Some times all this information can make cat food labels not easy to read, however, so it's important to know what your cat needs and why. Factors used to calculate calorie needs in cats. Once again, the carnivorous cat utilizes animal sources of nutrients more readily than plant sources. In addition, nutritional requirements and dietary preferences change over the course of the cat's lifetime. For example, outdoor cats may need more calories than less active indoor cats. The below image shows the “feeding calculator” they use. This number, the metabolic weight, can be multiplied by each number in this chart. Optimum nutrition often requires nutrients above the minimum requirements and the final determination must be based on pet’s response to a particular feeding regimen. cat one 6-oz (170-gram) can of food per day, and the food contains 8% crude pro- tein, the grams of protein would be 0.08 x 170 =13.6 grams. concentrations differ from minimum nutrient requirements traditionally developed by the NRC Committee on Animal Nutrition. This is especially true for cats eating dry foods, whereas moist or canned foods are usually consumed quickly as one to three larger meals per day. These nutrients are not found in plant tissue in forms that can be used by cats. When we look at Table 1, the basic RER requirements for a 6-pound cat is 149 calories. Over the past 6 years, this chart has helped countless cat caregivers navigate the wide array of cat food choices but now I am asking folks to ‘pay it forward’ to help homeless cats & kittens that are less fortunate than the ones with a roof over their head and someone to love and care for them. As your cat reaches maturity at about 12 months, it’s time to settle into a regular feeding routine. Close The instructions that relate to your cat are checked. In order to understand how and what to feed cats, it is necessary to understand how the nutritional requirements of the cat have developed through the process of biological evolution. It is important to remove dry food from your cat's diet. Because of their rapid growth, any nutritional mistakes made during kittenhood will have severe, even irreversible, consequences. Treats should account for less than 10% of your cat’s calorie intake. A 10-pound indoor cat should eat about 200 calories and an outdoor active cat can eat about 330 calories per day. Many of the NRC minimum nutrient requirements are based on research with bioavailable purified diets and/or highly nutrient sources that are not practical to use in dog and cat foodscommercial . When you look at Table 1, you can see that he can eat 250 calories per day. As your cat passes through various life stages, their needs and lifestyle will change. 0.3% Magnesium… 0.04% Iron… 80 mg/kg Copper… 5 mg/kg Manganese…. First, canned food tends to have fewer carbohydrates and much more protein. Your cat should be fed a diet specially formulated for these life stages. Table 1. However, gut microbes create about half of biotin requirements, and through there is a supply of the remaining requirements through the diet. Feeding Instructions and Monitoring Chart (ES, CH, FR, PT) Tools for Pet Owners. When you look at Table 2, you see a factor of 1.8 x RER for ideal weight. Choose the factor below that fits your cat. This one change alone is a big step forward in improving cat nutrition and health. Cat food is the same way in that some formulas are more calorie dense than others (so you need to feed less). Every food has a unique calorie count. When you look at Table 2, you want “weight loss” which gives us a factor = 0.8 x RER to attain an ideal weight. This is especially true for cats eating dry foods, whereas moist or canned foods are usually consumed quickly as one to three larger meals per day. Once you know the calories in what you are feeding, you can figure out how much your cat needs. Many owners prefer to feed small meals of moist food once or twice a day and provide dry food in between canned portions. Diarrhea is often treated symptomatically with dewormers, probiotics, metronidazole or tylosin, and a special gastrointestinal diet. It is important to remember that when it comes to diet and feeding behaviors, each cat is an individual with unique needs and characteristics. I hope this article helps you calculate your cat’s calorie needs. Examples include certain essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins (especially calcium, vitamin A and niacin). BLOG I learn along the way and pass it along. Cats also require more than a dozen other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. FAQ You've got a few questions, and I've got a few answers. Water While often overlooked, water is of utmost importance and dehydration is a primary concern in growing puppies and kittens because of their high body water