Cat dietary needs aren’t complicated but they need some planning.

First, cats are a special kind of meat-eater called an obligate carnivore. As cats evolved, their ancestors ate a meat-only diet. As a result, their bodies adapted in various ways.

Mostly, cats have difficulty processing and breaking down certain kinds of food. For example, whereas humans and dogs can make vitamin A from beta-carotene, cats can’t. Cats also need lots of taurine and arginine, which you get in meat but almost nowhere else.

As such, cats need meat or they die. Cats will eat rice and leftover veggies for fun or if they’re starving, but they need meat to survive.

Cat biscuits are easy, but there are concerns using these exclusively. Many cats don’t like biscuits and digestibility can also be a factor. Also, cats who don’t lap water very well can become dehydrated.

Wet food is messier because it has lots of water. This is great for kitties because they need the liquid. Also, cats tend to prefer wet food because it tastes great and comes in many flavours.

I think it’s best for cats to have both. Even if biscuits could do the job, I don’t want to live on boring dehydrated pellets all my life, and I can’t imagine a cat liking it either. Wet food is delicious and cats deserve to have a good life.

Adult cats typically need two meals a day, while kittens and elderly cats need three. The amount is tricky. All cat foods have different nutritional values. You can read the label but do remember that these are average guidelines. Active cats need to eat more than lazy cats. Personal metabolism is also a factor.

Generally speaking, a big issue is that it’s hard to guesstimate portions. To prevent over-feeding, measure daily requirements until you get an idea of what recommended servings look like.

The bottom line? Be sensible, and you’re probably doing fine. If not, keep a cat food diary and then go and talk to your vet to get some advice.