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How to keep one cat from eating another's food?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I moved several months ago with my roomate who also has a cat. Her cat is about 14 years old and pretty fat. My cat is a little over a year old and pretty skinny still. The problems is the a couple weeks ago my roomate's cat starting eating my cat, Snow's, dry food which I hid under the sink area of my bathroom in my room. I feed my cat Nutro adult while my roomate feeds her cat IAMS weightloss/hairball. My roomate also leaves food out for her cat, but not as much since she is trying to get her cat to lose weight. I on the other hand am trying to get Snow to gain weight and therefore want her to have access to dry food at all times. My schedule is pretty crazy with school and so it works best for me to leave out the food. I have tried hiding the food bowl in another places so my roomate's cat can't get to it, but it hasn't worked. I don't want to separate the two cats b/c my roomate and I and gone most of the day and the cat's are each other's company...

However, it's getting slightly a little expensive and annoying for me to almost buy food for two cats; and having to constanstly refill the empty bowl (which before I had to do it only once a week b/c Snow eats so little, but now I have to do every two days).. any suggestions for what I can do to stop my roomate cat from eating Snow's food (places to hide it... behavior tactics to try etc...)
post #2 of 5
Unfortunately, there is no easy way if you are unwilling to feed at scheduled times and still want to free feed them. That's why I'm against free feeding (except for a short time with kittens). Its a lot easier to regulate food intake and to be sure each cat is eating what they are supposed to eat.

I really would put out food at set times and not others. If you feel your cat needs more food, then give an extra small amount when you are there. Otherwise, by leaving the cats together and leaving food out, you will not be able to control what each eats.

This is especially bad if the older cat is overweight!
post #3 of 5
Some people on this board have suggested putting the food in a box with a small hole, that the small cat can get into but the large cat can't get into. I've never tried it, but it might be worth a shot.
post #4 of 5
I had to get a prescription wet food for my cat Ashes; since I have two cats, the vet said both could eat wet food. At first I fed Ashes and Patti together. (Both are ten; Ashes was a stray and is small, about 7-8 pounds, and Patti is a Burmese(? FLuffy siamese type?). Ashes is very careful and meticulous with her food, licking it, etc, while Patti - who didn't even need the wet food! - gobbled her portion (1/4 of a can) in 90 seconds or so. THEN she would push Ashes out of the way and gobble up her food. After a week of this - and Patti getting fatter - I started to feed them separately - Patti still gobbled up her food but Ashes could leisurely eat her food for about 20 minutes (very same size portion) behind my bedroom door.
One day I forgot to close the door and I realized Patti wasn't gobbling up Ashes food so I tried leaving the door open again - and the food theft ended. About two weeks ago, both started eating only a fraction of her food, then washing, then going to the other cat's dish and eating her portion! Ashes still takes a while finishing what was Patti's originally. This isn't a problem at all - just an odd situation that I don't understand but have somehow resolved!
Perhaps if you separated the cats for a few days, that might help condition them?
post #5 of 5
Nope. No suggestions other than feed them apart or on schedules. Talk to your roomate about this.
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