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Calories per pound?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

Does anyone know what the general rule is for how many calories an adult cat should consume per pound of body weight? I know it veries depending on activity level and whether the cat needs to lose, maintain, or gain weight. I'm just trying to figure out a general rule so I can feed the cats accordingly.

I have one overweight cat who is losing slowly but surely. She lost about 0.4 pound in a month, and I haven't had her weighed since, but she looks better and has a much easier time jumping on the bed. Then I have another cat who was pretty thin when we got him. He is pretty active, and I've been feeding him less than what's recommended on the bag, but he appears and feels like he's getting a little more padding than he should have. He's 3 years old and about 14 pounds but has a huge build (his frame is a little smaller than the size of a male maine coon's frame, but I have no idea what breed he is). It's still fairly easy to feel his ribs, but I do have to press through more than a little bit of fat.

Does anyone know roughly how many calories per pound an adult cat should be getting?

Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 14
I think I can help except we use kilograms as a weight measurement in australia and I have no idea how to convert that to pounds but maybe you do...

For an inactive cat about 70 calories per kg.
For an active cat about 80 - 90 calories per kg.

I will try and find a weight conversion thing somewhere, as I said we dont use pounds so I dont have a clue!
post #3 of 14
Ok get a calculator & follow along if you want. This is the calculation used at my job, an animal hospital.

cat's weight divided by 2.2. If there are ounces involved divide that by 16(there are 16 oz in 1 pound) So if your cat was 10lbs 4 oz. It would be 10.25

So, 10.25 divided by 2.2 = 4.65

Times the 4.6 answer two times. So, 4.6 X 4.6 = 98.5

Next hit the square root button twice = 31.5

Then times that answer by 70. answer= 220.5 This equals the cats resting calorie requirements. So, if your cat is of an ideal weight this is how many calories it can have per day. However, if the cat is obese/overweight times that answer by .8 that would bring it down to 176.4 calories per day. Now you need the calories in the food that your feeding. Take your cat's official calorie count & divide it by the calories in your current food.

Lets say your food has 400 calories per cup. Your 10lb 4 oz cat could have .55 cups per day if of an ideal weight, & .44 cups if it were overweight. So you can round up a bit from here & give the ideal weight cat 1/3 cup in the am & 1/4 cup in the pm & give the overweight cat 1/4 cups twice daily.
post #4 of 14
This is very useful information. I have been trying to find out the calorie requirement of cats.

I emailed Nutro to ask about calorie content of their food. The small tins of wet food are about 80 - 86 calories / tin. The diet food in pouches is about 70 - 75 calories. The diet dry food is about 350 calories / cup.
post #5 of 14
calorie requirements will vary to the individual cat. If you know how much your cats weighs I can help you w/ the calculation if needed.
post #6 of 14
Oh, that would be wonderful. Both cats are fairly sedentary, although we are working on that. Sam weighs 14 pounds, and is slightly overweight. I think he is optimal at about 12 1/2 pounds. Bailey weighed 12 pounds at her last vet appointment, and I think that the diet since then has helped, she's probably about 11 now. I am guessing that she should be closer to 8 or 9.

They are both doing better since I switched them to mostly wet food, with dry food just for snacks, at the suggestion of my vet, who thinks that they are both a little chunky. We are not worried about their weight as much as the fact that they both were gaining fairly quickly.
post #7 of 14
According to calculations, the 14lb cat's weight loss calories are 223 calories daily. The 11 lb cat would be 187 calories. Next you just have to divide their calories by the food calories & figure out how much wet & dry you want to feed & divide it up from there. Like say for the 14 lb cat 2 pouches and 1/4 cup dry daily, just as an example.
post #8 of 14
Forgot to mention that it would be ideal to have them weighed monthly or so to moniter their progress. It should be a very slow weight loss at about 1% per week. Most vets will weigh your pet at no charge & no appointment necessary. I know it's not always feasible to drag your cats out of the house though, so just do whatever you can reasonably.
post #9 of 14
Thanks a lot, and when I calculate what they are getting, we're pretty close to the mark. I give the larger cat 2 tins of regular food, and a tiny bit of dry. The smaller cat, who has more to lose, gets two pouches of diet food and a bit of kibble.

I have thought of taking them in to be weighed, but that is a huge production. I will do a 6 month check up. Because they are not really obese, ie. not enough for other serious health problems, I was more concerned that they stop gaining, and lose some, but very very slowly over a year or so is fine. My vet was less concerned about their current weight. I am just trying to keep it that way.
post #10 of 14

In your formula 4.6 x 4.6 obviously doesn't equal 98.5. And taking 98.5 and hitting square root twice will equal 3.15, not 31.5. 4.6 cubed would be close at 97.3, and 3.15 times 10 would equal 31.5. Obviously there's omissions in the formula as written. I would like to know the correct formula.

Edited by Dan Man - 7/22/13 at 10:08pm
post #11 of 14
This is a very old thread. The general rule of thumb for neutered indoor adult cats is 20 calories per ideal body weight daily (e.g. 10 lb cat = 200 calories). If you are aiming for weight loss, 1-2% of body weight lost per week is safe.
post #12 of 14

i tried following along but 4.6x4.6= 21.16 on my calculator.. howd you get 98.5?

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by AshleyLucas View Post

i tried following along but 4.6x4.6= 21.16 on my calculator.. howd you get 98.5?

Excellent question.  Too bad the person who did that calculation did it 12 years ago ;)!   (I'm surprised  no one questioned it until now. 


Anyway, do you just want to know how to figure out how much to feed your cats?  Maybe this will help:


If not, please start up a new thread with your exact question in it and we'll try to answer it. 

post #14 of 14
4.6 cubed = approx 98. She says to multiply the answer by 4.6 twice which is a poor way to say "cube original number."
It's a very weird formula that just comes out to 20 cal per lb of weight!!
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