If it was up to your cat, they would probably eat all day long. As with most topics about cat behavior, not everybody shares the same opinion. You could state there are two big groups: those who say cats should only eat two times a day and those who say cats should eat multiple times a day or just whenever they want. But which group is right?
Let’s take a look at the eating pattern of an outdoor wild cat. Unfortunately, a cat doesn’t have a fridge in the wild where they can gather and keep all of their preys. That’s why they have to hunt multiple times during the day and during the night. With their incredible eye sight, they have an advantage at night to catch their prey. Usually, their meals consist of rodents, such as mice. To gather enough for the day, they need to catch on average 10 mice. That’s a lot more than twice a day!
Eating only twice a day is very unnatural for a cat. For most cat owners, it may be more convenient to only feed your cat two times every day, but this is uncomfortable for most cats. If you have multiple cats at home, they might even start fighting due to the tension that is created. Or when they finally can eat, they gobble down their dinner and have problems to properly digest everything.
You might have guessed it already: several small portions per day is the key and comes closest to their natural hunting instincts! Are you worried your cat might get fat if it eats this much? In fact, you shouldn’t be! Research has shown cats can even lose weight by giving them four small portions each day instead of two big meals. If you start doing this while they are still a kitten, they will get used to always having food and won’t easily overeat. Make sure you always give small portions instead of a big one!
If you do decide to change your cat’s feeding pattern, always make sure to take enough time so they can adjust to it. Some cat owners prefer to keep their bowl filled at all times. If your cat has no issues with this, it is definitely no problem to continue like this.
As long as your cat is healthy and happy!
My Purry Friends