Knowing how much you should feed your cat is very important for their health and wellbeing. Overfeeding can lead to obesity and a number of different health problems, but underfeeding is equally harmful for their bodies. To calculate the correct amount, you need to consider your cat’s weight, age, lifestyle, and the type of food they prefer. Here’s how to figure out the right amount of food to feed your cat.

How Much Should a Cat Eat in a Day?


How much food you should feed your cat depends mostly on their weight. Cats are not all the same size—some little guys weigh only 7 pounds, while big guys like Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 pounds. 

Most cat foods include instructions on how much to feed your cat according to their weight. If your cat is at a healthy weight, then the best course of action is to feed them the amount specified on the package. But if your cat is overweight, they might need smaller portions.

Type of Food

How much a cat should eat in a day also depends on the type of food you feed them. The amount of wet food a cat needs to eat is going to be different from the amount of dry food they need. If you feed them both wet and dry food, then you may need to start “counting calories” to determine the appropriate amount. 

Indoor vs. Outdoor

It also depends whether your cat is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat. Since outdoor cats are generally more active than indoor cats, they need to consume more calories to stay healthy. Indoor cats need to eat about 20 calories per pound of body weight, while outdoor cats need to eat about 35 calories per pound.


Kittens and elderly cats have different dietary requirements than adult cats. Kittens are growing rapidly and playing all the time, so they need more frequent feedings and a lot more food than adult cats. Elderly cats, on the other hand, are not as active and need smaller portions to maintain a healthy weight. If they gain too much weight, it could harm their joints and make movement difficult. 

How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?

There are many options for feeding times—finding the right schedule will depend on your habits as well as your cat’s. 

  • Once a day: Most adult cats can get by with one feeding in the morning, especially if you supplement with a treat or two at night.
  • Morning and evening: This is probably the most ideal feeding schedule for adult cats. And, knowing that they will get fed on a regular schedule might even keep them from waking you up at 4am with hungry yowls.
  • Free feeding: For outdoor cats, kittens, and active indoor cats, it’s okay to free-feed dry food. Just keep track of how often you refill their bowl to make sure they aren’t eating too much.
  • Timed food dispenser: This option is great for people who are away from home most of the day, or for cats that tend to overeat.

Expert Veterinary Care in Gilbert, Arizona

Still not sure how much to feed your cat? Why not ask a vet? Bring your cat in for a checkup and we can advise you on the right type of food and the right amount of food for your pet. Give us a call at 480-497-0505 or send us a message to schedule an appointment today.


Photo by Daniel Dan on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 2/28/2024.