Cat feeding question

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Hey everyone, we currently have 3 cats who have been doing great on the property. The problem I'm having is with feeding them each individually. They're indoor outdoor, so they don't always come to the feeder at the same time. Sometimes we get 1 cat in the morning, sometimes 2. Though Stash our Siamese mix is pretty illusive, and comes to eat during the day when the others wont bother her. Thats the issue. Baby, our newest addition, is becoming overweight. Sup and Stash are a good weight, but Baby's gain needs to be put to a stop.
We usually put a full scoop (not sure how much that is, 1 cup or a little over is my guess?) in the feeder in the morning, and at night. Sup and/or Baby will eat at breakfast, then leave and Stash will come and eat the rest. But now, I think Baby is coming back and over eating. How do we restrict feed to Baby without restricting feed for the other two? Do we just put enough food in the feeder for the cats that show up so Baby can't come back and eat more? Maybe that will get Stash on an actual system around meals? Or not, and Stash gets kicked out of all the food. Thoughts? Thanks guys!
 

JustCallMeMaple

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Aug 22, 2021
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I honestly may not be of a lot of help here as I'm guilty of free feeding dry food and giving wet food daily (with water on top of it to make them drink more) plus constant water access.. You could start set feedings of just x times of days. Cats can learn new schedules for feeding so maybe try to 'encourage' feeding only in the morning and night (or whatever times you allot) so they may be hungry for a little bit but after a few days of not getting fed on demand they'll learn these are the times food is available. Don't know if it's a perfect plan but it's something. Mine know it's wet food time when I tap the dish or hold the can up and yell out for them. They come when their name is called, kind of a routine when I do it I call out for them by name and then start opening cans or dinging the dish and like magic they are there. If they miss out well they either get leftovers (if any is left) or wait for the next round.
 

springvalley123

Crowing
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May 22, 2015
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The biggest issue is, that cats need to eat daily or very nearly so. If you were to try to give them a few days to adjust to a schedule and one of them went without food, they're set up for hepatic lipidosis--a recipe for liver failure. If you do try changing the schedule, you'll need to make sure you see all of them eating at least daily to be sure they don't get sick. The fat cat is a tough one, cats don't as a rule go hyperthyroid like dogs, so I'm of no help there. good luck!
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Thanks everyone, I'll see what I can do. Stash usually comes in for dinner with the others, or close to the same time. The issue is that Baby likes to harass Stash, so I believe thats why she comes to eat later then Baby and Sup.
What if I found a way to make a location that Baby couldn't get into. Theres microchip cat doors, they're all microchipped, but I have no idea what the number is etc. Hmmm, this is a tough one.
 

JustCallMeMaple

Songster
Aug 22, 2021
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Western PA
Cats can get hepatic lipidosis can happen but it's unlikely if the animals are still eating and if they regularly eat around dinner time (which is a feed schedule they probably trained you into cats are very smart) than I would work with their schedule. Different bowls and spots could work as could putting baby up for a little to let Stash get fed. If you are trying to reduce total food intake separate feeding is the way to go you could try and encourage them to play with string toys with you or give them sensory things to occupy them. I know I've used https://www.petsmart.com/cat/dental...s/sentry-calming-collar-for-cats-5289263.html this on one of my cats for a time while he was a teenager (fixed just very feisty when he was young) it helped and I did the thunder shirt and that made him flop over sideways. Some cats take to clothes others just hate it so the thunder shirt is hit or miss. Put it on my other cat perfectly fine but my young guy was not a dress me up kind of cat.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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You could try using 3 cat carriers: put one cat and a dish in each one, close them in for a reasonable length of time (maybe 15 to 30 minutes), then let them out and pick up the food. That would make sure each cat eats some food without being pestered. Or do the same thing with 3 rooms that have doors you can close.

Or depending on what size and weight ratios, you might be able to have a cat door the fat one cannot squeeze through but the thin ones can. Or serve food on a table or countertop for the thin ones, and a measured amount down for the fat one. (These ideas work best when there is a big difference-- hopefully your fattest cat isn't that bad yet!)
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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You could try using 3 cat carriers: put one cat and a dish in each one, close them in for a reasonable length of time (maybe 15 to 30 minutes), then let them out and pick up the food. That would make sure each cat eats some food without being pestered. Or do the same thing with 3 rooms that have doors you can close.

Or depending on what size and weight ratios, you might be able to have a cat door the fat one cannot squeeze through but the thin ones can. Or serve food on a table or countertop for the thin ones, and a measured amount down for the fat one. (These ideas work best when there is a big difference-- hopefully your fattest cat isn't that bad yet!)
I like the cat carrier idea, or even using them open so each cat can have their own space without having to watch the other cats around them.
Baby isn't that bad yet, I haven't weighed her yet but she doesn't show much visually, just when I pick her up I can feel the extra weight. She still has no problem jumping onto the counter etc. ;)
Thanks for the ideas guys! I appreciate it.
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Our cats and dogs all eat in their cages, twice daily for the house pets, so nobody gets food not meant for them. Once they get used to the program, it's actually easier! Never is there food out, and managing individual weights and food choices is easy.
Mary
Awesome, I'll work on getting some cat carriers, the hardest part is getting Stash on the schedule. They're indoor outdoor, and Stash is lucid so doesn't always come in on time at night. I'll get started on using this strategy, thanks everyone!
 

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