July 13, 2018
Just like dogs, cats have their own ways of letting you know they are hungry. They may climb on you, meow in your face, paw at you, or even follow you around.
However, cats require different portions than their larger canine friends.
Cats are significantly smaller than most dogs- with some exceptions, of course. Here’s what you need to consider when you are making the switch to raw food.
THE TRICKY THING ABOUT CATS
There are a few factors to consider about your specific feline friend when it comes to feeding them a raw diet.
Sometimes transitioning your cat to a raw food diet means getting them to adjust to a different type of feeding schedule than they are used to. Some cats graze at their bowls casually throughout the day, while others will try to gobble down the entire bowl. When transitioning to raw it’s best if you can start to get your cat acclimated to meal feedings by reducing the all day buffet.
Outdoor cats vs. indoor cats is also a factor. Outdoor cats tend to get more exercise, running around all day playing in the fresh air. Indoor cats can be active, too, but this difference should be factored in when you determine their portions.
Then there’s the difference between breeds. For example, a Maine Coon or Savannah are some of the largest breeds, sometimes growing to be up to 1 metre long. However, they can take several years to fully physically develop, which means they are still growing when most cats have stopped. This difference in growth rate will alter their dietary needs.
IDEAL FOOD PORTIONS FOR KITTENS
Anyone who has ever owned a kitten before knows how rambunctious and curious they are. They need more food than adult cats so they can fuel their thirst for adventure.
Kittens can’t eat as much as adult cats at one time, so you may want to consider feeding them smaller meals more often instead of a few larger meals. They need all of the nutrients they can get to maintain their energy levels and keep up with their daily activities.
Here is a general guide for feeding raw food to your kitten:
- 2-4 months old: 10%-13% of their current body weight (in pounds) per day
- 4-8 months old: 6%-10% of their current body weight (in pounds) per day
- 8-12 months old: 3%-6% of their current body weight (in pounds) per day
HOW MUCH TO FEED ADULT CATS
As they become adults, cats’ metabolism tends to slow down. You may notice that your cat is spending more time napping in the sun, only getting up to eat and occasionally play. Some cats may retain their energy, but others tend to turn into sun-spot chasers as they get older.
Here is a general guide for feeding adult cats:
- Cats at their ideal weight: 2%-2.5% of their current body weight (in pounds) per day
- Less active, senior, overweight cats: 1.5% of their current body weight (in pounds) per day
- Active, underweight cats: 3% of their current body weight (in pounds) per day
GET EXPERT ADVICE FOR YOUR FELINE FRIEND
If you aren’t sure about your own cat, we’re here to help. Contact us if you need any extra help or advice making sure your cat gets the nutrients she needs to live her best life, no matter how she spends her days.
— Update: 10-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Raw Feeding Guidelines: How Much to Feed Your Cat from the website pawesomecats.com for the keyword how much raw chicken to feed a cat.
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How much raw food do I feed my cat? Is there a raw feeding guide for cats? These are two of the questions we’re often asked by readers transitioning their cats to a raw food diet.
Some raw feeders are guided by their cat when it comes to how much raw food they should feed. Whilst this is okay in theory, it only works if you have a cat who walks away from their food when their stomach is full. If you have a greedy cat with an insatiable appetite you need to measure and monitor your cat’s raw food.
How much to feed an adult cat
Unfortunately, raw feeding is not an exact science when it comes to how much raw food to feed cats. Every cat has individual calorific requirements to maintain a healthy body weight. There are recommended raw feeding guidelines though, that you can follow and adjust to suit your cat.
Read more Skin Lumps on a Cat: Types, Causes & Treatment
If 12 months or older, it is generally recommended that cats eat between 2% and 4% of their ideal bodyweight, split into 2 or 3 meals a day.
