Cats are more satisfied and less likely to beg for food with one big meal a day, study says

One big meal a day could be better for kitties (Picture: Getty)

Our furry friends know how to pull at our heartstrings when it comes to food.

But a new study has found that cats are less likely to beg for food and will be generally more satisfied if they have one large meal a day, rather than two smaller ones.

The research shows that cats are better at controlling their hunger when they are given just one hefty meal a day – as it mimics their eating patterns in the wild.

In experiments, moggies who ate just once a day were more satisfied than those who were fed smaller meals four times a day. As a result, authors of the study have said that feeding cats once at breakfast could stop begging behaviour and meows for food.

This ‘once-a-day’ feed is also similar to how felines eat in the wild – who often ‘intermittently fast’ before finding their next meal. 

Cutting back on the amount they are fed could also reduce the risk of cat obesity from overeating, which could shorten their life and makes them more prone to disease.

The study’s co-author professor Adronie Verbrugghe said: ‘These findings may surprise the veterinary community and many cat owners who have been told their animals need several small meals a day. But these results suggest there are benefits to this approach.

‘This approach is really yet another tool in a veterinarian or a cat owner’s toolbox for managing a cat’s weight and keeping their animals healthy and happy. 

‘But we always have to look at each individual animal and account for the cat’s and owner’s lifestyle. 

‘So although this approach might be helpful to promote satiety in some cats, it might not help another.’  

Although, feline welfare charity Cats Protection have said further research is needed into the findings of the study.

This is ultimately because feeding habits and routines vary, depending on the cat.

Younger cats, in particular, might need to be fed more as they tend to burn off more energy. It’s also stressed that cats taking medication twice a day should still be given two meals.

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