content. Healthy Cat Treats and Snacks Some treats are better than others: What you should and shouldn't feed your cat. Kittens also need about 30% of their total energy from protein. Their belly is sagging and when you view it from above, there is no “hour-glass” to their figure. By comparison, humans and dogs have evolved to use carbohydrates as our primary energy source. A good quality kitten food has advantages over adult cat food since it has been specially formulated for a kitten's demanding nutritional requirements. Take human food, for example: 1 cup of cooked green beans has about 44 calories, but a cup of macaroni salad is around 360 calories. For example, if you and your cat weight 161 pounds and you alone weigh 150 pounds, then your cat weighs 11 pounds. This kitten can eat 220 calories per day. Your adult dog’s metabolic weight is your dog’s weight in kilograms to the powder of 0.75. Welcome to the updated Food Chart! So, you take factor two and multiply by 110 = 220 calories. Rule-of-Thumb Cat Calorie Calculator. Current AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles. The basis of your cat’s diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial cat food that is appropriate for their life stage and health status. Diarrhea is unformed or loose bowel movements, usually with increased amount and frequency. Feeding kittens. Some cats fed moist or canned foods get most of their water directly from their food and their owners rarely see the cat drink. Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM; Ernest Ward, DVM. Most mammals, including humans and cats, use the protein in food to build and maintain tissue and carry out biological reactions. An adult cat food can be introduced at about 8-10 months of age. What's New: Vitamins and Supplements for Cats Pet nutrition experts offer their take on supplements and vitamins for cats. Kittens need large amounts of energy—about two to three times that of an adult cat. Your pet will need to eat kitten-formula food until she reaches maturity, at about one year of age. However, the quality of ingredients can vary, and it can be difficult to determine their quality based strictly on reading the label. All that you need to know about cat nutritional requirements for different feline breeds. This 6-pound cat needs to eat approximately 268 calories to gain weight. Info about healthy nutrition and feeding This simply reflects the fact that the texture, odor, temperature, and flavor of food are strong influences on a cat's food preferences. However, many cats receive too many calories and because they do not get enough physical activity, grazing or free feeding is not recommended. Also catinfo.org has good information on feline nutrition if you want to dive in deeper. The nutrient requirements of the National Research Council are listed in Table 1. Diets that include raw egg whites and antibiotics have a higher requirement for biotin. Your cat is a normal indoor and not particularly active cat, and you look at table 2 and see that the factor for calculation of their daily energy needs is “1,” so you multiply 200 x 1, which is 200 calories. The bioavailability of natural ingredients used in cat foods will vary from the purified diet. Taurine is found only in animal-based proteins. Because she is a kitten (4 months to a year old), you see in Table 2 that the factor you use to calculate calorie requirements is 2 x RER. If your cat is overweight, it is healthier to help them reach an ideal weight. The cat’s weight was 19 pounds. NOTE: The “calorie” we refer to is actually “kilocalorie.”. Make sure the food you offer is specifically formulated for kittens. As anyone that has ever owned a cat can attest, cats can be finicky eaters. The pet nutrition industry is very competitive and relies on persuasive advertising to sell their products. The IHC Group. If your cat is addicted to dry food see Tips for Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food. Here is an example of how to calculate calories for weight loss. Let’s say you have a 6-pound cat and you want to calculate the energy requirements for weight gain. Table 2. Consult your vet with any questions or concerns regarding dietary requirements. Cat nutrition is very different from human or dog nutrition; this is because humans and dogs are omnivores, while cats are strict carnivores. Here are a couple examples of how to use the cat calorie calculator: Let’s pretend you have a 9-pound adult cat. In general, dry food has more calories per ounce than canned food. For Adult Maintenance. Feeding your cat the appropriate amount of a well-balanced diet is vital to the maintenance of overall health and well-being, just as eating a well-balanced diet is for us. TESTIMONIALS People say the nicest and most helpful things. You don’t feed treats and only feed a