What influences raw food portion sizes
Every cat is different, so when determining how much raw food to feed your cat you need to take into account factors such as their:
- Current weight
- Activity and exercise levels
- General health
As cats get older, their metabolism slows down and they usually have a smaller appetite. A senior cat who lives indoors and spends his day napping in the sun and walking only as far as his food bowl and litter box, will not require as much food as a young and healthy active cat who spends his days playing and running outdoors in the fresh air.
Other factors that influence how much to feed your cat
In addition to whether you are raising an indoor or outdoor cat there are other factors to consider when determining how much to feed your cat.
The time of the year will impact your cat’s metabolism and how much they eat. In summer, when the temperatures are warmer, cats often have smaller appetites and eat less food. In winter when it’s colder, cats tend to eat more to keep warm.
Hairless or large cat breeds
There’s also a difference between breeds. Hairless cat breeds such as the Sphynx, Donskoy, Peterbald or Bambino tend to require more calories and eat more frequently than other cats to help maintain their body temperature.
Large cat breeds such as the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest cat, Ragdoll, Turkish Van, Siberian or Savannah take longer to fully mature and have different dietary needs. The Maine Coon cat for example, can take 4 years to reach their full physical size, so will require extra raw food to support steady growth and development.
The type of raw food you feed
Keep in mind too, that not all cuts of meat are equal. A portion of lean chicken breast, will have fewer calories than a equal size portion of chicken thigh meat or duck breast which naturally have a higher fat content.
Raw feeding guidelines for cats
The charts below include the recommended amounts of raw food to feed your cat based on 2% to 4% of your adult cat’s body weight. You should also take into account any other food that your cat is fed throughout the day, including treats.
The per meal amount for a raw diet is based on feeding 2 meals per day. Although some people prefer to divide the daily amount into 3 daily meals. For example, if your cat weighs 3kgs and you want to feed them 2% of their bodyweight, you would adjust the daily amount of 60 grams into 3 meals of 20 grams each, rather than 2 meals of 30 grams each. Make sense?
I have provided the daily and per meal feeding amounts in grams, but it is EASY TO CONVERT these numbers into ounces.
How to calculate raw food (grams to ounces)
To convert into ounces manually simply divide the amount in grams by 28.35
Raw feeding guide for healthy adult cats or maintenance – 3% body weight
If your cat is a healthy adult with normal activity levels OR you want to maintain their current weight, use the 3% body weight chart to determine how much food feed your cat.
Raw feeding guide for overweight, inactive or senior cats – 2% body weight
For an inactive OR older cat OR a cat that needs to lose weight, 2% of your cat’s current body weight is a good place to start.
If your cat is extremely overweight you should start by feeding 3% of their body weight and monitor how effective this is for weight loss. You want to avoid your cat losing weight too quickly as sudden weight loss in cats increases their risk of developing fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) which is potentially life-threatening.
Raw feeding guide for active or underweight cats – 4% bodyweight
If you have an active OR younger cat OR a cat that needs to gain weight use the 4% of body weight chart to calculate how much to feed your cat.
How much raw food we feed out cats
Our cats are indoor only and range in weight from 5kgs to 6.4kgs (11 to 14 pounds). The two brothers have healthy appetites but are very different in terms of activity levels and metabolism. Max is active and athletic, always running up and down the hallway and up the cat tower. By comparison, Charlie is slightly overweight and more of a couch potato. He’s happier relaxing in a sunny spot or sitting alongside his favourite human.
To make meal times easier in our multi-cat household, we prepare and freeze all raw food meals in advance in 55 gram portions. This is the balanced raw cat food recipe that we follow.
All the cats are fed exactly the same amount which is based on 2% bodyweight of a 5.5kg adult cat. That means they get 55 grams in the morning and 55 grams again at night.
The girls (who each weigh 5kgs and theoretically only require 50 grams per meal) often walk away leaving a mouthful on their plate. Max eats the leftovers! Charlie would love to eat the leftovers too, but with inflammatory bowel disease and food intolerances we are extra careful about what he consumes.
Read more How Much Chicken To Feed A Cat?
