How much should I feed my cat?
Credit: By jlinczak, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (, via Flickr

Many cat owners will ask the question “how much should I feed my cat?” And it's a perfectly valid question as it's quite possible that you may be giving your pet too much or too little food.

The actual amount of food your cat will require however will deped on several factors. These include the weight, age and activity level of your pet, as well as the actual type and brand of food you are giving him.

But there are some basic guidelines you should adhere to, and in this article I'll outline the type of food as well as how much you should feed a kitten and an adult cat.

What Food Should My Cat Be Fed?

A higher quality of food will be better for your cat's health than a cheaper brand, as it will contain more nutrients. And this will also mean he won't need to eat as much. So always look for a specific type of meat as the first ingredient on the label; it should not say meat by-products.

Canned food is also healthier for your cat than dry food, as dry is usually too high in plant proteins and carbohydrates and too low in water.

Cats, being total carnivores, can’t digest plant based proteins too well. And eating too many carbohydrates can cause problems with blood sugar, possibly leading to diabetes.

Cat's don't have much of a thirst drive either, so they need to get water in their food.

Dry is convenient though, and many cat owners like to give their pets some dry food to supplement their canned food. But if you do this, do ensure you choose a good quality brand.

How Much Food Should My Kitten Be Fed?

Kittens need about twice the amount of food per pound of body weight as adult cats; and they also need to be fed more frequently. Four feedings of kitten food per day is required at the age of 6 weeks; then at 12 weeks it can be reduced to three. And at 6 months twice per day is sufficient. Let him eat as much as he wants at these feedings.

When you first get your new kitten you should feed him the same as he has been used to, and then you can gradually change over to another brand.

How Much Food Should My Adult Cat Be Fed?

At about a year old your cat will become an adult. You can now feed him an adult cat food twice per day.

Cats require about 30 Calories per pound of body weight per day if they are fairly active. So a 10lb cat will need 300 Calories per day. So simply check the calorie content of the food you are giving him and feed him 150 Calories worth in the morning and the same again in the evening. Or you could give him less and make up the difference with some dry food fed during the day.

If your cat is not very active he may not need so much however; so simply keep your eye on his weight and if he starts to get fat reduce the amount you are feeding him. Conversely, if  he seems a bit thin you can give him a bit more.

So although you can't be exact in giving recommendations as to how much you should feed your cat, the recommendations here should put you on the right track. Stick to this and you'll have a happy healthy cat for many years.