Cat Feeding Guide by Age (All Life Stages)

Cat Feeding Guide by Age (All Life Stages)

It’s no secret that there is plenty of cat-feeding guides out there, but it’s always worth taking a moment to make sure your furry friend is getting the best nutrition possible. As cat owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our pets are getting the proper nourishment they need to thrive at every stage of life.

Did you know that the recommended daily intake of dry food for adult cats is around 40 grams per kilogram of body weight and 75 grams of wet food? These guidelines can help ensure that your adult cat is getting enough energy to stay healthy. However, it’s important to keep in mind that cats with special circumstances, such as health issues, pregnancy, lactation, diabetes or kidney sick feline, may require preventive health care with proper nutrition.

“When it comes to caring for a sick cat, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate diet for their specific needs.”

However, stay tuned for normal indoor and outdoor cat feeding schedules, we have all the information on how to provide the best possible nutrition for your skinny and obese feline companion at every stage of life from kitten to adult and senior cats.

Kittens Feeding Guide: Young Life Stage

Kittens have a rapid growth rate and high energy needs, and it is important to choose a diet that supports their development. Kittens should be fed high-quality kitten food that is rich in protein and calories. It is important to transition kittens from their mother’s milk to solid food gradually, starting at around 4 weeks of age. Kittens should be fed small, frequent meals and have access to fresh water at all times.

Feeding Schedule for Kittens (Under 1 Year Old)

Kittens should be fed several times per day until they reach around six months of age. Once they reach this age, they can be transitioned to soft cat food as it is easier for them to chew and digest with their growing teeth. Soft cat food is a type of kibble that has some moisture which can be a good option for growing kittens.

It is important not to feed kittens senior cat food as it does not meet their specific nutritional needs. Kittens grow quickly and have unique requirements for growth, including high protein, calorie, and nutrient content. Feeding them senior cat food can impede their growth and development.

So always find high-quality kitten food that is formulated to meet young cats’ specific nutritional needs to support their development.

Here is a recommended feeding schedule for kittens:

Note: Kittens have higher energy and nutrient requirements than adult cats, so they may require larger portion sizes that are 1 ounce per pound of body weight.

  • 4-12 weeks old: 6 meals per day (every 3-4 hours)
  • 3-6 months old: 4-5 meals per day
  • 6 months and older: 3-4 meals per day

When transitioning to a new feeding schedule, it is important to do so gradually over a week to allow the kitten’s digestive system to adjust. It is also important to monitor the kitten’s weight and body condition to ensure they are growing and developing at a healthy rate.

How Long Do you Feed Kittens their Kitten Food?

As a general guideline, it is recommended by veterinarians that kittens be switched to adult cat food at around 10 to 12 months of age, which is approximately 1 year. However, it is important to gradually transition your kitten to adult food to avoid digestive issues. If you have any concerns about your kitten’s feeding schedule or nutrition, it is advisable to consult with a veterinarian; Dr Jane Smith.

Adult Cats Feeding Guide: Mature Life Stage

Adult cats have different nutritional needs than kittens, and it is important to choose a diet that meets the needs of their adult bodies. Adult cats should be fed high-quality adult cat food, but the specific requirements may vary based on factors such as spay/neuter status, activity level, and breed. It is important to work with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount of meal for your adult cat to maintain a healthy weight.

Feeding Schedule for Adult Cats (1-7 Years Old)

As a general rule, adult cats should be fed twice a day (normally), but the specific feeding schedule may vary based on factors such as the cat’s age, size, activity level, and overall health.

Factors that Influence Portion Size for an Adult Cat Feeding Schedule

  1. Weight: Cat’s nutritional needs change based on their weight.
  2. Activity Level: More active Cats may require more calories to fuel their bodies, so they may need larger portion sizes.
  3. Neuter Status (spayed or neutered): Spayed and neutered cats require less energy due to changes in hormone levels and metabolism.
  4. Health Issues: Cats with health conditions pregnant and lactating cats or sick cat should be fed their prescribed diet for optimal healing followed by the vet’s recommendations.

Proper nutrition is essential for adult cats to maintain optimal health and well-being. It is important to consider the feeding schedule to ensure that your cat is getting the right amount and type of nutrition.

