From a young age we are taught to eat three meals a day with a focus on having a balanced diet. While the routine of planning, preparing, and eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner may be ingrained in us, it’s not the same for animals. In fact, some pets only eat once or twice a day while others may go for longer periods of time between meals. It’s important that when you bring your pet home, you make sure to set a feeding routine that is healthy for them and one you can stick to as their owner. After all, nutrition matters just as
much to pet health as it does to our own.
Cats are often best thought of as independent creatures who keep to themselves, and it seems the only time you see them is when they show up meowing for food. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure they have the appropriate access to food (and schedule of feeding) so they can live long healthy lives. According to the AVMA, regular nutritional assessment and counseling can be a vital link in the chain of preventive care for pets. Regardless of how independent your cat is, you’ll want to make sure that you have a solid plan in place to establish nourishing eating patterns.
Factors to consider
Choosing the right amount of food to give your cat as well as the frequency can be tricky. One of the main factors to consider is the age of your cat as kittens require more food to support their growth than adult cats. According to research done by Cornell University, growing kittens up to six months of age may require three meals a day while from age six months to maturity, most cats will do well when fed twice a day. They go on to say that once cats reach adulthood, once a day feeding could also be fine as long as they are healthy and have no disease problems suggesting a reason to feed differently.
Stick to a schedule that works for you
Setting up a routine at home that is consistent and dependable is important for you and your pets and this is especially critical when it comes to mealtimes. Consider your lifestyle and schedule to help determine how often and when you feed your cat so you can establish healthy habits. One thing to note is that while it may feel more convenient to leave food out all the time, this is an easy way for your cat to overeat and is therefore not advised.
Good nutrition improves pets’ life expectancy and discussing diet and nutrition with your veterinarian as well as having a clear plan early on make all the difference. If you or someone you know is looking to schedule an appointment with the Bregman Veterinary Group for your new pet or are moving into the area and are looking for a new veterinarian, click here to get started!