• FlammingRowan

[How to Feed Your Cat] Random FAQs

Updated: Sep 1


Here are some cat feeding related frequently asked questions I got asked every once in a while. I will keep updating this page, so if you cannot find the answer to your question, please feel free to drop me a message at flammingrowan@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram @mika_and_kaya and I will try my best to answer any of your questions!


1. My cat is not eating enough. What is that and what can I do?

There are many reasons to why a cat would have poor apatite. Cats are very sensitive creatures, and they tend to only eat when they feel safe and comfortable. So here are some of the common reasons to why your cat is not eating.

  • S/he is gaining some weight and s/he knows it. Most cats have this ability known as nutritional intelligence [1] meaning they know when to and when not to eat. Basically, you cat will start to eat less if s/he realise that s/he is getting fat! Over the years cats have evolved an ability to regulate their eating based on their energy needs. So sometimes the reason why they are not eating as much as they used to is simply because they didn't need that extra energy.

  • Is your cat physically active lately? Have you been playing with your cat? If your cat hasn't been doing anything all day, naturally it's not going to feel hungry. Because it's done nothing it doesn't need any energy! I often find that my kitties tend to eat much better if I spend just 10-15 minutes to play with them or take them for a walk on a leash before feeding time. Cats are hunters. They have a specific, preferred routine of feeding. As The Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy calls it 'hunt, catch, kill, and eat'. Playing with your cat is really important. It helps with their feeding, their intellectual development, their physical and mental health, as well as your relationship with them and your good night sleep. Yes, playing with your cat and then feeding them will give you a good night sleep as cats have this circadian rhythm when they tend to go to sleep after playing and eating.

  • Is the weather very warm lately? Just like humans, some cats may also tend to have less apatite in warmer weather or in more severe case, when they are having a heat stroke. If your cat is only willing to have a few mouthfuls of food on a hot summer day, s/he is mostly fine. It might just be the weather really.

The bottom line here is that it's fine if your cat is not eating a lot for a short period of time as long as (1) s/he is not losing weight; (2) have not been refusing food for >24 hours; (3) not nauseous anorexic. The easiest way to tell if you cat is felling nauseous is if s/he looks hungry and kept asking for food, but then when you presented food s/he comes to sniff at it and then walks away. If any of these cases happens or if you have any doubts, please contact your vet immediately.



2. My cat is eating too much but s/he is not gaining any weight! What should I do?

Is your cat eating a lot more than usual lately but not gaining weight or even losing weight? If that's the case, then the first thing to do is to check when was the last time s/he was wormed. parasites in the gut could be the reason why your cat is always hungry - because all the nutrition is being absorbed by the nasty worms but not the cat! In rarer cases, especially in older cats, this could however also be a sign of a developing tumor. Just like parasites, a developing tumor uses a lot of energy and the end result is most of the food your cat eats ended up feeding the tumor growth. So, if your cat is always hungry but also constantly losing weight, it is wise to speak to a vet in order to identify the source of the problem.


3. My cat is eating too much and now s/he is fat! What should I do?

the answer to this is simple. Just like humans, if your cat is gaining weight and the vet suggests s/he sheds a few pounds, then the best thing to do is to restrict energy input and increase energy output. Energy output > energy input = weight lost. Simple. There are a few ways to reduce the calorie intake of our cats.

  • Feed less. You would be surprised by how many cat owners tend to overfeed their cats, especially those on a dry food only diet (check out my previous blog post here to find out why). Always check the cat food label and see what the daily recommended allowance is. Don't forget though every cat is different. So if you happen to have an extra lazy chap, then you might need to feed him/ her even less in order keep him/ her in shape.

  • Increase the proportion of wet food versus dry food in his/her diet. At the same weight, dry food will always carry more calories than wet food due to their low water content. So one way to reduce the total calorie intake of your cat without feeding him/ her less in terms of volume, is to feed wet food over dry food. That way even though they are having the same quantity of food, they will not be getting as much energy as if they were on dry food only. \

  • If your cat is already on an all-wet diet, on thing you could do is to add water to the food. The reason is the same. It increases the volume without adding any energy. The water here basically acts as a filler so although your cat will feel the same level of 'fullness', it technically isn't eating any extra calories.

  • Feed less snacks. Do you tend to give your cat treats? Snacks are often high in calories with little nutritional values. So if you're over rewarding your cats, this might be the reason why s/he is gaining weight. There are other ways to reward your cats, such as with play time and cuddles or pets (given if you cat actually enjoys it!). However, if you really want to give your cat treats, whenever possible at least try to go for healthier options, such as a small chuck boiled or freeze-dried chicken pieces, instead of store bought high-carb, high-fat, additive rich cat treats.




References

[1] Understanding How Cats Eat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AalAw9Fqhyo&ab_channel=HelpfulVancouverVet

[2] Jackson Galaxy. Resolutions for a Healthy Cat: Play Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/resolutions-for-a-healthy-cat-play-therapy/


1 view