Dry Food Portions for Adult Cats

The recommended guideline is to feed an adult cat 40 grams of kibbles per kilogram of body weight per day. It’s worth noting that dry food contains more energy than wet food, so your cat may need less of it to meet their nutritional needs. For example, a 4kg adult cat should be fed a total of 160 grams per day.

Wet Food Portions for Adult Cats

To maintain a healthy weight, it is recommended to feed most (domestic) indoor felines an average of 300 grams of canned cat food per day, split into 2-3 meals. Wet food with high moisture content is a good choice without additives and following this feeding regimen, adult felines should maintain a healthy weight of around 10 pounds (4-4.5 kg) through their adulthood and old age.

You can also learn about the benefits and drawbacks of feeding canned cat food, whether it is the best option for your feline companion, and how to identify high-quality wet cat food.

Here are some easy feeding charts for feeding your adult cat based on their weight:

Weight (kg)Wet Food (g/day)Dry Food (g/day)
215080
3225120
4300160
5375200
6450240
7525280
8600320
9675360
10750400
11825440
Adult Cat Feeding Chart by Body Weight

6 Essential Factors to Keep in Mind when Feeding Your Adult Feline

  1. Choose a high-quality, nutritionally balanced adult cat food that meets the specific needs of your cat.
  2. Determine the appropriate portion size based on your cat’s age, size, activity level, and overall health.
  3. Divide the daily portion into two equal meals and offer the food at set times each day to help regulate your cat’s appetite and digestion.
  4. Provide fresh water at all times and consider using a water fountain to encourage your cat to drink more. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues in cats, so it is important to ensure they have access to clean water.
  5. Monitor your cat’s weight and body condition, and adjust the portion size as needed to maintain a healthy weight. Overweight cats are at an increased risk of developing health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems.
  6. If you need to change your cat’s feeding schedule or switch to a new recipe, do so gradually to allow your cat’s digestive system time to adjust.

How Much Should a Cat Weigh?

As stated by Dr Jane Smith, a licensed veterinarian, it is typical for domestic cats, a common indoor breed, to reach a healthy weight of 10 pounds (4-4.5 kg) in adulthood. Outdoor cats, on the other hand, tend to weigh around 4 pounds and tend to be leaner due to their increased physical activity from activities such as hunting and patrolling their territory.

It should be noted that some large cat breeds can reach weights of up to 25 pounds (11 kg), while smaller breeds can reach adult weights of 5 pounds (2.2 kg). Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for the overall well-being and contentment of your feline companion.

Ensuring the Proper Nutrition of Your Dogs and Puppies: A Guide to Choosing the Right Dog Food

Senior Cats Feeding Guide: Golden Life Stage

As our feline companions age, it becomes increasingly important to carefully consider their nutritional needs and make necessary adjustments to their diet to feel comfortable.

While the energy and nutrient requirements of senior cats may remain similar to those of adult cats, it is important to know that their metabolism and organ function may become weak. This may necessitate a reduction in dry kibbles and an increase in soft or wet meals, and potentially exploring the option of homemade cat food. Ensuring that senior cats receive the proper nutrients is crucial for maintaining optimal health.

Feeding Schedule for Senior Cats (7+ years old)

Body Weight (kg)Dry Cat Food (g)Wet Cat Food (g)
4160300
5200375
6240450
7280525
8320600
9360675
10400750
11440825

If you choose to go with commercial options, it is crucial to select a diet that meets the specific needs of senior cats, such as high-quality senior wet cat food.

  • Our top recommendation is to opt for high-quality senior wet cat food, but if your senior cat is picky, consider using senior dry food as treat.
  • Another option to consider is all-life stage semi-solid, soft dry cat food, which is more affordable than wet food and can be a great choice for cats with dental problems.

Here are some guidelines for feeding senior cats (7+ years old):

  • Energy Needs: As cats age, their energy needs may decrease due to a decrease in physical activity and metabolism. It’s important to monitor your senior cat’s weight and adjust its caloric intake as needed to maintain a healthy body condition.
  • Protein Requirements: Senior cats still require high-quality protein in their diet to support muscle mass and overall health. Look for a diet that includes animal-based protein sources such as chicken, fish, or lamb.
  • Fibre Content: Fiber can be helpful for maintaining healthy bowel function in senior cats. Look for a diet that includes soluble fibre sources such as pumpkin or oat bran.
  • Hydration: It’s important for all cats, but especially senior cats, to have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Encourage your senior cat to drink more water by offering wet food or adding water to their dry food.
  • Special Considerations: If your senior cat has any specific health issues, such as kidney disease or dental problems, it may be necessary to feed them a specialized diet. Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations on the best diet for your senior cat’s specific needs.

