One of the questions we’re often asked by readers transitioning their cats to a balanced raw food diet is: how much should I feed my cat?
Some raw feeders are guided by their cat when it comes to how much to feed. Whilst this is okay in theory, it really only works if you have a cat who only eats as much as their body requires at each meal and walks away from their food when their tummy is full. If you have a greedy cat with an insatiable appetite, then you need to strictly measure and monitor your cat’s food.
It is generally recommended that you feed between 2% and 4% of your cat’s ideal bodyweight every day, split into two meals.
Every cat is different though, so when determining how much raw food to feed your cat you need to take into account factors such as their:
- current weight
- activity and exercise levels.
For example, a senior cat who lives indoors and spends his day napping in the sun and walking only as far as his food bowl and litterbox, is going to require much less food than a young and healthy active cat who spends his days playing and running outdoors in the fresh air.
The Pawesome Cats family live indoors and range in weight from 5kgs to 6.4kgs (11 to 14 pounds). The two brothers have healthy appetites (let’s be honest – they LOVE food) but are very different in terms of their activity levels and metabolism. Max is active and athletic, always running up and down the hallway and up the cat tower, whereas Charlie is slightly overweight and more of a couch potato. He’s happier relaxing in a sunny spot or watching the birds outside the window.
Our Raw Feeding Guide
The table below is a guide, based on feeding 2% bodyweight of an adult cat.
To make meal times easier in our multi-cat household, we prepare and freeze all raw food meals in advance in 55 gram portions. Regardless of their weight, all the cats are fed exactly the same amount which is based on 2% bodyweight of a 5.5kg adult cat – 55 grams in the morning and again at night.
What this means at our place, is that the girls (who each weigh 5kgs and theoretically only require 50 grams per meal) often walk away leaving a mouthful on their plate and Max eats the leftovers. Charlie would love to help eat the leftovers too, but with IBD and a chicken allergy we are extra careful about what he consumes.
Monitoring Your Cat’s Weight
To some degree you can assess your cat’s weight based on how they look and feel but we recommend weekly weigh-ins to monitor your cat’s weight, especially when you first transition to a raw food diet.
The easiest way to weigh your cat at home is to stand on the scales yourself, pick up your cat and then calculate the difference between your weight and your weight when holding your cat. Based on the scale readings you can adjust the amounts you feed your cat.
You may need to feed your cat slightly more if he is looking a bit lean and has lost weight or reduce how much you feed your cat if he is putting on weight.
How do you determine how much you feed your cat at each meal?