1. How a cat eats is as important as what a cat eats.
2. A cat’s stomach is about the size of a Ping-Pong ball. It is designed to hold no more than 1-2 tablespoons of food at one time – an amount equivalent to the edible contents of their typical prey. This is why when your cat eats a big portion of food at one time, they can vomit it right back up. Their stomach was not designed to hold that much at once.
3. Cats hunt both day and night. Some animals are active only in the day (Diurnal,) like most humans, while others are active only in the night time hours (Nocturnal,) like raccoons. This is why many cats wake their owners up at night.
4. Cats hunt somewhere between 9-20 times a day. Not every attempt is successful. The average cat requires approximately 250kcal/day. The average mouse is 35kcal. So, a cat needs to eat 7-8 mice a day to maintain its bodyweight.
5. Cats have a natural cycle of their day, called The Seeking Cycle. Cats will hunt and if they are successful they catch their prey. But, they don’t eat right away. Cats play with their prey before they eat. When they are ready cats will eat their prey and then groom and finally, they take a satiated nap. When hunger stimulates them, they head out on another hunt. It is very unnatural, and not consistent with a cat’s nature to eat one or two large meals a day. Worse yet, endless access to food in the absence of hunting is making our cats very unhealthy.
6. Hunting is a born instinct for all cats. However, the technique for hunting is taught to the kittens by the mother.
7. Nearly 60% of cats in America are obese.
Cat’s physical and mental health is based on hunting in this natural cycle. They are metabolically designed to eat many small meals throughout the day and night. Yet, we are ignoring all of these factors in the way we proved nutrition to our cats. So many of the most common health and wellness problems that I see as a veterinarian are a result of how we feed our cats.
Now we can do better. How? Feeding your cat from a bowl denies them their natural hunting cycle entirely. So ditch the bowl and use a NoBowl Feeding System.
The NoBowl Feeding System mimics the natural cycle of the hunt by engaging the natural seeking circuit and completing it with the satisfaction of a food reward.
Once transitioned onto the system, your cat will hunt, find their meal, and then play with it to get the food reward. Satisfied with this healthy portion, your cat will groom and rest until hunger motivates the next hunt… just like in nature.
Republished with permission from The Catvocate.
For more cat health and wellness information, check out www.TheCatvocate.com.
Dr. Liz Bales, The Catvocate, is a practicing veterinarian with 15 years of experience. Dr. Bales has a strong interest in feline wellness and behavior. She believes that by understanding the natural state of the cat we can create an indoor environment where cats thrive and our bond with them grows.