Setting a benchmark for the amount of wet cat food a standard cat should eat daily

How do you work out how much wet cat food your cat should eat daily when everything is so confusing? In an act of great wisdom, the experts tell us that the cat obesity epidemic is due to over-feeding your cat. But how do you work out how much to feed your cat? I’m finding it quite confusing. In fact I’m finding it very confusing for various reasons. It’s very difficult to find a benchmark standard because cats vary in their activity levels and age et cetera, but one aspect of this process is disappointing. The pet food manufacturers lack transparency in their labelling.

Can of wet cat food and confusing labelling concerning calorie content
Can of wet cat food and confusing labelling concerning calorie content
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Calorie chaos

For example, some cans of wet cat food list the calorie content of the can. But they refer to kcal rather than Calories. As it happens they mean the same thing but do all cat owners know this? It has to be a capital “C” in order for it to mean the same thing by the way. That’s another awful confusion. The problem is that the language regarding calories needs to be cleaned up.

However, I do believe despite these obstacles that what is needed is a benchmark. We need to know how much wet cat food a standard size cat of about 10 pounds should eat every day in order to maintain a stable and proper weight. If we know this we can work out using adjustments if necessary how much our cat needs. Perhaps then the average cat owner can understand how much to feed their cat and control it. I hope too that they limit dry cat food. I am sure that a lot of cat owners simple have open feeding of dry food.


I will try an produce a benchmark. My research indicates that the standard cat of 10 pounds in weight requires around 270 calories daily. This figure varies slightly. My research also indicates that a 3 ounce can of wet cat food contains about 125 calories.

Although when I read the label of one can of wet cat food from the manufacturer Royal Canin they say that the “diet” (I think they mean the can) contains 834 kcal. Then they go on to say that it contains 71 kcal (on an as fed basis). I have no idea what this all means as it is utterly confusing. I think they deliberately confuse customers! I hate to say it but it looks that way.

I decided to ignore the label and proceed on the basis that a 3 ounce can, as mentioned, contains about 125 calories as the source of this information is reliable.

On this basis a regular sized cat needs a little more than two 3 ounce cans of wet cat food daily. That should or could be a benchmark.

Shame on pet food manufacturers

However, I am very critical of pet food manufacturers. They should clearly label how many calories a can contains as it should be in a language which people understand. They should use the word “calories” which is in common usage rather than “kcal” followed by some mumbo-jumbo. This simply isn’t good enough.

3 thoughts on “Setting a benchmark for the amount of wet cat food a standard cat should eat daily”

  1. I’d like to add another aspect to this discussion: quality. Labelling fails us here too. In answer to that I’ve subscribed to the related sites that do independent laboratory research on approximately 5,000 pet foods. Check, and It’s consumer funded, which gives you the main qualification as to why and how they can offer you research and evidence you can trust about this essential topic.

  2. Yeah I’ve gotten it down to around 5oz wet food per day, give or take. I’ll give a tiny bit more to those who seem to require it from what I feed the others who don’t. I look at their activity level, how hungry they have or haven’t been, if they ever leave a bit, seem to want more and most of all if they’ve been packing on a little more bulk than the others. I balance it out within the total cans I’ll open for them so we don’t have left overs. The problem with most cats is they can eat too much if you provide it, especially the dry food which contains sprayed on flavorings that have no nutritional value. I’ve called it “kitty crack”. Drives me nuts that a neighbor constantly puts out dry food for any and all neighboring cats that will eat it. She thinks that just because they will, they must need it, which they don’t.

    • Well, I am pleased you have come to a similar conclusion. It is a tricky one. I feel more can be done on clarifying the feline diet. I am sure a lot of cat owners struggle with their cat’s diet. One reason is laziness but another is a lack of clarity.


Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo