You are likely wondering about the different schools of thought concerning how much wet food to feed a cat. The answer is going to differ depending on who you ask.
When you are first introducing canned cat food to kittens, start out with one three-ounce can of cat food and add three ounces of warm water to make the gruel. When cats grow older, a good rule of thumb is to feed one ounce of wet food per pound of body weight.
To ensure that your cat is eating enough, you need to know how much-wet food to feed a cat as well as how often your cat must eat. Read on to find out more!!
How Often Should I Feed My Cat Wet Food
Most cats from age six months onwards will do well being fed once or two times a day. More Senior cats who are age seven and above should maintain the same feeding regimen.[Source]
How much wet cat food your cat must consume will depend on a variety of factors, like weight, stature, age, and health status.
How Much Wet Food To Feed Kitten
Kittens grow rapidly, so how much to feed a kitten will depend on their stage of growth. Kittens from birth to four weeks will consume only milk. In a kitten’s third or fourth week of life, you can begin introducing canned cat food; however, canned cat food will not be the primary source of nutrition at this stage as kittens this age still nurse frequently.
When you begin to introduce canned cat food to kittens, you need to add water and make a gruel as cats at this stage are unable to chew due to not yet having their baby teeth.
To make a gruel for kittens, you will need to mix warm water with high-quality kitten food. Choose either a moose or a pate as these types of cat foods mix well, and offer this mixture three times a day.
Do not be surprised or alarmed if a kitten does not consume an entire can of cat food at first. Kittens will eat small portions of canned cat food. You do not have to worry about kittens not eating enough as most of their nutrition at this stage will still come from their mother’s milk.
When you are first introducing canned cat food to kittens, start out with one three-ounce can of cat food and add three ounces of warm water to make the gruel. Then, put the gruel near the kittens and allow them to explore it. You may have to direct the kittens to the bowl, put some of the gruel on your fingers and rub it on their lips to introduce them to the taste.
As kittens get used to tasting canned cat food, they will want more of it. You will notice kittens eating much more cat food by the time they are five to six weeks of age.
You will need to make frequent adjustments to the portions of food kittens receive, and this will depend on how much kittens weigh.
How Much Wet Food Should A 9 lb Cat Eat?
If you have a nine-pound cat, for instance, you will need to feed canned cat food three times a day. You will feed your cat three ounces in the morning, three ounces in the afternoon and three ounces in the evening.
If you are questioning how many cans of cat food per day to feed your cat because you work long hours, you can put your cat on a twice a day feeding schedule and feed a five ounce can in the morning and a five ounce can in the evening.
Canned food carries a higher up-front cost, but the health benefits are numerous. Not to mention, you will spend less on vet bills later in the cat’s life.
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Is it OK For A Cat To Eat Only Wet Food?
To ensure that you preserve the health of your cat, it is fitting to see what the experts have to say concerning feeding cats wet food. According to Jean Hofve, a certified veterinarian, cats must be on a wet diet. While dry kibble is budget friendly, it does not do wonders for a cat’s health.
Why Cats Must Consume Wet Food
If you look at how cats live in the wild, you will notice that their diet consists of the prey that they catch and kill. Cats are obligate carnivores; thus, they lack the metabolic structure to break down and digest carbs. Cats that consume a diet consisting of only dry kibble are prone to a myriad of health conditions, like diabetes, obesity, urinary tract issues and kidney disease.
Dry kibble is comprised of between 30 to 40% carbohydrates, as dough is necessary for processing. Most of the carb content in dry kibble is starch, and the rest is fiber. Even grain-free varieties contain carbs, as it is impossible to completely avoid carbs in the processing of dry food.
You may think that a grain-free dry kibble option is better for your cat; however, the high fat and protein content of grain-free dry kibble will cause cats to become more dehydrated.
Today’s house cats evolve from wild cats who reside in the desert, so their kidneys are designed to extract moisture from the prey they consume. The downside to this is that cats do not have a high thirst drive so will wait until they are at least three percent dehydrated before they consider drinking water.
Cats consuming dry kibble are getting less water, as there is no moisture to be extracted from dry cat food. Jean Hofve writes that cats who are on dry diets are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease and problems with the urinary tract due to not getting enough water. Cats whose diets consist of wet food are less likely to develop these issues as they are getting all the water, they need to maintain optimal health.
Additionally, Tony Buffington states in his article that the high carb content in dry kibble can cause cats to become obese. Of course, obesity can lead to other health issues, like heart disease. A cat’s diet must consist of mostly protein and fats, mimicking what they eat in the wild.
Five Common Schools of Thoughts In Cat Community
You may find this difficult to believe, but there are five common schools of thought surrounding this matter in the cat community.
Giving Wet Cat Food Only as a Treat
Some believe that wet cat food is only a luxury to be enjoyed occasionally. People who adhere to this school of thought will only offer canned cat food as a reward or after a cat contends with an unpleasant life event, such as surgery, a serious illness or a major move.
Sometimes, cat owners offer their feline family members canned cat food as a treat after taking medication to get back on good terms with them since cats dislike taking meds.
Some cat parents will just offer wet food as a treat occasionally for no reason. Those who subscribe to this practice will feed their fur babies canned cat food periodically without adhering to specific intervals between feeds.
Feeding Wet Food Only Once Per Day
Some believe that at least one meal out of the day must consist of canned cat food. Cat parents who follow this way of thinking will usually offer one can of cat food in the morning or evening and feed dry food the rest of the day.
Offering Wet Food Once a Week
Another popular school of thought in the cat community is to only feed canned cat food once a week. Cat parents who stick to this feeding schedule will usually pick a set day to offer wet food and offer it for only one meal, and all other meals will consist of dry cat food.
Having Cats Consume Strictly Wet Food
Numerous cat parents put their cats on a diet consisting strictly of wet cat food. Those who feed only wet food prohibit dry food entirely, believing that dry food is bad for cats and is the source of common ailments. Individuals who adhere to this philosophy will not even offer dry food as a treat.
Offering Wet Food Three Times a Day and Leaving Dry Food Out for free Feeding
Finally, there are cat owners who compromise with both wet and dry food. Cat owners in this camp usually feed their feline family members wet cat food three times a day and leave dry food out for free feeding, so cats can graze as often as they want.
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Just like people need a varied diet to maintain good health, the same is true for cats. It is vital to offer your cat a wide variety of food to make certain that your cat is getting all the necessary nutrients. Your cat must consume duck, lamb, rabbit, fish and fowl.
Since cats will wait a while before they feel thirst, you need to add a teaspoon of water or broth to each feeding. When you add water or broth, this ensures that your cat is getting enough fluids. What you will add all depends on what your cat likes, as some will like broth more than water.