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Old April 22nd, 2007, 05:18 PM
HunterXHunter HunterXHunter is offline
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How much/often do you feed your cats?

Maybe this belongs in the food forum, but...

As some of you may know from my other post "Should I adopt a cat?", that well...I adopted a cat!

He's 4 years old and about 10.5 lbs. As per the instructions on the cat food (Royal Canin), I feed him 1 cup per day. In addition, I give him some treats throughout the day too. But Bogart always seems to check his bowl for more food every once in a while and yesterday I gave in and gave him a little more.

I don't want to get him overweight or anything, but should I not give him more? Do your cats do what Bogart is doing and look in their bowls for more food every once in a while like they're still hungry?

Thanks.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 05:43 PM
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I feed Monsieur le chat twice a day , as per instruction in the bag too, 2/3 a cup per day. He usually leave some in his bowl. He's 12 pounds.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 06:45 PM
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I feed my two in the morning and at supper time. They split a 156g can of wet food a day and I put 1/2 cup dry in their bowl twice a day which they share.

BTW, Royal Canin is not a very good kibble to feed. I would switch to Orijen, Felidae or Innova.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 06:52 PM
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Oh ok thanks rainbow. Royal Canin was what he was eating at the time. I was looking to switch it to Nutrience (maybe holistic?), but I guess I'll look into those brands you mentioned since you've had cats longer
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:03 PM
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Nutrience isn't any better that Royal Canin. Look at the ingredients on the Royal Canin bag then look at the ingredients here:


Orijen:

http://www.championpetfoods.com/orij...gredients.aspx


Felidae:

http://www.canidae.com/cats/chicken_and_rice/dry.html


Innova:

http://www.innovapet.com/products/default.asp?id=2


Innove EVO:

http://www.evopet.com/products/default.asp?id=1500
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 07:29 PM
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My cats are free fed their dry.And they get canned twice a day.I have them on a holistic dry.And my cats are 3 and 3 1/2 and 6.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 08:33 PM
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My 2 get 1/2 cup in the morning which they free feed on and share for the day, when I get home from work I give them each a heaping tablespoon of wet food, then usually before I go to bed they get another 1/2 cup which they share for the night. There's usually some left over in the morning. I'm not sure if it's too much, my female Finn is nice and slim and sleek while my male Angus is definitely big and solid, he could probably stand to lose a bit of weight. Not so much for the dry food, but for the wet I make sure that Finn gets her share cause Angus would push her out of the way to get her portion. But I guess you won't have to worry about that since you only have one kitty. Congratulations by the way!!
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:20 PM
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My cat gets a big tablespoon of canned (Merrick) for breakfast and about 1/4-1/3 cup kibble (Innova Evo) for dinner.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 09:56 PM
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I feel cats should be "free fed". It also depends on the individual cat since they all have different requirements based on activity, size, age, metabolism, and what they did that day etc. They tend to eat when hungry unless they've been restricted a lot, which can lead to binging and weight gain/slowed metabolism. I think wet twice a day as the main meal and a good quality crunchy for snacking regularly is a pretty good guidline.

[edit]To add I always took checking the bowl to mean "still a bit hungry" must need a little more, and my kitties were all quite lean. I think its possible some cats will over eat if they just don't have enough else going (or once in a while when they REALLY enjoy a meal) but otherwise I think they do mostly eat only when hungry. If excessive eating did start happening I'd look into medical reasons before considering restricting anyway.
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Last edited by Maya; April 22nd, 2007 at 10:13 PM.
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 10:07 PM
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All of my cats have been free-fed and have never been overweight...Okay Minnow was a chub-chub for a year but she's skinny now! I still free-feed her, I just took her off RC Siamese!
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 12:55 PM
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I think it really depends on the cat.
Some cats eat more then others.

All 3 of mine are free fed, they have a huge bowl which we only fill when it gets empty and none of them are very overweight. (I thought they were, but I just had them in at the vet and she said they look excellent!! PHEW )

They get treats usually once a day, and canned food MAYBE once a week.
I kind of weaned them off the canned food, I found it was making them chubby.

