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Need a little feeding advice...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We feed a mix of wet and dry food (for two reasons we do not do all wet, first is economical, second is because we travel frequently and someone is not always available to feed her on a schedule). Basically instead of doing two of the small cans a day, we do one (half in the morning and half in the evening), then have a little bit of dry food available all the time.

However I'm starting to get concerned with the amount of dry that she's eating. She's about 9 months old and a very active indoor cat, so she does get plenty of exercise, but she is growing fast and I am paranoid about starting a bad habit and turning her into a butterball. A few days ago she wasn't always finishing her wet meals (unusual for her because she loves to eat), but we noticed she had been eating more of her dry than usual, so when we cut back her dry a little bit she went back to devouring the full amount of wet food - seemed like a clear case of overeating.

So we know we need to restrict the dry food more than we had been, but I'm not exactly sure how. She's getting about half the amount of wet food a cat would have in a day if that was her only food source, and I read on the bag of dry that a cat her size should have about 2/3 cup of dry daily...but we if we cut that in half it just doesn't seem like very much. As I said she's very active, so I'm not sure if she should be eating a little more than that because she'll work it off, or if those guidelines are correct.

I don't want her to become a fat cat, but I don't want to be too strict with guidelines and end up giving her less food than she needs! Any advice is appreciated - thanks!
post #2 of 8
I can only tell you that I feed 1 can (5.5 ounces) per day (half morning and half night) with 1/3 cup dry for free feed for 2 cats. Bijou is 17 lbs and Mika is around 8.5. Both cats are in good health. It does sound as though you may be over-feeding IMO. Sharky is our resident guru when it comes to food so hopefully she'll be along soon to answer your questions.
post #3 of 8
Hi! She sounds like my little tub-o-luv, Merlynn. Little Miss Merlynn LOVES her crunchies...however, her waistline does NOT.

I believe that the recommended daily feeding guide amounts on most pet food is too much - so don't worry too much about that. Feeding amounts depend on your cat's age, build, activity level, etc.

If you cut back too much on the dry food, you'll notice, because she'll undoubtedly eat more of her canned meal. And what it sounds like is that she seems to care a little more for the dry than the canned. So she's pretty much holding herself back during her canned meals so she can eat more of the dry.

But for starters, I would stop free feeding her dry. Maybe try canned food for breakfast and dry for dinner. But if you leave the dry out, and she's anything like my Merlynn, she'll plump right up. And then the fun part comes when you have to help her slim down a bit.

I had Merlynn on 100% canned for about a month to help her slim down and it worked wonders. However, I felt it a little in my pocket. So I still like to have her on canned food, but to help stretch it, I throw in a dry food meal every so often. Not on a regular basis because she would just under-eat during canned meals and eat everything during dry meals. If you can find your canned food in the large 12 ounce cans, you will benefit economically.

Good luck! I'm sure you'll find some more great advice soon!
post #4 of 8
The guidelines on the food bag are only guidelines. You should adjust the amount to fit the needs of your cat- which it sounds like you've already done by cutting back a little. You could always put down more dry whenever you travel.
post #5 of 8
Do you give one kind of wet food or do you vary ? I have heard about cats getting bored with wet or raw foods more easily than with dry food (which is made super attractive by the layer of digest sprayed on the outside). In that case you could try for some variation.
post #6 of 8
ONE not all dry s are sprayed with digest
.. it used to be the way.... today it is often an oil with a preserving agent... some arent coated at all


the guidelines are for feeding dry only... when feeding half dry half wet cut the dry in half ...
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!

First of all, she actually LOVES canned food - for a while we couldn't even get her to eat much of the dry stuff, which is why free feeding didn't seem to be an issue at first. Every time we put down canned food she'll eat as though she's been starved to death, and whenever I take away her dry she'll tend to cry a lot wanting to be fed. I think we just went a little overboard with making sure there was always a little food in her bowl because we didn't want her bugging us for more - BAD IDEA I know, we're stopping that now. Also, we do vary the canned - a mix of Iams chicken and beef.

Right now we have to do the wet half in the morning and half at night because she has a URI and is taking meds twice a day (she'll still gobble up the wet stuff even if it's almost 50% meds!), so if I were to stop leaving dry available and only feed a specific amount as a meal, I'm not sure when I'd do it...maybe before bed?
post #8 of 8
yeah since she is a kitten give her a bedtime meal ...
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