In addition to feeding our cats 2% of their body weight spread over two meals a day, we also supplement their diet with additional food at certain times throughout the day including early morning, lunchtime and at night, before bedtime. The treats we feed include:
- freeze dried chicken, turkey, beef or lamb
- freeze dried chicken hearts
- chicken wing tips
- pieces of human-grade raw meat (left-over from our dinner preparation).
Watch your cat’s weight and adjust how much you feed
We recommend you monitor your cat’s weight with regular checks or weigh-ins, especially when you first transition to a raw food diet.
If your cat loses weight after switching to raw food you may need to increase the amount of raw food you are feeding. If your cat gains weight, you may need to reduce how much you feed your cat.
Use a body condition score chart for cats
To some degree you can assess your cat’s weight based on how they look and feel. Does your cat feel heavier or lighter when you pick them up or when they sit on your lap? Can you feel the bones of your cat’s ribcage – are they protruding or is there plenty of extra padding?
Weigh your cat using digital scales
You can use the scales at your local vet to weigh your cat, or simply use digital bathroom scales at home.
- Stand on the bathroom scales yourself and write down your weight.
- Pick up your cat and write down the new weight (you and your cat).
- Calculate the difference between your weight when standing alone and your weight holding your cat.
Based on the scale readings and how much your cat weighs you can adjust how much you feed your cat to help them reach their ideal weight.
Remember, these raw feeding guides are exactly that – a guide. Every cat is different, so the best approach is to monitor how much your cat eats and adjust how much raw you feed your cat to ensure they maintain a healthy weight that’s right for them.
— Update: 14-03-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article How Much Chicken To Feed A Cat? from the website petsbeam.com for the keyword how much raw chicken to feed a cat.
If I could have just one type of meat for the rest of my life, it would be chicken. Or chicken breast to be exact. I’ve always been a fan of chicken due to its clean taste and stringy texture.
If there is one other individual that can outeat me when it comes to chicken, it would be my cat. He loves chicken as much as me. In fact, that is the only meat that he eats both cooked and raw.
If your cat likes chicken, how much chicken should you feed your cat each day? The amount of chicken to feed your cat each day largely depends on your cat’s age and activity level. An adult should be eating about 20-25 calories per pound of body weight. Kittens and younger eat can eat more than that.
Let us take a closer look at how much chicken to feed your cat and the best way to prepare it for your cat’s meal.
Your Cat’s Natural Diet
If you are a new cat owner or have had many cats in your life, the fact that our cats will always be obligate carnivores will never change.
Cats, unlike dogs, need protein from animal meat to survive. A diet that is high in carbs like fruits or banana bread will make your cat sick in the long run. Dogs have more leeway when it comes to eating carbohydrates but they too require a high amount of animal protein in their daily diet.
Another difference between cats and dogs is that cats are one of the best hunters in the animal kingdom. Everything about their body is designed to help locate, chase and kill prey.
You won’t see your cat spending time in your garden nibbling on carrots and turnips. He will be hunting whatever is eating your vegetables.
Is It OK To Feed My Cat Chicken every day?
Yes, it is definitely ok to feed your cat chicken every day. In fact, it is something that I highly encourage over dry food or kibbles.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of 100g of chicken breast:
This would make chicken breast about 94% protein and saturated fat about 3%. The rest would be from trace minerals and nutrients.
And compare against 100g of your standard dry food or kibble:
As you can see, feeding your cat 100g of dry food vs 100g of pure chicken meat has a huge difference in nutritional value. Not only is dry food high in calories but it is low in protein.
If you are currently feeding your cat dry food, I would very strongly encourage your to transition your cat to good quality canned food or wet food or a raw meat diet.
Your little feline friend needs good quality meat daily to be healthy. If our cats weren’t domesticated, they would be busy hunting out in the forest or grasslands.
Can Cats Have Lots Of Chicken?
When it comes to feeding my cat, I don’t go by any formula or measurement. I just feed until my cat is full. Before you start rolling your eyes in disapproval, let me explain.
