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How much should adult cats eat per day?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I used to free feed my cats until about six months ago, when they seemed to be getting a little too big in the tummy area. Now they consume one cup of food total, per cat, per day.

The problem is that they always seem hungry, and beg for food constantly. They have not lost much weight, about a pound per cat. Two of them weigh 14 pounds and the "little" one weighs 11 pounds. The vet said they are all healthy, and that their size/weight ratio is pretty normal, leaning a bit toward the heavy side, but not heavy enough to be a health issue.

Should I be worried, or am I being paranoid?
By the way, they eat Science Diet Adult Feline Maintenance, dry food only. Any other cat food, including Science Diet canned food, makes Emily vomit something fierce.
post #2 of 12
Depends, how big are your cats and how old?
You can't always go by the recomendations on the bag, you'll need to adjust accordingly.

I'd say start off feeding in the morning half a cup, and then half a cup at night, and somewhere in the middle, if your cats can stand to eat treats with out getting sick, give them some healthy treats to tied them over until supper time.

Some cats just always wine for food, doesn't nesissarily mean they are hungry, don't give in, even to their sweet little faces.

If after this they still seem pudgy, just slowly reduce the amount you give them in every feeding, and make sure the treats you give them aren't really high in fiber (carbohydrates) or fat content.

Or you can make them exercize for their meals. Put their bowls at the top of a high cat tree, hand feed them peice by peice and make them to tricks for peices.
post #3 of 12
Mishon have you seen the furry feeder?

Furry Feeder
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions. The furry feeder looks like a good idea. When they wanted to beg for food, they could meow at the machine instead of me!
post #5 of 12
My cats get 3/4-1 cup per day. Have you considered putting them on weight management food?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have thought about a weight management food, but I am worried about Emily's ability to digest it. I may try it and if it causes vomiting, take it back to the store to exchange it.
post #7 of 12
Are you assuming your kitty was too overweight or has the vet recommended that you put the cat on a diet? If you take it upon yourself to choose a special diet without speaking to a vet first, you could be making a mistake, to the detriment of your cat's health.

Commercial weight control foods are not that great, and are geared more toward the owner's concern, than the cats.

If your vet monitors this weight control program that would be the best and safest route to travel. Good luck!
post #8 of 12
I just want to throw a quick note in hear about cats & them losing weight. You have to be careful that a cat does not loose weight too fast. If they loose a lot of weight very quickly they can get what is called fatty liver disease. I don't know much about fatty liver, but I know it is BAD. so I just wanted to throw that word of caution to you. I would talk to my vet about any kind of diet before I put my cat on one. My cat has CRF, & only weight 5 lbs, but she eats 1/4 - 1/2 a cup of food a day depending on how hungry she is. Of coarse because she is so sick & so skinny if she wants more than that I will give it to her.
post #9 of 12
Commercial weight control foods are not that great, and are geared more toward the owner's concern, than the cats.
Hissy, can you expand on this a bit more? My cats have been on it for about a 6 months or so but I am planning on taking them off of it and re-introducing a normal adult food.

Rang, that is a very good point. Fatty liver can cause irreversible liver damage. My cat lost about 1/2 a pound a month which my vet said was safe. He has now lost 3 pounds and is into a safer weight range.
post #10 of 12
What I meant is that if it is a prescription diet food recommended by your vet, that is the way to go- instead of buying off the shelf at your grocery store a bag that says weight control. The weight control is put there to appeal to the owner who might be concerned about weight issues, thus prompting the owner to buy the wrong food.

A cat placed on a strict diet without vet supervision can become susceptible to fatty liver disease, or hepatic lipidosis- where basically the fat cells infiltrate the liver. It is quick to take hold and obese cats or small kittens who have not eaten much are the most susceptible to it. Basically the body starts consuming itself because it is not getting proper nutrition. Once it takes hold, usually the cat will die.

It is always a good idea to make a vet appointment for your cat and go in and talk to your vet about your concerns regarding the weight of your kitty. That is always the best way to go.
post #11 of 12
Thanks hissy. My vet was the one who recommended the diet and said that the Nutro would be a good food to assist the loss. I have consulted with him since (about a month ago) and we have decided to finish off this bag of food and then switch them to something else (probably Innova). Of course, the switch will be gradual.

Does this seem ok to you? I knew my cats were a bit hefty because of a roomie overfeeding them without my knowledge (long story) but that has since stopped and they are looking great!

Edited to say that they were considered overweight by my vet as well.
post #12 of 12
As long as your vet knows what you are doing and approves, you should be safe proceeding like that.
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