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Meal Feeding

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi again, Amy. You remarked on an earlier post about my cat suffering with FLD that meal feeding is a way to alert me if a cat misses a meal or two or three....

My question is this, how do I meal feed 4 cats with individual dietary needs and tastes? I have a 16yo, a 14yo with FLD, a 7mo, and a newbie (6wks.) The 16yo rarely eats wet food, the 14yo won't eat anything except Cat Chow -- I mix feline l/d (dry) in for the calories, but he eats around it. Any suggestions on getting him to eat the l/d? The 7mo old eats everything in sight, including the dog's food, and the kitten needs kitten chow. The older 2 cats have always free-fed. Can I, should I change their eating habits at this advanced age?

I include this photo of Bleu so you can get an idea of just how much weight he needs to gain.

What to do?

thanks again for your time.
post #2 of 2
Managing 4 different meals can be a hair-pulling dilemma. My sympathies! The last question first--is it worthwhile to change eating habits at this late stage?

Well...I'm of the opinion that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If, however, it would help improve something that's not broke but maybe is a bit bent, it might be worth a try. (How's that for quibbling?)

You can attempt to segregate the various meals by how each cat is able to access food. For instance, you can make a "kitten feeder" out of a cardboard box--cut a kitten size hole that the other cats can't fit through, and put the Kitten Chow inside the box. That way the kitten can still free-feed but the others won't be able to get to the food.

For tempting the appetite of the l/d and Cat Chow combo, try adding just a touch of warm water, and zapping in the microwave for 10 seconds to heat up the food. Warmth unlocks odors, and odor unlocks kitty appetites. For your underweight kitty, hand-feeding often is the ticket to get them to eat more. Yes, I'm serious! For some reason, simply having the owner offer a spoonful of food at a time, and/or stroke the back of the cat's neck, helps stimulate appetite. Of course, that would mean meal-feeding...

If the other cat is still healthy and gets along fine with free-feeding, probably not necessary to change things around. However, if the 7-month-old is hogging the bowls, that might be a reason why Bleu isn't getting all he needs. He may be reluctant to assert his table rights. *s*

Good luck!

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