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Cats eating each other's food

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello, me again. I'm so glad I found this forum - it's so helpful! My latest question is that my cats prefer each other's food to their own. Problem is one is a senior cat and the other is a kitten. Same brand (Nutro Natural Choice), but different types of food. The older cat's a little better about eating her food but the younger one likes the senior food and that's it. If I'm around I try to steer them to their own food, but I don't know what happens while I'm out and the senior cat has always been free-fed.

Is there anything I can do to entice them to eat their own food? And what are the potential health risks if they continue eating the wrong food?

post #2 of 7
The kitten eating the senior food won't have any devestating effects since most food manufacturers make sure that it's a balanced diet for any cat. However, you don't want it to be the main diet because you have a growing cat. If seperating them several times a day won't work for you, you can try giving them both an adult maintnance food for ahwile. It can be hard when you have more than one cat at different life stages.
post #3 of 7
It's hard to keep all the animals eating their own food!
I have one cat who ate kitten food for about 2 years of her adult life. I had a kitten who still needed the nutrition, and since Poppy isn't fat at all (tops out at 8 pounds) I felt it was better. That was when we had Nutro Natural kitten, which I ended up not really caring for. We switched to Natural Balance, which doesn't even have a kitten line. I guess because it's an overall balanced food for all kitties. My solution would be to feed them something in the middle, taking into consideration both of their needs, and then supplementing the kitten with wet kitten food at certain times.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Good ideas - thanks to you both. I'm thinking I might try separating them during meal times first. *sigh* What a hassle.

post #5 of 7
Good advice. I'm a little curious why you free feed the adult, or rather is this something that HAS to be done, and why?

Seperating them can be a pain but it's also really worth it. I do it with all my cats. 2 would simply fight and get to fat, and one would never get any meat on her bones if I all fed them together! lol

As far as wanting what is in eachothers bowl, it might not be so much the difference in taste, as that ... animals just seem to find someone elses food more facinating then their own, even if it's the SAME exact food, lol.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, there -

I free feed because I work in film production and my schedule has always been erratic. I come home every day, but never at the same time.

I did try mixing a bit of the senior food with the kitten food and the kitten seems to like that, so hopefully that'll work.

post #7 of 7
I don't know if this would work for cats, but when Gypsy was a puppy, I lived with my parents who had an adult rottie. As soon as we'd give them their food, they'd switch and eat eachother's food. So we just started giving the adult food to the puppy and the puppy food to the adult. Worked every time.

Cats are a little more complex than dogs, so maybe it wouldn't work.

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