Read more Should You Feed Your Cat a Raw Diet?
As mentioned above, cats need meat to survive which means that their bodies are highly efficient when it comes to using animal protein as an energy source. Whatever protein that the cat eats gets converted to energy and is not stored as fat in the body.
The reason why many cats on dry food tend to be overweight is largely due to the high carb and fat content which are stored in the body. This leads to feline obesity which can cause diabetes and heart disease.
One word of caution is that when not all meats are made equal when it comes to your cat’s diet.
When cats eat chicken in large quantities, it is healthier than feeding them meat like beef and lamb in the same amount. This is due to the higher levels of saturated fat in red meat. Although cats do metabolize animal fat a lot better than humans, I still prefer to mimic a diet that is as natural as possible.
Feral or wild cats will normally hunt small critters like mice and rabbits which is considered white meat. You sure as heck won’t see a cat trying to take down a cow or sheep unless it has already been killed by another bigger predator.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t toss in the occasional red meat for your cat. It is good for them and helps to add some variety.
If you need a figure to go by, you can start off by feeding your cat about 20 calories per pound of body weight. This number isn’t set in stone and will require some trial and error based on your cat’s feedback.
How Much Chicken To Feed A Kitten?
If you have a kitten on hand, you need to understand that you have an eating machine in a cat suit. Kittens are known to have a voracious appetite due to their rapid development.
You can expect your kitten to be eating a lot and at least three times a day until it hit 6 months of age. In fact, if you are caring for a very young orphaned kitten, they can eat every few hours. Kittens should not go without food for too long or they can start to get weak and develop other health issues.
Kittens should eat at least 300-500 calories a day. A good weight gain would be about a pound a month for the first 6 months. If your kitten isn’t hitting the bare minimum of calories daily or isn’t gaining weight, you need to take it to the vet.
It might have intestinal parasites or other health problems which is affecting its health.
You should also include some organ or muscle meat like chicken gizzards for your cat. They contain a good range of minerals and vitamins that can benefit your cat.
At what Age Can Kittens Eat Cooked Chicken?
Do not feed chicken meat to kittens until they are about three to four weeks of age. Kittens that are younger need a specialized milk formula for their diet.
Once your kitten is ready for solid food, you can start off with boiled chicken before slowly transitioning to raw chicken.
Make sure that the chicken pieces are small enough for your kitten so that it doesn’t become a choking hazard.
How To Prepare Raw Chicken For Cats?
If you are looking to feed your cat raw chicken, it can be as easy as just throwing your cat a piece of chicken thigh or breast and let the beast in your cat take over.
For me, I will first debone the chicken and cut up the chicken into smaller pieces for my cat. you can choose to feed your cat larger chunks if it likes to rip the meat.
My cat had most of his teeth removed due to his FeLV so I will either feed him small pieces or grind up the meat for him.
A good benchmark when feeding your cat raw is to feed it 3-4% of its body weight in raw meat.
When preparing the meat, make sure that your hands are clean and do not leave the food out in the open for too long. I throw away whatever is left over after 1.5 hours to prevent any sort of food contamination.
Keep the chicken meat in the freezer and only thaw what you need in the fridge the night before.
If you want to learn more about feeding your cat a raw meat diet, you can check out our ultimate guide here.
Is It Ok To Feed Cats Cooked Chicken?
Yes, it is perfectly ok for your cat to eat cooked chicken. But only let your cat eat boiled chicken. Do not feed your cat any chicken that is fried, grilled or smoked.
Only boiled or steamed chicken works best for your cat’s diet.
One very important point to note is to never feed your pet cooked chicken bones or any bone that is cooked for that matter. Cooked bones can are very brittle and can splinter easily. These splinters can cause serious damage to your cat’s throat and digestive system.
Always feed your cat raw bones
The saying “You are what you eat” applies not only to humans but to our cats as well. Feeding your cat a nutritional and balanced diet is a good way to ensure that it leads a long and healthy life.