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Feeding time aggression, competition for food

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a slight problem with my two cats, Wingnut & Moonbat. When feeding them, Wingnut (the alpha male), tends to take over the food bowl and not allow Moonbat (the omega female) near it until he is finished (low growl and she walks away). Often times that means he has eaten 90% or all of the food before he departs and lets Moonbat in.

I sort of got around it by using two food bowls, one for Wingnut, one for Moonbat. However, there is still an issue. Basically, it becomes a race for Moonbat to eat as much as she can before Wingnut finishes what’s in his bowl, because then he is going to walk over to Moonbat’s bowl and drive her away, then finish what she hasn’t eaten. This often results in Moonbat getting an “abbreviated†meal.

The two aren’t aggressive toward each other otherwise in any way. It’s just the eating situation.

Any suggestions, thoughts on how to resolve this? I’d like to feed them in the same location (my kitchen), if at all possible
post #2 of 5
Sorry. The only recommendation I have is to feed them in separate rooms.

That said - do you have a kitchen table? Maybe feed Moonbat up on the table. In addition to that, maybe split Wingnut's food into two bowls. As soon as he's done with the first one, put the second down for him.

How many meals a day do you feed them? Do you feed them wet food or dry? Do they also have access to free feeding bowls?

If you only feed them once a day, I'd consider splitting their meals up into at least twice a day, and more if you're around regularly enough to do so (in addition to the other suggestions).

If you feed them dry food, I'd consider switching them to free feeding. Cats' digestive systems are designed to eat many small meals frequently (think of how they would eat in the wild - catching small rodents, scavenging - lots of little meals).

Hope these ideas help,

post #3 of 5
I do not think it is a dominance issue since it only happens during meal times. Stick to separate bowls and add more amount of food at meal times and free feed dry food. In time, Wingnut will hopefully be satisfied with his feeding share.
post #4 of 5
I have stuck around (x sooo many years) and played monitor for a whole 5 minutes at a time when my cats eat. If one gets greedy, they get to leave the room. If one doesn't finish, the bowl goes away for a while (1/2 hr or whenever cat wants it back). I would never let one of mine routinely eat the another's food (or force the other to speed eat). We take responsibility for these babies, and they're stuck having to do things our way, so the least we can do is make life easier for them.
post #5 of 5
I would feed them in separate rooms. That way you know both are getting their food.
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