How much should I be feeding my cats? How many calories do they need?


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Young Cat
Sep 22, 2016
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Hi there, 

I've been doing quite a bit of online research but still do not feel resolved around this question.

I have two large indoor cats that both exceed 15 pounds. I believe one is about 15 pounds and the other appears overweight at around 16-17 pounds. 

One cat will only eat Weruva chicken canned food now that I've transitioned him from dry food and the overweight cat eats Weruva, Wellness, Nutro (pretty much any grain free, healthy canned food in a pate he will eat) 

Weruva is known for their low calories per can and there is much debate online about it. Even though one of my cats is overweight, I'm still concerned they are not getting enough calories or I am not feeding them enough with the Weruva. 

They also seem hungry, meow a lot, and exhibit certain stressed out or "ocd" behaviours when they are meowing for food in between meal times and I don't give them any food. 

Would appreciate any feedback or information on how many calories cats need a day to be a healthy weight? I see a lot for average sized cats but my cats are not average size...They are just very large cats. 

Thanks so much for reading!

leen and alice

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Adult Cat
Aug 5, 2016
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I hope  doctor Rachel will help..

I wouldve loved to reply to everyone but Im not

an expert!
Last edited:

dr rachel

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Guest Expert
Oct 10, 2016
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Calorie requirements per day is dependent on many factors, including (but not limited to): stature, reproductive status, activity level, and general health.  Just telling me your cats weight is not enough to evaluate if they are overweight. For example, my Maine Coon is 26# and in ideal body condition. He is a big cat by breed and he is large for his breed.  So if he weighed 15#, he would be emaciated not fat.

There are many formulas used to predict calorie requirements, most very complex.  I use a rule of thumb to start, which is 40kcal/kg/day.  For most cats that will maintain ideal body condition...but not all of them.  It is only a starting  point--your cats may need more or less, depending on their response.  For cats on weight loss programs with over the counter foods, a safe rate of loss is generally considered to be 0.5-1% body weight per week.  For cats on vet monitored weight loss regimens, a safe rate of loss can be 2% body weight per week.  

I am concerned that your cats excessive meowing between meals suggests you are not feeding them enough, or foods that elicit satiety for a long enough period of time.  If you feel your cats are overweight, you should talk to your vet for guidance.  They can assess the body condition score of your cat and suggest specific foods, quantity and frequency to get them into ideal body condition.