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How much dry food to give cat?

(16 Posts)
TeapotDictator Mon 10-Aug-15 20:34:03

I'm a relatively new cat owner, having adopted a rescue mum and her kitten a few weeks ago. At the vets recently, I was asked how much I was feeding mum because she still had a big tummy and that it could be I was overfeeding her.

I'd been feeding Applaws complete dry kitten food to both (the cat rescue people suggested this as she might have needed the nutrients post-partum) and had been refilling the bowl a couple of times a day, taking my cue from how much they naturally seemed to eat. The vet told me to stop this and feed them separately and to stop giving her the kitten food.

I've now bought the adult Applaws dry food and having measured out what is recommended to be the daily amount I just can't believe that's enough - for a 4kg cat she is meant to have 40-60g of dry food a day. That barely covers the base of her bowl... does this sound right? hmm I have tried them on pouches and they didn't seem that keen...

thecatneuterer Mon 10-Aug-15 21:07:23

I know what you mean that it never seems enough. I free feed all mine through necessity (I have so many). Even if I had just one cat though I would probably free feed unless I noticed weight gain. If your vet thinks she's becoming overweight then I would try to follow his advice and feed whatever is recommended and then give in and give her more if she mews at me

PurpleBananaPie Tue 11-Aug-15 15:02:41

Mine has been put on a diet by the Vet and is allowed 45g of dry food per day (special diet stuff). I split this into 3 lots of 15g and at first thought he would probably starve to death although a few weeks later, he seems fine and doesn't beg for food half as much as before.

QueenOfTheSlipstream Tue 11-Aug-15 15:08:13

Is she still feeding her kitten? I would think she'd need more if she is. I kept my mother cat on kitten food until I changed the kittens up to adult. She didn't put wait on then...that happened after she was neutered.

QueenOfTheSlipstream Tue 11-Aug-15 15:09:14

Oh, and she kept feeding them for weeks and weeks, just gradually reducing until they were at least 4 if not 5 months.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 11-Aug-15 15:09:59

Ours have a small handful in the day and the evening - they are fussy and won't eat it if it's been sat out all day so I got fed up of feeding more then throwing it away. I don't know how much this is in weight, sorry.

I can always tell vets who don't know much about cats - they are the ones who say with a straight face to feed different cats different food... Yeah, right...

TeapotDictator Tue 11-Aug-15 15:53:05

Lol, yes, that sounds about right - the phrase "herding cats" exists for a reason! I don't intend to be separating them into different rooms while they eat their separate meals hmm

She's not feeding him any more, no. We got him at 9 weeks (from a Celia Hammond foster lady) and both him and mum were neutered just before they left. I do think she's put on weight since arriving here, and I have no idea what her life was like before having the kittens as she arrived in the rescue centre the day she gave birth. I wonder whether she's over-eating because she's never had regular food? Or even if she's over-eating at all.

I'm going to try giving her a small handful morning and evening and see how we get on. The other (quite selfish) thing about it is that I really don't want to be woken up by hungry cats mewling for food - I have young twins and my sleep is precious! I was shutting them downstairs at night but have now moved the litter tray to somewhere far better and it means they can't be 'sectioned off'; I'm happy for them to roam around but not if I get less sleep! wink

Tiptops Tue 11-Aug-15 19:06:14

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but the best amount of dry food for your cats is none. It is terrible food for cats and causes all kinds of health problems. They simply don't have the thirst drive to compensate for it. I learnt this when my one year old cat needed life saving treatment - all thanks to a dry food diet!

The worst wet food is better for your cats health than the best dry food.

Lots of info on google such as:

consciouscat.net/2011/07/25/how-to-your-cat-off-dry-food/

thecatneuterer Tue 11-Aug-15 19:32:56

Actually I agree with Tiptops. I only feed wet. However if your cat is female dry food isn't as much of a worry as it would be were the cat male.

TeapotDictator Tue 11-Aug-15 19:40:42

Thanks Tiptops - I was hoping to avoid many of these issues by feeding them a grain-free dry food such as Orijen or Applaws rather than a cheaper one full of fillers and grains. Orijen in particular is meant to be an excellent quality food and from my research so is Applaws. They're certainly both appearing to be very healthy on it although it is early days. Perhaps I should continue my research...

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 11-Aug-15 19:52:55

Interesting - we feed mostly dry a) because a vet told us that dry food was much better than wet for cats; and b) because they both love wet food but tend to lick the gravy off and leave the chunks to go dry and unappealing... Then complain that they are hungry!

I suspect the OP is right that good quality food (ie grain and ash free) is the most important?

thecatneuterer Tue 11-Aug-15 20:03:57

Yes, good quality is most important. However it still has the problem of just not getting enough liquid inside them, which can be a factor in cystitis and bladder issues.

TeapotDictator Tue 11-Aug-15 20:25:41

I'm looking for some research to back that up. On the Orijen website they say it promotes healthy urinary health (well, they would say that... but they do back it up with scientific references). Is there any evidence that even with a grain-free, whole-prey type of food such as Orijen, that the animal will not take enough water?

thecatneuterer Tue 11-Aug-15 20:42:02

I just go by what our various clinic vets tell me - I don't look at research myself. We'd need a vet to post to answer that question.

Artandco Tue 11-Aug-15 20:46:49

Could you maybe feed wet in the morning and dry at any other times

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 11-Aug-15 21:23:13

Mind you, both of our neutered toms have made it to 12 without urinary problems despite eating mostly dry food, though they both react badly to certain brands of food (mostly ones with cereals, which provokes violent vomiting from the eldest)

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