My SO and I recently adopted a pair of six month old kittens, and we're trying to work out how much to feed them. (We have an older cat, but she's not relevant here, yet.)

Currently, we're feeding them a half cup of dry kibble four times a day (total: 2 cups), with occasional canned wet food. When we feed them, they both gobble it all down quite happily (every last piece of kibble), and a few hours later are mewing at us for more. It's extremely rare for them to actually leave any food behind.

Should we be feeding them more (within reason), to the point that they seem to have sufficient food? Should we just ignore the mewing for more feeding? Experiment to see how much they actually want? We don't want them to become overweight, but we don't want to keep them constantly hungry, either.

2 Answers 2


I actually run an animal rescue and take in kittens regularly.

Kittens will need to eat more often than adult cats. If you don't feed them and ignore them, you'll be doing yourself and them more harm than good.

I'd suggest feeding them a moist food (like canned food) in the morning as the first meal of the day and dry food in the middle of the day. Then a moist food as the last meal of the day, if at all possible.

Typically a mother cat will nurse kittens every 2 hours. As they wean off the mother, they are still used to feeding often during the day.

As already mentioned above, kittens need space to run and play to develop properly. They're growing and more active than adult cats so they need more fuel.

I've found that putting a lot of food into their bowl is counter productive. I put enough food in the bowl to satisfy one feeding. You'll get to know how much they can eat in one sitting by watching them.

I also keep a steady eating schedule so they know what to expect.

Younger cats and kittens will display food aggression/growling to keep other cats away from what they claim as their food and this is normal. I deal with this by making sure that each cats has their own bowl that they can eat out of, every time a meal is served.


younger Kittens will not be overweight with all the play they do there is no risk for this.

By free feeding them when they are young you will teach them to self regulate the food intake.

If a cat does not learn this at a young age you will not be able to start free feeding the cat later,And you will need to keep an eye on the amount of food you give to avoid your cat being overweight as an adult.

I must warn you at the age of six months cats are young adults so it might be too late to start free feeding them now,But to know this you have to try to free feed them for several days and if they over eat you need to stop.

Cats play-eat and sleep in this order so if they skip the play part repeatedly you need to stop the free feeding.

If the older cat is not free feeding you will have big problems even if it is possible to free feed the kittens as the older cat will steal their food.

  • This seems to be working out so far. We've been less precise with the food, and giving more at a time, and they've taken to not gobbling down every last piece right away. Thanks!
    – Bobson
    Jan 4, 2019 at 18:16

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