Nikki H asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

How much canned food should I feed my cat?

The more I read here and other places everyone says to switch to 100% wet food. How do I know that the cats are getting enough food? I dont know if I like the idea of them only being able to eat when we feed them and never any other time. We work crazy hours (out of the house by 6AM and not back until 7-8PM) and we are out of town nearly every weekend. How do you do it?


One of the cats has had urinary tract problems twice now, so this is why I want to switch to wet food.

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    EDIT: After all my blathering, I caught your additional details. LOL Even so, I think it will still be ok if you have to serve some dry. I don't think it has to be special dry either. What I would do in your case is to feed a wet meal twice per day before you leave and when you get back, but do leave some dry out for nibbling between times.

    For the times when you're away, I think it would be ok to leave him on the dry. If possible, perhaps he could get one last wet meal before you leave, but even if it's only two days' worth of dry meals, I don't think it would be all that bad. Or better yet, would it be possible to have someone stop in to feed him?

    It's just barely possible that you could leave a canned food meal out for him....put the bowl on top of an ice pack. That would preserve it for a little bit longer. But I'm not sure that it would be worthwhile.

    Although I agree with that statement, it's not the end of the world if you do feed some dry food. Obviously, the better quality the better.

    In your case, perhaps it's necessary to let them keep eating some dry.

    But to literally answer your question: The same rules apply and they're actually pretty simple. Starting with the simplest, you could feed the suggested amount from the can or bag for your cat's ideal weight. Split that into as many meals per day as you plan to serve and of course if you're feeding a variety you have to take that into account as well....if you feed half dry and half canned then you'd obviously feed half the suggested amount.

    But also remember that those guidelines tend to be a bit generous so you might feed slightly less and/or adjust for your cat's appetite. Also remember to feed for the cat's IDEAL weight which may or may not be its current weight.

    If you want to get more technical about it: Find out how many calories are in the food(s) you're using. You'll probably have to go the website to find that out. Then determine your cat's ideal weight. Note its activity level. Decide if weight loss is desired.

    Pick a number between 20-30 that represents the activity level. 20 is weight loss or couch potato, 30 is maniac. Multiply that number by the cat's ideal weight to get how many calories it can eat per day.

    I think you can figure out what to do from there.

    For me it's pretty simple. For Sophie who doesn't have weight problems, I just feed her varying amounts based on her appetite. On a hungry day, she'll put away 1/2 of a 5.5oz can in one meal. On slower days it might be 1/4.

    For Poppy who does have weight issues, it's more difficult because raw meat doesn't come with calorie content. I've had to experiment a bit there and have settled on a total of 4oz per day for her.

    Our schedule is pretty normal - feed at 6am and again at 3-4pm when hubby gets home. We're home on weekends. If we're away, my MIL comes down and takes care of them.

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    How much canned food should I feed my cat?

    The more I read here and other places everyone says to switch to 100% wet food. How do I know that the cats are getting enough food? I dont know if I like the idea of them only being able to eat when we feed them and never any other time. We work crazy hours (out of the house by 6AM and not back...

    Source(s): canned food feed cat:
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The information I've received (vet and other cat owners) say the opposite, that 100% dry food is better than wet food. My vet told me that the wet food is what makes cats fat.

    We do a combination for our cats where we keep dry food out 24/7 and feed them each wet food 1-2 per day. Each day is different though.

    But our cats are VERY spoiled. They each have different wet food they prefer, and sometimes get fed 3 times a day if they are begging.

    However, our cats are also accustomed to having dry food out all the time and don't overeat. My grandma's cat (25lbs Siamese!) has an eating disorder and has to be strictly monitored with both dry and wet foods otherwise she will eat everything all at once, hence why she's so overweight.

    I would recommend talking to your vet to see what type of meal plan works best for your individual cats and their health needs. The vet may even recommend specifically what brands of cat food to feed them. That's what mine did. :)

  • 1 decade ago

    They should definitely be fed good quality wet food. Feed them before you leave and immediately when you return home. 1 can total for the day should be enough for a regular breed - large brreds like Maine Coon need more. Ask a neighbor or friend to come by on the weekends to clean litter boxes, change water, and give them food.

    Since you're barely home, you should consider finding them homes where they will have human companionship. They could start becoming destructive through boredom. it doesn't sound as if you have time for them during this time in your life.

