How much to feed a cat per day

Giving your feline the best quality life is as much about the type of food you feed them as it is how much food per day you give them. 

Just like we humans, a cat’s diet influences their entire life from how much they sleep to how willing they are to play.

So, if you’ve just collected a little bundle of joy and want to give them the best start possible, or you already have a cat and want to find out the perfect amount to feed them, this is the post for you.

We’ll discuss how much cat food per day your little loved one should be eating, at what time, and the best feeding methods for their delicious dinners. 

How often should you feed your cat?

How often you feed your cat depends on a few factors.

This table gives you an idea of how much cat food per day to feed your little moggy.

How much to feed a cat chart

Cat weight

Neutered or spayed

Typical cat

Typical cat – prone to weight gain

Overweight cat






















Kittens need a steady intake of nutrients to give them energy throughout the day, often requiring smaller meals more often. Adult cats, on the other hand, can be fed on a regular schedule, around 1–3 times per day.

Some cats prefer to graze rather than eat a full dinner, others won’t. Don’t worry though, they’ll soon let you know if they aren’t happy with their current arrangements!

Check the feeding guide on the side of the cat food you’re using for portion sizes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with smaller meals if that’s what your little one prefers.

How much should you feed your cat?

How much you feed your cat per day depends on their age, activity level, state of health and size.

There’s nothing wrong with feeding them a little more than the recommended portion, as long as you monitor their weight and body composition to avoid unhealthy weight gain.


Kittens never seem to be able to eat enough, while older cats may eat less over time.

We’d recommend using the feeding guide on your cat food to start and adjusting it to your cat’s preferences.

Adjust the recommended portion sizes up or down slightly depending on how active, or inactive, your cat is.

Activity level

The more your cat runs and plays, the more energy it’ll need. Active cats will need more food than inactive cats. Smaller meals less often can work well.

If you have a particularly playful cat, you may need to feed them slightly more than the feeding instructions say.


If your cat is healthy, their appetite should be normal for their age and size.

If they are suffering from an illness or health condition, their appetite may be suppressed or increased. Much will depend on the condition and how they react to it.

Having 3–5 smaller meals per day may work better in this situation. Experiment to see what works best for your cat.


Larger cats will need more calories and therefore more food than smaller cats.

The exception is kittens. They eat more when they are younger to help support their growth, so they’ll always be hungry!

You just need to manage their intake using the feeding guidelines on the packaging.

What type of food should you feed your cat?

The short answer is: feed them whatever food they like to eat. Both your lives will be much happier as a result!

The long answer is:

Wet food

Wet cat food comes in tins or pouches and is made up of meat, jelly or gravy. It isn’t all meat, of course there’ll be vegetables and other ingredients in there too.

If you feed your cat wet food, make it a good quality brand that provides all of the nutrients and energy they need.

For more information on wet food, check out our blog post, how much wet food to feed a cat per day.

Dry food

Dry food for cats comes in the form of kibble, and you can get it in bags or boxes. Some cats love a dry food diet, others don’t. You can even try a mixture of wet and dry food to see if they prefer it.

Use a good-quality ‘complete’ dry cat food, and it will give your cat everything they need.

Just make sure there is always water around to keep them hydrated. A water fountain works well here as cats are naturally attracted to running water.

Raw diet

A raw cat diet will usually be made up of raw meat or fish.

If you want to feed your cat a raw food diet, you’ll need to supplement it with wet or dry food to make sure they get all the vital nutrients they need.

How to feed your cat

Taking everything you have read so far into account, it’s time to put it all into practice.

So how should you feed your cat?

We would recommend following your vet’s recommendations while they are a kitten to make sure they get everything they need in their formative years.

Once they are an adult, you can experiment a little until you find the right balance. If you have been a pet parent since kittenhood, you’ll already have set up an area where they will eat and drink. It should be somewhere out of the way, where they won’t be disturbed.

Once your cat is comfortable with where they eat, you can experiment a little with what they eat. Try them on a quality wet food and see how they like it. Then try them on a quality dry food and see which they prefer. You may want to give it a couple of days between changes so you don’t upset their tummies.

Your feline will soon let you know what type of food they prefer. They will either gobble it all up and lick the bowl clean, or try it and leave it. 

Once you know the what, experiment with the how.

Divide their daily intake of food into 2–3 portions and try set mealtimes. Automated cat feeders can help if you’re not around. If your cat prefers dry food, you can try letting them graze throughout the day. Weigh out their daily portion and leave it out for them to eat whenever they like.

If you have multiple moggies in the house, you’ll need to keep an eye out for one cat stealing another’s food. Cats can be incredibly crafty when food is involved and quickly steal a sibling’s dinner when you’re not looking!

Use the MiBowl+ microchip cat feeder – our innovative product provides only paired pets with the correct microchip access to their next meal. This helps to prevent cats from stealing another’s food, which is especially important if they require weight management or have special dietary needs. It also connects to the new Closer Pets app, enabling you to receive important alerts and monitor your cat's feeding habits from your smart phone.

Summing up

Deciding how much cat food per day to feed your cat is both simple and complex.

It’s simple in the sense that your cat will soon make their preferences known in meows or sassy side-eyes. 

It’s complex in that there are so many options. Hopefully, we have shed enough light on the subject to enable you to make an informed decision about what, when and how to feed your cat.

Happy pet parenting!