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Should I feed my cat on a fixed schedule?

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Question: Should I feed my cat on a fixed schedule?
Answer: Although cats in the wild (feral cats) take their food when and where they can find it, domestic cats very much like schedules: a time for sleep, a time for play, and most definitely, a time to eat.

Ideally, then, it would be best for you to establish a regular schedule for feeding your cat. Be careful when doing so, though, that the schedule is realistic, or you will be faced with a crabby cat when dinnertime comes around and you've been delayed in getting home. Also, try to schedule the final meal of the day after you've shared some bonding time with your cat, in the form of petting, brushing, play, or just carrying him around, telling him about your day. You don't want your cat to look on you as primarily a food source, but as a friend and companion.

See the Cat Food FAQ on Frequency of Feeding for more details on a feeding routine for your cat.

For more information on cat food and nutrition, see the side bar under "Suggested Reading."

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