or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Is this an acceptable feeding schedule?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is this an acceptable feeding schedule?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi folks,

I have just adopted a 10 year old grey tabby from the local rescue. He is absolutely gorgeous and already king of the house and I only got him on Friday night! I just wanted to make sure his feeding schedule was acceptable and I know there are some very knowledgeable members of these boards....

He gets fed twice a day. He gets half a pouch of meaty chunks in gravy at about 8 in the morning and the other half about 5-6pm at night. He also has access to cat biscuits (chicken and rice) and a bowl of fresh water all the time. He is eating all his food with enjoyment. He had loose stools for the on Saturday after I bought him home but I haven't seen any evidence of him going to the toilet at all on Sunday (although he was urinating fine!) and there was nothing this morning. His old owner just bunged whatever was cheapest at him and I don't think there was much of a schedule. He is a little skinny and he is quite a small delicate little cat and I'm not sure if that is natural for him or not (he is going for a full vet check tomorrow).

So my question is...is he getting enough to eat? Is it okay to live biscuits out all the time? Should I just but a few out every day because they lose heir freshness? How often should he be going to the toilet?

I am getting another old girl to keep him company on Wednesday. I live in a very isolated cottage in the HIghlands of Scotland. I work all day so I thought it wouldn't be fair to get a kitten. Instead I could give a very quiet, comfortable retirement to two older cats that just want a warm bed and some affection. Ziggy has settled in straight away which is great. When he came he didn't even hide. Just wandered about sniffing and scent marking for a couple of hours before settling down for a cuddle and a nap! They will be kept indoors for the next few weeks - don't worry!

Will it be okay have two cats sharing a litter tray or shall I get the new cat her own? Also, I am going to be away at weekends. Will they be okay if i put out a whole packet of wet food each, top up their biscuits and leave a couple of extra bowls of water for them? How long have you left your cats on their own? I am going away for two weeks at the endo fo March - will they be okay with someone popping in everyday to feed them and clean their litter tray?

Sorry for so many questions Ijust want Ziggy and whichever cat I get on Wednesday to have the best life possible!
post #2 of 6
First THX for giving a home to a senior cat!

Litter Box:

It's best to have one litter box per cat to prevent territorial aggression that might lead to one or both cats not using the box appropriately.

Please check the forum for posts on introducing cats to one another before bringing home the "friend". This may take some time especially with older cats.


The food schedule sounds okay. I give my cats half a small can of wet 2 times a day. Plus free feed kibble (I assume by biscuits you mean dry food) . Just watch the amount of kibble you're offering, and the cat's weight. Some cats have good control, but others like people like to overeat and will gobble everything put out for them whether it is good for them or not.

Loose stools:

The loose stools may just be stress from the change in living environment, food, or something more serious, as long as he otherwise seems healthy you can probably wait it out a couple days to see if it resolves itself, if not then you should contact a Vet. Most cats in my experience urinate a couple times a day and poop maybe once, twice at most.

Cats on Vacation:

If you're gone for more than 24 hours its best to get a cat sitter to come by at least once a day, preferably twice, to chance water dishes and food, and give the cat a pat or some playtime for 30 minutes or so. We rarely go away but have had no trouble hiring one of the neighbors kids we trust to come over and 'cat sit'. a bribe of about $10 USD per day is the going rate here...

Ooohhh, do I miss Scotland. Been once on vacation. Only to fife and then only for 3 days... Want to go back!...
post #3 of 6

As far as the food goes, that sounds quite acceptable. You might even consider just feeding twice a day and stop free-feeding the biscuits, or feed dry food once and wet food once per day. Most cats will eat considerably more if they're able to just cruise by the food bowl and graze whenever they want. Trust me, it's a lot easier to start them on good habits when you first get them than it is to change everything in a year or two when you notice them putting on weight.

As for litter pans, the conventional wisdom is to have 1 pan per cat plus one extra. Personally, I only have 2 really big boxes for 4 cats and it seems to work great. The main thing is that you don't want your cats going outside the box because it's not clean enough or because he's intimidated by the other cat's odor in the box.

