Should I Leave Food Out For My Cat At Night? All You Need To Know

Since your job is lengthy and you’ve to go to work early, you normally replenish your feline’s food bowl before going to work. This feeding practice will prevent you from the risk of forgetting to nourish your cat. However, cats are picky eaters, and they eat when they want to. Therefore, most people question if they should leave meals outside for their cats at night.

Yes! You can leave food and water. But avoid leaving moist meals. The food must be dry because the bacteria tend to grow more quickly in moist food as compared to dry cat meals. Dry food can only be left out for a specific time, and wash the leftover food regularly. Additionally, after considering the feeding approach, you employ for your cat; if it involves free feeding, then leaving food for your cat at night is great.

If you’re a newbie to cat parenthood and want to know whether to leave food or water at night for your cat is healthy or not? You’ve reached the correct spot. This article will cover cats’ dietary habits and let you decide whether or not to keep water or food at night for your feline.

Do Cats Need Food at Night

Should I Feed My Cat at Night?

Yes. Just like humans, felines have a tendency to sleep after eating, so giving your cat a little meal just before night may help it to digest dinner and get to sleep. Try to use an automatic food dispenser for your feline that will provide sufficient food when your cat tries to disturb you awake for food, particularly in the early morning or late at night.

Do Cats Need Food at Night?

Yes, cats need food at night. 
Even while it’s OK to give your cat food at night, some pet owners develop a fixation on it. If you have many cats, this feeding approach might not be helpful because you need to find out how much they eat. However, using feeders with microchip technology might address this issue.

If you let your cat free reign over mealtimes, putting a bowl of dry food out overnight gives them a snack whenever they have the munchies. Most cats, though, are content to forgo dinner and wait until the following morning to eat.

Once you have determined whether or not there are any discernible patterns, you can next come up with a new eating plan. You’ll be able to tell whether your pet is unwell or has health issues if she deviates from her regular food regimen. It’s crucial to remember that establishing a free feeding system would need shelling out cash for premium dry food. This guarantees that your cat will receive the proper nutrition.

Do Cats Need Water at Night?

Whereas most felines choose to consume the bulk of water throughout the day for whatever cause, they’ll nevertheless consume a minimum amount of water at night as well.  Below are a few various factors that can affect the likelihood that your feline will consume water at night:

Do Cats Need Water at Night
  • Size and age of your cat:  Your cat consumes more water when it gets older and larger.
  • Environment’s heat:  The hotter the weather is, the more water your feline will consume as compared to cold weather.
  • Wet versus dry meal: If your cat has eaten a large amount of dry food, it’ll require more water at night as compared to those felines who consume the wet meal. If your feline eats frequently, she needs to drink more water the more frequently she swallows.

But, you’ve to take your feline to the doctor if you notice that she’s abruptly consuming a large amount of water at night.  Drinking too much, both throughout the day or at midnight, may indicate:

  • Diabetes
  • long-term kidney failure
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Stress or anxiousness

If you observe any of the following signs along with excessive water drinking, then you must visit your vet:

  • Changing or decreasing one’s appetite
  • Weight reduction
  • Nausea
  • Dysentery
  • Abnormalities
  • limb weakening
  • Uneven fur

Find Out: Can I Leave Wet Cat Food Out Overnight?

Should I Leave Food Out for My Cat at Night?

Even though it’s acceptable to leave food outside for your felines at night, some cat owners become addicted to it. This feeding strategy might not be effective if you’ve got many cats because you can’t know how much food they are all-consuming.

But, using feeders equipped with microcontrollers could solve this problem. These automatic feeders will define your cat’s mealtime routine regardless of whether you leave meals for them outside at night or not.

Also, some experts suggest not leaving food outside for your cat overnight when you feed them at regular intervals during the entire day. So, to resolve this issue just leave the leftover food or some snacks for your cat at night so that she can satisfy their midnight cravings and eat them whenever she wants to.

Should I Leave Food Out for My Cat at Night

Your feline will get leisure time to eat when you leave meals for them at night so she can eat anytime she pleases. You’ll save more time with this kind of feeding scheme as you don’t have to think about your feline getting hungry when you’re asleep.

But you must give your feline the recommended amount of nutrition and calories to prevent being overfed. Because you won’t wake up after every hour to give your tiny feline supper, this feeding method is easy to manage.

However, moist food shouldn’t be left overnight since it rapidly spoils and isn’t recommended for this type of feeding system, which is only appropriate for dry meals. A dry meal is helpful as it contains less water, allowing your feline to wander and eat without worrying about it going bad.

It’s important to keep in mind that leaving food for your cat at night will require spending money on high-quality dry kibble. This ensures that your feline will get the right nourishment.

Can I Leave My Cat Overnight Without Food?

Yes, you may leave your feline unfed for the night; however, keep in mind to feed it first when you wake up in the morning. Although some people might think free feeding or leaving food outside for the feline at night is overkill, there are several benefits to consider. Is it actually required?

Given that dry kibble is easy to quantify, serve, and preserve in a few ways allows you greater freedom in the case of feeding routines. It could also help you figure out when your cat typically eats. Make sure your feline always has enough water available in her bowl throughout the day and even at midnight.

Should I Leave Water Out for My Cat at Night?

