What You Need to Know About Feeding Your Cat
How much should I feed my cat and how many times a day?
Larsen recommends feeding cats one or two times a day. "Two times is better than one," she says, "because you can otherwise get some undesirable begging." With obesity affecting one in five cats in industrialized countries, many people also wonder how much to feed.
"It’s best for owners to learn how to evaluate their own cats," Larsen says. That’s because cats are individuals, just like people. Their energy requirements will vary depending upon climate and activity levels, among other things. The main problem is people are feeding palatable, energy-dense foods in uncontrolled amounts. "They feed the bowl, not the cat."
Pierson agrees and says to keep it simple. Too fat? Feed less. Too thin? Feed more, as long as you’re feeding a high-quality diet.
How do I change my cat’s food?
Make the transition to the new food slowly, over a period of five to seven days, Bough suggests.
Begin by adding 25% new food to your pet’s old food. Then gradually increase the percentage of the new food until you’ve made the complete transition. A slow transition allows your cat time to adjust to a new food and also decreases the chances of digestive upset.
How do I store cat food?
Some ingredients, such as fish oils, are fragile, Larsen says. For this reason, it’s better to buy only enough food to last four to six weeks.
Don’t store food in a hot garage or carry it around in a car. To prevent spoilage from mold, store dry food in the bag or other container in a cool, dry place, Bough says.
Refrigerate unused wet cat food for no more than 24 to 48 hours.