Feeding your cat is something of an art form. Cats like their feeding times to be just so; the devil is in the detail! Here are a few factors to consider in making your cat’s feeding time more effective and enjoyable.
Bowl vs. plate
A cat’s whiskers help it navigate its surroundings, determine the width of openings, and communicate mood. Here are tips for choosing a dish that works with your cat’s whiskers, not against them.
Tip 1: Use a shallow bowl that your cat can grab food from without impeding the whiskers.
Tip 2: Choose a dish large enough to hold a days worth of food, with a lip just tall enough to keep the food contained while letting your cat easily observe the room.
Tip 3: If you constantly find yourself cleaning up after your cat, consider a wide plate large enough to catch stray kibble or canned food.
In nature, cats like to have a clear view of their surroundings in order to detect the approach of rivals or predators. So, where you place the dish when feeding your cat plays an important role in its level of comfort at feeding time.
Tip 1: Placing a cat’s dish in the corner of a room may put your cat on edge because it’s difficult to see the surroundings. This is especially true in homes with multiple cats or a dog.
Tip 2: To lessen the tension, try positioning the dish in the open to maximise sight lines.
If your cat is overweight or has a tendency to gulp food in a single sitting, consider using a puzzle feeder or a food distributor ball. They are also great for engaging the natural curiosity of active cats.
Tip 1: Find these at your pet store, or search online for simple ways to make your own.
Tip 2: Both puzzle feeders and food distributor balls stimulate your cat’s desire to hunt and work for food.
Tip 3: By rewarding effort with a bite or two of kibble, they prevent your cat from rapidly polishing off an entire meal. Please check the feeders after use to make sure your cat is actually eating the recommended daily amount of food.
Location of water bowl
Many cat owners use divided bowls so they can put food on one side and water on the other. Although this may seem as if you’re doing something very convenient for the cat, it’s actually not beneficial. Many cats prefer not to drink water where there is the scent of food. In-between meals, your cat may prefer to be able to drink in a neutral area, away from traces of food. Additionally, with the divided dishes, food particles may fall into the water making it less appealing and allowing for the growth of bacteria.
Even if you don’t use a divided bowl don’t place the water too close to the food bowl. Choose a completely separate location in the room. Place several water bowls around the house to make it convenient for the cat.
How to tell if your cat is overweight or too thin
Here are three simple ways to tell if your cat’s diet needs adjustment.
Rib Check: Place both of your thumbs on your cat’s backbone and spread both hands across the rib cage. You want to be able to feel your cat’s ribs. This is important, as the coat of many cats will make a visual check difficult.
Profile Check: Examine your cat’s profile – it’s best if you are level with your cat. Look for the abdomen to be tucked up behind the rib cage – this is ideal.
Overhead Check: Looking at your cat from overhead, identify whether you can see a waist behind the ribs.
If you find that your cat’s ribs and waistline aren’t where they’re supposed to be, adjust your cat’s food accordingly.
How much should you be feeding your cat?
Cat obesity is a common phenomenon.
The amount of food required to maintain an ideal body condition will vary depending on age, activity and environment. It’s important to monitor your cat’s weight and adjust intake accordingly.
If your cat is active or curious, try dividing the daily portion into several bowls and place them in different locations throughout your home. This helps to add interest by allowing your cat to discover sources of food throughout the day.
If you are feeding your cat a combination of dry and wet food, please reduce the daily intake of dry food to prevent overfeeding.
Be sure to provide fresh water in a clean container daily and try to monitor the water intake to make sure your cat is properly hydrated.
Be sure to follow the Feeding Instructions and Recommended Daily Feeding Amounts on the packaging of your cat food.
How much should you feed your kitten?
Kittens will generally start to nibble on solid food at 3 – 4 weeks of age. After 8 weeks of age, kittens will normally eat dry or moistened food at will.
We recommend that you begin offering moistened dry food at 3 – 4 weeks old and make it available to kittens at all times through the weaning stage at 6 – 8 weeks old.
Moistening the food makes it easier for young kittens to chew and swallow. During this time, it is best to take the recommended daily amount of food and split it into several servings.
Only moisten one of these servings at a time rather than preparing the entire daily amount at once and leaving it out all day for grazing. This will help keep the food fresh and encourage your kitten to eat.
Make sure to add no more than one part water to three parts dry food and use warm (not hot) water.
The total daily amount of food required to help maintain your kitten’s ideal body condition will vary depending on age, activity and environment so please monitor your kitten’s weight and adjust the food amount accordingly.
Always provide fresh water in a clean container each day and try to monitor the water intake to make sure your kitten is properly hydrated.
For more help with feeding your cat contact us on 01727 821372 or complete our enquiry form.