dry food that is 200 calories per cup. By 6 months, the need for food is decreased as kittens are about 75% of their adult size and can be fed 2 meals a day. Although they need relatively large quantities of food because they are growing rapidly, they have limited space in their tiny stomachs. Choose one of the many available charts on the web and trace the weight of your cat … Therefore, while small amounts may be tolerated, too much milk can lead to intestinal upset and diarrhea because the cat cannot digest it properly. Causes of diarrhea may be determined through a combination of history, physical examination, and fecal testing. Not all pet foods are created equally, although many commercially available foods are good balanced diets. However, do not be alarmed if your cat seems to drink very little water. When we look at Table 1, the basic RER requirements for a 19-pound cat is 353 calories. Food temperature influences its odor, and since warm food has more aroma or smell, cats eat it more readily. Adult Cat (0.8 * RER) MER (for BCS 4 & 5) Intact Cat (1.2 * RER) Neutered Cat (1.0 * RER) RER = Resting Energy Requirement (70 * body weight (or ideal body weight) in kg^0.75) MER = Maintenance Energy Requirement (RER * appropriate K-value based on species/neuter status) To read more, click here. True carnivores lack the metabolism required for the proper digestion of vegetable matter. How much to feed your cat Every cat is an individual. At eight weeks of age, they need to be fed about 5 meals a day. Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and their diet still requires these general proportions today. Care should be taken to feed the correct amount, especially when feeding canned diets since it is easy to overfeed a cat. You may see the calorie listing as “calorie” or as “kilocalorie,” which is the same thing. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. A rule-of-thumb for calorie requirements for a normal adult cat is 20 to 33 calories per pound depending on their energy level. Cat Nutrition for a Healthy Coat Nutrition tips to give your cat a shiny coat and healthy skin. We're here for you and your pet in 43 states. These critical amino acids are called essential amino acids because they must be supplied in the diet; cats require a greater number of these essential amino acids than either humans or dogs. You have a 12-pound, very active, intact male cat. The good news is that most commercial cat foods provide an excellent source of nutrition, whether it’s dry cat food or wet cat food. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. The water-soluble group includes C and the B complex. During a recent visit to the vet, they point out that your cat’s body condition is considered too high. The second evolutionary fact unique to the domestic cat is that its ancestors were of desert origin. If you feed your cat two meals a day, subtract the calorie count of any treats and divide the remainder by 2 to determine how many calories your cat should get for each meal. Dry or wet food can be used. All Rights Reserved, How to Calculate How Much Your Cat Can Eat Per Day, Examples of How to Use the Cat Calorie Calculator, How to Calculate Calories for Weight Loss, How to Calculate Calories for Weight Gain, how much food your cat should eat per day. So, this cat can eat 350 calories per day. Left to their own devices, most domestic cats will graze and eat small meals frequently throughout the day and night. In fact, depending on the individual and the type of food, some cats will eat from 12 - 20 meals a day. Cats appear to prefer food with a strong odor. Generally, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, while water-soluble ones pass through more quickly. Here is an example of how to calculate calories for weight gain. You can weigh your cat at your veterinarian’s office or at home. In fact, by about 12 weeks of age most kittens lose the ability to digest milk sugar (lactose). So… your cat can eat 1 cup of food per day. Protein suitable for cats must supply … Choosing a high-quality food from the hundreds of available brands can be challenging. See the handout "Feeding Times and Frequency for Your Cat" for more information on feeding schedules and mealtimes. A cat requires different levels of nutrition at every lifestage, so it is important to choose one that matches her energy level, metabolic rate and other basic needs. So, you take 1.4 and multiply by 250 = 350 calories per day. In fact, depending on the individual and the type of food, some cats will eat from 12 - 20 meals a day. Young kittens need to eat frequently. A high-quality commercial adult cat food should always be fed because these diets have been specially formulated to contain all the nutrients that a cat requires. 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