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Will Cats Overeat? Proper Nutrition for Your Cat

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With the holidays just around the corner, most people are starting to consider the foods they hope to indulge in over the Christmas season. Overeating can be a common problem during the holidays for most people, and careful portion control can help to keep weight gain at bay. It is natural for families with cats to wonder if their fave furry felines also struggle with passing up a few extra tasty morsels if they encounter added treats throughout their day. Though most cats have their portions carefully monitored by their owners, cats in the wild had opportunity to catch and eat their fill. If given the option, will cats overeat?

Proper Nutrition for Cats and Their Unique Life Stages

Food is the fuel cats need to survive. However, just as with humans, too much food can lead to obesity, a condition that many cats can and do suffer from. To help ensure a cat’s nutritional needs are met, it is wise for owners to prepare their cat’s food and monitor their weight to prevent weight gain from occurring.

A vital part of maintaining a good body condition includes feeding food that is appropriate to the cat’s age. The quantity of food given is equally as important as the quality to ensure a healthy weight.

Here are some general feeding guidelines for each stage of a cat’s life:

  • Kittens

Though the mother cat will nurse her kittens during their initial few weeks of life, it will become necessary to transition them from mother’s milk to solid food when their teeth begin to come in. Typically, the mother cat assists with the move to kitten food when her babies are of age. However, a mush made of kitten food soaked in hot water then pureed can be offered to the kittens as early as four or five weeks of age. Over time, the mother cat will discourage nursing, and the hungry kitties will eagerly seek the mush. As the kittens’ teeth emerge, the mush will become less liquid and more solid until the kittens are able to chew solid pieces of food on their own.

  • Adults

Adult cats require a nutritional formulation designed to meet the specific needs for their age and activity level. The bag or can of cat food will provide general serving sizes based on weight. These should be adjusted to match the cat’s appetite and body conditions

  • Senior Cats

Cats become seniors as early as seven years of age and begin to show signs of aging this early on. Senior cats are no longer able to process food in the same manner as they previously were, meaning a change in diet is necessary to support optimal health.

Senior cats will also be less active. As a result, it may be necessary to reduce portion size to avoid weight gain.

  • Overweight Cats

Overeating can be a common problem for cats. This condition, if not carefully monitored, can lead to obesity. Since excess weight on a cat’s frame can promote a number of serious health problems including diabetes, liver issues, and joint pain, it is important to help an overweight cat reduce his weight to restore his health.To help an obese cat return to a proper body condition, a combination of reduced intake and increased activity is most effective.

Do cats overeat? They can, and they do! To help your cat maintain a proper body weight, carefully measure all food and monitor your fave feline’s weight regularly, making adjustments as necessary. Your cat will thank you for it!

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Has your cat ever had a problem with overeating? If so, how did you control its portions? Let us know in the comments!

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