How much dry food a day should I feed healthy cats who weigh more than 10 pounds?

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There really isn’t one set amount that you should feed a cat of any age of weight. Pet food packages to have “feeding suggestions” on the label, but you need to keep in mind many other factors, including metabolism, activity level, age, life stage (for instance, a pregnant cat will always require more food than others) and health. Your veterinarian can advise you more clearly.

Here are some basic things you’ll always want to do, however:

• Examine labels: Every bag of dry cat food comes with a feeding guide, a table recommending the amount of dry food to feed according to your cat’s weight. Use this as a guide. Then factor in such things as metabolism and activity levels, because a lively eight-pound cat may well have different needs than a less-active cat of the same weight.
• Observe! Does your cat leave any food left over, or does she always seem hungry? That can tell you if you’re feeding too little or too much. Measure the amount of food left at the end of the day to figure out how much dry food your cat ate that day. Repeat this process for at least a week and calculate the average amount of food your cat eats in a day. Start feeding the average amount daily.
• Watch her weight! Weigh your cat once every week to watch for any weight gain or loss. To weigh your cat, first weigh yourself, then weigh yourself holding your cat. Subtract your weight from your weight when holding your cat to get your cat’s weight. If your cat’s weight is the same each week, you are feeding the correct amount of dry food for his activity level and metabolism. If your cat gains or loses weight, adjust the amount of food you feed accordingly and continue to weigh her weekly until you discover the perfect amount of food to maintain her weight.

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