How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat? Here’s the Answer!

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how much wet food should i feed my cat

Raising a cat is a wonderful experience that gives you a sense of responsibility you might not have ever been through. There is nothing compared to the peacefulness of being around your cat after a hard day at work.

However, it can also be difficult as there can be various problems with regard to your pet’s health. For example, as a cat owner, I understand that it is challenging to determine the amount of food that is appropriate for your cats.

In fact, it is a more complicated task to feed a cat than simply ladling a couple of kibbles around the house. You need to take into account many factors, such as how much wet food to feed a kitten.

In this article, I’ll give you the answer of “How much wet food should I feed my cat?” The amount of wet cat food per day is supposed to vary based on their weight, physical condition, and type.

Here is a summary of what I’m going to discuss in this article:

  • Why Is Wet Food Necessary? Consuming wet food lowers the chance of obesity in cats and keeps them hydrated.
  • The Importance of Wet Food Intake Calculation: It is vital that you calculate the portion of wet food for a cat to prevent illnesses such as obesity, which may lead to fatal consequences.
  • Cat Feeding Guide – Wet and Dry Food: For cats that love dry food, besides calculating how much wet food to feed kittens, you should balance their diet of wet and dry food.
  • The Sufficient Amount of Wet Food: In this section, I’ll discuss how the amount of wet food varies for 5, 10, 15, and 20-pound cats, as well as for kittens, lean, overweight, and pregnant ones.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the first section – Why is wet food necessary?

Why Is Wet Food Necessary


It is advised by many nutrition professionals that wet food should make up a large proportion of your cat’s meal, and there are two primary reasons for this.

First of all, cats digest wet food better than dry food. The reason is that cats are carnivores, so they do not ingest carbohydrates well. However, since dry food contains a large amount of carbohydrates, your cat won’t be able to ingest it, which leads to obesity.

Secondly, if you own a cat, you might know that cats do not drink too much water during the day. Hence, the consumption of wet food will provide them with water and keep them hydrated, so that their overall health doesn’t deteriorate.

Also, check out this video to learn why it is vital that a cat’s diet include both wet and dry food.

The Importance of Wet Food Intake Calculation

Why is it crucial that we calculate the amount of wet food for cats? Firstly, let me tell you an interesting fact. In 2017, it was estimated that around 60 percent of US cats are diagnosed with obesity or overweight.

In other words, more than 50 millions cats were significantly overweight, which would negatively affect their health by increasing the probability of getting congestive heart failure, disorders related to skin, hepatic lipidosis, and cancer.

Hence, despite the benefits of wet food, it is worth concerning how much wet food is enough for your beloved friends. Not all cats enjoy being active during the days, which may result in their excessive eating. Thus, you should control your cat’s calorie intake to maintain his/her well-being.

Cat Feeding Guide – Wet and Dry Food

Some cats are extremely fond of dry food, and it can be harsh if you do not allow them to have dry food at all. It will only be worse if you forbid them completely as they can undereat and be deficient in nutrition.

Instead, why don’t you try giving them an acceptable amount? Since dry food is slightly more affordable than wet food, if you combine the two, you can save some money. Now, let’s do some easy mathematical calculations.

With each kind of food, look for the daily feeding amount that is recommended on the packaging. Then, divide it by two to get the amount of food needed for your cats. Once you have the ratio of wet and dry food, you should be able to calculate the calories of each portion.

Also, here is a detailed cat feeding guide if you needed.

The Sufficient Amount of Wet Food


My advice for all beginners is to consult your veterinarian for the most appropriate diet. During the assessment, the vet will be able to determine the ideal weight for your cat and the necessary amount of calorie intake per day.

If your cat’s weight is alarming, the vet might prescribe some supplementary food to assist the weight loss process. Generally speaking, it depends very much on their weight and physical conditions. For instance, a 15-pound cat requires a higher amount of food than a 5-pound cat.

Activity level and age can also contribute to the proper amount of wet food. For instance, a young energetic cat will need extra calories intake compared to an elderly one. In addition, a pregnant cat will need more calories to have milk.

Most of the wet food is contained in a can whose weight is 3 ounces, and having one a day should be enough for your cat. Note that if all the calories provided below are suggested and you don’t have to strictly obey.

In other words, it is totally fine to adjust the amount of wet food for your cat so that it fits your cat. For example, if you feel like your cats are still hungry and seem to slack during the day, feel free to give them more food. Don’t attempt to change their diet abruptly.

1. Kittens

A small kitten, who weighs 5 pounds, needs to consume about 200 calories of wet food per day, while a 20-pound one needs four times that. A 10-pound kitten consumes approximately 400 calories and a 15-pound kitten requires 600 calories in a day.

2. A Fit and Healthy Cat

Calculating the sufficient amount of calories needed every day for a healthy cat is probably the easiest. An average intake of 170 calories should be good enough for a lean cat that is 5-pound and 280 calories for 10-pound. If your cat is about 15 pounds or 20 pounds, you should give him/her around 360 and 440 calories of wet food, respectively, for a daily serving.

3. A Cat With Obesity

For a cat that is diagnosed with obesity, you should cut down on its daily consumption of wet food following the instructions of your vet. However, here is some suggestions on how many calories for your obese friend:

  • 5-pound obese cat: only 180 calories/day
  • 10-pound obese cat: 240 calories/day
  • 15-pound obese cat: 280 calories/day
  • 20-pound obese cat: 310 calories/day

I know it can be difficult to see your cat not having the same amount of food they normally do. However, you can try to gradually cut down on food consumption until your cat has adapted to its diet.

4. A Pregnant Cat

Cats that are in pregnancy or nursing require the highest calorie intake per day in order to provide energy for themselves as well as milk for their offspring. Particularly, a 5-pound cat will need 336 calories every day to maintain its well-being while a 10-pound cat will need double that to stay healthy.

For a 15-pound cat, you will need to give her at least 850 calories in one day so that she can have enough energy for the whole day. Last but not least, it is advised that a 20-pound pregnant cat may want more than 1000 calories during this period.


How much wet food should I feed my cat? Well, the answer depends on multiple factors, such as your cat’s weight, body type, level of activity, etc. Moreover, make sure to ask your vet for clear instructions before determining the appropriate diet.

I hope this article has provided you with helpful information. Share it with your family and friends as well.

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