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Self Regulation?



If kitty is left to eat all he wants, whenever he wants, will he eat enough if his food is not his 100% favorite flavor?
Is there a way to induce a kitten to eat more than he needs?
If the little guy/gal eats less than the "recommended" amount listed on the package for his/her age/weight, is this something to be concerned about?
If your little guy/gal is "stretching in length and height" and getting slimmer at the same time, you might want to know: "how sleek is too sleek?"


John Popp

Site Supporter
What's on the packaging is always the high end of the scale. They want to sell cat food, and having you toss a little a couple times a day helps their bottom line.

Variety is best and their tastes change as they age. There isn't any way to get them to eat more than they want, although presenting multiple foods along with their favorite will see them consume more in total, than if just foods that aren't their favorite are presented.

As far as sleekness goes, you should be able to feel their ribs but not see them. My guess is from the age of your kitten he is burning a ton of calories and a thousand things he'd rather be doing than eating.

Chongo is definitely huge, while at the same time being very slim. I have trouble getting him to eat anything much like a teenager that just wants to eat twinkies and drink energy drinks. Nature of the beast I guess and in time his growth will slow to let his eating habits catch up.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I don't think you want a cat to eat more than they need...that just sets them up for obesity in later life.

I think that kittens go through phases, in growth and in eating. Sometimes they are ravenous and sometimes barely eating. As to whether they will eat enough if the food isn't their favorite, I don't know. I've had enough fussy cats that most definitely would NOT eat enough if the food was not to their taste....but then my British Shorthair would as he needs to maintain his bulk.

There are pictures online on cat's body scores and when thin is too thin... generally speaking though, if the coat is in good condition then a sleek body is just how he is right now. Unless the bones were jutting out, and the fur was dull...I probably wouldn't worry. And if he is refusing all food, even his favorites, that would be a troubling sign too. You can always take to the vet to check out though... just in case.

Per Lausund

Staff member
As a general rule, checking muscle is better than ribs: I use the muscles along the spine, as long as they are mostly convex the cat is not in starvation mode. And weighing also helps...


Site Supporter
When it comes to the Savannah breed, I believe they should be sleek and muscular, like that of their African heritage, the Serval. How MUCH they weigh should not be an issue ( unless it is a health issue) A shiny coat, bright eyes, healthy gums and high energy is all the concern you need be with as far as their feeding. The Savannah cat is known more for its size and height than its weight.


He is 19 WO today, and he weighs exactly 7 lbs 8 oz. He is energetic, and his coat appears radiant with no falling hair. The coat lays flat unless ruffled after he grooms himself. I can feel his ribs, his spine and the flat bone at the base of the tail. His shoulder blades have become quite prominent. His Xiphoid process/sternum are prominent as well, although not protruding. His skin is loose but not hanging on his muscleature, and I can feel the strands of his muscles and tendons. His proportions appear to be spot-on with the breed standard F1 (24 long x 18 high) with his height being 3/4 of his length. Eyeballing it, looks to be about 16 long and 12 high. His weight appears to be increasing steadily. He gained 1 lb 13 oz from 1/15 - 2/15 and 1lb 12 oz from 2/15 - 3/15.

His coat is darkening along his back and he is getting longer and taller. Definitely morphing into the adult form. When he was softer, lighter furred, fatter and shorter I had no concerns about malnutrition. Let me know if unfounded.


Site Supporter
If not. I wouldn't worry. He has good energy and sounds like he is in a growth spurt. He'll eat more when he's ready, which by your description of him, could be pretty soon. He sounds like he is going to be a really big fellow! :)

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
Relax. I have 2 F3's from Select. They are long, tall, and slim guys. When they hit 2 years, they start to broaden out at the shoulders. As young cats, they didn't seem to eat a lot. Look at my avatar. That's Rascal at 2 y.o. He's not fat nor skinny.
As long as they look and act healthy, I am happy.