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Free-feeding or fixed meals?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
some experts say that you should feed your cat with one or two meals a day at regular hours. In between the cat should not have access to food.

What do you think?
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Personally, I prefer free-feeding. I don't like my cats to go around hungry, or to wake me up asking for food

I leave some dry food in their bowl at all times. They don't overeat because they're not that crazy about the taste. They only eat as much as they need to keep full.
post #3 of 8
I prefer free feeding too. It always seems at soon as that bowl is empty they are out in the kitchen yowling up a storm to get me in there! If I didn't keep that bowl full they'd be swatting at me everytime I walked by them.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm reading a book at the moment by animal behaviorist Dr. John Wright. He explains that cats arenatural nibblers and eat small amount of food during the day as well as the night. He says people often blame their cats for being finicky eaters because a cat would only take a few bites and then leave the food bowl. This is actually very natural and the cat will get back to the food when he feels hungry again.
post #5 of 8
Well, I hope you all don't think I'm cruel, but my cats get dog food, instead of cat food....the reason being...they are outside cats, and I also have two dogs...a mutt (scruffy) and a german shepherd (sheena). They eat at the same time, and when I tried feeding seperate dog and cat food....it was a joke...the dogs ate the cat food, the cats ate the dog food....etc...so I found one food that they both could eat...it's a dog food but with very small peices, so the cats have no trouble eating it. I try to keep the bowls refilled, but don't want to over feed the cats, as I want them to also be mousers.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

You really should try and feed the cats with cat food only. Dog food lacks some nutrients that cats must have (and dogs don't).

Taurine for example is an amino acid that is very important for cats and isn't found in dog food. Without it, the cats may suffer from heart disease and problems with their night vision.

Maybe you can set different feeding hours for the cats and dogs and seperate them at feeding times? I think you should discuss this with your vet. Maybe he or she would like to run some special tests on the cats to check for nutritional deficiencies.

Also, if your cats hunt, I guess they need deworming at least once or twice a year. Eating small rodents and birds they're more exposed to different parasites.

I can imagine it must be quite a task taking care of so many cats !
post #7 of 8
Yes, I do have them wormed. And I didn't know that about the cat food, I guess that's what wer'e here for is to learn, and share...thank you...I will see about finding some way to get the cats to eat their own seperate cat food. If you think I have alot of cats, I have a friend who also lives on a farm and she has about 22 cats!!!(thats way too many I think) but she takes good care of them, they are all also outside cats, and she has a big trampoline outside, so she feeds all her cats on top of the trampoline, because the dogs can't jump up that high to get their cat food..
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's a nice idea !

I'd love to see a picture of those jumping cats!
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