Maybe just try filling a small bowl for him and leave it there and see if he makes a piggy of himself or if he grazes at it. If he is a grazer (eating periodically throughout the day) then I would free feed him.
But if he tries to gobble the whole bowl maybe he'll need some restrictions.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Three cats. Two males and a female. The three split 3/4cup of Evo in the AM and at supper the Female gets 1/4cup of Evo dry and the two males get usually 2/3 can of Evo wet. the female wont eat the wet
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 01:16 PM
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I free feed, fill the dish up when everit runs low, Pubert isn't over wieght at all, he eats Medical and gets tones of treats, and some tiny bits human food. (What can I say - he's old and begs more then our dog does!!!) It does drive the dog nuts that the cat always has food and seems to eat it when she has none...LOL!!!
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 06:19 PM
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I have two male cats (1year old and a 12 week old) and one female cat (2 yrs). Right now I'm feeding Orijen (although I also feed Felidae dry as well). The boys get 1/4 cup each am and pm and the girl gets 1/4 in the am and 1/8 cup in the pm. They also get wet food (right now Merricks), half of a can a night amongst the three. All three cats are thriving and are at their optimum weight, but everyones cats are different.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 06:23 PM
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The dish is always full. No one is over weight, Mia is getting a bit chubby, but nothing major
I have to fill the bowl up after 2 days if i let it go, but I usually add more and stir it up every day.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 06:50 PM
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If I free-fed my cats, Annie would be HUGE! I did free-feed them for awhile, and she gained so much weight, so I resorted to 2x/day feedings which has helped. Annie eats everything in sight and fast, she would eat so fast she would throw up sometimes. Micki picks away at her food slowly, but still was gradually gaining weight, about a pound a year, so the vet advised having feeding times. It has helped, except after Annie got sick last summer and lost a pound, I started giving her a little more and she gradually gained much of the weight back. Could have also had something to do with switching her food. They are both now on Felidae and seem healthy, but did both gain a little weight when I switched them from the Science Diet food for their teeth. Those were bigger pieces and I probably was giving them more of the Felidae without realizing it too. Anyway, they both get 1/2 cup per day, split into 2 feedings. It is a little too much for them probably so I need to give them a little less. Annie is fairly active and young, about 4 years old, and Micki is 11 and inactive, both are females.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 07:32 PM
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I bought Felidae today. Nobody on the island appears to carry Innova or Innova Evo. Also got some Merricks wet food which I hope Bogart will like. I know he likes the Felidae...he tried to eat it out of the scoop before I could even put it in his bowl.

I don't think I can free-feed Bogart...he would just eat it all and ask for even more when I return home from work.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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I'd also keep in mind that if you restrict too much you will likely get the binging that kristin7 is getting with her cat. It is an extremely common mistake that premotes weight gain by slowing down the metabolism. Seems logical to keep restricting if your cat binges but the restricting is usually the cause of over eating in the first place. The majority of cats self regulate unless they've gone without for too long at some point in thier lives. Dogs appear to be much more prone to over eating and something i've noticed on this forum is that many of the "dog people" make the assumption that cats do the same. Good luck with it, hopefully you will be able to find a comfortable balance for him so he doesn't have to feel hungry all the time and then scarf down his food when he's allowed to eat.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 12:17 AM
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I was a free feeder for years, but then Fagan hurt his leg (partly because of his weight) and Buddy got very very heavy. Overweight cats, like us, are more prone to certain health problems so unless they are like some of mine who regulate their intake well, free feeding can be a problem.
So now my house looks like a farm at dinner time... my dad got a real kick out of it when he was here one day.
I now feed only once a day in the evening (vet said this was more natural cause thats when they would hunt if hunting). I have 6 so I put about a cup and a half of dry food (Calif. Naturals Herring and Sw. Pot.) in each of two big glass bowls. Then Buddy and Fagan split a half a can of wet food mixed with warm water(merrick cowboy cookout).
And they are all doing really well, throughout the day they follow me to the living room and 'remind' me that the bowls are empty. The food is left out all night and just a few scraps are left in the morning. The big boys have slimmed down a bit, and my skinny girls are maintaining their weight just fine.
All cats have different eating habits so you just have to figure out what works for yours.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterXHunter View Post
I bought Felidae today. Nobody on the island appears to carry Innova or Innova Evo. Also got some Merricks wet food which I hope Bogart will like. I know he likes the Felidae...he tried to eat it out of the scoop before I could even put it in his bowl.

