Every day I see many clients with multiple cats or pets. Usually 1 (or more) of them are overweight. It’s so much easier to just fill a bowl and let the cats eat as they wish, right? It may be the easiest way to feed them, but let me ask you this- Do you know how much each cat is eating? Are they eating really fast and maybe vomiting it up shortly after? Is one of them pushing the other out of the way to eat? Feeding them separately will help you with these issues. And it’s EASY!
This is how you do it:
First, ask your veterinarian technician to calculate the amount of food each of the cats needs to be fed so they are getting a healthy amount of food to maintain a healthy weight.
Second, depending on the layout of your home, lock each of your cats in different rooms. These can be bedrooms, living areas, bathrooms, even large closets! (You can also get large crates to feed them in as well). Each cat should be fed in the same area each time.
Third, measure the amount your veterinary technician told you to feed each cat each morning for the entire day. If you’re to feed 1/2 cup per day, measure that 1/2 cup, keep it in another container- cottage cheese container, Ziploc bag, etc., and dole out your feedings from that container for each feeding. Measuring the whole day’s worth of food will help decrease the chance of over feeding by over scooping meals.
Fourth, grab the amount of food you’d like to feed your cat, place it in their dish in their room, and shut the door. Go about your business getting ready for the day, making dinner, etc. No need to babysit them. After however long you’d like to give them, pick up any leftovers, place it back into each pet’s respective food container for the day, and let them out of their rooms.
Fifth, repeat the feedings as often as you’d like. Most people feed 2-3 times a day, but you can do as many as you’d like depending on your schedule. When the food is out, it’s out. I always recommend keeping some food for right before bedtime to avoid the inevitable, “Wake up, it’s 3am, and I’m hungry!” cat alarm.
With this feeding regimen you can help ensure your cat will obtain a healthy weight, and if your cats need to be on special diets, you can ensure just that cat is eating their food. It’s also a good way to keep track that your pet’s feeling well. If they are suddenly not eating, that’s usually a first signal that something is wrong with your cat.
Dr. Jessica Woodrow