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Discussion Starter #1
The girls have been doing much better on most of their issues, but are regressing on feeding. I have to trick them in order to feed them. I make them think they are getting fed in one area, close the door, prepare their food, set it down in a different area, and then release the psychopaths to feed. They become frenzied when it's time to eat. It's down right ridiculous. Right now, I'm managing them with the trickery and the trusty water gun when they get REALLY crazy, but I'm hoping to find a solution that will work permanently. They had been doing perfectly well and now that they've regressed, I'm worried that they will once again be perfect and then regress again as adults that will be much bigger, stronger, and harder to control. I'm thinking it may be an environmental trigger, but I can't figure out what the trigger is for them. There are no new cats to the neighborhood. There are also no new dogs. Something has them feeling their food is threatened. So any suggestions guys?

1. What could be freaking them out?
2. What's the best way to avoid another regression once I get them through this bout?

* Side note: To demonstrate just how bad it's become, my male dog who has completely ignored them since their arrival with the exception of going to get them if they get in trouble and let't double trouble do whatever they want to him, pinned Miss O like a Mama Dog would pin a disobedient puppy because she was so completely out of control trying to climb up my leg using claws and teeth to get to the plate of food in my hand.
 

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I have a friend who I'm taking care of her cats as she recovers from surgery. One cat is WILD when it's feeding time. He isn't dangerous with claws and bites or anything, just super annoying. He's right on you, jumps on the counter and tries to take the food right out of the can when you haven't even gotten the lid fully off!
So I've been kicking him out into the hallway and closing the door until everything is dished up, then I let him in to eat.

At home, I'm having the opposite problem. I'm trying to transition from kibble to canned, and Zinny completely ignores canned food. I've tried 3 different brands and probably nearly a dozen flavors. Though come to think of it, she didn't care much for it as a kitten when I was trying to nurse her back to health from a horrible URI, either. I had to syringe feed her KMR to get her to eat more than just kibble then.
 

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I'm not sure exactly what you mean by feeding insanity. Maybe I missed an earlier posting, but are these ferals? Or do you mean like a shark feeding frenzy where they're gulping their food down as fast as they can? It could be that they really are hungry and in a growth spurt is they're around 5-8 mos. old. They often have a couple of weeks when they're ravenous and then they plateau for a bit and then its ravenous eating again.

It could be that you aren't feeding them enough.....They should get as much as they want to eat, at least 3-4 times a day. If they're not getting that much food or as often as that, this is likely the result of the "feeding insanity" and it's their need to get to the food as quickly as possible. Have the cats in a separate room, prepare their food on one plate, separate plates if they're fighting over it in opposite corners of a room, and let them eat as much as they want with no interference of the dog if he's wanting to eat their food. When they reach around 11 mos. or so, this behavior should taper off as they will be reaching their fiull growth and will be near adult size.
 

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I should have mentioned that another reason for ravenous feeding is that the kittens have worms, particularly if they have a pot-bellied appearance yet feel thin through their shoulders and back. Don't waste your money on OTC products as they aren't very effective, but take them to the vet along with fresh stool sample to be examined and analyzed. If you've never had them wormed or only wormed once, this could be another reason for frenzied feeding. Untreated, worms can do harm to their health.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They go nuts at meal time. It's like a shark feeding frenzy. I can't seem to get it down fast enough, and if I manage to get the food down and remain in one piece they gulp it down. They are being fed wet, dry, chicken, and baby food. I know it seems like an odd assortment, but they were dumped on my doorstep at 3-4 weeks old severly underweight and are on a let's make up for lost time and get you healthy turbo diet. The vet doesn't recommend tapering off for at least another month. So they are definitely getting enough food although not as much as they would like because they will consume a full plate of food and immediately ask for more. The dog does not bother them in the least. He ignores them for the most part and lets them torment him to their heart's content. The only time he goes near them is when they are wandering too close to danger. He'll go, pick them up by the scruff and deposit them at my either at my feet or back on the porch. The pinning happened when Miss O completely went out of control and was using her claws and her teeth to attempt to climb up my leg to get to the food in my hand. He puts up with them using him as a pin cushion, but apparently using teeth on Mommy is a limit for him.

When they first arrived they were horrible at meal times attacking even each other, but then they started realizing that food was going to come not only every day, but in sufficient amounts. Now out of no where they are back to having pretty severe issues with food aggression and guarding. It gets ugly.
 

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It sounds to me like a) they've got into the habit of ravenously eating their food out of surivival mode....if they didn't eat fast, there wasn't much left to eat, and b) I still think they are in growth spurts, and c) I'd still get their stools checked....sometimes worming medication twice isn't enough. As far as the resource guarding and food aggression (growling? fighting?) I'd feed them in separate rooms, that should get them out of the habit of feeling they have to defend their food. Eventually they'll likely outgrow most of this behavior, and you may get to the point when you can feed them in the same room.
 
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