HomeHuman to cat relationshipcat welfareHow many times should a cat eat per day?

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How many times should a cat eat per day? — 5 Comments

  1. The experts have it all wrong, Michael. Large, infrequent meals would better mimic the life of a wild cat and lead to a longer life for a domestic cat. Intermittent fasting and calorie restriction have been shown to increase formation of new mitochondria in cells and to prolong life. Amazingly, those are two things a wild cat would experience. If the hunting is not good sometimes then he has less food. So long as this is not all the time the occasional fast is actually good for him. He gorges on his kill but does not catch anything again for a long while, this cycle repeats. He is doing intermittent fasting and it is very good for him.

    I have friends who use intermittent fasting to benefit their health. These are people who, like me, were harmed by a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, but they had more significant damage to their mitochondria than I did. The mitochondria is the power house of the cell. They do not have enough mitochondria to generate the energy needed for their bodies.

    But when they eat on a schedule more similar to a wild cat who must hunt, their conditions improve. They do all of their eating within a small amount of time during the day, then fast the rest of the day, through the night and part way into the next day. I don’t know the exact hours during which they eat and don’t eat, but the amount of time spent fasting is significantly longer. When they do this their function is improved.

    They encourage me to try it, but I lack the self discipline. Also, I am able to maintain my functioning with some supplements that support the mitochondria, so I just take the supplements as it is easier.

    But I think of the implications of their results every time I am feeding Monty for the fifth time that day. Somehow I took on the job of keeping his belly full every minute of every day– but the truth is that were he to go hungry now and then it would actually benefit his metabolism, were he to get his meals within a shorter time period each day with a longer time where he did not eat he would be better off. The research is clear– intermittent fasting and calorie restriction increase mitochondria production and prolong life for humans and animals. The results my floxed friends have with it is evidence the research may be right.

    But Monty and I continue to eat ourselves into early graves. He doesn’t know his constant quest for food could actually be detrimental to his health in an environment where food is too readily available. I know it and I am making small steps– baby steps– away from overfeeding him. I at least am able to assuage my guilt when I refuse to feed him with the knowledge that not only does he not need so much food, his body is better off without it.

    • Thanks Ruth for a thought making comment. I certainly understand the argument and it could be correct.

      By the way I have no idea why your comments are held for moderation. They shouldn’t be. I’ll work on that and see if I can correct it.

      • Personally speaking, calling the experts wrong is folly. And, comparing cats to humans or dogs or other dissimilar animals is also unwise. Time and again cats and cat research has showed me just how unique cats are!! I have read that cats need to eat every two hours. I think the smart point made is that domestic cats are not wild cats and do not roam large territories. And, as pointed out even cats in the wild have to depend on and compete for the available food sources. I know one vet who said cats only need to eat once a week!!! He notoriously did not like cats.

  2. I think that the standard is to feed twice per day. But, my inside and indoor/outdoor cats feel that food should be freely laid out for their indulgence any time. They actually demand that.
    But, my many, many ferals are fed twice per day. That’s the best I can do since preparing and making rounds takes me about 2 1/2 hours every morning and evening, not counting taking up and washing feeders.

  3. I haven’t experimented much with this, though I’ve tried to figure it out. I feel limited due to the size and cost of the cans. I’ve ended up feeding twice, 2.5 to 3 oz per meal, with a little snack mid-day.

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