How long does it take for a cat to digest food

If you are a cat owner and your cat has swallowed something it was not supposed to then do not waste any more time, take your cat to a vet. Cats have a more delicate digestive system so anything bad can make their tummy upset.

How long does it take for a cat to digest food

Well, it takes 8 – 10 hours to digest something completely. Cats are very accustomed to habit. So, if you are searching this to make a diet plan for your cat then i recommend that you need to give your cat food two times a day. 

Cats can have many problems if you feed him or her a lot of food from the beginning. The cat will be obese and start to have various illnesses like tumour, cancer, arthritis etc. 

If you give your cat meals two times a day then he or she will understand that it is their routine, they will get food only this time of the day. Occasional pampering is allowed but be sure not to make it a habit.

However, when you see your cat is not eating properly all of a sudden, then there is something wrong. When you see that your cat has left all of the food or part of the food unfinished then it is time that you make an appointment with a vet. 

Because your cat is having meals two times of the day, it takes 8 to 10 hours to digest it fully and gain a completely empty stomach. So, after long awaited hours when your cat gets her food she or he should finish it entirely because they are hungry. 

Unfinished meals in these cases may indicate physical or mental illness. Go to a vet because it might be something of significance. 

This also depends on a cat’s age, breed and his bodily condition whether it has any illnesses or not. Some cats are physically small. Cats need food per kg of their body weight. So, small cats need less food.

Big cats need more food to keep their systems running. Some cats have higher metabolism which helps them to digest food quickly and also not make them fat. It is also seen in humans too. Some people have higher metabolism so they can eat a lot but they will not get fat, this is really an advantage.

Some cats get fat eating a little bit. This type of cat needs to get daily exercise. Otherwise it will be very risky for them. Daily exercise and a routined food consumption can be very helpful for any cat in that matter.

So, even if you have an indoor cat, take her or him to walk everyday. This will make their mood fresh and give their health a boost too.

How long does it take for a cat to digest food

How long does it take for a cat to digest wet food?

The exact number of hours are subjective. It all depends on how wet the food is and also how much your cat can eat. To put an exact number is difficult but approximate 4 to 6 hours is enough. Advice from a vet is recommended. 

Suppose the food you are giving to your cat is very wet and runny like almost liquid water. This type of food is made for cats who have a digestion problem or kittens also when cats are force-fed. Now, if you are giving a healthy adult cat liquefied food it is more likely that it will take less time to digest. 

If you are giving this to your old cat or a new kitten then it will take more time than when given to an adult cat. It can also depend on their digestive system. If your cat has a strong digestive system then the food will be quickly digested. If it is weak then it is likely to take more time.

If your cat is having a very active day that is when he is playing around a lot and roaming around then he will get hungry quickly. Just like this when your cat is lying around all day sleeping his day off and doing less activities then he will not be hungry quickly.

This also depends on the amount that cat has taken in. if the amount is huge then your cat may take 6 to 8 hours to completely digest it. But if your cat has eaten less and logically it would be digested much quicker.

How long does it take for a cat to digest dry food?

How long does it take for a cat to digest dry food

Dry foods are hard to digest and also not good for your cat’s health. You have to be careful choosing your cat’s dry food. It is best if you find a dry food that is mostly starch and protein based. 

Cats used to eat small insects and animals who were mainly water and protein based and had carbohydrate in very small amounts. So, dry foods are obviously not the best choice for your pet.

Dry foods also take more time to get digested. It will take 8 to 10  hours for your cat to completely digest dry food. It can also put strain on your cat’s digestive system. In the long run this can permanently damage your cat’s stomach. 

How many meals should my cat eat each day?

It depends how much you are giving in one meal. Some people think if you give one meal a day to a cat and put excessive food in it then this is not a correct way. This creates many complications. 

Cats however need 80 kcal per kg of their body weight. It is recommended to give meals two times of the day as it takes 8 to 10 hours to digest one meal. 

But some owners like to give three meals in one day. In that case you have to properly distribute the calories among the three meals. If you keep on giving too much food your cat will be overweight which will then invite many sicknesses. 

Not just obese, there are a lot of other complex illness that comes with excessive food consumption like heart diseases, kidney problems and liver failure etc.

If you feed your cat full two times in one day it will be enough. However, every cat needs personal diet plans. So, I recommend you to ask a vet. A professional help is needed to keep your cat healthy. 

If your cat has any disease then you should time the meal accordingly. But in sicknesses it is better to give your cat wet foods. Wet food is easy on the stomach and it also keeps the cat hydrated.

But remember that when giving wet food you need to feed your cat often to keep him or her full as wet food gets digested quickly.

How long does food stay in a cat’s stomach?

This curiosity is never to be tested on your own cat. Do not make your cat stay hungry till it collapses. Yes, your cat will be unconscious if he or she stays hungry for too long. Her or his system will shut down slowly and he or she will not have the strength to even stand up. 

If a cat has her meal and it made her full then the food will stay in her stomach for approximately 8 to 10 hours. But if your cat has not had anything for 12 hours straight then your cat may have nausea. 

This condition is risky. Do not leave your cat hungry for this many hours. This is to inform you that you should not  leave your cat an empty stomach for a long time.

Do cats know when to stop eating?

You have to understand that every cat is different. They have different metabolism. Their digestive systems are also not similar. When we talk about intelligence it also differs, behavior also. 

To put it simply some cats understand when they are full and some do not. It is just a matter of observation. Once I gave my pet cat a lot of food, he ate all of it and then had discomfort for a couple of minutes. He even littered on the floor. This was to relieve extra stress on the stomach.

I was very scared and was hoping nothing would happen. I  was lucky that he became normal after some time.

So, for you obviously do not try this. This was an accident. What you can do is to give your cat his or her regular amount of food. Then after he or she eats their stomach area gets big. You can touch it and tell if he or she is full or not. Then take a few treats and give them to your cat. If your cat still eats then your cat is not able to recognize his capacity. 

Also notice the behavior after he or she has finished his or her meal. When a cat is full he will not go searching for food. So, when your cat is not looking for any food but still eats what you give him or her then also the cat is unable to tell if it is full or not. 

If your cat does not show any interest in food after he or she has its meal then you can consider that your cat is aware of its capacity. This means your cat will not eat excessively. This lowers your pet’s risk of being obese or diabetic.

Can cats live on dry food only

Can cats live on dry food only?

No, it is absolutely impossible for a cat to live only on dry foods for the rest of her life. There are multiple reasons for that.

First let us talk about the ingredients which are used to make dry foods. Most of them contain carbohydrates in high amounts. Carbohydrates are very bad for cats. It can cause illnesses like type 2 diabetes and obesity. Obesity will then lead to various functional problems inside the body.

Cats’ bodies will likely take glucose as a source from which they can take energy. But dry foods also contain fiber which is not degraded by the cat’s system. This can lead to kidney and liver disease.

Dry foods also contain sucrose which cats find difficult to digest. Cats can digest starch that is cooked.  

I am not saying that you can never give your cat dry foods. You can but it is not recommended. High carbs can cause Diabetes which is not good. It is better if you give your cat home cooked meals without any seasoning.

There are some diets called Dry Food Diets. But always ask your vet if you can put your cat on that diet or not. Without proper knowledge of risks you should not take any step. Your pet is precious to you and you do not want to harm him in any way.


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