Feeding Guidelines for Your Cat

How can you make sure you’re feeding your cat the right food, at the right time and in the right quantities? If you’re choosing a new cat food, deciding on a feeding schedule or wondering about supplements or treats, check out our feeding guidelines for cats.

Cat on carpet with blue eyes

How Do I Decide Which Food to Feed My Cat?

Life stage, lifestyle and overall condition all factor in to deciding which pet food is right for your cat. Life stage refers to whether your pet is a kitten, an adult or a senior. Lifestyle refers to how active or inactive your cat normally is. Condition refers to the cat’s overall health and body weight.

 

How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

A practical guideline is that kittens should be fed three times a day from weaning (3 to 6 weeks) to 4 months of age. After 4 months, they should be fed twice a day. Most cats should continue to be fed twice a day throughout their life, although some pets do well with one feeding.

 

How Much Should I Give My Cat to Eat?

The amount to feed your cat depends on her age, size and activity level. Feeding guidelines, which list the daily-recommended portion, are included on all IAMS™ packages. Start feeding with this amount and adjust according to your pet’s needs. Remember to divide the portion accordingly if you feed more than once a day.

 

What Is the Best Way to Introduce a New Diet to My Cat?

When changing your cat’s diet, it’s important to introduce the new food slowly. Start by offering your cat’s daily portion in a ratio of 25% new food to 75% old food. During the next three days, gradually increase the amount of new food and decrease the amount of old.

 

Is It Necessary to Feed Both Wet and Dry Food?

Wet food is an excellent treat that can be fed alone or mixed with dry food. Although our wet cat foods are nutritionally complete and balanced, it is not necessary to offer wet food at every feeding. Our dry foods are formulated with high-quality protein sources such as chicken, lamb or fish and contain all the essential nutrients pets need. The crunchy texture of dry food also promotes healthy teeth and gums, and provides overall good oral hygiene.

Cat under blanket on chair

Will My Cat Be Bored Eating the Same Food All the Time?

No — boredom with food is a human trait. Cats are creatures of habit and usually are content with just one food. Cats generally eat to meet their energy or nutritional needs. They have very short digestive systems, and if their diet is abruptly or constantly changed, digestive disturbances can occur. Also, constant changes can make your pet a finicky eater.

 

Is It OK to Moisten Dry Food?

Adding water will not change the nutritional value of dry cat food. However, once moisture is added the food should be eaten relatively soon, and any uneaten portion should be discarded to avoid spoilage. Feeding your cat dry food is usually encouraged because of the benefit to your cat’s dental health.

 

Will It Hurt Cats or Dogs If They Eat Each Other’s Food?

Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements and should not eat each other’s food. For example, cats require a much higher level of taurine in their diet. An occasional venture into each other’s bowls will not be harmful, but is not recommended on a regular basis.

 

Can I Supplement Your Pet Foods with Vitamins, Minerals, Oils, etc.?

Our foods are nutritionally complete and balanced. Adding vitamins, minerals or oils can offset the balance the food provides. One of the benefits of feeding a high-quality product is that it has been carefully balanced in proper ratios to provide optimal nutrition, so nothing needs to be added.

 

How Can I Learn More about Pet Nutrition?

Contact the IAMS Pet Care and Nutrition Specialists toll-free at 1-800-675-3849.