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When can you cut down meals?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi guys

A quick question. Harry is 5 months old and is being fed 4-5 times a day (and eating like a horse I might add!). I'm just wondering at what age can you start feeding just twice a day? I don't want him to continue with the habit of getting a few meals a day any longer than necessary as I don't want him heading for obesity and it's easier if we're away for someone to come just twice a day to feed.

Btw he will be neutered next month.
post #2 of 13
HArry should be on 2 meals a day from about 3-5 months so any time soon but try to do it before he gets neutered

post #3 of 13
You should start now - 4-5 meals for a 5 month old is far too much. I'd start by eliminating one meal a week till he's eating twice a day. Once he's neutered, if he's not exercising a LOT, then he will get fat very fast on that kind of schedule.

Make it scheduled meals - not free feeding either.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I should have said - he is only eating 2-3 pouches of Schesir kitten a day; I just give him half a pouch at a time. That is what is recommended to give a cat his age. The vet had initially told me to feed him little and often and that is what I'm still doing. I just want to make it more regulated now so I'm starting with 3 meals today!
post #5 of 13
POUCHES ... meaning wet food?? you may try a pouch at a time or gradually moving up to that
post #6 of 13
When I got Zoey in the house at 2 months, we just automatically put her on free dry and two meals of wet a day. There isn't ONE proper way to feed a cat, there are many ways depending on your cat's age, size, and medical needs as well as your own schedule.

But I really do thing that that many pouches of wet food a day is really not good for a kitten of 5 months. I would have started him on two meals a day at 3 months. But I think that a cat should get more than just a small serving of wet twice a day, or even two big servings of wet twice a day isn't good. That's why I prefer to free-feed cats; but in a different way. For example- Zoey gets about 1/2 of dry a day, and she eats all of that in a day, but wouldn't eat anymore. This way I can still keep track of how much she is eating so I can note any changes, but she is eating all she wants. Most cats don't eat too much when they don't need it and therefore become obese unless their meals are not nutritionally complete.

So my advice is two servings of wet per day, and about 1/2 of dry a day. Zoey is the same age as Harry, and is very active and healthy, and this is her schedule. But of course, that is only my personal opinion.

If you want to change Harry over to that- try offering just a little bit of dry, maybe 1/4 cup per day, and as another member suggested, taking away one meal every week or maybe every 4 days even. Gradually increase the amount of dry, and decrease the meals of wet.

I myself feel more comfortable with Zoey getting some dry as well as wet, I don't agree with an all wet diet. Again, just a personal opinion.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Kuntry Kitty thanks for your long response. The wet I serve is very high quality so I do think he is getting all his nutritional needs from it. I do leave dry out for him but he doesn't really eat much of it (probably because he gets too much of a choice of wet!)

I was thinking once I felt he was old enough that I would give him 2 wet meals a day plus free feed dry just as you said. It works out cheaper plus I can leave dry there whereas I have to be around to feed wet.I was hesitant because a few things I checked on the internet plus the vet recommended 4 meals a day for young cats. The reason I had only put out half a pouch at a time was that Harry would tend to only eat half then leave the rest which is a big waste unless I can get to it on time to put it away again!

If he realises that if he doesn't eat it all when I give it to him then that is it, hopefully my life will be easier with Kitty.
post #8 of 13
I feed an all wet diet also and have kittens as well. We do 3 meals a day. I break it up so that they aren't getting more than they would if we did 2 meals per day. Frequent small meals is actually not a bad thing. So long as you are monitoring the amount per feeding and not giving too much food over the course of the day, you can really feed them on any schedule you like. I think you'll find average is 2-3 times per day.

Pouches are very small, typically 3 ounces so it's really not like he's getting all that much. Especially if you say 2-3 pouches. That's only 6-9 ounces and for a kitten that's not too much food. A younger kitten that is, at his age, he shouldn't need to eat as much as say, a 3 month old kitten so you can start curtailing down towards a more age/size appropriate portion.

Edit: I thought post above me was saying you were feeding too little. I misunderstood, that's why I referenced the pouches above.
post #9 of 13
Jaffa (age 10) gets one pouch of wet food 3 times a day and Mosi (2 in December) gets half a pouch 3 times a day topped with a small amount of dry. Both do well on 3 meals a day and with their wet and wet/dry diets. 3 times a day suits me as I can feed in the morning before work, when I get home from work and last thing at night. Jaffa vomits if he goes too long without food so twice a day isnt' ideal for him. Mosi has been on 3 meals a day since he was about 4 months.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
Jaffa (age 10) gets one pouch of wet food 3 times a day and Mosi (2 in December) gets half a pouch 3 times a day topped with a small amount of dry. Both do well on 3 meals a day and with their wet and wet/dry diets. 3 times a day suits me as I can feed in the morning before work, when I get home from work and last thing at night. Jaffa vomits if he goes too long without food so twice a day isnt' ideal for him. Mosi has been on 3 meals a day since he was about 4 months.

Well my first day of feeding Harry bigger meals resulted in him vomiting at lunchtime. He ate a full pouch at breakfast and half a pouch at lunch with a little bit of munching on dry in between. This is the first time he has ever done this since I got him. So I think Jaffa and Mosi's routine may be best but I'll have to wean him more slowly.
post #11 of 13
I hate to be the voice of dissension here, but my feelings are that a kitten, especially a little male, should have as much as he will eat, whenever he wants to eat for at least the first full year of his life. Kittens are extremely active and burn calories faster than more mature cats. They require the extra resources. Obesity isn't something you should need to worry about right now.

As an added aside, the vomiting you observed could indicate hunger pangs ... I know that when I wait too long to eat, I get extremely nauseated so it stands to reason that cats may experience the same.

Personally, I wouldn't change the feeding schedule or amount right now.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef View Post
I hate to be the voice of dissension here, but my feelings are that a kitten, especially a little male, should have as much as he will eat, whenever he wants to eat for at least the first full year of his life. Kittens are extremely active and burn calories faster than more mature cats. They require the extra resources. Obesity isn't something you should need to worry about right now.

As an added aside, the vomiting you observed could indicate hunger pangs ... I know that when I wait too long to eat, I get extremely nauseated so it stands to reason that cats may experience the same.

Personally, I wouldn't change the feeding schedule or amount right now.
Thanks for that. I'm worried about obesity because my mum's male is LARGE and she had got into the habit of feeding him whenever he looked for it. I'm happy to feed him whatever way suits him best as he is my little darling!
post #13 of 13
Just so long as he remains active ... if you don't already have one, get one of those fabulous fishing pole-type toys and work him with it. Gotta keep those little muscles toned! *grin*
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