How much should I feed my cat?
We recommend feeding Rad Cat twice daily. Portion size will vary with the size, age, and activity level of your cat. Normal meals are between 3-4 ounces per meal (approx. a healthy 1/3 cup), but some cats will eat a little less, and some a little more. We recommend starting with 3oz twice per day. Kittens and pregnant or lactating queens will often consume more and need that extra nutrition. An increase of 50% more food per meal is not uncommon. Please see guidelines, below.
Some cats will start eating Rad Cat voraciously and seem constantly hungry. While this phenomenon is not something we hear about regularly, it is nothing to be concerned about and it should pass in a couple of weeks. We believe this is due to cats making up for lost nutrition or simply because they feel they need to “eat their fill” in case they can’t get the yummy food any more. Once cats realize the tasty Rad Cat is going to stay, they calm down and start eating more reasonably sized meals.
There are many variables that will influence the amount of food your cat will eat.
Typically, 10 pound adult cats will consume between 2.5-3.5 oz twice per day, with 3oz meals, twice per day being most typical. This will vary with regard to the age, breed and activity level of your cat. We always recommend to start with 3oz per meal. Your kitty will definitely let you know if it is too much or not enough.
If you don't weigh out each meal, 3oz is about a nice, full 1/3 cup.
Kittens and pregnant or lactating queens:
Kittens will eat you out of house and home! As they are growing quickly, they need 3-4 times the nutrition than for adult maintenance. It is not unusual for kittens to eat upwards of 8oz per day!
The food intake for kittens should never be restricted. If they're hungry, feed them! They should be allowed to eat as much as they want/need.
Since kittens can't eat much in a single meal, they should be fed smaller portions, several times per day.
Pregnant and nursing moms have higher nutritional requirements during gestation and lactation. Depending on the litter size, they can eat amounts similar to what kittens will eat. It is very common for them to eat up to twice what is recommended for adult maintenance.
What can I give my cat as a treat?
Raw chicken or turkey necks, quail legs, and other small bone-in poultry parts are great treats for exercising those chewing and gnawing muscles and help keep teeth clean. The cartilage and bone are added nutrition for cats. Unlike the softer nature of raw bones, cooked bones are potentially hazardous because they can splinter. Some cats may reject pieces of chicken necks and act like they don’t know what to do with them. If this happens, try again every few days or once per week. A raw diet brings back some of that carnivorous instinct. When cats eventually ‘get it’, they really enjoy them. We suggest feeding raw bones 2-3 times per week, if your kitty can tolerate eating raw bone.
A couple notes of caution when feeding bones: Some cats can experience constipation when bone is introduced in their diet. Cutting back on feeding these treats will often solve the problem. Always supervise your cats when they are eating raw bones. Some cats have a tendency to 'gulp' bones (like some dogs do) and not chew them well or at all, which can cause serious health issues. We, at Rad Cat, have a kitty that has done this in the past, so please make sure your kitties will actually chew these treats and not swallow them whole.
Can't or don't want to give raw bones as treats? Then feeding chunks of raw meat is a great alternative! Chunks of stew meat, chicken breast and whole poultry hearts (rather than liver) are very chewy and still help to clean teeth. Unlike treats with whole bones, if kitties swallow these whole, they will simply digest them or if they throw them back up because they can't digest a big chunk of meat, it will be much better than trying to eliminate large chunks of bone.
Warming up the Rad Cat
We suggest feeding Rad Cat either slightly warm or at room temperature. There are a few ways to go about warming the food without destroying vital enzymes and vitamins.
Warm water bath: I do not advocate warming in a plastic bag, as flexible plastics tend to leach chemicals when heated. Putting the food in a ball jar (or something similar) and submerging it into warm water for a few minutes works quite well. Stirring it a little while submerged is a good idea. If the water is hot, then the nutritional quality of the food may be compromised, but warm water will preserve the fragile enzymes.
Put the plate of food over a large cup or bowl of hot water. This will "steam" heat the food from beneath the plate and works quite well.
Adding warm water. This method works for some folks, but tends to dilute the product. If you have a kitty that likes 'soupier' Rad Cat, then this option may be for you. Adding hot water will destroy enzymes, vitamins and may actually cook some of the proteins, so only add warm water.
**Controversial**: Microwaving. We have to write about the best way to warm Rad Cat via microwave because we know there are many, many people that do this, so we have found a decent way to warm the food without compromising the quality. If you have a microwave where you can adjust the power settings, set the power to 20%. Microwave for 5 seconds. Thoroughly stir. Then another 5 seconds. Test the food with your finger and it should be 'room temp' at this point. As all microwaves are different, you might have to play with the time, but please, be very careful with this method.
If you don't have an adjustable power setting, you can try using the "defrost" mode with the instructions, above.
Please, DO NOT thaw Rad Cat in the microwave!
Dividing the containers up into smaller portions
This is perfectly fine to do! If your kitty isn't going to consume the entire container in 3-4 days' time, then portioning the food into smaller quantities is a good option.
The best way to do this is to thaw the food until it is just crunchy - not completely thawed. Just thawed enough to be able to scoop it out of the container. Then divide it up and re-freeze. There may be a slight amount of nutritional degradation, but it's truly marginal and the food is still very nutritious.
Some folks have wonderful, creative ways of dividing the food up such as: re-freezing in ice cube trays, using an ice-cream scoop or measuring cup to make patties or bricks and freezing on a cookie sheet, or simply freezing in small plastic or glass containers. We're not huge advocates of using plastic bags because they encourage freezer burn, cannot be recycled and can leach chemicals if defrosted in warm water.
Sometimes everyone forgets to rotate their tubs of Rad Cat from the freezer to the fridge. This is why we like to keep some 8oz containers around just in case we need to thaw some food quickly! The 8oz containers will thaw the easiest and fastest in a pinch.
The containers can be submerged in water (not super hot, please) and thawed if necessary. The food around the outside of the container and at the bottom will thaw first and can easily scraped out of the container to make a quick meal. The smaller the container, the faster the food will thaw. Feed the food right away and do not put any leftovers back into the container.
Please do not thaw Rad Cat in the microwave, even on "defrost".