I don't think I can free-feed Bogart...he would just eat it all and ask for even more when I return home from work.
You'll get to know what's best for YOUR cat quickly. Don't free-feed then until you know how Bogart really eats (when you can be home one day to watch maybe). Also be aware of how active Bogart is.
Definately develop a feeding routine that your cat will come to recognize and adapt to, whatever that may be. Luna gets 1/2 cup of EVO once a day, when I get home from work... she's learned that is when the food comes, and if she eats it all early, she just has to wait for more. Usually she eats most in the first 6 hours, then keeps about 10 kibble bits (like a 'what-if' reserve!) for later in the day.

My couch-potato cat is overweight (14lb.) and its a REAL bugger to try get the weight off an indoor-only-cat! I hope for you Bogart doesn't gain.

By the way, THANK YOU for adopting a cat in the first place! Especially an older one.

Keep us all posted, hope everyone's 2 cents helps you!
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Old May 1st, 2007, 08:47 PM
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Our two 1 year olds are free fed (appx 8-9 lbs each). They split about 2/3 cup of kibble that I put out each morning. Every night for supper they split half a can of wet food (so a 5.5oz can lasts two days). The brand varies from day to day.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:54 PM
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Maya - my cat Annie gained the weight while being free-fed. I free-fed Micki for years, so assumed I could do this with Annie too. However, Micki was also slowly gaining weight. Therefore, I disagree that all cats should be free fed. Annie should most definitely not be! After I adopted her from the humane society, she ate and ate and ate, all while being free fed. As far as I can tell, she had plenty of food in the shelter as well. I brought her to the vet because she would ocassionally puke up everything all over the house to the point of dry heaving. They wanted to give her Rx food for stomach issues, but I decided not to do this. Then, I switched them both to the Science diet food for their teeth, which had much bigger pieces. At least Annie would chew it... but knowing it wasn't the best quality and also annoyed that I needed a prescription for them to buy it, I switched to Felidae, still keeping the 2x per day feedings. Annie does chew this because of the shape of the pieces, but if I give her too much, she does gain weight. Micki still picks away at her food slowly, so I just shut her in a room until she seems full. She is not starving or deprived, nor has this made her eat any faster. She also hasn't really lost any weight, but she is getting older and sleeps more, plus, hides a lot from Annie who is kind of mean to her. And the last but not least reason for not free feeding them is that Annie eats much faster than Micki, and she will eat all her food, plus Micki's if I don't limit her.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristin7
Maya - my cat Annie gained the weight while being free-fed.
I understood that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristin7
After I adopted her from the humane society, she ate and ate and ate, all while being free fed. As far as I can tell, she had plenty of food in the shelter as well.
So you're not 100% sure if she got enough at the shelter or before she got there? If she did go without food for too long at some point then it would be natural for her body to go "okay I better eat fast better eat lots and must store fat because I don't know when I'm eating again". This would be a very tricky cycle to break. Then there are other situations of course where injury or illness etc will cause weight gain. I'm just trying to point out that binging and weight gain is the most obvious sign that there was or is food deprivation. If anyone has ever dieted or overcome an eating disorder this should make sense. No one has to believe me of course.

Maybe Annie needs to get on the treadmill like this kitty:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peLD2vlxRM0
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:54 AM
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Omg, funny video! Luckily Annie is fairly active, but once she starts slowing down, I'll have to start jogging her

