The amount of wet food you should feed your cat is dependent on several physical and lifestyle factors. Like us, a feline’s dietary needs will change several times throughout its life. Veterinarians recommend wet food diets more frequently to cat owners because of the benefits provided during these life stages.
Let this article be your guide to feeding your cat wet food. Here we discuss:
- How Much Wet Food Should I Feed my Cat?
- How Often Should I Feed My Cat?
- Wet Food vs Dry Food.
- Changing From a Dry Diet to a Wet Diet.
- Methods of Feeding.
- How Long Does Wet Food Last?
How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat?
It can be difficult to decide on the right amount of food for your cat. To start with, take a look at the recommended portion size on your cat’s food packaging. Keep an eye on your cat and see how they respond to this routine.
Alongside the recommended amounts provided by pet food manufacturers, you also need to consider several factors, such as age, lifestyle, environment, and weight.
Once you have considered these factors, this calorie calculator may help you decide on the food amounts and calorie intake best suited to your cat.
How Often Should I Feed My Cat?
How often you feed your cat depends on your cat’s personality and age. Kittens under six-months-old typically need feeding three times a day to support growth— whereas an adult cat may only need two good meals throughout the day.
Some cats prefer little and often, and there’s no harm in this. Although when you’re providing a wet food diet, it will spoil if you leave it out too long.
You could split their daily food amount into smaller portions to spread across the day. If this is inconvenient, automatic cat feeders can help with your cat’s routine while keeping food fresh.
Wet Food vs. Dry Food
There are pros and cons to an exclusive wet or dry diet when it comes to your cat’s overall health.
Firstly, your cat is an obligate carnivore, which means they require nutrients from meat in their diet to survive.
Dry kibble contains a high amount of carbohydrates because of the grains and rice used to produce it. Wet food contains fewer carbohydrates and more animal proteins and fats.
These proteins and fats are what they would naturally live on had they not been domesticated.
Secondly, most cats don’t drink a tremendous amount of water. Cats on a dry food diet are more likely to suffer from dehydration, which increases the risk of them developing kidney disease and urinary tract infections.
Good hydration helps prevent such disorders. Wet foods contain more moisture which increases your cat’s water intake.
Wet food isn’t just great for increasing water intake and providing necessary proteins. It also smells more interesting and is generally tastier for your cat.
However, soft, chewy meat isn’t great at promoting dental health and does nothing to get the plaque off your feline’s teeth. Maintaining an exclusive wet diet can also end up being quite expensive.
Dry food, on the other hand, is less expensive and excellent at supporting dental health. However, the increased carbohydrate intake of dry food can make a cat more susceptible to obesity and diabetes.
Combination feeding will allow your cat to reap the benefits of both a wet and dry diet. The tricky bit is getting the ratio of wet to dry right.
Halving the recommended portion size of each food could be an excellent place to start. You could then refer back to the calorie calculator depending on how your cat’s body responds.
Changing From a Dry Diet to a Wet Diet
If you’ve fed your feline dry food exclusively and you want to switch to wet food, this can be tricky. Some cats will take to wet foods like a duck to water, no problem. Others will struggle with it, and it’ll take a little bit of time and patience for them to accept their new food.
To introduce the wet food, try mixing small amounts with your cat’s regular food. Gradually increase the amount of wet food over a period that suits your cat.
Allow a decent amount of time for your furry friend to adjust to the new tastes, aromas, and textures they’re experiencing. To learn more about switching your cat’s diet, take a look at this short video.
Methods of Feeding
Two widely used methods when it comes to feeding your pets are:
Portion-control feeding is a fantastic way to control your cat’s diet. There are two ways to portion-control meal times:
- Split your cat’s daily food intake into several small portions for them to eat at regular intervals throughout the day. This stops them from overeating, and it’s much easier to keep an eye on their calorie count.
- Offer your cat their full daily intake but take it away after a short time. You can then serve up the remainder later on in the day.
- Stops any overeating and prevents obesity.
- Easy to tell if your cat isn’t eating.
- Can separate pets at mealtimes if aggression is an issue.
- Difficult to schedule if you have a busy lifestyle.
- Easy to miss a feed if you have multiple small portions to remember.
- Cats can feel pressured into eating.
Free-choice feeding gives your cat the option to graze freely by allowing 24-hour access to dry kibble. At specific mealtimes, you may offer wet food. If you want to feed your cat solely on wet food, then free-choice feeding isn’t for you. A disadvantage of free-feeding is that some cats may become overweight quickly if food is always available.
- More convenient for owners.
- Cats don’t feel pressured into eating at a specific time.
- You can’t free-feed wet foods.
- Cats can overeat and develop problems such as obesity, urinary tract infections, and diabetes.
Wet food quickly spoils once you open the can or pouch. Portion-control feeding allows for food to be refrigerated between meals. This method of feeding is more appropriate for a wet food diet.
How Long Does Wet Food Last?
Canned food has a long shelf life as long as it’s stored correctly. Pantries are a great place to store your unopened cans and pouches.
You shouldn’t leave wet food out for over 20 minutes in a warm environment. If your cat has decided they’re not hungry, cover the remainder of their food and place it in the refrigerator.
Exposure to air can be another problem for wet foods. Keep any remaining food in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.
A wet food diet for your cat is beneficial and can help prevent health issues such as kidney disease and urinary tract infections in later life. How much wet food you provide for your cat depends on their physical well-being, neutering status, environment, lifestyle and age.
Although there are some downfalls to feeding a wet food diet, the benefits outweigh them. Overall, feeding your feline predominantly on wet food, if not exclusively, will make for a happier, healthier pet. What more could you want for your beloved buddy?