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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2018, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Question Newbie Cat Owner, General Feeding Questions

I'm about to adopt my first cat. A five year old female.

This is a really stupid question, but how often do you feed your cat? Twice a day or once? I'd like her to have "breakfast" and dinner, preferably.

If you're feeding a mixture of kibble and wet, how much of each?

What about cat milk? How often is this ok? I know cats don't like chilled food, but is this supposed to be chilled?

What human foods do they like and are safe? Is it ok to give her tuna or something as a treat? How often is this ok? What human foods are a massive no?

Are there ways to tell if your neighbours are feeding her? Can you discourage a cat from eating anywhere else? (Stupid question!)

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2018, 11:14 AM
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One of the best links I've seen on cat nutrition is this: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition

I feed my two Devons a good quality canned food twice a day, with a small snack of a good quality kibble (at present Nature's Variety Instinct, but one cat prefers Tiki Cat). If you don't want your cat to be a beggar at mealtime, don't feed any tidbits while your eating or from the table; otherwise they can become real pests every time you sit down to eat something. I will put my empty plate down on the floor to let the cats lick it, or give it a tidbit of chicken skin, joint cartilage. They also get a kibble snack just before I go to bed. They aren't allowed to sleep with me at night in bed, so they don't meow and paw at the door to wake me up at 3 am!....I do allow them to have a nap with me in bed during the daytime.

As to quantity of food, this varies between cats---some are more active, others like to sleep a lot thro the day, the suggested quantities on most cat food I find is usually more than they need. You have to go by how the cat feels and looks. It's healthier for the cat if it's slightly underfed than overfed. If you look down on cat from above, you should see a defined waist and be able to feel its ribs under a thin layer of fat....if not it's getting too chubby. Here's some other tips:

Food to avoid:

Houseplants/flowers poisonous to cats:

If your cat is gaining weight and you're feeding it properly, then it's getting food from somewhere else. Yes, likely a friendly neighbor!

Have your cat microchipped if it hasn't been done. To keep a cat safe from outdoor dangers---motor vehicles, poisons, antifreeze (yes poisonous), stray dogs, coyotes, aggressive cats, birds of prey (owls, hawks, etc.), cat-hater people (that may delight in shooting it with BB gun or worse), a cat can live a wonderful life and be happy as an indoor only cat. Most indoor cats have a closer bond to their owner. The only time my cats get outside is in a cat stroller, which they enjoy in the warmer weather. It's a lot easier to keep a cat inside if it hasn't experienced the great outdoors. Enjoy your new is a wonderful experience.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar. "Always in my heart."

Last edited by catloverami; 03-07-2018 at 11:18 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 12:26 AM
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Hi pyjamaviking,

as catloverami said, how much to feed is going to be different for each cat. A general rule of thumb is that kitties need about 30 calories per lb. per day, more for a very active and/or larger cat, less for a couch potato or smaller cat. My cat weighs 5 lbs and is 17.5 years old, so not very active, and she'll gain weight if she eats more than about 80 calories/day.

You also need to check the calorie content of each food, as there can be quite a difference between brands.

I've never given cat milk, but I've seen it in those containers that don't require refrigeration, so I would assume it's ok to give it at room temp. My kitty will sometimes get a little lactose-free human milk, because that's what I drink. I'll generally put a little in a dish and microwave it for 3-4 seconds. I always stir it with my finger to make sure that the temp is consistent, and not too hot in one place.

Some human foods that are a massive no are anything with onion, garlic, or chocolate. My cats have always liked salty things - I had one who would sit on the floor right by me when I was eating potato chips, just waiting for me to drop one so she could pounce on it. They've also really liked little bits of bacon and ham. But those are really not very good for kitties. Most people don't like to give tuna, not just because of the high mercury level but because some cats can get addicted to it and refuse to eat anything else, and tuna does not provide all the nutrients kitties need. However, you could give some "tuna juice" - the liquid from a can of tuna packed in water, as a treat.

The only way to ensure that your kitty isn't eating elsewhere is to keep her in. But if she's going to be indoor-outdoor, then putting a collar on her with your contact info should discourage neighbors from feeding her, as they'll see that she belongs to someone. And you'll just have to make sure that whatever she's eating tastes better than anything a neighbor could possibly give her!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! Those links are really good and both your responses are so detailed. *hugs*

I think I might avoid the tuna then. What about sliced salmon?

I'm a vegetarian, so there isn't meat in the house, but I don't mind buying fish or cooked sliced meat for her. I know cats have to have animal protein. I just don't want to mess about with it too much!

I read on one of the links that cats like eggs? I know they can't be raw (same with meat and fish), have you ever had a cat eat eggs and how did you cook them? Also corn, polenta and couscous? Again with the stupid questions, when it says corn does it mean sweetcorn or grain corn? Cats aren't a fan of sweet tastes, right? So I'm assuming grain type corn?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 08:07 AM
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I have often cooked eggs for my skinny outdoor semi-feral cat. I hard boil them, chop them up, and give him some (maybe 1/2 an egg) every suppertime as supplement to his wet food. He needs extra food to keep him warm, especially in winter.

Another thing I've offered him is cottage cheese, but that may not be a good thing as it's pretty salty. Also cheese slices like for sandwiches, maybe 1/2 slice torn up into his wet food.

He has put on a bit of weight, but not much. He's old and not very active.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 01:13 AM
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I've had three kitties, and none of them has liked salmon, but if your kitty does, I don't see why not, as an occasional treat. It certainly can't be any worse than my giving my kitties bacon...

If it's easier for you, being a vegetarian, you could try dehydrated raw kitty treats rather than buying meat. Chicken, tuna, beef, salmon, whitefish - there are a lot of different flavors. Most of them you can either give as a dry treat or crumble and use as a topper on other food.

Honestly, I have no idea what sweet corn is as opposed to grain corn. I'm allergic to corn and didn't know there were different kinds. But personally, I'd probably say no, no, and no, to both kinds of corn, polenta, and couscous. Kitties aren't built to digest carbohydrates, and feeding carbs will tend to make for fat kitties. Plus grains are a common allergen, which is why many people try to feed grain-free foods.

My kitty likes cheese too, and some kitties like yogurt. But again, if you have a kitty who's lactose-intolerant, giving milk products might result in digestive issues.

eldercat, I've been thinking about giving egg to Celia, since she's anemic. But eggs are another thing I don't eat, so I've been hemming and hawing about how to cook one. I keep buying dozens of organic eggs and giving them away, lol. One of these days I'll work up the courage and hard boil one.
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