To answer your question about the shelter, I did go in and visit her many times before adopting her over the course of a couple weeks (I have a hard time choosing my animals). She was in the cage with another cat and they always had food in their bowl. She was thin then but was young, like under a year. She didn't seem deprived nor did she scarf up all the food. I just don't think free feeding works for all cats. The cause of their eating habits doesnt' matter to me, they are what they are. I did not deprive them before and no, I don't know what happened to Annie b4 the shelter. Maybe she was a stray for awhile. I don't think so, though, she looked great, and was fixed and declawed and young. I would gladly be free feeding mine as it is TONS easier. I honestly don't like the feeding times as it is more work for me and takes time (for my slow eater), but that is just what I have to do with them so I do it. My vet recommended doing the 2x per day feedings because she said that cats wouldn't normally be eating all day long anyway. I'm not sure if that matters but it does make some sense as good hunting times are in the morning or at dusk. Also, it helps me monitor how much they are eating and then if one of them is off their food, not eating as much, I know right away.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get Annie to stop being such a pig? I am afraid to free feed her because I am afraid she will eat and eat and eat until she is 20 lbs!!!
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Old May 5th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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If you broke up what she eats now into five or six tiny portions throughout the day her metabolism would speed up and start using the food energy more quickly (not storing as much). As that happened you could then slowly increase the serviing sizes and or frequency. This would teach her body that there is no threat of "famine". What the vet said is true but what she probably didn't mention is that weight storage is a throwback from when animals had to survive if food became scarce. In the wild she would be getting way more exercise to off set the "hourding of fat" so it wouldn't be an issue. Its time consuming and i'm not sure how long it would take to adjust or how far you'd get at this point but I think you would slowly see an improvement. I can see how you wouldn't want to risk her becoming 20lbs though and that at this point it isn't safe to let her free feed. The key would be trying to speed up her metabolism slowly and in a controlled setting, if you were able to find the time.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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I agree with Maya,all the cats I've ever had,eat canned morning and night,free-feed on good quality kibble through the day and of course always fresh cold water.
Cats are usually nibblers and like to eat small amounts ever now and then.
Often,Chico for instance will just eat a little canned and I put his dish away for him to eat later and I watch Rocky eat his,because of his pill and also because Vinnie will be more than willing to finish all the dishes
My cats have never been overweight on free-feeding,except Vinnie,I need one of those threadmills Hilarious!!
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Yes I agree chico2, and it is so important to feed that good quality wet food. Kibble is generally much higher in carbs than wet which can lead to unwanted weight especially if there is a "starving" binging cycle taking place. Another point to remember is that the body will adjust to burn calories based on how much is fed so the less you feed the less is burned. Its a shame because it puts so much stress on the animal especially if they are active.

Kristin7, 1/2 cup of dry kibble a day split in two for an active cat is not enough. Why not try some wet food as well? It is healthier and will likely fill her up so she doesn't have to binge. Cats are not "pigs" there is a good reason why this kind of eating habit forms(even if you are not interested as you said).:P

I guess I can't convince you but I was hoping that my experience with this might be of use to you or anyone else that is following. I just don't like to see hungry overweight pets.:sad:
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Old May 7th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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I honestly hate to see any cat living on only kibble and the same kibble day in and day out.
1/2 a cup split in twos is just not enough,if your kitty is a piggy,it probably is because he's starving,but that's only my opinion.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by chico2 View Post
I honestly hate to see any cat living on only kibble and the same kibble day in and day out.
1/2 a cup split in twos is just not enough,if your kitty is a piggy,it probably is because he's starving,but that's only my opinion.
This is about what I feed Luna - once a day, 1/2 cup of EVO kibble... sadly the only wet food she'll eat is Nutro - most now recalled - don't want to 'trust' the non-recalled as it has rice gluten.

I thought the 'jury' was still out on wet food being better than dry... dry is better for teeth I know... can anyone offer anything further? I would like to change up Luna's diet some, and DEFINATELY get her to drop her extra 2 pounds!
Open to suggestions... hope I'm not hijacking here!
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Scary,the jury is still out
I am looking at it from a cats perspective,the same ole,same ole every day...:sad:
To every cat I have ever had,the biggest excitement is when I open a can of food..the dry is there if they want a snack.
From a medical point,neutered males are also less likely to get crystals or UTI,I rather have their teeth cleaned than deal with UTI.
Not all cats drink a lot of water,mine do,but if they don't,only dry food can cause problems and it is not only my opinion,an old honest vet I once had,said the same.
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