    Source(s): life long cat companion and shelter volunteer
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  • 1 decade ago

    Its depends on your Cat Age and Weight. Yes, Feed your Cat Well balanced Wet Cat Food in limited quantity. Feeding instruction always included with food packet. Before buying any Wet Cat Food always check food ingredients and food expiration date. Its safe for your Cat. More info

  • 1 decade ago

    I feed my cats on a schedule. Morning and evening they get strict portions of dry food and at lunch they get some canned. If your cats can regulate their weight themselves you can free feed a high quality dry food and just give canned once a day. As long as cats have water available all the time a get canned food at least once a day they will be fine on dry food.

  • 1 decade ago

    We give our cat a quarter of a tin 3 times a day.

    Munchies (dry food) are left if he gets hungry.

  • 1 decade ago

    you should leave dry food out but in the morning feed half a can of wet food and the other half in the evening. since you are gone so often just stick to mainly dry food.

  • Dark
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    You're right that wet/canned food is definitely healthiest for cats. As for knowing whether they are getting enough food, check the back of the canned food. There should be feeding guidelines that tell you how much to feed based on your cat's weight. Adult cats are typically fed two meals a day.

    In your case, it may be necessary to utilize a little bit of dry food as well. As long as you are feeding wet/canned primarily, a little bit of dry food shouldn't hurt too badly. Just make sure that both the wet and the dry food are high quality foods.

    Examples of low quality foods to avoid: Anything you can find in a grocery store will be low end, Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Whiskas, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Meow Mix.

    Examples of high quality foods to look for: Innova, Wellness, Solid Gold, Felidae, Fromm Four Star, Merrick, GO Natural, Nature's Variety Prairie, Nature's Logic, Artemis Fresh Mix, Timber Wolf Organics.

    Seriously on a budget? Two of the most affordable of the high quality foods would be Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul and Felidae.

    Edit: RuneAmok's answer is everything I wanted to say and more :3

    Edit x2: sunflower, you have a lot to learn. Dry food is what makes cats fat because dry food is higher in carbohydrates than wet/canned food. Diets high in carbohydrates have also been linked to diabetes in cats:

    Wet food is actually ideal for getting cats to slim down.

    Wet/canned food is healthier overall. The reason is, in the wild, cats normally get most of their water content directly from their prey items and drink very little. Domestic cats are no different, and because of the fact that they are designed to take in water with their meal, they have a very low thirst drive. Cats often just don't drink enough. This leads to urinary tract infections and crystals. The bit about dry food being better for teeth is a myth and has not been proven in the least (cats barely even chew their dry food and, really, does a pretzel clean /your/ teeth? Cats should have their teeth brushed with cat toothbrushes and cat toothpaste at least a few times a week as well as see the vet for dental cleanings when necessary /regardless/ of what they are being fed). Canned/wet food is better because it more closely mimics the cat's natural diet. More on why canned food is best: (Excellent cat nutrition information by a vet) (Canned Cat Food: Can Your Cat Afford to Live Without it?) (Why Cats Need Canned Food) (The Dry Food Crisis) (Max's House: Feline Nutrition)

    Another option to get cats to drink more would be a cat fountain. Cats tend to like to drink from running water and cat fountains see to that need, encouraging cats to take in more water.

    Also, I would never advise going to a veterinarian for nutritional advice. Fact of the matter is, vets get /very/ little nutritional training during their veterinary schooling, and what they do get is often sponsored or taught by the low end pet food companies. They also get kickbacks from said companies (like Science Diet) for recommending and selling their foods at their office.


  • 1 decade ago

    My cats eat dry food...........Purina One Adult 7+, and Purina One Adult Chicken. The ONLY cat in my household that gets wet food is my diabetic male. He gets the canned ( 1 can, divided, per day ), so that I can be SURE he eats right before getting his insulin injection. Until he developed diabetes ( Aug '06 ), he ate the dry ONLY, too.

    My cats sometimes "gobble" their food, and the wet always "comes back up" and is a mess to clean food it is! They range in age from 3 yrs---15 yrs, and the diabetic one is the only one with any kind of health problem.

    So, I wouldn't worry about what everyone else says......If your cats are healthy, you can leave dry food out for them and give them wet food as a TREAT.......sometimes when you come home from being out of town. They'll look forward to seeing you and getting a treat! This way, they get what they need.......and you'll feel better about the wet food!!

    Hope this helps.........Good luck.

    Source(s): 50+yrs cats / "issues"
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