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Food problems

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
We have one overweight cat, and one a little underweight. I have recently taken over feeding our cats from my mother, who did not do it properly. She would constantly buy new food thinking they are sick of eating one type of canned food, right around when they are adjusting to the one previous kind. That resulted in them refusing to eat for a while and getting cranky. She also trained them into thinking food will come whenever they request it. Which means 3-4 meals presented throughout the house each day, as opposed to the 2 meals a day for each which she originally planned.

You would think we would have two overweight cats. Somehow we managed otherwise. The skinny cat has a very irritating habit, she will only eat in certain places, and the overweight cat cannot be in sight while she eats. He steals food from her every time he can, he even leaves his own food to find her bowl. If the environment is not perfect around the skinny cat, she will not eat. And to make things even worse, when she finally does settle down and eat, she only nibbles at it, even when she was just begging to eat, she barely touches it. She will then cycle in and out of the room nibbling, leaving, nibbling, leaving, repeat. Most often the homeostasis of the food location is disrupted and she never finishes. What time she will decide she wants food again is completely random.

Meanwhile the fat cat usually has canned food, dry food, and maybe another bowl the skinny cat has left around the house. Yes, that is how efficient my mother was, they got both kinds of food, while one kind of food is constantly being changed. On top of all that, everyone here is working most of the time, and because leaving two bowls out all day would result in the fat cat eating both, having two periods of time per day where they would both be nice and eat the whole serving, would be a gift from god.

I am completely lost, I have no idea how to correct their habits, PLEASE HELP!
post #2 of 2
it sounds like the main problem for the skinny cat is fear of her food being stolen by fatty, it sounds like there has been some intense competition for food. i would either set 2 bowls down, side by side, with the exact same type of food in them so they HAVE to get de-sensitised to eating near eachother (which will be beneficial in the long run, though it may take time) or i would enforce completely separate feeding times that are strictly regimented & held behind closed doors (but you would have to be prepared to do this ad infinitum). the separate idea may be useful for controlling fatty's intake & would make nervous skinny feel a bit more secure at dinner time & hopefully make her fatter. i often find a static bowl of biscuits takes the pressure off in between meals.

it sounds like the skinny one is a nervous wreck! maybe play with her near the food bowls to built up her confidence near food paraphernalia? she sounds a little down-trodden bless her soul!

my 2 girls have a sachet of meat each in the morning, next to eachother, which i leave in place until lunch, when i empty any left overs & refill with another 2 sachets. when i get in in the eve they have a little treat of chicken breast & at about 8:00pm i empty both bowls & give them biscuits. i ensure they have some static biscuits throughout the day also. i'm so lucky that they eat next to eachother!! plus, i've always always changed brands regularly so they arent fussy, and i think they enjoy the variety.
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