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I had a question on how much I should be feeding Sparrow and Salem. I don't want to over feed them but I don't want to be under feeding them either.

Sparrow is about 4 years old and he will only eat dry. The back of the bag says for 7-9lbs adult cats 1/2-2/3 cups/day. Sparrow weighs 8.8lbs. Should I go with the 2/3 cups/day?

Salem is around 6 months old and he eats can food. The back of the box says 1 can twice a day. The cans are 5.5oz and Salem weighs 6.8lbs. Should I be feeding him 2 cans/day?
 

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A lot depends on cat's breed, e.g. Maine Coons are large boned cats, sex (males larger than females), and activity level. Is your dark brown cat a Havana? If so, it likely has a higher activity level than a DSH (domestic shorthair).

If cat is maintaining its "ideal weight" on what it's now eating you don't need to change it, but if it's underweight you should feed a little more, and a little less if overweight. Any changes in quantity in food should be done very gradually. Here is one website describing ideal wt., but you can Google others under "cats ideal weight". It is best to feed them a high quality "grain free" kibble or canned food.

Cat Health: The Ideal Weight for a Cat
 

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LOL. I struggled with this as well when I switched to canned from dry. The canned company said he should be eating two cans a day. There was NO way I could get him to eat two cans of food a day and BOY did I try, he just wouldn't eat more than one. I find that Mow keeps his ideal weight with 1 can a day (if he begs for a little more I'll give him some and sometimes it just doesn't eat a full can and I wind up throwing some away)

I'm sure all cats vary with size, weight, and activity level.
 

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It is tricky, I'm struggling with figuring this out myself, and I find the portion suggestions on the cans/bags are often too much. According to one of the foods I give my cats, Apollo (who is 10 lbs) should be getting almost 2 5.5 oz of food a day. He won't even eat more than half a 3 oz can in one sitting. For him, I have to spread his meals out (morning and night feedings with limited dry left out during the day). Otherwise he just leaves the extra food there for hours and I end up tossing it.

Mine, I've found, tend to overeat on dry, but are good at self-regulating with wet, so since they're on a mixed wet/dry diet, I give them as much wet as they'll eat in one sitting (this usually comes out to 1/4 a 5.5oz can a meal for each of them, or 1/2 a 5.5 oz can for each a day) and then limit their dry food to no more than 3/4 cup a day between the two of them. Coincidentally this is what the instructions on my Wellness Core suggested, and it seems to be working. Ideally I'd love to give them more wet than that in proportion to dry, but so far they just refuse to eat more than 3 oz of wet each a day.

So I guess on an all-dry diet, 3/4 cup of dry a day or on an all-canned diet 1 5.5 oz can a day would work. But, every cat is different and I think you just need to experiment, and vary it based on what they'll eat and whether or not they need to lose, gain, or maintain weight.

Keep in mind, if you're feeding a high-quality, nutritionally dense food, they may need less of that than they would a lower quality food with lots of fillers (although they'd gain more weight on the lower quality food since they're eating more filler to get the amount of actual nutrients they need).

As catloverami said, a high-quality grain-free food works great. I've found having mine on that solved any previous weight or digestive issues.
 

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Depends on what you're feeding...they need less of a high quality food than one with lots of empty fillers. If you're feeding a "super premium" food like Wellness, EVO, Innova, Holistic Select, Merrick, Natural Balance etc. Then a 10 lb adult cat needs about 1/2 cup dry or one 5.5 oz can per day. Your 6 month old will likely need about 7-9 oz a day.

Of course this is a starting point and you need to adjust to your cat's needs. If you're feeding a grocery store (Friskies, Whiskas, Purina, Meow Mix etc.) or mid-range food (Iams, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Nutro) then you will need to feed significantly more to get equivalent levels of nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies everyone! They both seem to be at good weights right now. I know Salem is still growing some. I will keep a check on their weights to see if I need to feed more or less.

catloverami- I'm not sure if Salem is a Havana or not. He is a rescue cat I got from off of craigslist. I did look up images of that breed and his face does resemble the cats in the pics. If he isn't pure then he may very well be mixed with that breed.
 

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Mine, I've found, tend to overeat on dry, but are good at self-regulating with wet, so since they're on a mixed wet/dry diet, I give them as much wet as they'll eat in one sitting (this usually comes out to 1/4 a 5.5oz can a meal for each of them, or 1/2 a 5.5 oz can for each a day) and then limit their dry food to no more than 3/4 cup a day between the two of them. Coincidentally this is what the instructions on my Wellness Core suggested, and it seems to be working. Ideally I'd love to give them more wet than that in proportion to dry, but so far they just refuse to eat more than 3 oz of wet each a day.
Second this :) Per day, my cats usually eat 1/4 of a 200g can (er... so, about 1/4cup?) of wet food each, plus 1/2 to 2/3 cup dry per day (1/4 c - 1/3 c each). Doesn't sound like much, but both wet and dry food is high-quality (grain free, high % named protein sources, etc.), which can make a big difference. We rotate through a variety of wet and dry foods regularly (daily), and certain brands seem to be more 'filling' than others, so they get a bit less of those. I do adjust amounts up/down daily, depending on whether they've failed to finish the previous day's dry food or if they swallow their entire helping of wet whole (lol), but usually it's relatively consistent.

Note that if a cat had health problems as a kitten - was particularly under- or (much less common) over-weight - they're much more likely to have problems maintaining a healthy weight as an adult. In general, though, I think cats should find it easier to maintain a healthy weight on a wet diet than a dry one, and on a high-quality diet than a low-quality one (just based on their physiology, I don't have any hard numbers on hand to back that up!).
 

