Many cat owners have been told their animals need several small meals a day. But research from the University of Guelph has found that feeding cats one large meal a day may help control hunger better than feeding them several times a day. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, revealed that cats that ate just once a day had higher post-meal levels of three key appetite-regulating hormones, suggesting they were more satisfied. These cats also showed lower fasting respiratory quotient, suggesting they were burning their fat stores, which is key to maintaining lean body mass.
The results also suggest that cutting back feeding frequency could help reduce the risk of obesity by controlling cats’ appetite and potentially making them eat less — an important discovery given that obesity is the most common nutritional problem affecting cats.