Things Your Cat Wants You to Know: Feeding #1
Things Your Cat Wants You to Know
This time we’ll focus on a few tips on how to feed our little carnivores.
1. Let the Hunt Begin! Cats are hunters by nature, but we serve up their food to them every day. All they have to do is pester us until we feed them! Giving them a challenge helps enrich their lives and burn a few calories. Try throwing kibble and having them chase it or hiding it in various places or using puzzle bowls. Check this website out for multiple ideas on puzzle bowls for both wet and dry food!
2. Peek a boo I don’t want to see you! Food is a resource that cats compete for. Some more than others. This is a source of tension/anxiety. The best option in a multicat household is to have multiple feeding stations where there is no line of sight between cats.
In my household, I have ‘Gobblers’ and ‘Nibblers’. So one cat has a separate room she eats in with the time to eat at a more leisurely pace. The other two have feeding stations where they can’t see each other.
3. I’m bored! Like us, many cats will overeat when bored. If you have a self-limiting nibbler count yourself lucky! I have two heffalumps that think the world is ending and they have to eat a week's worth of food right now. It’s up to you to limit their caloric input. Do not free feed! The gobblers will eat too much.
The average 10-12 pound cat needs 230 - 250 kcal per day. Foods vary in the number of kcals per cup of food, but a good rule of thumb is a ¼ level cup of food twice a day for a 10# cat. OR one 3.5 oz can of wet food plus 1 level Tablespoon of dry twice a day for a 10# cat. We can help you figure this out for your cat during their regular visits.
4. Many mice meals! In nature, a cat hunts. They do this many times a day. Multiple small meals suit their nature and frankly are healthier overall for them and us!
On the days you are home try splitting up their meals. For example, when I’m home my girls get one 3.5oz can split between them on a licky mat. Then 2 -3 hours later I split ¼ cup dry by making them chase it around the house. Personally, I Iove watching Onyxs’ belly sack flap back and forth as she tears after her kibble. Around 5 pm they get another ¼ cup of dry in their puzzle bowl. And finally, before bedtime, they split another can of wet food.
6. Work for those treats. While we don’t want to overfeed our precious babies, a few treats now and then is fine.
My kitties like Greenies. Temptations are another popular choice among the cat community. Keep it to around 5 treats at a time and make them work for it! Throw the treats so they have to chase them. Also, give them as rewards after nail trims or giving medications, if there's no contraindication on the label.
Have fun feeding your felines!