If all works out well, then 2+ cats will tend to keep each other entertained while you're away. Having someone come in once a day is probably fine, but you'd like it to be someone who knows a thing or two about cats and will pet them a bit and make sure they're feeling well. Male cats in particular can develop a urinary tract infection and get very sick in a hurry. The person doesn't have to be a trained veterinary tech or anything, just smart enough to realize that "hmm, this cat doesn't look good, I should take him to the vet."

Getting a 2nd cat sounds like a great idea (and adopting older cats is awesome!) I can tell you that every time I've added a new cat to my household I've spent the first few days thinking, "What have I done?" My lovable kitties suddenly started hissing, spitting, and growling. After a few days though, I would come home and find them cuddled up together on the chair. Do keep in mind that, although it seems fairly rare, there are some cats who are just nervous or something who can't handle living with another cat. It's probably worth telling the people at the shelter your situation. They typically have some idea of each cat's personality and they should be able to steer you away from any kitties that need to be in single cat homes.
post #4 of 6
Thank you again for adopting a senior cat - I adopted a pair of four year olds, and it's a very rewarding experience.

The stool issue may be just from the change in food and a bit of stress. As suggested, keep an eye on him and don't fear to ask your vet for advice.

I'd work with the vet regarding the amount of food they need, but, since I work outside the home, I feed some wet food morning and evening, and leave a measured amount of dry food down for the rest of the day ( my boy has a tendency to overeat). I toss out whatever dry food is left over every morning. Change water a lot - I have a fountain, which mine enjoy.

I do have three boxes for two cats, as my boy is very picky. You may be able to manage with two boxes I clean the litter twice a day, and replace the litter altogether once a month.

So far I haven't had to get a sitter (I have a boring life) but I agree that making sure your sitter knows who your vet and when to take your baby in is is a good idea. I've read suggestions about leaving a letter with your vet authorizing emergency care, if needed and you're not reachable, is also a good idea. Can you tell I'm a paranoid mommy.

But, I tell you, there's something about adopting an older cat - I swear they know when they've reached a good home.
post #5 of 6
Sounds like a good meal plan. Since he may be a bit underweight, the dry food is fine to leave out. But watch him carefully. You don't want a senior cat to be picking up too much weight and becoming overweight. Once he's at the proper weight then only put out the dry for a short time when you are at home to monitor him.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you everybody SO MUCH for the wonderful advice! I actually fed him 3 (half a pouch each time) times yesterday because he seemed genuinely hungry.

However, I removed most of his biscuits like advised so he only has a few to chew on. His stool was fine yesterday but upsettingly he was dirty. I am not sure why - I check and clean his litter tray three times a day.

Today after he ate I picked him up and put him in the tray and rubbed his paws in the litter. He should be used to it because I made sure to get the same brand as his old owner. Otherwise he seems to have been fine with me being at work all day although I rushed home as quickly as I could.

I am taking him to the vet this afternoon and I will also tell her what I have started feeding him. He seems quite ribby but his belly hangs quite low and seems slightly distended so he might be a bit wormy. He has VERY long claws too! Also drinks a lot of water so will ask about a kidney function test - need to keep my elder statesman in the best of health!

One of my 6th year pupils (I am a teacher) has a cat sitting service and I trust her and she is extremely passionate about cats. I will ask her to pop in eery other day over Easter. I love the idea of leaving a letter for vet action - I think I am going to take it a step further and leave a little manual of his likes, dislikes, food preferences, common illnesses etc.

I know everyday is advised but I really don't think he is bothered being left on his own as his old owner used to leave him for 2-3 days at a time and he was fine with it. I will test him during my February half term. I am away Friday - Monday and a cat owning colleague is going to pop in to check him on the Saturday and Sunday. It all depends on how he fares.

Sorry for the huge missive - I really should wheesht now!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Is this an acceptable feeding schedule?