Every new cat owner wonders “How much should I feed my cat?” Since all cats are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But here are some good basic guidelines.How much food a cat needs each day depends on a variety of factors like age, size, and activity level, but a good rule of thumb is that a normal, healthy adult cat probably requires about one ounce of food per pound of body weight per day. The total calorie requirements for an adult cat are in the area of 20 to 30 calories per pound. An eight-pound cat would require about eight ounces of food, or a total calorie consumption of 160 to 240 calories.Most vets agree that a cat diet should include both dry and canned food. The canned food is high is water content, which cats need, and the dry food will help reduce the buildup of tartar on the teeth. When figuring out how much to feed your cat, include both canned and dry food in the total – for instance, you could meet an eight-ounce food requirement with four ounces of canned food and four of dry food.All major cat food brands include feeding instructions and it’s important to follow them, because they’re written for the specific nutrients that particular food contains. It’s also important to consider the cat’s stage of life. Kittens actually require more food than adult cats, and pregnant cats need additional food as well.Don’t forget to provide clean water for your cat at all times, especially if dry food makes up a significant portion of the diet. If your cats don’t seem to want water from a designated water bowl, try leaving some filled glasses of water in cat-accessible spaces (like on the sink in the bathroom). Just remember not to reach for it yourself on a sleepy morning.Most cats like milk, but it should be reserved as a treat, rather than considered the cat’s primary drink. Milk isn’t a requirement for health in the diet of an adult cat and many don’t digest it well. If your cat develops diarrhea after drinking milk, try substituting a small amount of cream. Most cats love it, and the butterfat in the cream is actually good for cats (in small amounts).Feeding twice a day is a good regimen, and for people who are away from home all day it makes a lot of sense – feed before you go off to work, and feed again when you come home. It can be helpful to keep a dish of dry catfood available to the cat at all time. Like us, cats tend to enjoy snacks.Cats can be pretty finicky about cleanliness, and if their food dish smells like yesterday’s meal they may refuse to eat. Ceramic bowls are good for cat food because they don’t absorb odors, as plastic dishes tend to do. Room temperature is best. Food that is very warm or very cold may lead to digestion problems in some cats.

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