"Should I leave food out for my cat at night?" is a question often asked by pet owners. Take a good look at this article to decide the best answer.
You have to leave for work early in the morning and since the workday is long, you always fill the feeding bowl of your cat before you go to sleep. In your mind, such a feeding method is convenient: There are a lot of things you need to prepare once you wake up which mean you might forget to feed your pet at that time. Additionally, if your fluffy friend got something delicious to munch on in nighttime, it would not bother its owner, right? Many people have the same thought but some still wonder: "Should I leave food out for my cat at night?'.
New to pet parenting and wish to know whether the way you currently feed your cat is good or not? If that is so, you come to the right place. This article shall provide you with everything pet owners have to keep in mind about the eating habit of cats. After you manage to grasp the fundamentals, you could answer the question of "should I leave food out for my cat at night?' by yourself. Generally speaking, the stomach of cats is similar to human so as long as you pay attention, it's relatively simple to put together a healthy diet for your pet.
The Nature Of Cat: Summary
Before we talk about "Should I leave food out for my cat at night?", it's a good idea to check out some cat characteristics. Once you clearly understand the nature of your pet, it's a breeze to determine the best course of action.
Cats Instinctively Gobble Up Foods
After millenniums of domestications, modern-day cats have thrown away various behaviors of their ancestors. That being said, the pets retain some instincts of predators born in the great wilderness including the urge to take in foods at every opportunity. Now cats only need to venture to the kitchen to get a tasty meal but before, they must constantly hunt for preys to acquire nutrients. As a result, your pet would eat until it manages to empty the feeding bowl. Because of that, leaving food out in the open for your cat (also known as free-feeding) is ill-advised.
Cats Like To Follow Routines
Despite the fact that people think of cats as erratic pets, they actually like to follow a set of routine. Following routines offer the pets a sense of security that keeps them calm, especially if there are sudden changes: new pet, new people, new house,... By setting a fixed feeding schedule instead of leaving food out without supervision, you should be able to regulate the calorie intake of your cat. Moreover, cats adapt well so if they get used to having their meals at particular hours, the pets shall only feel hungry at such time which allows you to introduce new foods with relative ease.
Cats Tend To Express What They Feel In Meal Time
Free-feeding is convenient now and then but if you rely on it, you are going to miss a golden chance to observe your cat. While your cat is going through its feeding bowl, you could notice subtle signs that carry important information: lack of appetite, food guarding, speed eating,... You would have trouble detecting these issues if you fill the bowl to the brim and leave it on the floor for your pet. Through changes in eating the habit of your car, you should be able to judge the current state of your pet and make suitable adjustments.
Verdict: Free-Feeding Is Unhealthy
Because of the nature of cats in general, it's strongly recommended that you switch from free-feeding to meal-feeding as soon as possible. While it's true that that free-feeding prove superior when it comes to convenience, meal-feeding is nonetheless safer. In the case you are unable to set up a permanent feeding schedule every day, consider getting an automatic feeder. With the feeder, your pet could get its food without having to wait for its owner to return from work. You could secure an automatic feeder at most pet store nowadays at a reasonable price.
Top 3 Frequently Asked Question About The Eating Habit Of Cats
At this point, you already know the best answer to the question of "should I leave food out for my cat at night?' so let's check out some issues that trouble novice pet owners.
How many times should I feed my cat a day?
Kittens grow up fast so if your cat is young, it's widely advised to feed it around 3 meals a day to sustain its growth. After your cat reaches adulthood, 2 meals/day should be sufficient in most of the case. Normally, meals for cats must be kept 12 hours apart so cats could digest the foods thoroughly as their body needs some time to eliminate toxin. However, if the time between meals exceeds 12 hours, the stomach of cats might hyper-acidic which lead to vomit so you have to be careful.
My pet likes to "graze". What is the best solution?
Some cats are capable of controlling their own calorie intake by steadily "grazing" the foods. These "grazers" never finish a meal at once so it feels like the foods go to waste all the time. In order to tackle the issues, all you have to do is to calculate the exact portion that your cat could eat in one sitting. Offer your cat the feeding bowl a couple of times a day and wait to see how things turn out.
Dry food vs. wet food: Which one is the best?
In general, dry foods could last longer out in the open but if you want to keep your cat healthy, go with a daily diet that base on wet foods. Although wet foods would not be able to preserve their quality for long after you open the lid, they offer much-needed boosts to the digestive system of your pet. That being said, feel free to mix dry foods and wet foods together to diversify the meals of your cat.