When you have food available at all times for your cat and that food is properly balanced, your cat will only eat what she needs. The amount will vary based cat's size, activity level, physical condition and time of year. Cats eat 40 – 60% less of our food because it is packed with calories from animal protein/fat and specifically balanced for your obligate carnivore.
Let’s take the average ten pound cat for example. The veterinarian recommendation for a normal, neutered adult feline is 262
calories; an obesity prone cat, 218 calories a day. These recommendations are based on the typical cat food that averages 35% protein, 15% fat and 30-35%
starch/carbs. This is hardly a cat food for a
carnivore. A carnivore cat food would contain the same nutrient profile as a mouse;
50 – 56% protein, 22 – 28% fat and 4 – 6% starch/carbs. How cats process starch/carbs
is very different from how they process protein. Because your cat is a meat
eater, they rely on animal protein and fat to sustain them. These two
nutrients, when balanced, will digest at the same rate as your cat’s
Starch on the other hand, digests much faster and produces more energy than your cat’s metabolism can use at any given moment. The excess energy is removed from the blood stream with insulin and stored as fat. Once your cat is overweight, the experts want you to feed 174 calories a day to get the fat off. Anyone who has tried to put their cat on a diet, usually ends up with a very unhappy cat that won't let you sleep through the night.
Fat and protein, when balanced, will fuel your cat’s metabolism with no excess weight gain. If they are very active they will simply eat a little extra that day. If they are a couch potato, they will eat a little less. Everything works out because your cat’s body knows how to process protein and fat. With a properly balanced diet, your cat can be fed free choice and consume only the food their body needs.
Back to our ten pound cat and how much of our food they will eat free choice to maintain their perfect body weight. The average ten pound cat will consume ¼ cup of our food every 24 hours. That works out to about 160 calories each day. Because our food is nutritionally dense and there are no empty calories, they don't need as many total calculated calories. However, some breeds like the Maine Coon eat considerably more. Kittens are also notorious for eating a lot of food. Unless a cat has a psychological problem and overeats because he cannot help himself; we always recommend having a full bowl of food out at all times for each cat in the house.
Feed your carnivore cat as nature intended and they just don’t need to overeat.