Frequently Asked Questions
Why is good nutrition important?
It’s vital that your cat eats a complete and balanced diet consisting of good quality meat products. Unlike dogs (and people), cats are strict carnivores. They require essential nutrients such as taurine, arginine, vitamin A and essential fatty acids that plant food lack. She also needs plenty of fresh water as well. Your cat should be fed amounts sufficient to meet energy and caloric requirements. Inadequate or excess intake of nutrients can be equally harmful. Learn why your cat has specialized nutritional needs by reading the related article “Feeding the Adult Cat.
How often should I feed my cat?
Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations. In general, very young kittens should be allowed to eat as much as they want (which usually amounts to three or four feedings a day). As they get older, decrease the number of feedings. When your cat is 6 months old, she should receive two meals a day. After 1 year, she can be fed once or twice a day. However, many people leave a little dry food out for their cat to nibble on throughout the day. If your cat is a nibbler, don’t keep adding to the dish if the day’s amount is consumed. (For instance, if your cat should eat a cup of food a day, don’t add more if that cup is eaten).
How much should I feed my cat?
The amount your cat needs to eat depends on many factors, including: life stage (kitten, adult, pregnant or lactating), lifestyle (active versus the “coach potato”), size and general condition. Select a high quality food, weigh your cat (don’t try to guess) and then read the feeding guidelines provided on the package. Remember, though, that every cat is unique, so you might have to adjust her feeding accordingly.
As mentioned above, many cats like to nibble throughout the day. That’s okay as long as they are simply eating their day’s meal. If you are constantly refilling their bowls, however, your cat may be at risk for obesity.
When should I change from kitten to adult food?
In her first year, your kitten will grow and change very quickly, so she needs a special diet for kittenhood and adult. Feed high quality kitten food until she is about 7-9 months old. At this point, you can change to an adult diet.
Can my cat be a vegetarian?
No. Cats are strict carnivores – they cannot process plant material and they need the nutrients that only meat can provide. Although there are vegetarian diets that claim to supply all of your cat’s nutritional requirements, it is best for your cat to stick to a meat-based diet.
Why is my cat a finicky eater?
Cats can become finicky eaters for many reasons. If her bowl is too small or light, for instance, she may have trouble eating her food. The placement of the bowl may be a factor, or she may feel intimidated by other pets in the household. Medical conditions may be affecting her appetite, or her teeth and gums may be hurting her. There are a number of strategies to help overcome a finicky eater.
Canned or dry, does it matter?
Dry cat food has greater “caloric density” compared to canned food, which contains more water. Simply put, there is less water in a cup of dry food as compared to a canned diet, so your cat needs to eat less to get the same amount of nutrients. Overall, the choice of “dry” vs. “canned” and “semi-moist” is an individual one, but most cats enjoy eating a combination of a dry food along with supplemental canned food.
What is the best way to store cat food?
Cat food should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably off the ground. It is helpful to pour dry cat food from the bag into a large, clean, plastic container with an airtight lid. Canned cat food can be kept in a cupboard with other canned foods.
How often should I feed my dog?
Puppies under 3 months of age should be fed at least four times a day. Puppies between 3 and 5 months of age should be given three meals a day. Adult dogs can be fed once or twice a day. Dogs like routine, so establish a feeding schedule and stick to it. A good time to feed him is during the family meals. This will occupy him while the rest of the family is eating.
How much should I feed my dog?
The amount your dog needs to eat depends on many factors, including: life stage (puppy, adult, pregnant or lactating), lifestyle (active versus the “coach potato”), size and general condition. Select a high quality food, weigh your dog and then read the feeding guidelines provided on the package. Remember, though, that every dog is unique, so you might have to adjust his feeding accordingly.
Isn’t my pet bored eating the same food?
Probably not. Your dog has fewer taste buds than you do, so he doesn’t have the range of tastes that a person does. A dog’s greatest sense of taste is sugar, which is why many dogs have a “sweet tooth.” He is attracted to a combination of taste and odor.
Canned or dry, does it matter?
Dry dog food has greater “caloric density” than canned food. Simply put, there is less water in a cup of dry food as compared to a canned diet. Bigger dogs should be fed semi-moist or dry food. They can consume less while getting enough nutrients, and it is more cost effective for you. For very large dogs, feeding only canned food is not recommended since it will be difficult for him to eat enough canned food each day to meet his requirements.
What is the best way to store dog food?
Dog food should be stored in a cool, dry place, preferably off the ground. It is helpful to pour dry dog food from the bag into a large, clean, plastic container with an airtight lid. Canned dog food can be kept in a cupboard with other canned foods.
I have a fat and skinny dog. How should I feed them?
The larger dog may be eating his own food and that of his skinny comrade. Feed them in separate rooms to allow the smaller dog time to eat his meal.