Cats love to eat, and it is a good sign if your cat is begging you for food with its sweet voice. However, considering how much cats love to eat, one of the biggest problems in cats is obesity.
Obesity can lead to many health diseases and can also affect your cat’s activity. Fat cats injure themselves quite often while playing. Also, they can’t move as speedily, which is why they are not as quick to pounce upon its preys during hunting sessions.
If you want to control your cat’s weight and calorie intake, you have to control its diet. Before learning how often to feed cats, it is important to understand your cat’s eating habits.
Identifying your cat’s eating habits
There are two types of cat food available in the pet shop near you, the wet food and the dry food. Wet food has a high percentage of water content and is more filling. Also, wet food has fewer calories, which means that your cat can eat until it feels full, and it doesn’t get to consume an unhealthy amount of calories while doing so. Wet food hydrates your cat to some extent as well, avoiding urinary tract diseases, which is very common among cats.
If you want to feed your cat at specific meal times. On the other hand, dry food has little to no water content and is comparatively higher in calories. Dry food is often used for frequent munching. So, if your cat feels hungry all the time, you can keep it on a dry food diet and should consider free-feeding it. Through free feeding, you can curb your cat’s frequent hunger by allowing your cat to eat multiple small meals per day.
Free Feeding vs Scheduled Meals – What’s better for your cat?
While free-feeding is more convenient for your cat, especially if it feels hungry very frequently, it is not the ideal feeding schedule for your cat. Free feeding is normally done with dry food, and consider the fact that dry food is less filling, cats have to consume more dry food to fill their appetite, consuming a lot more calories than they would consume in a wet food diet. Therefore, free-feeding leads to overeating and obesity as cats are consuming a lot of calories to fill their appetite.
Obesity is also a major cause of many cat diseases, including kidney, heart, and liver problems. As cats are not getting any water from dry food, they concentrate their urine instead of drinking water. This causes urinary tract disease in cats. You are often told to change your cat’s diet when it is suffering from a disease. However, if your cat is are free-feeding your cat, it can be very difficult for you to gradually shift your cat towards a different diet. Your cat will start acting repulsive and might even stop you from feeding it.
It is important to keep your cat to be on a scheduled meal plan if you want it to be fit and healthy. A scheduled meal plan is also great for calorie management and your cat will be full for a long. The best type of cat food to go for if you are keeping your cat on a scheduled diet is wet food. Wet food is comparatively more expensive than dry food. Also, you can’t store it for long. However, wet food is great for managing your cat’s calorie intake. You can feed your cat wet food in specific schedule meals and considering how filling wet food is, your cat won’t be begging for food. If possible, find a cat food that is high in fiber, as fiber does a great job in curbing hunger for a long.
Scheduled feeding is also great for monitoring and keeps track of your cat’s diet. Also, if you are required to change your cat’s diet, it is easier to gradually shift your cat towards a new diet through scheduled feeding. You can feed your cat 2 to 5 times a day on a scheduled feeding diet. You can manage the feeding time for cats and their calorie intake according to the number of scheduled meals.
What to do if my cat keeps asking for food even after a filling meal?
As we told you before, cats love to eat. Cats have such an appetite that they can hunt and eat up to 20 small animals in a single day. So, if your cat is begging you for food even after eating a filling meal, you have to distract your cat from food. Many times, cats are thirsty, but they mistake their thirst for hunger and overeat. This causes many kidney-related problems in cats.
Therefore, if your cat keeps on begging for food even after having a meal, place a bowl of water in front of it. You can also mistake its begging for hunger, as it might just want to play or cuddle with you. So, instead of making your cat eat a lot of food, spend some time with it and give it the love and attention it deserves. If your cat is begging for food frequently, try ignoring it. Don’t worry, your cat won’t hate you for this.
Will my cat hunt even after having a scheduled meal?
Yes, and cats don’t always hunt because they are hungry. Cats can be full and will still hunt. In this case, cats hunt down small animals and set them aside for later use. Cats have a natural hunting instinct, and this doesn’t go away even after getting domesticated. Also, hunting is a healthy way to feed cats as cats now have to hunt to eat. This is a nice physical activity and cats burn the calories they consume.
If you are unable to cure your cat’s overeating habits, it’s better to take it to a vet as they know how to curb the hunger of your furry buddy and how to divert them towards doing more productive things.