Feeding a cat with a free run is a big challenge to find the healthy mediocrity. On the one hand, the velvet paws need more energy than pure room tigers because they roam around outside.
On the other hand, free-fallers usually also hunt and sometimes eat mice or other small animals. Some velvet-pawed wolverines also loot the neighbors' bowls. It is not so easy to keep track of what your cat is eating.
What do free-range cats eat?
In principle, free-range cats eat the same thing that indoor cats eat. However, cats that can roam freely outdoors usually have a higher calorie consumption and need than cats who live in a purely housed environment.
It is also more important for cats with free access than for indoor cats that they are supplied with sufficient healthy nutrients. Because in the wild they are exposed to much more pathogens and potential dangers than in their own four walls. A strong immune system is particularly important.
It is therefore best to pay attention to high-quality cat food with a high meat content and thus high protein content.
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How often should you feed free-range cats?
Try feeding your free-range cat at regular times. The animals have a good internal clock and will get used to the fixed feeding time. The advantage here is that the likelihood increases that your cat will only eat at you and not elsewhere. After all, she knows that she gets delicious and good food from you.
For adult cats, two to three meals a day are sufficient. Younger cats usually prefer more frequent meals, each with smaller portions.
As a rule, cats can easily estimate when they are full. If your cat does not eat its bowl empty, you can keep the food covered in the fridge. You can then put the bowl back in its usual place about 30 minutes before the next meal.
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My free-range cat eats at the neighbor: what to do?
Sometimes free-range cats steal food from their neighbors' velvet paws. As long as your fur nose does not increase excessively or eats something that it cannot tolerate, this is usually not a problem.
However, if you do not want this or if your cat needs special food for health reasons, it is best to talk to your neighbor.
tip: Have a look in our guide "Cat eats at the neighbor: What to do?" after - there you will find further suggestions.
Can I feed strange cats that run around outside?
You may feed other cats, but you should still think twice. Because if the cat appears to be sufficiently nourished and healthy, it probably has a loving home that takes good care of it. In other words, she doesn't need an extra portion of food. In addition, you cannot know whether she might not need special food.
tip: In our guide "Feeding foreign cats: If possible only in an emergency", find out how you can best behave when a free-roaming cat from your neighbor comes by.