How Do You Feed Your Cat?
There seems to be several ways to feed your cat(s). I would be interested to hear which method visitor’s adopt.
This can take two forms both though are concerned with controlling the amount of food our cat eats.
I tend to respond to my cat’s demands. If she wants food she asks and I provide. She eats some and comes back for more later. Pretty simple stuff but is it wise? I also have some dry down for grazing.
This though is quite haphazard and can lead to overeating and obesity.
What we can do is put down a set amount of cat food based on calorific requirements. This is portion controlled feeding. A minimum of two meals should be provided per day.
Portion control gives the cat’s caretaker greater control over her cat’s feeding and eating behavior. The trouble is you have to work out what your cat’s energy needs are and what amount of energy there is in the food and match the two up. Who is going to do that?
A modification on this is time controlled feeding. This requires the cat to self regulate dietary needs. Food is put down at certain times but the quantity is not controlled. The amount is more than required at one sitting. I guess this is the method I have unwittingly adopted except I don’t control the length of time my cat feeds for. Time controlled feeding dictates that you allow a certain amount of time for your cat to feed. At least 30 minutes is the best time frame we are told. There should be two or more daily meals.
Time controlled feeding can lead to overeating.
Free Choice Feeding
This means putting down food whenever you wish, usually dry for grazing and you let your cat decide on intake.
Obviously dry cat food is best suited for this method but an exclusively dry cat food diet is not advisable. Wet cat food goes off quite quickly, however, which in itself dictates how long the food is put down for.
This method is probably the most commonly employed because it requires the least work and attention but it can lead to cats overeating. Domestic cats don’t always self regulate it seems. They can overeat and cat obesity is a modern cat health problem.
Free choice feeding somewhat distances the cat’s caretaker from the eating habits of their cat and it can therefore be harder for the person to observe and monitor eating habits which is useful in respect of health management.
Modern dry cat food is high in carbohydrates and tasty! This encourages a cat to lose ability to self regulate properly particularly if the cat is full-time indoors and has a sedentary lifestyle.