When, What, and How to Feed Your Cat

Cats are known to be one of the most low-maintenance house pets a person can own. Despite their generally complacent nature, it's important to pay close to attention to their eating habits. We know cat parents want the best for their pet at mealtime, so we consulted with Dr. Frank DeFeis of Central Veterinary Associates in Long Island, NY, to find out the right way to feed them. Keep reading to see his best advice for when, what, and how to feed your furry best friend.

POPSUGAR: When is the best time to feed your cat?

Dr. Frank DeFeis: Cats are nocturnal, and when they become pets they're adjusting to our lifestyle. With most cats you can put food out morning and evening and they'll eat without persuasion. This is very intuitive.

PS: Is there a certain type of food that's best for cats?

DFD: Cats are meat eaters, so you want to feed them high-quality protein. You can do a serving of dry food in the morning or half a can of wet food. It's important to include taurine in their diet, which is good for eyesight, among other things.

PS: Is there a specific place in the house where you should feed them?

DFD: There's no particular place, but where you choose to feed them is where you should continue to feed them. You don't want to do it in your kitchen because every time you walk in, they'll think they're getting fed.

PS: How can people get stubborn or undernourished cats to eat?

DFD: Cats need exercise and mental stimulation. So you can play with their food, throw it, turn it into a game. What that does is excite them and give them exercise, and exercise in turn will ensure that they keep eating. You can also reward your cat with a treat after finishing a meal to encourage this behavior.

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