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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on one-week vacation.
I will have a cat sitter to come over once a day and he will feed one meal worth of raw food. But, my cats need to be fed twice a day. My Piper (older cat) would not eat more than one portion of her meal even if I gave her more.

What would you recommend to feed to make up for it?

I got the nature's variety freeze-dried sample in my fridge. It looks like a dish-scrubbing sponge. It also has very unnatural color in my opinion. I do not like to feed it to my cats. Does other freeze-dried food look about the same?

Right now, going back to dry for a week is very tempting...
 

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I use Stella & Chewy's freeze-dried raw when I need to leave something out for the cats overnight. It looks decent enough and the ingredients seem good. Plus my cats love it.

It comes in big patties though, which I'm not sure they like. I usually just crumble it up into kibble-sized pieces in their "kibble bowl." They think they're getting kibble, but little do they know... ;)
 

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I can't help you with raw, and perhaps others will have ideas on that. But, you could feed them wet food for their evening meal. When I go away, the sitter feeds my girls their morning meal and then puts wet food in a covered timed feeder for later in the day. Provided the wet food is covered, it doesn't take any harm if left out of the fridge for 8-10 hours, although I wouldn't think you could do that with raw. So, that's one alternative you might consider for their evening meal.
 

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Susan,

I go away occasionally and this sounds interesting. Do you know the name of your feeder? I've never heard of this gadget.
It's called the PetSafe auto feeder and I bought it at PetSmart. Below is a link to their website with a picture. It has two compartments and is intended to feed two meals (either wet or dry) to one cat. But I use it to feed one meal to two cats. The sitter sets both timers to the same time, so both compartments open at once. Before I went away, I fed the girls from it for a few days so they got used to it. My girls are pretty co-operative and don't fight over bowls (or compartments), so it works well for them.

PetSafe 2-Meal Auto Feeder By Radio Systems - Cat - Free Ship - PetSmart

You'll find a few reviews (positive and negative), although I've never had any problems with it. Before I used it the first time, I set the timer in order to test it out. It opened on time (and the two compartments opened with a few seconds of each other). The sitter also reported no problems...i.e., both compartments were open and most of the food eaten when she came back the next day. It is battery operated and I always make sure I put in fresh batteries every time I go away.
 

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The advantage is the wet food is covered, which prevents it from getting spoiled or from drying out. There is an area underneath the white bowls where you can put ice or a small icepack, in order to keep the food cold or fresher... although I've never bothered doing so, since I only ever have the food out for 8-10 hours at a time.

I don't see much of an advantage for dry food, unless you had a cat with a tendency to "pig out" and eat all of the food at once, whereupon you could use this to regulate how much the cat ate at any given time.
 

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ccomaya,

I came back to read any updates on this thread, and reread your original post. Piper only eats once a day? I'm thinking that's what my older kitties want. They haven't eaten a second meal all week. . after being grazers on kibble all their lives. Hmmm. You're on to something.

Is Piper a pretty sedentary cat? Mine don't do much and they're in a small condo. Couldn't be burning many calories... Maybe I've been trying too hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh.. Piper eats twice a day. While I am gone, I am worried Piper can only eat once a day and she is not the type that pig out on food, so if she was given two-meal worth of food at once, she would only eat half of it.
And, I have another kitten who would eat whatever I give. He would finish his and will eat Piper's left-over. :)

I want to give my cats twice a day meal to satisfy daily calorie intake.

Piper is pretty active. I live in a two-level house so my cats run up and down and jump at each other a lot.
 
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