How Much Wet Cat Food Should A Cat Eat

I have a cat. Her name is Socks, and she’s seven years old. Despite her age, she’s pretty young at heart — always purring and demanding attention. From what I’ve learned though, the origin of their domestication goes back over 9,000 years! You might say I’m a new cat owner since Socks stumbled into my life in March 2018. I had never had a pet before (except for a fish who unfortunately passed away when I was 15). My cat has always been on dry cat food, but about a month ago we switched it up to canned food for wet cats.  This post is going to tell you how much wet cat food should a cat eat based on my own experience and research I’ve done.

How much should I feed my cat? The basics

If you've ever wondered "How much should I feed my cat?" We've got the answers. Photography ©g215 | Thinkstock.
If you’ve ever wondered “How much should I feed my cat?” We’ve got the answers. Photography ©g215 | Thinkstock.

The answer to “How much should I feed my cat” is based on many variables, including a cat’s weight and a cat’s age, whether you’re feeding wet cat food or dry cat food, the cat’s activity level, and whether or not she is pregnant or nursing.

The brand of food you’re feeding also makes a difference when we’re answering the q

When to feed your cat

When you bring a new cat home, it’s important to continue to feed her the same amount of the same food on the same schedule that’s she’s been accustomed to, then gradually migrate to your own food and schedule. Cats are very sensitive to change, and a new cat will be dealing with a lot of new-environment stress, so keeping the food and schedule consistent will ease her transition and keep intestinal upset at bay.

When you’re ready to transition your cat over to your own food and schedule, you’ll need to determine what kind of food you’ll be feeding her (wet or dry, raw food or a combo), and using the calorie counts in each food, determine how much of which kind to feed her.

What to feed your cat — wet food or dry food?

A closeup of a gray cat eating wet food.
How much to feed a cat also depends on if you feed your cat wet or dry food. Photography by africa studio/shutterstock.

Another important factor in answering “How much should I feed my cat?” is considering what you’re feeing your cat. The foundation of a healthy cat diet is flesh-based protein like meat, fish or poultry. Dry food should be high in animal proteins, and low in plant proteins (which cats are ill-equipped to digest). Carbohydrates should make up no more than ten percent of the mix of cat food ingredients.

Wet foods should consist predominantly of meat with as few by-products and fillers as possible.

Still wondering, “How much should I feed my cat?” Some calculations

According to the Animal Medical Center in New York, a healthy, active 8-pound adult cat requires about 30 calories per pound per day. So, the average 8-pound cat requires about 240 calories per day.

uestion “How much should I feed my cat.” A dense, high quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the same amount of nutrition for your cat.

Is your cat eating enough — or too little?

Throughout your cat’s life you will need to modify her diet to accommodate changing metabolism and dietary needs. Feel your cat’s backbone and ribs. If the ribs and backbone show through her skin, she is too thin. If you can’t feel the ribs, your cat is likely overweight. Adjust her portions accordingly.

Keeping your cat from becoming obese is much easier than forcing an obese cat to diet. And it will make both you and your cat a lot happier.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY CAT?

This answer depends on the age of your cat. Most adult cats eat up to two times per day. Don’t be alarmed if you struggle to get your cat to eat more often, it may just be because your cat is full already if you are trying to feed more than twice per day.

Kittens, on the other hand, need to eat more often. Kittens need to eat more than adult cats to support their growth. Rather than feeding them more in fewer feedings, spread the amount out over three or four feedings throughout the day. That way, your kitten won’t overeat and still gets the right amount of food to grow big and healthy. Once your kitten reaches adulthood, which is usually around one year, then you can consider tapering the number of feedings down to two or one feedings per day.

CHART: HOW MUCH TO FEED A CAT

There is a relatively easy way to find out how much you need to feed your cat: find a chart that outlines cat food requirements. Fortunately, many intelligent cat enthusiasts have done the research to figure out exactly how much food your cat needs under different circumstances. Here is a chart so you can see just how much to feed your cat: 

CAT WET FOOD FEEDING CHART
0-5 lbs5-10 lbs10-15 lbs15-20 lbs
Kittens200 cal400 cal600 cal800 cal
Cat (Adult, Lean)170 cal280 cal360 cal440 cal
Cat (Adult, Heavy)180 cal240 cal280 cal310 cal


If you are feeding a combination of wet and dry food, it is a good idea to start with the wet food. Cats are not big fans of drinking enough water (let’s face it, most people aren’t either). Wet food keeps them hydrated, which makes it easier to digest dry food.

Conlcusion

In closing, we have provided you with detailed information to determine the recommended quantity of wet cat food for your adult cat. If you are feeding a kitten, continue to feed your kitten until it reaches adulthood, which is between 2 and 3 years depending on breed and sex.

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