Feeding is a fundamental aspect of cat care. In addition to choosing the best food, caregivers also express doubts about its administration. How many times a cat eats or the possible variations depending on whether it is an adult cat or a baby, are among the issues that concern people who live with these animals.
How many times does a cat eat a day in the wild?
In the wild it is common for cats to hunt small prey alone several times a day. These prey are rodents, birds, or even reptiles. They all have in common their high percentage of water, around 70%. Taking these eating habits to the home, we can think that the best thing for our cat, the best adapted to its physiology, would be to provide it with food in small amounts spread throughout the day. In addition, the food will have to contain a significant percentage of moisture, since cats, accustomed to prey with a high water intake, hardly drink.
But in our homes variations are introduced that modify the natural pattern. For example, there are other cats to compete with for resources, we give them I think that they only provide 8% humidity or we adopt an orphan kitten that cannot even feed itself. All of these factors influence how many times a cat eats a day, as detailed below.
How many times should a newborn cat eat?
Unfortunately, especially at certain times of the year, it is not uncommon to find orphaned kittens that heartless individuals have literally thrown away. They are so small that they do not even open their eyes, they do not regulate their temperature and much less can they feed themselves. In these cases, we will have to raise them by bottle, always using a milk specially formulated for kittens that we can buy in veterinary clinics and specialized establishments.
These newborns, at least for the first 10-15 days of life, will need to eat every 2-3 hours both during the day and at night. Little by little the feeds will be spaced and may be given every 3-4 hours, then every 6 and, approximately, at 3-4 weeks of life we can begin to offer food formulated for kittens, always continuing with the milk until weaning .
How many times does a baby cat eat?
Ideally, when we adopt a kitten, it should come home at least eight weeks old. Until then, it is very important that you stay with your mother and siblings, not only because of your mother’s milk, which nourishes you and provides you with defenses against diseases, but because of the teachings that you will only be able to receive from your feline family and that are fundamental. for your psychological balance in the future. The kitten’s socialization begins there, which is why it should not be adopted before.
However, it is not always possible to wait that long, as many times we pick up much smaller kittens on the street. In these cases, the first thing to do is go to the vet to check it and determine its age. That way we will know if he is still breastfeeding and we have to offer him specific milk, as we explained in the previous section, or he can already eat solids without problem. In that case, if, approximately, he is more than a month old, it is usual to choose to leave him food and water within reach throughout the day so that he can eat when he wants. It is a good option if we give it a menu based on feed, which can be kept in good condition throughout the day. But, as we have seen, the feed provides very little moisture. For this reason, it is recommended that, at least, the diet be mixed, that is, that it combines dry food with wet food.
The problem is that canned food, if left in the feeder all day, will dry out, spoil or attract insects. To avoid this, we can distribute the daily ration in several doses that the kitten can ingest immediately without leaving anything on the plate. Thus, one option is to leave the feed on demand and offer him his ration of wet food about four times a day or more.
It is very important to calculate how much dry and wet food you need according to your age or weight to give you half of each and, in turn, distribute the can into the different portions. An excess of food puts the kitten at risk of suffering from obesity, which is not only an aesthetic problem, but also has repercussions on health by increasing the chances of the appearance of some diseases, complicating others and decreasing tolerance to heat, exercise or anesthesia.