July 30, 2022, 12:04 | Animals
Frequency and volume of pet food.
The way a cat is fed affects its health and well-being. The frequency and amount of food intake is also important, informs Ukr.Media.
At what intervals should kittens be fed and at what intervals should adult sterilized and elderly pets be fed?
The frequency of reception for free-living animals is from 12 to 20 times a day. They also hunt at night.
At home, it is difficult to mirror this food pattern and give the cat food every 2 hours. Try to provide the pet with constant access to a bowl with food, so that he himself determines the time and frequency of feeding.
This model is suitable only for cats that really eat as much as they need, that is, they can dose themselves. You can use dry food, which does not spoil as quickly as wet food (commercial or homemade).
Experts told what is the general dosage scheme of food and listed the most important rules.
The daily dose of such food is about 3/4 of the volume of a classic cup (200 ml), which should be divided into 4-5 small portions .
The average cat eats 320-400 g of wet food per day, which is equivalent to a large can or 3-4 small bags.
If you use mixed feeding, do not forget to reduce the daily portion of dry food accordingly.
A packet or a small jar per day in combination with half a cup is an optimal combination, easily divided into 4-5 meals of food per day.
How often to feed
Milk is a complete food for a cat during the first 2 weeks of its life.
In the case of orphans, it is important to provide them with nutrition as close as possible to the food of the mother cat. Ideally, it is necessary to provide milk from a "surrogate mother".
What is the feeding schedule
In the first days life they need to eat every 2-4 hours, regardless of the time of day or night, gradually lengthening the intervals between feedings until reaching 6-8 hour night intervals in the second week of the newborn's life.
After 3-4 weeks of age, you can gradually introduce dry food for kittens, pre-soaked in milk replacer or water.
At the age of 6-8 weeks, weaning from the diet (separation from the mother) occurs – most kittens are already able to eat solid, unsoaked food. In connection with the decrease in lactase activity, it is recommended to gradually cancel milk substitutes.
After separation from the mother, the kitten should eat at least 4-5 times a day at the usual time, this will provide it with a constant source of energy.< /p>
It should be remembered that kittens have a big appetite, but a small stomach (at the age of 8 weeks it is the size of a walnut), so they should be fed often and in small portions.
Food after sterilization
After castration, the appetite of cats increases very quickly. Hormonal changes sometimes lead to lethargy and less physical activity, as well as reduced energy needs due to a slower metabolism. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor body weight after the procedure.
If necessary, the feeding ration should be reduced or a lower-calorie feed should be used.
To prevent overweight and obesity, the frequency of meals can also be increased to five to six per day (of course, with the same daily ration) . Free access to a food bowl rarely helps neutered animals. Precisely because of increased appetite.
How to avoid overweight
There are various solutions for feeding frequent portions, even if the owner is not at home for a long time . A dispenser with a timer or leaving an interactive toy (for example, a ball with food inside) will help with this. This is a great way to feed while no one is home.
Actually, you don't need to buy special toys. You can get creative and present food in an attractive way, using products you already have at home.
For example, hiding food in cardboard boxes or in a cupboard. Searching for food and interactive ways of providing it increase activity and occupy the animal for a longer time.