Knowing how much to feed your cat each day can be tricky. There is no one set amount that can be applied to all cats because they are vastly different in age, size, weight, and activity level. This simple guide will give you an idea of how to approach your cat’s feeding regimen and help to find the right amount per day your kitty should be eating.
A cat’s stomach is designed to only hold about 2 tablespoons of food on average. This means feeding an average size cat more than half a can of wet food (that is 3 oz) in once sitting is too much. The average size cat which is 7 to 10 pounds should be eating no more than 1.5oz of food in a single sitting. Feeding them more than this for a meal risks your cat throwing up its meal after eating or packing on extra weight. If your cat is on the larger side (over 15 pounds) then they will be able to eat closer to 3 ounces in one sitting.
Cats who weigh a healthy 7 to 10 pounds should eat 1.5 ounces of wet food per meal and should be fed 3 times per day. This means they will be eating roughly 4.5 ounces of wet food a day.
Below Average Cats
Cats who weigh a healthy 6 pounds or less should be fed 1 ounce of wet food per meal and should be fed 3 times per day. This means they will be eating roughly 3 ounces of wet food a day.
Above Average Cats
Cats who weigh over a healthy 15 pounds should eat 2 to 3 ounces of wet food per meal and should be fed 3 times per day. This means they should be eating 6 to 9 ounces of wet food a day.
Not all cats are the same and some may require more food or less food depending on age, activity level and medical issues. If your cat is currently overweight, you will want to feed them less per day. If they are underweight, you will want to feed them more. Adjust the feeding amounts until you find what is right for your cat where their weight is stable at a healthy number. Some cats are larger boned and may require more food vs a leaner cat who is the same weight but considered overweight needing less.
Unfortunately, you cannot go by food labels as they typically have cat owners overfeeding their cats. This is partially why we are seeing an increase in overweight pets, particularly cats and dogs.
If your cat is prone to vomiting after meals, you may want to consider 2 daily feedings with access to dry food throughout the day. This is considered ideal for most cats and for most cat owner’s schedules.
What about cats who only eat dry food?
We never recommend this as a stand-alone diet for a cat as it is not healthy. Most veterinarians would agree that while dry food is “good enough” it is linked to health complications later in life as well as being linked to feline obesity. It is best to offer at least 50% wet food to your cat’s daily diet.