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How To Control Food Intake For Multiple Cats

 by michelle on 19 Aug 2014 |
2 Comment(s)
A large percentage of cat owners have more than one cat. This can complicate things in terms of food, especially if one of your cats is on a diet. Here are some tips to make controlling food intake in a multi-cat home a bit easier:

1. No more free-choice feeding.
This method of feeding is fine if you have only one cat, but in a multi-cat home it keeps you from being able to monitor each cat’s food intake. Although free-choice feeding is convenient, switching to a scheduled meal feeding method instead will be beneficial to your cat that’s on a diet.

2. Designate feeding stations.
If possible, take advantage of the multiple rooms in your home by isolating the cat on a diet. Ideally these rooms should have doors. When it’s meal time, separate this cat from the others and give them their allotted food. Allow 20-30 minutes for them to finish and then remove their bowl. 

If you don’t have separate rooms, consider feeding the slimmer cat on a surface the overweight cat is unable to jump on to, such as a counter or shelf. Others have also recommended using the cat carrier as a safe and secure feeding station for your cat.

If completely isolating your cats is impossible, try to feed them as far away from each other as possible and keep a watchful eye. Monitoring your cats will allow you to make sure that each cat is eating from their own bowl.

Note: Water bowls should be available to all cats at all times throughout the day.

3. Make it a routine.
If you want to succeed with meal feeding, it’s best that you stick to a schedule. Cats like routine, and will quickly learn that they have 20-30 minutes to eat in their designated feeding station.

With feeding stations, a strict schedule, and/or meal monitoring, you can ensure that your cats are always eating their own food, and hopefully start to see results in your overweight cat. As always, talk to your veterinarian to find out what feeding schedule will meet each of your cat's individual needs.

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Anne - Comment
Anne20 Aug 2014Reply
I have 10 cats to feed, 3 of whom have urinary tract problems and need special (expensive) food, 3 of whom are kittens who are still having soft food, and 4 who can eat any food. We can just about manage to keep the kittens separate while they eat the soft food, but organising the others is difficult and causes stress. So, as the vet said (with a grin) would happen, they all get to eat the expensive biscuits. Oh well, I guess we can't take it with us, might as well spend it on the cats now!
Nicole - Comment
Nicole20 Aug 2014Reply
I have been free feeding my two cats since they came home with me at 2.5 months. I do set a limit and only give 1 and 1/3 cups a day. Now they are a year old and one is 12.5 lbs and one 8.3ibs. I really don't have time in the mornings to wait for them to eat. Any suggestions on how to change from free feeding to schedule times . My cats are so used to grazing all day

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