If you have a multi-cat household, you’ve probably dealt with feeding cats on different diets at some point. Nutritional needs of cats vary based on factors like age or activity level.
Some pet owners will take this opportunity to put all cats in the house on the same diet to make feeding time easier. This may work in some cases, but if you have a kitten and an adult cat, for example, nutritional needs are different and feeding an inappropriate diet may be harmful.
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No Free Feeding
When you have cats on different diets, scheduled feedings work much better than free feeding. If one cat is on a prescription diets, it’s important to monitor his/her food intake. Scheduled feeding gives a chance to monitor the eating of each cat. This ensures all cats get the amount of food they need.
Introduce Food Dispensing Toys
Have a cat that likes to eat his food then move on to the other cat’s meal? Introduce a food dispensing toy to slow down his eating. This will force the fast eater to work for his food, and give the slow eater time to enjoy his meal stress-free. These toys provide cats the added benefit of using their hunting skills.
Puzzle toys and slow feeder bowls are other options that work much the same to slow down a fast eater. It works well to have a variety of dispensing toys and feeder bowls. This way, cats don’t get bored and are still challenged.
Move Feeding Locations
Move one cat’s feeding station to a different area. In cases where one cat may be elderly or unable to jump for some reason, try moving the other cat’s feeding station to a higher location.
Another option is to feed one cat in a closed location. One client I occasionally visit has two cats that gobble their food, then want to go after their sister’s meal. To solve this problem, the two fast eaters are fed in the laundry room, one on top of the washer, and the other on the floor. Since one of them is more adept at jumping, he eats on top of the washer.
Their sister is fed in the office with the door closed. Once she comes to the door, I know she’s finished and her brothers are allowed to enter. This gives her the chance to eat at her own pace without being stressed at seeing the other cats after her meal.
Do you have a solution that we haven’t covered here that’s worked well for feeding cats on different diets! Please share in comments, we’d love to hear from you!