Increased risk of weight gain
Before being neutered, male cats put a lot of energy into wandering around looking for a suitable partner. They can stay away for days, and sometimes they’ll physically fight for their mate. Female cats, on the other hand, put a lot of energy into the gestation, birth and raising of her kittens. When a cat gets neutered, this energy-use mostly disappears.
Neutered cats have a reduced territory; they spend more time on the couch and live a lazier life. This obviously has an impact on their metabolism and food intake. In fact, neutered cats need up to 30% fewer calories a day than before. But here’s the tricky bit: while a neutered cat’s energy decreases, their appetite increases. And that’s why neutering is an important risk factor for weight gain and even obesity.
To avoid this risk, you’ll need to adapt your cat’s feeding patterns. Here’s how to do it:
1. Feed your cat according to their needs
We strongly recommend choosing healthy, well-balanced cat food that meets your cat’s nutritional needs. It’s always worth checking the packaging to see what ingredients are used in kibbles or cups. Our cat food, for example, is made with all-natural ingredients and lots of fresh meat or fish. This means we don’t use anything processed or dried and absolutely no meal or bone.
You don’t need to buy special recipes for neutered cats. You just need to reduce the amount of calories according to their needs! Our guidelines for neutered cats are included on the packaging or you can find them on our website.
2. Control the daily amount of food
Have you found healthy food that your neutered cat loves? Awesome. The next step is figuring out how much you can feed your cat. We suggest you follow the pack instructions of your favourite recipe. But keep in mind that every cat is different and that it’s therefore sometimes necessary to adapt the amount for your cat individually.
There are two other things to keep in mind. Firstly, dry food contains more energy than wet food. So it may seem like you’re giving your feline friend insufficient kibbles, when in fact it completely satisfies your cat’s needs. Secondly, we suggest you don’t go overboard with treats. As a guide, don’t give your cat more than 10% of its daily calorie intake in treats. Treat packaging should also contain information about calories.
3. Give your cat multiple feedings a day
Our natural instinct is to give cats two large meals a day, and to fill up the bowl. But cats actually prefer multiple small meals in different eating locations. That’s because they still have a very strong instinct to hunt. We recommend giving up to five feedings a day. This will stimulate your cat’s mental and behaviour needs.
We also recommend timed feeders or feeding puzzles! Cats actually enjoy working for their food, and this will encourage them to eat according to their needs. So think about spreading multiple feeding options throughout your home - even better if they’re at different heights. Your cat will love it!
Alongside these feeding tips, we also encourage you to play with your cat every day. This will help your furry friend use energy and stay in tip top condition!