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Diet Questions Again

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ever since putting my cats on what was supposed to be 3 meals a day, I've been having a lot of issues My main problem is getting my 3 healthy dry eating cats to eat all of their dry food each day. Tazz, the chubster (and the reason I can't free feed) can and will eat 1/3 cup of dry food in 2-3 sittings, but Socks, Mogley and Tinsel (Socks especially) barely eat half of it.

My original plan was to feed their first meal (of dry) at 7am when I get up to get ready for work. I leave they bowls down for approx 20-25 minutes while I mosey around the house. I pick the bowls up, and head off for work. I get home from work around 12:30-1:30pm Mon-Fri, and I put their bowls back down again for approx. 20-25 minutes again. Some days I work from 5-9pm and some days I don't. I generally feed again around 4:30-5pm and by the end of this feeding Tazz is done and the others are no where near finished. I feed their wet food meal at 10pm every night, and I'd rather they eat all their wet than fill up on their dry, so I can't really squeaze another mealtime in there (plus on the nights that I work, I won't be home).

At first I thought that they'd just need to get used to their new schedual, but after about 8-9 days of them eating only half their dry and all of their wet, I couldn't feed them that way any longer because I'm a worry wart and I was really stressed about them not eating enough. So now I've been putting out a set amount of dry every day and once its gone its gone, but that's not helping my chubby cat since she gets to eat as much as she wants, and the other cats have less to eat .

So I'm running out of ideas. Tazz is a big girl, currently weighing in at 11 pounds (on our home scale) at 11 1/2 months, but she is quite large everywhere (not just her belly ) I know that wet and dry food digest at different rates, but would it be possible to mix the wet with a little dry and feed them that 3-4 times a day, instead of seperate? They all love their wet, so I'm sure if I mixed it in they'd eat the right amount. Both Tazz and Socks seem to have sensitive tummies (have spells of frequent vomiting) so would the mixing stress out their little bellies? If so, are there any more suggestions on how to make sure my kitties are getting all the food they need? (more wet is not an option atm)

This is a picture of ze chubster, if anyone's interested. I'm curious to see if she looks overweight (even though it may be difficult to see through pictures) to you guys, who know so much more about cats than I do (although I am learning )

More can be found at my photobucket account:
http://s22.photobucket.com/albums/b3.../my%20animals/ (all 5 kits are featured there )
post #2 of 8
Tazz, the chubster (and the reason I can't free feed) can and will eat 1/3 cup of dry food in 2-3 sittings,
How old is this cat? If the cat is older, past 10yrs old, consider having blood tests to check the thyroid.

On the pic you showed, the cat does't look overweight to me. But then again, I've got a 16 pounder and a 13 pounder.

I know that Dr. Pitcarin's Natural Health Care for Dogs & Cats recommends feeding cats only twice a day. And, the food should be picked up between feedings. It's supposed to be in the cats natural habitat to be slightly hungry between meals.
post #3 of 8
I think a simple question would be are the cats who may not finish their meals at a healthy weight? If they may not finish their serving each meal, I would think they are satisfied, as long as they maintain a healthy weight.........
post #4 of 8
WT questions are best directed toward a medical professional ( vet or vet tech ) who actually can see and feel the cat ... Cat graze by nature ( 2 times a day is better for a dog the DR and I diagree on multiple pts ) likely left on there own they would eat 5-7 mini meals ... your schedule seems good .. wet could make dry go rancid in a few hours so dont mix and leave out
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Sprocket - Tazz is nearly 1 yr old, she's just a baby still. I don't find she looks very chubby in that picture either, that was just to show how 'big boned' (?) she is (she was around 9 months there). The reason I think she's slightly overweight is because when she walks her belly swings from side to side and when you pick her up she's getting pretty round

Cheylink - 3 of the 4 others are at good weights, but the youngest kitten still has some weight to put on before she's good. Would a cat loose weight in a little more than a week? I didn't notice a weight change in them, so I guess maybe they just won't need to eat as much. I'm just such a worry-wart

Sharky - I wouldn't mix and leave out for indefinite periods of time. The cats normally take around 15 minutes to eat a plate of wet food, and then it gets brought back up. So I'd be mixing small amounts and putting it down, and then any leftovers will be thrown out (I can just imagine trying to chew soppy dry food -yuck-)

I am going to the vets office this Friday (kitten needs to get her spay stitches out) so I'll talk to the vet then about her size. I need to bring Mogley in for a checkup and vaccinations as well, so maybe I'll bring her along then.

Thanks for the replies!
post #6 of 8
I do understand your frustration and paranoia. I'm there now We've just switched to meals and I can't STAND it when I see the skinnier ones pick at their food.

I have a shipping scale that's pretty accurate for small weights, like a cat...so that helps me. In answer to your question about losing weight in a week...on the 'bad' weeks when a couple of them were just picking at their food, they dropped a 1/4lb each in a week.

I wouldn't mix the dry/wet. Beyond what Sharky noted, my 'vomiters' tend to vomit more when they get both wet and dry too close together.

For vomiting, I have had good luck by leaning on the wet and minimizing the dry. I realize you said that's not possible, but maybe that could help you in the future. On that note, food that is "fish heavy" is more prone to make my guys vomit, but your kitty's sensitivities could be very different.

Tazz is a pretty girl...and you're right, she's big boned. She doesn't look fat to me, but like the others said it's almost impossible to see in a picture. I've always been a supporter of "free feeding" kittens, regardless...but now I have a 10 month old that is starting to have trouble reaching her butt to clean it. ...so I'm making appropriate adjustments. Mainly more wet, less dry...but you didn't want to hear that, I know. My Paisley is currently 10.5lbs, but a much shorter/stockier build than your girl is.

Given her size and body type, I would guess that Tazz could easily continue to grow well into her 2nd year. Based on the pic, she looks ok, BUT..always hard to tell without getting your hands on the kitty.

I think your schedule sounds OK. Maybe just weigh everyone weekly, or more often if you're more comfortable that way...then you can have peace of mind and make adjustments if need be.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I tihnk I'm going to have to look into getting a better scale, that way I can monitor their weights more closely. The scale we have now isn't meant for kitties, so there's no precision in the weights.

And don't get me wrong, I'd love to switch them all to an all wet diet and only feed dry for treats, but the wallet isn't that full Hopefully soon I'll be able to look into feeding more wet, but right now it can't really work. So I guess my next course of action is to buy myself a cute little scale and start weighing my babies to make sure they're maintaining their weights on what they're eating.

Luckily enough for us, all of our kitties can still reach their behinds I think I worry so much because I've had friends with obese cats and I really don't want my cats to get there, and then have to turn around and loose all that weight. I'd rather keep them healthy from the getgo.

Thanks for the advice and the comments Glad to know I'm not the only one struggling with my silly kits and their waistlines
post #8 of 8
It's hard at first to get them to sit still on the scale...but I use treats to lead them there and keep them in place. Some of them will sit and eat a few kibbles right there on it.

I tried holding them and subtracting, but my scale isn't accurate at much over 100lbs ..but it works well for the kitties, if they'll stand still.
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