Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – How to Feed a Cat

One thing cats like to do is mess with you at feeding time. At least some cats do. Feeding time can be a challenge—especially when you bring in a new cat or kitten or you have numerous cats.

I signed books once at a cat café. At feeding time I asked if I could watch the feeding frenzy. I was stunned to witness each of the dozen or so cat accepting his or her own portion of the food and eating it without bothering any of the other cats or walking away and sulking because it wasn’t the food they had hoped for, as sometimes happens in this household.

Feeding time can really a problem when you have cats on different diets. Here, it used to be Sophie on regular food and Lily on a special kidney diet. Now it is Sophie on regular food and Olivia on kitten food. They want what the other has. Olivia bothers Sophie when she eats. Sophie quits eating if Olivia comes near. For sure the cats need supervision at meal time.

It’s getting better as the two girls learn their boundaries. Sophie is learning to eat no matter what is going on around her. Coming from a feral background, this was difficult for her to learn. She could not eat amidst activity in the room or when a kitten was trying to eat from her plate or even when Olivia would sit at a distance and watch her. Sophie has also learned to circle around and try to sample Olivia’s kitten food when she thinks no one’s looking.

Yes, I’ve had to add lunchroom monitor to my list of jobs around here. So far, we haven’t had any violent food fights.

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2 Responses to Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – How to Feed a Cat

  1. Nettie says:

    How did you deal with Lily being on a special kidney food diet while Sophie was OK with normal food? My female Marmalade needs to go on just such a diet without the male Sylvester needing anything unusual. First I have to find a brand of special food she will eat (no luck so far), then I have to figure out how to keep them separated while eating. They have always eaten together in a specific area, so I am not sure if either one will adjust to being fed somewhere else. We have a very small one-story, two bedroom and one bathroom house, so extremely limited space is a pressing issue also. Any suggestions? Vet says just feed them separately, but it is not all that easy!

    • Patricia says:

      Hi Nettie, Nothing is easy with cats, especially if it involves change, as you know. By the way, thanks for the tip about leaving Olivia. It looks like we’ll be staying put for at least another few months, so Olivia will be over a year old by then. As far as how to feed cats different foods and make sure they eat the right food–it can be a challenge to convince them to make the change. When we changed Lily over to the kidney diet, she wouldn’t eat it, either. We enticed her with pumpkin–pure pumpkin, no spices. You can sometimes get it in a pet store, but what you buy in the grocery store is okay too. We also used some Rescue Remedy and there are appetite stimulants. Heating the food can help a reluctant eater or sprinkling a little of something they do like over the top of it (with the veterinarian’s okay–a few of her treats.. We offered kidney diet kibbles to both cats and gave Lily the canned kidney diet while Sophie got her regular food. We had to feed them so they couldn’t see each other eat. Same room, just around the corner from each other. And I watched. Sometimes I have to follow a cat around with a plate of food. Try to catch them when they might decide to eat. It can take time, but you can make it work. Good luck, Patricia

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