Feeding Time Advice-We need help please - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Feeding Time Advice-We need help please

We have four cats ages from 12 years old to our kitten 9 months. We have two very aggressive cats that will eat from the others bowls if allowed and two cats that like to eat slowly and in stages. This means they will walk away from their food bowls and go back to it later. The problem we have is the other two aggressive cats will eat the food left if they do not eat it fast enough.

So this means we are constantly moving these other two cats to other rooms to eat separately and sometimes they eat and sometimes they do not. We have to stand by and watch them because they seem to be on the ‘look out’ for the other cats that will come by to steal their food. Lately one of my aggressive cats has taken to doing this as well so this means the other aggressive cat is eating out of all four bowls. This cat happens to be the kitten so it is kind of funny if you think about it.

We have tried to separate them so they feel comfortable eating in their own space but that does not seem to work. We have tried to put the kitten away so she will not eat the other's food. Feeding time has become a long nightmare where we are all over the house chasing cats with food bowls to get them to eat and it can take a long time to get this done.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can make feeding time a better experience for both my cats and my family?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 09:57 AM
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The only thing I can suggest is something I have done. The one cat that is a "grazer" and just wants a few bites and them to eat more later, just give him/her a small amount. I do this with Beep, even though the other two cats don't have access to her bowl, she is a grazer, so I just give her a smidge of food. Then I give her more meals, and trust me, she will let me know when she wants more. For us, it's not really a problem, because Beep can't be out when my other two are out. But my sister has this problem with her piglet kitten and her older cat, and what she does is when the older cat does not finish his food, she puts his food in the refrigerator for later. Then when he comes back, she will put him in a separate room away from the piglet kitten. Make sure the kitten is getting enough to eat, not sure how old but I'm sure you know, they do eat quite a lot of food when they are still growing.

Our piglet has to eat in the den, and just keep his little behind in there until my other boy cat and my dog....yes, he will try to eat food out of a dobermans bowl, he is that bold, so he stays in the den until everyone is done. Sometimes he is in there 30 minutes and thinks he's dying, but oh well. There is a litter box in there, he will not die.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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I wish I could do this but we work so we are unable to feed the slow eaters food other than when it is time to eat.

The other thing is when I am running around the house helping the slow eaters and the hungry cats are done with their food and cannot get cat food from the slow eaters I find my breakfast and dinner has been eaten by them as well. So it does not matter what food they steal they just want to eat more and more. The older aggressive cat is a bit over weight and I do not like that at all.

As for the kitten, she is still growing, I agree but I do not want her to be fat once she is full grown so her eating so much does bother me. My family tells me that I am worried over nothing because she needs the food now.

I just want to allow the slow eaters to get their food and not be tormented by the others. It is getting out of hand at feeding time in our house.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 10:27 AM
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You say that you are 'constantly moving the cats to another room' but that it doesn't seem to work. I would suggest establishing a meal place for each of your cats, ideally the slow eaters together away from the fast eaters. Make it their space to eat - no starting out in another area and then moving them. They may not eat well the first few times, but as long as they are eating something you don't have to worry too much for a few days. They will get used to that being their eating area and they will eventually know that the other cats can't get to them. If they don't eat too well at breakfast, they will likely be hungry enough by supper to eat better. I think consistency, and not constant moving, is likely to be the key.

If you don't want to put the slow eaters in a separate room, just feed them all together and then scoop up the fast eaters once they have inhaled their food and lock them in a bathroom or bedroom. Then you can give the slow eaters time to finish and have your own breakfast/dinner. Then let the fast eaters back out when everyone is done.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Heather 72754 this makes sense to me. I will see if I can change things so the aggressors are put away allowing the slow eaters to eat and that will allow me to eat my meals also. I am not sure if the slow eaters will stay in one place now after my taking their food to the other rooms but I can hope they will relearn and do so.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 10:41 AM
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I have a feeling they will relearn and adjust, like I say they might not be 100% onboard right away but they will get there. When I got my last two cats (at separate times), they were first fed in their safe room, then in the kitchen, then finally downstairs in our finished basement where we spend most of our time. That got them used to being down there and looking forward to having their food down there, which in turn encouraged them to hang out there with us rather than upstairs by themselves (which they did initially). Anyway, the point is that they adjusted to three different eating spots in succession without a problem.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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I will try this tonight for their dinner time and see how it goes. I do not expect everything to be well on the first night but anything is better than what we have to deal with now.

I am open to other suggestions as well.

Thank you Heather72754
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather72754 View Post

If you don't want to put the slow eaters in a separate room, just feed them all together and then scoop up the fast eaters once they have inhaled their food and lock them in a bathroom or bedroom. Then you can give the slow eaters time to finish and have your own breakfast/dinner. Then let the fast eaters back out when everyone is done.
I always find it interesting how the answer to a question is so apparent and yet sometimes I miss it until someone shows it to me. Not only did this work well last night and this morning it allowed my family to have the first peaceful dinner in a very long time.

Thank you Heather72754
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ears and Tails View Post
I always find it interesting how the answer to a question is so apparent and yet sometimes I miss it until someone shows it to me.
I think we have all been there! I think it's because we are "too close" to the problem.

Glad to hear Heather's advice worked for you!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ears and Tails View Post
I always find it interesting how the answer to a question is so apparent and yet sometimes I miss it until someone shows it to me. Not only did this work well last night and this morning it allowed my family to have the first peaceful dinner in a very long time.

Thank you Heather72754
You're very welcome, I'm so glad it helped! I'm the same way - sometimes when it is a problem you have been dealing with for a while the whole issue gets cloudy and it takes an outside objective look to get any clarity - just like bibiak87 said.
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