How Much Should I Feed my Cat?

Some cats have appetites that are never satisfied, allowing them to continue eating for as long as you would let them. This is why it’s important for cat owners to be aware of how much food they should be feeding their cats at each meal. Those who are new to owning a cat should take careful note about how much to feed their new feline buddy at each meal. 

When Should I Feed My Cat?

The first thing you need to do when bringing home your new cat is to establish a scheduled feeding time for each morning and night. This will allow your cat to get used to these feeding times and the amount of food that you are giving them at each meal.

Cats aren’t always so good at handling changes in their routine once one has been established. This is why it’s so important to pick a food schedule and be consistent with the time and the amount of food that you give them each time. 

As a busy cat owner that you probably are, it’s crucial that you pick a food schedule that works with your own schedule. Rather than feeding your cat at sporadic times each day, making a feeding schedule that works for you will benefit you both in the long run. 

Should I Feed my Cat Wet Food or Dry Food?

The long and short answer to this question is it all depends. There are benefits to both wet cat food and dry cat food, that as a cat owner, you can choose at your own discretion or per the vet’s recommendation for your cat. There’s nothing wrong with switching between the two or giving your cat a little of each at each meal, within controlled portions of course. 

Pros and Cons of Wet Cat Food

A few of the biggest benefits of wet cat food are that cats love it, and it helps to keep them hydrated better than dry cat food does. Wet cat food typically is nutritionally complete, giving your cats all that they need to be strong and healthy. 

On the other hand, wet cat food is usually more expensive. Wet cat food also doesn’t keep as long as dry cat food does. For instance, if you don’t give your cat a full can in one serving, the rest will need to be stored appropriately and may go bad if not used soon enough. 

Pros and Cons of Dry Cat Food

One of the best benefits of dry cat food is that it is cheaper but still just as nutritionally beneficial to your cat as wet food is. Dry cat food is also great for your cat’s teeth. If you’ve ever tried to brush your cat’s teeth then you know that it is no easy feat. 

Dry food, however, does nothing in the way of keeping your cat hydrated throughout the day. Cats are sometimes picky and may prefer wet food over dry food once they’ve had a taste of wet food. Although, you could always mix in a small bit of their dry food with their wet food so that they can reap the benefits of both.

Aside from store-bought wet and dry cat food, you can also try making your cat's food at home. Here are some tasty and easy to make cat food recipes that your feline buddy might enjoy:

How Many Calories Does My Cat Need Each Day?

If you choose to mix their foods be sure to change the portions accordingly so that they are not being overfed. As far as feline nutrition goes, they only require roughly 460 calories per day (assuming they are at a healthy weight of about 8 pounds). Meaning, each meal should only contain about 230 cat calories each. 

Calorie counts vary from one brand of cat food from the next, especially when looking between wet and dry food. Sometimes you can find the cat calorie counts on the packaging for the food, but not always. You could always reference the brand’s website for further calorie information. 

On average, dry cat food calories tend to range from 350-500 calories for one cup of food. Wet food, on the other hand, tends to range between 120-190 calories per 5.5 ounces of wet food. If you have trouble finding exactly calorie counts on the foods that you buy for your cat, you can use these numbers to form a rough estimate so that you are not overfeeding your cat at each meal. 


Your cat definitely will not tell you if they are full or if you’ve given them too much food. If they are a young healthy cat, they will often eat as much food as you allow them to eat.

This is why it’s so important for cat owners, new and old, to know how much food they should be giving their cat each day in order to avoid overfeeding that will lead to obesity and other health problems. 

How much food should you feed a cat a day?

A healthy weight for a cat averages at 8 pounds, and according to animal nutrition studies, a cat of healthy weight should eat an average of 30 cat calories per pound each day. This calculation tells us that an average, healthy weight cat should be eating about 420 calories per day, typically split into two meals.

How much should cats eat in a day?

From the time when cats turn six months old and from that point on, it is recommended that their owners only feed them two times per day. On average, dry cat food contains up to 300 calories per one cup, while wet cat food contains up to 250 calories per 6 oz can.

What not to feed cats?

There are a number of “human foods” that should never be given to cats. These foods include alcohol, chocolate, raw meat, caffeine, grapes, and raisins just to name a few.

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Written by Leo Roux

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