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Note that if a cat had health problems as a kitten - was particularly under- or (much less common) over-weight - they're much more likely to have problems maintaining a healthy weight as an adult
Would you mind expanding on this a bit more? My younger kitten, Athena, apparently had some pretty serious health problems before I adopted her. She was severely undernourished when they found her and had to be force-fed with an eyedropper for a while.

She was skinny, but healthy looking by the time I adopted her, and has since gained a healthy amount of weight, but I have noticed she's more erratic about how much she eats than Apollo is. Sometimes she'll barely touch her wet food and I have to pour extra dry for her to make sure she at least eats something, other times she devours all her wet food quickly and tries to eat Apollo's as well. Do you think that may be related to her health problems as a young kitten, and is there anything I should watch out for or do to make sure she maintains a healthy weight?
 

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I find most adult cats on dry food should get about 1/2 cup a day. That is if the cat is an average weight (like 10-12 pounds). I find the average adult cat on only wet food does fine with one 5.5 ounce can a day. Kittens often need more, you're supposed to feed them as much as they will eat. But at 6 months he is not growing as rapidly as a young kitten, so you'll have to do some guess work with that one. But for an adult I'd start with the amounts above and then adjust as the cat gains/looses weight so that they stay at a healthy weight.
 

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But at 6 months he is not growing as rapidly as a young kitten, so you'll have to do some guess work with that one.
Yeah, it seems to occasionally get challenging as they get older. I was feeding my cats as much as they'd eat until I took Apollo to the vet and was told I needed to start watching his weight. He's about 9 months old now and the vet said he was getting to be borderline chubby, and was old enough that he didn't need to quite as much food.
I still offer my little 5 month old kitten as much as she'll eat though, as she's the picky one about eating at all some meals.
 

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Would you mind expanding on this a bit more? My younger kitten, Athena, apparently had some pretty serious health problems before I adopted her. She was severely undernourished when they found her and had to be force-fed with an eyedropper for a while.

She was skinny, but healthy looking by the time I adopted her, and has since gained a healthy amount of weight, but I have noticed she's more erratic about how much she eats than Apollo is. Sometimes she'll barely touch her wet food and I have to pour extra dry for her to make sure she at least eats something, other times she devours all her wet food quickly and tries to eat Apollo's as well. Do you think that may be related to her health problems as a young kitten, and is there anything I should watch out for or do to make sure she maintains a healthy weight?
Typically, I'd expect a cat that had been severely undernourished as a kitten to eat more as an adult - enough to become overweight, even obese. There's some physiological "programming" that goes on early in life that can be difficult to override later. But a lot depends on the timing and duration of the under-nourishment; if she's still a young kitten then she might be OK in the end, but I'd be cautious of over-feeding her in adulthood. If she's not fully-grown yet I'd still let her eat as much as she wants!

What sort of foods are you feeding them? Do you vary their diet at all, or do they get the same kibble & wet every day? I personally put a lot of stock in daily rotations of brands, flavours, and consistencies whenever possible.

Do your cats stay indoors? i.e. is it possible she's finding food elsewhere?
 

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Typically, I'd expect a cat that had been severely undernourished as a kitten to eat more as an adult - enough to become overweight, even obese. There's some physiological "programming" that goes on early in life that can be difficult to override later. But a lot depends on the timing and duration of the under-nourishment; if she's still a young kitten then she might be OK in the end, but I'd be cautious of over-feeding her in adulthood. If she's not fully-grown yet I'd still let her eat as much as she wants!

What sort of foods are you feeding them? Do you vary their diet at all, or do they get the same kibble & wet every day? I personally put a lot of stock in daily rotations of brands, flavours, and consistencies whenever possible.

Do your cats stay indoors? i.e. is it possible she's finding food elsewhere?
The dry snack they get at night is the same every day (Wellness Core) but their wet food (morning and night meals) are rotated between three different brands and several flavors of each daily. And yup, they're both indoor-only.

I actually figured out the problem though! Athena won't eat consistently if she's in the same room as Apollo apparently. I started feeding her in a separate room, and sitting near her while she ate, and that solved the issue. Every time I've done that she's eaten all of her food, although she looks over her shoulder the whole time, and I have to keep Apollo out of the room or she'll stop eating again.

Not entirely sure what this behavior means. I'd love some insight. He's never shoved her away from her bowl before but he certainly will eat her food if she walks away, and she'll only eat his food if he's left the room. I know she also tends to drop and leave toys for him if he shows interest in them when she's playing.
 

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I think this just might be an instinctual thing(or something learned at a young age). I only have the one cat; he won't eat anywhere near a window and he has to have his back to a wall. Even with his bowl on a cat stand across the room from the window he still constantly glances at it like he expects something or someone to come through it.
 

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Our Harley will not eat if Jack is within 10 feet of him. We separate all 3 when eating, Pepper in the bathroom with the door closed, because she'll eat everybodys food, Jack outside the bathroom door and Harley in the kitchen. Harley gets antsy if he can't see around him while he eats, he wants to make sure if Jack comes up he's prepared, so I place his bowl about 12 feet from Jack's not in line of sight from Jack and where he can see Jack coming from either direction. Harley was a street cat, I think he had to fight for food often and he probably went hungry alot, because he backs down easily. He also for a long time would eat so fast it would always come right back up. He has learned that food will always be there and that nobody is going to try and take it.

Meal time is the most stressful time at our house with our three, we have three very distinct personalities!

Leslie
 
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