Please settle this argument I'm having with my brother. He says I only need to feed my cat Tiffany once a day (or twice at most) the way he does with our dog, who gets one big meal when we get home from school at around 4 p.m.Tiffany always seems like she's hungry. Some people put dry cat food out all the time so their cats can eat whenever they like. But I don't want her to get fat or have the kind of health problems you say an all-dry diet can bring on. Please advise what's best for my Tiffany.
M.S., Minneapolis, MN Feb 13, 2005
Dogs are scavengers by nature, which means that one big meal a day is not ideal. Two smaller meals and three or four small, dry dog cookies as snacks is a better regimen, provided the dog's weight is carefully monitored and plenty of physical activity is provided.Cats in the wild, which are more carnivorous, consume all manner of small prey -- the equivalent of 15 to 20 small snacks a day. So, ideally, in-home cats should not be given two or three meals a day, but rather a dozen or more small scoops (1 teaspoon each) of moist food spread out from early morning to late evening. A compromise for cats left alone all day is to put out a little dry food during the day and feed them moist food before you go to school and as soon as you get home, then a small serving after dinner and one just before you go to bed. This adds up to four small, 1-tablespoon meals daily. Cats' dietary needs differ, so always regulate how much you feed Tiffany in order to make sure she doesn't become overweight.
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