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Our cats need to eat the right food and the right amount of food to help them stay happy and healthy. Our quick guide can help put you on the path to the perfect diet for your cat.

Top tips for your cat’s diet

The most important things to remember when feeding your cat are:

  • cats are ‘obligate carnivores’ and need to eat meat, so they cannot be fed a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • different aged cats will need different food, so always make sure their food is age-appropriate
  • some cats may have medical needs that require specialist food. Your vet will be able to advise you on what is best
  • how much to feed your cat will completely depend on their situation, whether they are over or underweight, their age, their health status, and which brand you are feeding. There will be a guide on the packaging as to how much to feed your cat, use the recommendation for your cat’s age and weight as a starting point, then monitor your cat’s condition and behaviour, in case they need more or fewer calories each day
  • some cats prefer dry food, others wet – no matter which you feed your cat make sure it is a ‘complete’ food (it will say this on the packaging) as this means they will be getting all the nutrients they need from it

What is a balanced diet for cats?

Just like us, cats need a balanced diet to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need and to help them stay a healthy weight.

You might see some cat food labelled ‘complementary’. Complementary cat foods are there to be given, usually as an occasional treat, alongside your cat’s regular diet. A complementary cat food does not contain all the nutrition your cat needs and too much (especially if it’s treats) could unbalance your cat’s diet and cause them to gain weight.

Always buy cat food labelled ‘complete’ so you know it contains everything your cat needs for a healthy, balanced diet.

How often should I feed my cat?

Most cats prefer to eat small meals throughout the day, but this will depend on your cat’s preferences.

Some cats like to graze and may eat a little throughout the day (this could be up to 10 times in one day). Others like to eat all the food put down for them in one go! For these cats, it’s best to split their daily allowance into at least two set meals (ideally more) throughout the day.

As long as your cat is getting the right amount of food they need, it doesn’t matter if they prefer to come back to it regularly or if they like three meals throughout the day.

Find out more about feeding your cat

What should I feed my cat?

You should feed your cat an age-appropriate, complete cat food. This is because cats need different nutrients at different stages in their life and if they have any health conditions. We would recommend looking for a brand that is a member of UK Pet Food (previously the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) as this is a good indicator of high-quality cat food.

Find out more about what food to give your cat

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