Food can quickly become a battle with your cats. And suddenly, we were in the middle of it. The signs:
-Goose was always hungry
-Choco-Luv would wake us up early in the morning to feed her
-Goose would fuss several times during the night for food
-Goose would do naughty things night and day to get us to feed them
-Cool and I were both feeding them, but not communicating when, so they were getting extra
-Cool was confused about the amount to feed so they were getting double
Like I said, all of a sudden we were in deep.
But I’m no novice at feeding issues, as I’ve witnessed the vets dispensing advice to frustrated and tired owners countless times over the years. Aside from inappropriate peeing, and scratching, it may be the 3rd most common kitty complaint. I’m no expert either since companion animal behavior and nutrition aren’t hit super-hard in an Animal Science program, but I had some tricks up my sleeve.
Here’s what I did in the order I did it:
-took away free-feeding, leave-the-bowl out & full all the time and made set meals
-put Cool in charge of the AM feeding and me in charge of the PM feeding (she goes to work at 4PM, and that’s too early for dinner)
-never rewarded bad behavior with food
-made the meal times specific at 7AM and 7PM
-decided on a set amount to feed the cats (1/2 cup per cat per day, which is probably still too much given the calories-dense foods of today and Goose’s low activity level)
-Put unopened soup cans in the middle of the food bowls to slow them down
-made 4 feedings in a 24 hour period to satisfy their hungry and decrease gorging behavior
-gave treats instead of food between meals if they seemed starving or were acting very bad
-observed Choco-Luv barfing because she had gorged on the food too fast and wondered if Goose was getting any food at all.
-fed each cat their set amount in separate rooms and picked the bowls up when they stopped eating.
This last step seems to have made a huge difference. And now I wonder if Choco-Luv has been eating both her and Goose’s portions this entire time so that he legitimately WAS starving 24/7 like he said. . . Now that they’re separated, neither one of them finishes the whole portion of food (unheard of just days ago). Maybe it has been a competitive thing this whole time? Hopefully, the cat food wars are about to have a peace treaty so the cats aren’t constantly
asking for demanding food and we are not bending over backwards to accommodate our cat feeding schedule.