basic nutritional needs of a cat:

  • Protein: Cats require a high amount of protein, which should form the basis of their diet. It aids in growth and development and maintains muscle mass.
  • Taurine: This essential amino acid is critical for cats’ heart health, reproduction, and vision. It is not naturally produced by cats, so it must be present in their diet.
  • Fatty Acids: Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids support a healthy skin and coat, boost immune response, and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Cats need various vitamins and minerals for optimal health. For instance, Vitamin A for vision, Vitamin D for bone health, and calcium and phosphorus for strong teeth and bones. 
  • Water: Proper hydration is crucial for cats as it aids in digestion, nutrient absorption, and maintaining body temperature.

Can I Feed My Cat Human Food?

While the primary diet of cats should be high-quality cat food, some cats like human food and it can be given to cats as a treat or supplement in small amounts. Here’s a list of human foods that are safe for cats:

  • Fish: Cooked fish like salmon or tuna can be a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Poultry: Cooked chicken or turkey is another excellent source of protein.
  • Eggs: Cooked eggs are safe and nutritious.
  • Pumpkin: A small amount of cooked pumpkin can help with digestion.
  • Peas: Cooked peas can offer some variety and a little boost of vitamins.

Remember, any human food should be given in moderation and should not replace a balanced cat diet.

What Ingredients Should I Look For In A High-Quality Cat Food?

When shopping for high-quality cat food, it’s crucial to know what to look for on the label. Here are some key ingredients that you should look for in a high-quality cat food:

Named Protein Source: Look for food that lists a specific type of protein as the first ingredient, such as chicken, turkey, or fish.

Taurine: As mentioned earlier, cats require Taurine, which is not naturally produced by them.

Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 should be present in the food.

Vitamins and Minerals: Ensure the food contains necessary vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus.

No By-products or Fillers: Quality cat food should not contain by-products or fillers like corn and wheat gluten, which are often used as cheap substitutes for high-quality ingredients.

No Artificial Preservatives, Colors, or Flavors: These additives can be harmful to your cat’s health. Instead, look for natural preservatives like Vitamin C and E.

Moisture Content: Wet food or a mix of wet and dry food is recommended to ensure proper hydration.

What Should I Do If My Cat Is A Picky Eater?

If you find your cat is a picky eater, the following tips might help address this issue:

Rotate Foods: Occasionally changing the brand or flavor of your cat’s food can prevent your cat from becoming overly picky about what they eat.

Add Variety: Incorporate both wet and dry food into your cat’s diet. This can also contribute to a balanced diet.

Warm Up Food: Slightly warming your cat’s food can increase its aroma, making it more enticing to your cat.

Hand Feeding: Brief periods of hand feeding can sometimes encourage a picky eater to eat.

Add Toppings: Consider adding treats, catnip, or a little bit of tuna juice on top of the cat food to make it more appealing.

Maintain Feeding Schedule: Regular feeding times can train your cat to eat when food is offered.

Consult a Vet: If your cat continues to be a picky eater, consult your vet. It could be a sign of dental problems or other health issues.

How Do I Transition My Cat To A New Food?

Transitioning your cat to a new food should be a gradual process to avoid upsetting your cat’s stomach. Here are some steps on how to do this effectively:

Introduction Phase: Start by introducing a small amount of the new food mixed in with the old food. A good ratio to start with might be 25% new food and 75% old food.

Increase Gradually: Over the course of a week or two, gradually increase the proportion of the new food while decreasing the proportion of the old food. Monitor your cat’s reaction to the new food during this period.

50-50 Phase: By mid-week, you should be feeding a 50-50 mix of old and new food. Keep an eye on your cat’s stool to ensure proper digestion.

Full Transition: After a week or so, try moving to 100% new food. Some cats may need a longer transition period, so adjust as necessary.

Monitor Your Cat: It’s crucial to keep an eye on your cat’s eating habits, weight, and overall health throughout the transition. If you notice any concerning changes, consult your vet immediately.

Is It Necessary To Supplement My Cat’s Diet With Vitamins Or Supplements?

Cats, like humans, do require certain vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health. However, it is important to note that these requirements are usually met with a balanced diet. The necessity for dietary supplements largely depends on your cat’s health status, age, and diet. Here are some key points to consider:

Balanced Diet: If your cat is on a balanced commercial diet, they are likely getting all the necessary nutrients and may not require additional supplements.

Special Diets: Cats on homemade diets or those with specific dietary restrictions may need supplements to ensure they are getting all necessary nutrients.

Health Conditions: Certain health conditions may necessitate dietary supplements. For example, cats with joint issues may benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin supplements.

Senior Cats: Older cats may require supplements to help with aging issues such as arthritis or kidney disease.

Pregnant Cats: Pregnant or nursing cats may benefit from certain supplements to support their health and the health of their kittens.

Remember, before starting any supplement regimen, it’s important to consult with your vet to ensure it’s safe and beneficial for your cat. 


In conclusion, determining the appropriate amount of food to feed your cat may seem like a daunting task at first glance, but with proper understanding and monitoring, you can ensure that your feline friend is receiving the perfect balance of nutrition they need. Remember to take into consideration their age, weight, activity level, and any underlying health conditions when deciding on a daily feeding amount. Utilizing a measuring cup rather than eyeballing portion sizes can also aid in accuracy and prevent overfeeding. Keeping a close eye on your cat’s body condition score and making necessary adjustments can help maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being.