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Free feeding to scheduled feeding and food switch all at the same time?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have two 6.5 month old kittens, Link and Gir. They are both fixed. I have noticed Link (a male) has been gaining quite a bit of weight since he's been fixed... I don't want him to become overweight, so I think I might need to make a change to their eating habits. Gir only got fixed about two weeks ago, and I haven't noticed a change in her weight yet. She also tends to be more active than Link (she is quite a jumper ) and doesn't seem to be as interested in food as him either.

Right now, they are free fed Evo dry food, and about 3 times a day i give them Weruva wet food and leave it down until the next time i give them wet food. So, they essentially have both wet and dry food down 24/7...

I want to transition them to a set feeding schedule. Do you think feeding them only twice a day is okay? I would be able to feed them at 7:30 am and 6 pm.

Also, i would like to completely transition them off the dry food to only eating wet food.

In addition to this, I would like to change from feeding them Weruva (the price has jumped from $1.29/can to $1.77/can!!!!!). I was feeding them Weruva only because that is all they seemed to like. They definitely prefer the shredded meat styled canned food... I can't get them to even look at pate, they just try to bury it.

So, I know I am asking to make a lot of changes. Do you think this is feasible for me to do? I know I'll need to do everything slowly, i know it might take a month or more to do. I was thinking of doing it in two steps:

1. Get the cats used to eating on a schedule (feed them a combo of Evo dry and Weruva… slowly increase the amount of Weruva and decrease the amount of Evo until they are only eating Weruva.

2. Once they are eating only Weruva on a fixed schedule, transition them to different brands. Start with like 90% Weruva, 10% other, and then decrease Weruva and increase other food until we have them eating only the other brand(s) we choose.

Thanks for any help. Sorry about the long post!
post #2 of 7
At that age I wouldnt do 2 feedings a day I would do 3 maybe even 4. Their tummies are still small and can't hold a lot at one time.

I would first get them on a schedule before you transition to wet only.

As for changing wet foods, you don't have to do it slowly like dry foods. My boys were getting different brands multiple times a week and upwards of 15 different flavor combos. So you can change wet foods while changing to a schedule as well.

As for weight gain in one, all kittens are different and these kittens at 6.5 months are still growing. It may seem like one has a big belly and he may, but he will start to grow in length and height and it will even out. You don't need to be worried about weight gain in a 6.5 month old kitten--weight loss yes, weight gain no. For all we know these kittens will be growing for another 18 months, their weight will even out.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Leslie,

Do you think if i feed them:
7 am in the morning before I go to work,
6 pm after I or my boyfriend get home from work,
and 10:30 pm before I go to bed

Will that be enough small feedings? I can make it home for lunch 3 days a week and i could feed them then too, but two days a week I wouldn't be able to go home, would that throw their whole schedule off?

I guess it's not so much the amount he weight, he just seems to have gotten a bit of belly that he didn't have before... you are probably right that it is nothing to be concerned about. I'll worry about just getting them on a feed schedule for now and converting them to canned only, non-Weruva.

They will only eat Weruva right now, so I'm thinking it will be a gradual process to get them to like other types of canned food... any time we offer them something other than Weruva they just try to bury it! LOL, they sure are picky.
post #4 of 7
With your schedule you may not be able to transition to all wet food until the kittens are full grown and don't need to eat as often. I do a combination of wet and measured dry free feeding. I'll give them them their wet meal before I go to work, then put out a measured amount of dry for them to eat while I'm gone. Even if they finish it early they won't have been 14-15 hours without food while I'm at work.
post #5 of 7
I don't think I'd let kittens go 11 hours without food. My boys who are two years old struggle to go that long without food.

post #6 of 7
I switched from free feeding to scheduled feeding at around 9 months of age if I remember correctly.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!

I think I will wait on the transition to set feeding times until they get a little older... maybe around 9 months to a year old.

What I'll do right now is transition them off the dry and onto canned only. Then on the days I can't come home for lunch I'll leave some canned food out for them to snack on while I'm gone.
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