Categories: cat food labelling

Unsure about your cat’s food portion size? Read the advice on the box!

I am sure that the majority of cat guardians do not give much consideration to food portion sizes and daily food intakes. They just feed their cat when she’s hungry and perhaps leave some dry food out to graze and that’s how it happens day in and day out. However, you can control your cat’s portion size and daily intake if needs be. And there appears to be a need because of what veterinarians call an “obesity epidemic”. I read that about half of the domestic cat population in America is obese (similar obesity issues in the UK). I doubt whether it’s that bad but a lot of cats need to have their food intake controlled which means observing portion size.

Sheba cat food portions and daily feed. Nice instructions which are easy to read. Photo: Michael.

I’m sure, like me, that most people don’t read the instructions on the packaging for pet food (sidebar: always read flea treatment instructions). But if you do read the advice on the packaging you’ll find guidelines for portion size and how much you should feed your cat over a 24-hour period.

Encore

Sometimes the guidelines may be rather vague or poorly written as is the case with the British pet food manufacturer Encore. They make great cat food. It is very expensive but your cat will love it. But you won’t love the way they have described the portion size and daily intake of their food. It appears to be saying that a cat weighing between 3 and 5 kg should eat two of their 70 g cans of wet cat food together with some dry cat food for a balanced diet. They don’t specifically say this so I have to half guess it.

Sheba

Better instructions can be found on the packet containing six 50 g pouches of Sheba fresh choice in gravy; fish collection wet cat food (a Mars company). They say that you can either provide their pouches only or the food can be divided between their wet food pouches and dry cat food. For a 4 kg you should provide five pouches of 50 g each making 250 g of wet cat food per 24 hour period. If you want your cat to eat dry cat food as well you should provide her with three pouches +20 g of dry cat food. Obviously you will have to be flexible to accommodate cats of different size and different activity levels. Their age will also be relevant. Although you can buy cat food for young and old cats to accommodate their different metabolisms and activity levels.

Gourmet

A third cat food, Purina® Gourmet™, Perle also provides guidelines on their box of twelve 85 g wet cat food pouches (a Nestle company). They say that you should feed your cat 3 to 4 pouches per day at at least two separate meals. This applies to an average adult cat of 4 kg and is dependent upon moderately active cats at normal environmental temperatures. They also advise that feeding should be adjusted as required to keep your cat at a lean, healthy body weight. Perhaps the advice generally is to read the box if you can be bothered because you may find some useful guidelines to help keep your cat at the right weight.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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