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Fights before eating

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have 7 cats. 2 of them have joined our family within the past 2 months. One of the new kitties, Sprout, has been having some digestive problems and so I've had to start feeding him seperately. Because of this, I've also had to stop free-feeding and switch to feeding the cats meals (morning and evening).

The other new kitty, Adam, came to us quite emaciated. He's gained quite a bit since he's been here, although he is still a bit underweight. Since I've switched to feeding meals (just a few days ago) there has been a lot of turmoil among the cats when I'm preparing their food. Once the cats are actually eating, they are fine. However, as soon as they hear me take a can out of the cupboard they swarm around me in anticipation, and Adam gets quite aggressive with the other cats. They do not take kindly to this, and this morning I had to break up 3 little spats between him and other cats just in the time it took me to open a can and scoop a serving of food onto a plate for him. I would like to be able to just bar them from the kitchen until their food is served, but the floorplan of my house is so open that there really isn't a way to do that.

Any tips for encouraging them (especially Adam) to calm down and wait patiently for 20 seconds? Thanks for your time!!!
post #2 of 4
I too would be interested in some wisdom on this topic. My two have frequent wrestling matches while I'm preparing food. We also have scheduled meals.

They can peacefully co-exist all day and then tear into each other at meal time.
post #3 of 4
I don't free feed either.
That being said, my cats get fed 4-5 times a day and they are fed in different rooms. They are also clicker trained and will sit and wait for their meals.

It is not hard to clicker train cats. The hardest part is finding the time commitment.

Healthy treats and snacks between meals will also help to take away the hunger edge.

Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
post #4 of 4
Very interesting! I had not thought of using the clicker. My two are clicker trained for treats (we're starting to use the clicker at grooming time --one hates being brushed but she is easily bribed--and for nail clipping).

Using it at meal time seems like a great way to "supercharge" the clicker
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