The Complete Feeding Guide from Kittens to Seniors


Our favorite pets require a very meticulous diet to maintain their good health and mood. It would not be as simple as picking up a bag of cat food in the grocery store and putting a random amount on a bowl, at random times of the day.

how much should a cat eat per day? Well, Whether you feed your cat homemade cat food or the best commercial cat foods, it is key to feed a cat correctly, you must look at different factors like breed, age, preference, and more.

Age is one of the most important factors, and feeding them the correct food during their development stage ensures that they reach adulthood with little to no issues.

It is advised to keep the food complete and balanced in terms of nutritional value. For the average house cat, the feeding instructions are usually already placed on the packaging of the cat food, but this still needs some modifications to fit the exact needs of your pet.

Here is a guide on how to feed your cat during the different phases of its life:

Newborn Kitten,  Age: 0-4 weeks

0-4 weeks old kitten

How Much Should You Feed:

One teaspoon of kitten milk formula (not cow’s milk) should be enough when you start, gradually increasing it to 2 teaspoons until the 4th week.

How Often:

In general, kittens at this stage should be fed every 3 hours, but this can be cut down to every 6 hours on its 4th week.

How much wet food:

Their diet should primarily consist of the milk, but you can also use gruel on the 3rd week if preferred.

Daily Caloric Requirement: Milk formulas for kittens usually contain 1 calorie per millilliter. Your pet will need around 8 calories per day. Your furbaby should weigh around a pound at the 4th week.

Also Read: Best Wet Food for Kittens

4-8 Weeks Old Kitten

4-8 weeks old kitten

How Much Should You Feed:

At this stage, you should feed your cat slightly more than the first few weeks. The diet should already consist of solid foods, or at least gruel mixed with milk formulas.

How Often:

Kittens over four weeks need to be fed every 6 hours, or 5 times a day depending on the amount of food given in each interval.

How much wet food:

This depends, if you think your kitten is undernourished then you can feed it more wet food. Formula foods are much better than just general cat foods.

Daily Caloric Requirement: The caloric requirement would start to vary at this stage, but in general you should keep your kitten at 2 pounds and just continue giving the amount of food to maintain this weight.

8-16 Weeks Old Kitten

8-16 weeks old kitten

How Much Should You Feed:

Kitty food should be pre-packed with the right amount for this age, but you can still adjust this to your cat’s preference. Their stomachs are still at this point, so small meals are still the norm.

How Often:

5 times a day would still be ideal number, but at this stage you can also initiate free feeding with dry foods. Just be sure to check for dramatic weight gains.

How much wet food:

Your cat can now eat wet canned food for every meal, but this should be balanced with exercise. Foods marked for growth and development are the best types to feed your 8-week old kitten.
Daily Caloric Intake: The kitten should be showing rapid growth, but 2 pounds should still be the approximate weight. Adjust the feeding regimen to maintain this number.

Also Read: Best Kitten Food – Top 5 Best Kitten Foods On the Market Today

4-6 Months Old Kitten

4-6 month old kitten

How Much Should You Feed:

At this age, your beloved feline is already getting used to the food intake so it is best to let your cat reach her ideal weight, then just maintain it.

How Often:

Three times a day should do just fine for a cat of this stage. You can also give your pet treats throughout the day, but it shouldn’t exceed 5% of its daily diet.

How much wet food

Wet and dry food can be mixed up during the day to stimulate your cat’s feeding habit. Do use different flavors for each meal to surprise her appetite in a good way. Also, do not give your cats any cow milk because of their intolerance, which can cause diarrhea.

Daily Caloric Intake: For each pound, a cat would need around 30 calories per day. An 8-pound cat should consume 240 calories per day.

6 Months-Adult Cats

6+ months old cat

How Much Should You Feed:

For cats that are more than 6 months old, 3 ounces per pound of body weight is the ideal consumption per day.

How Often:

You can feed your cat three times a day, or twice a day but with bigger portions.

How much wet food:

This depends entirely up to you, wet food is recommended because of minimal carbohydrate content, plus it’s rich in species-appropriate animal ingredients and higher moisture content.

Daily Caloric Intake: Depending on your cat’s activity level, the recommended daily caloric intake would be 240-300 calories.

Also Read: Best Cat Food Guide

Senior Years

senior cat

How Much Should You Feed:

Once your cat is over 5 years, they would start to eat less and requires less nutrition than a younger cat. This is perfectly normal.

How Often:

Once a day could already satisfy an adult feline, but this can move up to twice a day depending on its weight.

How much wet food:

Since they might have difficulty eating, wet or moist food is better for senior cats.

Daily Caloric Intake: About 60-70 calories per pound is required for elderly cats, with a majority coming from proteins.

Also Read: Best Cat Food for Senior Cats

Final Thoughts

A cat’s diet is very important to its upbringing, and can affect its level of activity and playfulness. It is important to supply it with the nourishment that it needs, but you should also be careful not to feed too much.

Obesity is also a disease from which cats can suffer, and when not corrected early on, it could lead to complications during their later stages in life. De-worming is also recommended to make sure that the nutrients are not wasted on parasites, and goes to the cat’s system. Also, make sure to give your cat fresh food to avoid infections.

Aside from giving them the correct food regimen, it is also important that a cat has access to clean water to keep themselves hydrated. This also helps their bowel movement prevents diseases like urinary tract infection. This is true regardless if your feline friend eats dry or wet food.


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