The cat is an obligatory carnivore. In the wild, it catches small prey. Good food resembles this as much as possible:
- 70% or more moisture, because cats get their water from the prey.
- Animal protein (45%+), because it contains the many useful building materials.
- Low in carbohydrates, as cats do not eat cereals except from the stomach contents of their prey.
Consequently, it is best to give your cat a balanced raw diet. You can make this food yourself or buy it. If this is not an option, you can also buy a good brand of wet food.
Table scraps are a no-go. Yes, cats like to lick your plate clean. However, our greasy food is not good for them. In addition, onions and garlic can be deadly to cats, sauces are simply bad for them and cooked bones can splinter and cause dire consequences.
Can't I just put dry cat food in water?
There are quite a few fungi in dry food, including mycotoxins. These thrive in moist environments. If you add water to dry food, you activate those fungi. This can make them deadly. I don't recommend taking that gamble. If you do, leave the food out for up to 20-30 minutes and then throw it away.
How Much Should You Feed Your Cat?
It is better to let the amount of food you give your cat depend on the number of calories rather than the number of grams. Different food provides different amounts of energy. The number of kcal (calories) that your cat needs depends on its activity, sterilization, pregnancy or whether the cat is nursing. In addition, kittens need more because they are growing.
The standard formula is number of calories from the list below x kilogram of body weight 0.67 ('to the power of 0.67'):
By looking at how many calories there are in the food, you can calculate how many grams (or pouches or cans) your cat needs.
Of course it also depends on the quality of the feed. Moreover, it is not a precise science. Therefore, always keep an eye on your cat. Is it getting thinner or thicker? Adjust the amount accordingly.
Are cat treats healthy?
Cat treats are often advertised on the shelf as a supplement to the diet. They usually are NOT. Ordinary cat food is a complete food. In addition, there are quite a few calories in cat snacks.
On the other hand, it is nice to give your cat a treat! If you want to give your feline something, give a little less food that day. It is recommended to give a maximum of 10% of the calories in sweets. In the case of that 4-kilo outdoor cat, you can therefore give 25.3 kcal in treats. This number is on the higher end, so you should aim to give your cat one or two treats and not do it every day. If you want to give better cat treats , consider catnip, a piece of meat or freeze-dried snacks.
How often should I feed my cat?
Ideally, a cat can eat when it is hungry. In the wild, it eats 8 to 10 small meals.
Although we don't recommend dry food, it is easy: it hardly spoils. But with free feeding, the cat often overeats. Taking good care of your cat also means making sure it doesn't put on too much weight!
Ideally, you feed your cat at least 3-4 times a day measuring amounts of wet food. You can also leave wet food out for a longer time. It looks less appetizing to us, but prey is not always eaten immediately and does not look good to us after 8 hours either!
If this is not practical for you, for example, due to work or in the summer since food spoils quicker, you can also feed your pet twice a day. A timer container is also an option.
How Often Should You Feed Kittens?
A kitten only has a small stomach and cannot eat meals that are too large in one sitting. That's why you should feed kittens more than twice a day :
- 8-12 weeks: 4 meals
- 12-24 weeks: 3 meals
- > 24 weeks: 2 meals