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2 cats, 2 different eating styles

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a little problem with my 2 cats. Let me give you a little info: I free feed both of my cats Natural Choice Weight Management kibble. Butters is overweight and Ash is just right. I want to get Butters down to a healthy weight, but I'm not sure how exactly to do this.

Ash grazes a little all day long. Butters on the other hand does, but she also eats a lot more. Personally, I think she tries to eat it all so Ash can't have any (she's definately the Alpha). I've tried feeding them the proper amount 2-3 times a day. The problem I've had with that was that Ash would either eat all the food and then throw up from eating too much too fast. OR he would not eat all of it and then when it was time to eat again would eat too fast and throw it all up.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 8
Jaz and Charlie are both night time indoor cats. Charlie will be there whenever a bowl is put down and Jaz will spend the whole day playing outside and doesn't eat much food. Are the indoor or outdoor/both? We sort of swap them around at dinner time if Charlie wants to polish all the food off. I have him in my room for a bit to distract him or one is out and one in. You just have to keep trying till you find something that works. Alot of times i have to stand there and keep shooing Charlie away from Jazzys food because he's a gobbleguts!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oops, sorry I forgot that info! They are both 100% inside cats.
post #4 of 8
Can you feed them in separate rooms? Is there a place where only Ash can get to that Butters cannot? Perhaps feesing their food somewhat elevated might help them not gorge to much on the food.
post #5 of 8
That's a difficult situation. I don't have any experience with getting a kitty to lose weight...but one thing I keep reading is that high protein low carb canned food is more effective for weight loss than diet kibble is. So besides the other things you're facing, is there any chance that Butters could go on a canned food?

Even with the kibble, I think you'll need to figure out how to arrange for the scheduled meals. How, I'm not sure.

Or, what happens if you "free feed" a measured amount for the day? Same results? Hmm yeah, Ash would starve

greycat had a good idea...is Butters agile enough to get to a high place - where Ash's food could be?
post #6 of 8
Assuming that Ash is significantly narrower than Butters, then this might work:

Take a large cardboard box, cut an Ash-sized entry hole in it (use a measuring tape, don't try to eyeball it), plus a couple of small window holes. It helps to put a board on top of the box so that Butters can't pry open the flaps.

Put Ash's bowl in the box, and feed Butters out in the open.

Here are some additional tips from experience:

Positioned the box in a corner so it can't be pushed over.

Don't put the box on carpet - that would give Butters too much leverage to push her way in. (I don't know if she's that persistent, but our Lightning was )

Put the box on top of another box or table that's only a few inches longer (making a narrow ledge) so that Butters can't approach the entrance head-on.

Good luck! Dieting a cat is certainly not the easiest thing I've ever done.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
When we first got Butters she was pretty unsure of herself and wouldn't ever jump on things. I would give Ash some extra food on top of the dryer (different apartment then) and everything seemed fine. That was until she found out there was food there, that's when she started jumping up on the dryer to get to the food.

Their main food bowl is on the breakfast bar counter (we never use it anyway). I started keeping it up there to make sure Copper (the dog) wouldn't eat it. We have a large box that sits under the breakfast counter and she jumps up on the box and then to the counter. I've been toying with the idea about moving the box, but I didn't know how the jumping would effect their joints (once side is carpet the other is vinyl lanoleum).

I feed them in seperate rooms in the morning a eyeballed amount. Ash in the sunroom & Butters on the counter. The main bowl (the one Butters uses) I only put enuf to cover the bottom, Ash gets a little more. If it is not too cold outside I will leave the door to the sunroom open just enuf for Ash to go thru (or so I thought). Even though she has a bit of a belly (she's fairly petite besides the belly) she can squeeze thru anywhere Ash can (as long as she knows food is involved). When its cold (hahaha, this IS Savannah) I will let Ash in and then close the door so only he has access to the food. Warmer weather (like today) I leave the door almost wide open (its the only "window" for the front of our apartment and it gets quite warm w/o the door open some days).

As for the soft food vs. kibble issue. Lately, I've been giving them soft food (Innova, Eagle Pack, California Natural & Felidae) in the evenings as a treat every other day or so. I give them each a 1/2 can. Usually Ash is the one eating most of it though. I've gone back and forth with the idea of switching them to soft. My reservation (and I'm sure you guys can help me with the pros & cons) is the kibble helps with SOME of the tarter build up. I know its not going to help with all. But every little bit helps, right? Butters already has had 2 teeth removed because of tarter issues (we had this done soon after we got her). Our vet does dental cleanings for about $100, but of couse whenever I go there it always ends up being waaaaaaaay more than that.
post #8 of 8
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