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Old 09-04-2006, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Measuring cat food in mice.

I went to the flea market yesterday and for $5.00 I bought a Cat Encyclopedia by Desmond Morris. The book has some explanations for finicky eating habits and one of the 5 explanations listed I found quite interesting.

"Cats prefer to eat small meals on frequent occasions. Considering the size of their natural prey - mice and voles - this is not so surprising. Unfortunately for domestic cats, their human owners rarely have the time to offer them mouse-sized meals, prefering to spoon out big dishfuls of cat food at mealtimes. If the amount of meat on a mouse is compared with that placed on a cat's food dish, it is clear that the average pet cat meal is the equivalent of about 5 mice. Although this is convenient for busy human owners, it is too much for the cat to eat at once. Usually the cat eats a mouse-worth of food and then strolls off to digest it, returning later for another rodent-sized portion, and so on, until all the food is gone. If a cat refuses to touch a new dish of food, it may simply be that the animal is not, at that moment, ready for its next "kill.""

So my guess is that a mouse sized meal is the equivalent to either a heaping tablespoon of dry food or 1/8 of a cup or 2 tablespoons of canned food. If anyone here has a more accurate measurement for a mouse worth, let me know. What I want to know is how many mice would you say your cats eat per day and what kind of eating habits do your cats have? For example, my Rosie, when it comes to canned food can sometimes eat the equivalent of 2 mice in one sitting while Spotty takes a long time to eat the equivalent of one mouse, like eating the head, then coming back to eat the middle of the mouse's body and then later the bottom, the feet and later finally the tail of the mouse. I'm guessing my cats probably eat about 5 mice per day but I don't know for sure or if I'm measuring correctly.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My oldest lady who easily gains weight eats "3 mice" a day (a mouse weighs about 30-40 grams).

My 3 year old female is free to eat as many mice she wants but she won't eat more that "4 mice" a day.

The kitten problaby eats "5-6 mice" a day.

The oldest lady eat 3 times a day and the younger cats eat 4-5 times a day and they all eat raw food.
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Old 09-04-2006, 04:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here's a breakdown of the wild (feral) cats diet.
http://www.netpets.com/cats/reference/f ... tion3.html

Although, I think you need to take into account the number of calories burned catching a mouse vs just sauntering up to a bowl of food!
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Old 09-05-2006, 12:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifer2
Here's a breakdown of the wild (feral) cats diet.
http://www.netpets.com/cats/reference/f ... tion3.html

Although, I think you need to take into account the number of calories burned catching a mouse vs just sauntering up to a bowl of food!
Interesting article but if my indoor cats ate 320 calories per day they would be on the road to obesity. According to my vet Rosie needs approximately 180 calories per day and Spotty about 210-220 calories per day. Of course much of this is confusing to me because I find different information from different sources so I pretty much go by what satisfies my cats.

I'm just curious to know how many calories are in a single mouse so I can figure out how many mouse sized meals my cats need per day. Also I'd be curious to know how many calories per day the members of this forum feed their cats, especially for indoor cats I would like to know what is ideal.
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Why do you need exact numbers? I weigh the food and the cats. Then you can decide if the cat gets to much, to little or just enough.
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Old 09-05-2006, 04:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just curious. It's based on what I found in the encyclopedia and I'm just curious to know what exactly the author Desmond Morris means by a mouse-sized meal so I'm trying to interpret the information.
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Old 09-05-2006, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I put 3/4 cups of food per day in the bowl and there is always some left. I guess I need to lower it. I free feed because it is never all eaten and there is always some in the bowl.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've always heard that cats should get 20-30 calories per pound of cat per day.
If the diet contains enough protein, then it can drop to 15-20 calories per pound per day.
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