Leaving water for your feline at night time is a good idea. Different cats require different quantities of water, based on whether they consume largely dry or moist food, and felines will consume whenever they’re thirsty. Accessibility to the bathroom or litter box. Because the more they drink water, the more they’ll urinate.

Should I Leave Water Out for My Cat at Night

However, a feline can normally live without drinking water for 3-4 days on average. But if they don’t consume water for a long time, they may get dehydrated, leading to health issues and even death.

Can a Cat Go Without Water Overnight?

A cat can undoubtedly survive a night without water. Cats require different quantities of water depending on their weight and the food they consume

Due to the unusual structure of their tongues, even the healthiest cats struggle to drink the appropriate amount of water.

Only around 3/100 of a teaspoon’s worth of water may be consumed by a cat in one lap.

Cat hyperthyroidism or feline diabetes may be indicated by your cat drinking more water than usual.

Also Read: Cat Not Eating or Drinking- How Long Can a Cat Survive?

Tips to Avoid Overfeeding Cats at Night

If you’re concerned that leaving food out at night would encourage your pet cat to overeat, here are some things you can do to stop it.

Tips to Avoid Overfeeding Cats at Night

1. Use a Slow Feeder or Food puzzle

It could assist your cat in consuming fewer calories because of the ongoing push to eat more slowly and thoughtfully. These interactive food-puzzle feeders encourage slower eating in cats while also amusing and challenging their minds.

Interestingly, these puzzles are also very helpful in resolving behavioural problems, such as separation anxiety, urinating outside of the litter box, and fighting over food.

2. Don’t Refills

After your cat finishes the food in the dish, don’t refill it since doing so can tempt her to begin nibbling again. Make it a rule that no more food will be offered until the next day.

3. Other Methods of Feeding Cats

In addition to the free-feeding approach, there are two more ways to feed your cat: meal feeding and combination feeding. These are the benefits and drawbacks:

Combination Methods Feeding: Pros And Cons

With this form of feeding system, in addition to dry food that is constantly available, you may give your pet cat two meals every day—using this method is kind of like getting the best of both worlds.


  • Your cat may eat small meals throughout the day on her schedule.
  • You can monitor her nutrition and appetite when you feed her wet food.
  • It provides your pet cat with nutritional benefits like protein and carbs that she may otherwise only get from dry or wet food.


  • Meals should be measured since they might lead to obesity and overeating.
  • Keeping track of a cat’s food intake is challenging, especially if there are multiple cats.

Check Out: How to Help a Cat Lose Weight with Multiple Cats at Home?

Meal Feeding Method: Pros And Cons

Cats typically nibble and graze so that they may eat at any time of the day. This might be difficult, especially if your cat is overweight or you’re trying to put him on a special diet to manage a medical condition. If this matches your situation, the meal-feeding method could be the solution. You may give your cat wet and dry food with this method, but only at specific times during the day.


  • You may use it to calculate the appropriate feeding amount for your pets.
  • You may observe your cat’s feeding rituals due to it.
  • It makes administering medication to your pets easier.
  • You can feed your cats a wider variety of foods.
  • It is a handy reminder to replace and top off your cat’s water bowl.


  • Your cat could want more food between meals.
  • Maintaining it is challenging, especially if you’re busy and employed full-time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Leave Water Out For My Kitten At Night?

You may leave water out for your cat at night to stop him from getting dehydrated.

A cat may frequently go three to four days without drinking. But cats have been known to go for days or weeks without ingesting any booze.

Is it necessary to give your cat food at night?

If your cat is permitted to eat whenever they feel like it, a bowl of dry food left overnight makes a good snack. However, most cats are satisfied to skip dinner and wait until the following day to eat.

Can I leave dry cat food out overnight?

A dry cat meal can be kept outside for a few days before it spoils, but to maintain meal texture and flavour, it’s best to discard any remains and rinse the bowl every day. Remember that dry kibble will go bad after a day and may also not taste as good after that.

Should I leave dry food out for my kitten overnight?

Dry food is advantageous since it has less water and can be freely consumed by your feline with no risk of deterioration. When you think of leaving some food for your feline at night, you must invest in high-quality dry food. This guarantees that your cat is receiving the proper nutrition.

Can I leave wet food out overnight?

Wet food should never be left outside overnight because it should last two to three hours. This is because when wet cat meal is left at normal temperature, it rapidly warms up, creating the ideal conditions for bacteria to flourish and endanger your feline.

What amount of food should I leave out at night?

If you’ve fed your cat 2-3 times throughout the day, then it’s advised to leave a single bowl of snacks for your cat at night that can satisfy its midnight cravings.

Is free feeding unhealthy for cats?

 Free-feeding felines are most likely to cause obesity due to overeating, particularly when the quantity of food isn’t restricted. Obesity can lead to many diseases and even death. Moreover, free-feeding can also confuse you to determine whether your cat’s hunger has improved or worsened. It might be challenging to determine what each cat is consuming if you’ve got numerous cats.

Should I leave food and water for my cat overnight?

Yes! You can leave dry food for your feline at night time because wet food rapidly thickens and spoils. Moreover, as you know, cats may get thirsty after eating dry food, so it’s also advised to leave a water bowl for them.

Wrap Up!

Despite what some people may believe, your cats won’t get wounded if you don’t feed them during the night. It’s OK to give your cat food at night; some pet owners develop a fixation on it. A cat can undoubtedly survive a night without water. 

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LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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