We have been trained for the last several generations to think that cats graze their food. If you leave a dish of dry cat food out, watch a cat: your cat will come, have a few bites. Go away, come back a while later. Have a few more bites. And do this throughout the day. Therefore, we think cats graze like cattle.
Think about this scenario: giant plate of raisin oatmeal cookies on the counter. What do we do as humans? I’m not sure about you but every time I walk by, I guarantee I’m taking a cookie off that plate. Grazing.
And what’s the end result? I can tell you what would happen to my belly after I graze on those cookies day after day after day. Cats do pretty much the same thing. If they graze on their dry food all day long day after day after day, they get that same big belly.
Have you ever watched big cats, or barn cats hunt? They will hunt a meal, eat it, then lay around the rest of the day. They don’t come back again and again, they eat the whole thing at once. This is normal feline eating behavior.
For our domesticated cats, our pets, it is possible to feed cats two or three meals a day. By feeding discrete meals, we help their metabolism, and we help them not overeat. Because so many cats are used to the cookie dish (food bowl) always having cookies in it (food), they will have to get used to eating meals. And so will you, because they will tell you about it all day long for a couple of days. But you’ll be doing your cats big favors by measuring their food and splitting it into two portions for the day.
Fact: cats are not natural grazers, we have all been trained to think they are.