For Cats, More Small Meals Means More Exercise

A new study from the University of Illinois suggests that keeping your kitty trim may be as easy as feeding them four square meals a day.

Results of the study published in the Journal of Animal Science suggest that splitting your cat’s food into four meals, instead of just one, motivates them to get significantly more exercise.

Their tests showed that when cats were fed less food more often, they were more active throughout the day, especially the 2 hours prior to each meal. As an added bonus, if your cat’s favorite playtime is after you’ve gone to bed, cats who ate frequently were less likely to be active at night.

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Eating more small meals may also be more natural, since wild cats only eat one mousey-morsel at a time. The study only looked at giving 4 meals per day, but even more meals may mean even more exercise.

As a veterinarian, I know my clients are busy people. Not everyone has time to feed their pets four times a day, especially if they have more than one furry friend at home. If that’s true for you, consider timed automatic feeders; they’re a great way to give maximum meals with minimal effort.

So next time your vet tells you to keep your tabby trim, remember - feed your feline frequently.

About the Author: Dr. Cyndie Courtney is a full-time practicing veterinarian in the Washington DC area. Through writing, speaking, and her blog Vet Changes World, she works to make a difference in the lives of pets and the people who love them.

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