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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Cats Eating Both Meals

Mkay, so I have a question about mealtime.

The situation:

Skooma and Sugar are fed once a day when I get home from work (1am). Each cat has portioned meal baggies frozen in a bag in the freezer. Skooma is 7.8lbs and Sugar 11lbs (used to be ten, she's getting fat :p) so their portions are pretty different. Usually it consists of (but not always): Piece of chicken wing for bone, some liver, tripe (cut reeeally small so they eat it without knowing ), and some meat. The baggies are defrosted and the food dumped onto their plates (warm, they don't like it cold).

Sugar will go to one plate and pick up a chunk and drag it onto the carpet to munch. If she gets distracted or loses interest she'll abandon it and later do the same with a different chunk. Skooma has more manners and, at most, drags it off the plate.

The problem I'm encountering is they both eat from each others plates. It usually takes them two hours to devour it all and one cat will come back, munch a bit, then leave, etc. I tried separating them at mealtime but they won't eat. Sugar will whine from the room she's in and Skooma will whine back at her. They'll spend the entire time communicating via door and the food will just sit there until they're reunited.

Now I just trust their judgment on what they want to eat. Neither are partial to anything so it's usually a 'dig in'. But I'm not sure if this is appropriate. Should I be worried about their health? If so, how do I get them to eat their proper meals?

btw, I already tried the 'this is your plate, this is other kitties plate' but they just won't obey me (with Skooma chasing Sugar from her plate so she can eat it and Sugar coming back to nibble from any plate).


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-27-2010, 09:40 PM
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Are you feeding your cats only once a day? Cats evolved to eat many small meals a day, so feeding only once isn't really good for them. Can you feed them before you leave for work as well as after you return? If they get fed more often, they may not be so inclined to try stealing each one another's food, too.

I have six cats. My three siblings - Allen, Rachel, and Meghan - very seldom take food from one another. The other three, however, try to steal food all the time. If it's just a meat meal, I don't worry too much about it. Bone-in and organ meals, however, are very much supervised.

In fact, I just invested a couple hundred dollars in crates in the hopes that eventually, they'll all eat in their crates and I won't have to supervise them so closely.

AC
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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I mainly began to feed once a day because if I feed before I go to work I can't make sure Sugar doesn't leave pieces of meat strewn about to rot (has happened). It takes them a good two-three hours to finish off the plates (they have periods of nibbles and Sugar enjoys finding her 'leftover' meat) and I simply don't get up early enough to have that time before work. Since washing their plates before I go to bed is necessary (the smell gets pretty bad) I'm afraid to leave the plates sitting when I'm at work...

In my next monthly meat cutting I'll see if I can try to feed them twice a day. I'll hafta think of something :/

I geuss I could try crating but I don't think their plates would fit... yeah, just tried it; they don't fit at all. They hate their crates right now; vet prisons


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-28-2010, 07:42 AM
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If you give them smaller portions twice a day and pick the plates up after 30 minutes, they will learn to eat faster. It might take a while to get in the habit but they won’t starve if they are getting a little bit at each meal. You could try doing that over and over for a weekend until they get the idea.

I have one cat that eats twice a day (she’s shy and unsocialized so she won’t come down for lunch if there’s too much activity in the house) and my senior eats 3 or 4 times. Both get a little extra if they clear their plate and look for more but anything left after 30 minutes gets taken away. They eat in the same room, at different ends, and never leave their plate until they are finished. Just a few minutes ago I took the few bites he left for 20 minutes and gave half of it to her because she doesn’t even think to check out his plate. Then they both ate the rest and breakfast was over.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 12:08 AM
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Hi, new to the forum but jumping in with a suggestion? Can you feed maybe a little ground meat and the organs before you leave so you can watch, and then just let them sort out their larger chunks..each will figure out what they want? Also what about feeding one up high and the other on the floor? Sometimes, if it's too hard to get to or too much effort, they won't bother and concentrate more on their own plates. I've so far not found crates to work all that well. Or you could leave out freeze dried..won't go bad, for while you're at work just to tide them over.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cake View Post
If you give them smaller portions twice a day and pick the plates up after 30 minutes, they will learn to eat faster. It might take a while to get in the habit but they won’t starve if they are getting a little bit at each meal. You could try doing that over and over for a weekend until they get the idea.

I have one cat that eats twice a day (she’s shy and unsocialized so she won’t come down for lunch if there’s too much activity in the house) and my senior eats 3 or 4 times. Both get a little extra if they clear their plate and look for more but anything left after 30 minutes gets taken away. They eat in the same room, at different ends, and never leave their plate until they are finished. Just a few minutes ago I took the few bites he left for 20 minutes and gave half of it to her because she doesn’t even think to check out his plate. Then they both ate the rest and breakfast was over.
Hmmm, that actually doesn't sound like a bad idea. I don't have space to separate them (itty bitty house for kitties) but taking it away after 30min should probably work. First, I'll need two days off in a row tho XD

Quote:
Hi, new to the forum but jumping in with a suggestion? Can you feed maybe a little ground meat and the organs before you leave so you can watch, and then just let them sort out their larger chunks..each will figure out what they want? Also what about feeding one up high and the other on the floor? Sometimes, if it's too hard to get to or too much effort, they won't bother and concentrate more on their own plates. I've so far not found crates to work all that well. Or you could leave out freeze dried..won't go bad, for while you're at work just to tide them over.
A) I don't have a grinder B) I don't feel comfortable feeding ground anything. I've already tried feeding one up high and the other on the floor but Skooma jumped down and stole from Sugar's plate. Then Sugar found Skooma's high plate and they kept interchanging no matter how much I moved them physically.

I'm unsure as to what freeze dried food would be... I've never heard of it before...

When I have EVO in the house I sometimes leave some wet food on a plate for them to munch on. It can't leave the plate so it doesn't rot in a corner somewhere.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 02:19 PM
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You don’t necessarily need consecutive days. If you worked with them in one 24 hour period and didn’t leave food out after that, they’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

I’m getting ready to release one of my foster cats from his safe room and he’s really piggy, so I might have this same problem soon. Hope my own advice works for me.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 07:14 PM
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Have you seen the freeze dried liver treats for dogs? It is a food with all the moisture removed, similar to dehydrated....only you don't have to add water back to make it edible. I know Nature's Variety makes a freeze dried version of their raw diet, evo's grain free wet is good too. i've gotten to the point I don't wory about separating them any longer, as long as neither is losing weight or condition. The freeze dried is also great if you are travelling or if you ahve a sitter that won't do raw, or vet, etc. It's just a dry crunchy patty you caneither feed whole or break up and if they do carry it away it'll still be good to eat. Good too if your power ever goes out, as no refrigeration required. Not something to feed everyday, but certainly worth looking into here, i think for your situation.
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