Adult cat sitting down eating from a silver bowl.

Once your kitten is eating solid food, you should check whether they are able to self-regulate their eating habits or whether you need to help them. Naturally, cats are grazers, and will eat 15 to 17 small meals a day.

Put down your kitten’s daily allowance and watch their behaviour; if they eat a few mouthfuls and return through the day, you can continue to put out the entire allowance at once. If they tend to eat the whole portion, you’ll need to split it into multiple meals and space these out through the day to avoid overeating and begging behaviour.

Your kitten’s lifestyle needs to be considered when setting up feeding routines. If your cat doesn’t go outside or is particularly sedentary, their energy requirements will be lower than a cat who is able to roam around. Similarly, if your cat has been sterilised, this can affect the likelihood of weight gain as post-operation their energy requirements fall but their appetite increases, which can lead to food being stored as fat.

You can avoid the likelihood of obesity by checking with your vet on the most appropriate portion size for your cat’s lifestyle, and keeping your pet active – either by allowing it to explore outside or playing with it indoors.

Although obesity is a pressing risk in cats, it can be avoided by adjusting what and how you feed your cat to reflect its lifestyle. If you’re unsure about doing this, talk to your vet who will be able to help.

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