Special Circumstances for Special Felines

Your cat’s appetite may change due to illness, so it’s important to pay attention to their food intake and weight. If your cat is not eating enough, you may need to feed them a high-calorie, highly palatable diet or try feeding smaller meals more frequently.

While raw and homemade diets may be a potential option for most senior cats, it is vital to consult with a veterinarian and a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to develop a nutritionally complete and balanced diet plan tailored to your feline’s specific health issues. Ensuring that your older cat’s diet is nutritionally complete and balanced is crucial for maintaining optimal health.

Here are some general guidelines for feeding senior cats with different health conditions:

  • Pregnant felines: During pregnancy, your cat will need more energy and nutrients to support the development of their kittens. Offer your pregnant cat a high-quality, nutrient-rich diet and make sure they have access to clean water at all times.
  • Lactating cats: Nursing cats will need a diet that is high in energy and nutrients to support milk production. Consult with your veterinarian for specific feeding recommendations.
  • Kidney disease: Cats with kidney disease may need a special diet that is low in protein, phosphorus, and sodium to help support their kidneys. Your veterinarian can recommend a specific renal diet for your cat.
  • Allergic and Diabetic Cats: Cats with diabetes may need a special diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates such as grain-free cat foods. Such meals help regulate their blood sugar levels and are formulated with no sugars, and allergic content to recommend for diabetic cats.

Our research can help you identify and avoid the most common cat food allergies. You will learn about the proper feeding of a specialised diet that can help treat specific allergies for your feline companion.

Maximize Your Feline’s Nutrition: Tips for Combining Wet and Dry Foods

One way to incorporate both wet and dry food into your cat’s feeding schedule is to follow the recommended ratio of two-thirds dry food to one-third wet food. This means that for every three parts of food, you give your cat, two of those parts should be dry food and one part should be wet food.

By combining wet and dry food, you can provide your adult cat with the benefits of both types of food and increase the variety in their diet. Cats love different flavours and will also benefit from the hydration provided by wet meals. You can also try alternating between different types of wet and dry food to offer a range of flavours and nutrients.

If your feline friend is thin and frail, you are wondering what kind of food can her gain weight and build muscle. You can consider superfoods that help slim and feeble felines to gain health and retain muscular mass with lean protein and other quality food ingredients that can provide the necessary nutrients for your weak cat to become strong.

Don’t Free Feed your Cats: It’s Not Good for their Health

Free feeding may seem like an easy way to ensure that your cat always has access to food, but it is not a recommended long-term feeding method for adult cats. Allowing your cat to graze on food throughout the day can lead to weight gain and obesity, as they may be more prone to overeating.

Plus, leaving food out can cause it to spoil, which can be harmful to your cat’s health. To ensure that your adult cat is getting the proper nutrition and to prevent overfeeding, it is important to follow a regular feeding schedule and measure appropriate portion sizes.

Conclusion

Proper nutrition is an important factor in the overall health and well-being of our feline companions. As cats age, their nutritional needs change, and it is important to choose a diet that meets their specific needs at each life stage. It is always best to work with a veterinarian to determine the appropriate diet for your cat. By providing your cat with a high-quality diet and helping them maintain a healthy weight, you can help ensure that they live a long and happy life.

Alan Martin
Alan Martin is a pet lover and writer with a passion for penning heartfelt pet memoirs. He is the proud owner of a dog named Joy, a cat named Milo, and a raccoon named Furby. Alan has mastered the art of pet nutrition and cares for all kinds of furry friends from his work at Pet Science. As a contributor to BestB, he's sharing his expertise with the world. His years of experience in the field have allowed him to develop a deep understanding of pet care and nutrition, and he is committed to providing reliable guides with good and bad points for each pet food and accessory so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to your furry friend's needs and care.