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How to keep Oliver out of Emma's Food?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey All-
I have two lovely kitties, Oliver (3) and Emma (not quite 1). We've had Emma for two weeks now, and the two of them couldn't be more in love with each other! So much so in fact that Oliver organized a "jailbreak" to get her out of the guest room (where we were isolating her for the first week) so they could be together!

So, no major problems, but one minor one:

I cannot for the life of me figure out how to keep Oliver out of Emma's food bowl. Emma was underweight when she came to us (is perking up quite nicely and will probably grow a little) and Mr. Oliver just sucessfully lost a pound and a half, upon the vet's recommendation. So, I really need to monitor how much food they're getting. Oliver gets 1/4 cup of dry Iams in the morning and 1/4 cup at night. Emma gets the same plus I give her one 3 oz can of Iams wet food a day, plus nutritional supplements (missing link and felovite).

He wont mess with her wet food--he's never liked the stuff--but I've caught him eating her dry food instead of his--she won't eat out of his bowl--it's an elevated type feeder and is too high for her.

Any suggestions? I want to make sure Oliver doesn't pork up on me again--and that miss Emma is getting enough calories to help her thrive.
post #2 of 14
I have this problem but with five. Since you've only got two, do they eat their dry kibble all at once? If so, can you put on in another room while they both eat?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, they're both all-day nibblers as opposed to "wolf it down all at once"-ers...so I can't really separate them, or I'd have to keep them separate 24/7...
post #4 of 14
I have this same problem. My roommates kitty Coco is constantly gobbling up Waffle's food, and they too are all day nibblers. Sorry that I can't help, but I'm interested to see if anyone has any ideas for you.
post #5 of 14
Ditto, one is on a diet, one is just a kitty. AHHH
post #6 of 14
I'd sure like the answer to that too! I have 3, one still a kitten and no matter what, it is musical bowls....they all think they're going to miss out on something. My dilemma was trying to keep the older ones from eating the kitten food. Ha! Ha! They eat at scheduled times in different places...I gave up. I just compromised and mix the two. Plus they all get their canned food. I figure the kitten is old enough, he'll be fine and the other two, so they get a little fatter. Actually they all look good and we've only a 5 months to go for the kitten food....
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Geez, seems like a lot of other folks have the same problem...
anybody have any answers?
Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?.....
post #8 of 14
Wish I did! My roommate has 3 cats (one male & 2 females) and I have one (female). The male cat needs that special urinary tract Hill's food. The other cats don't need it, but as they get into each other's food, we have to feed it to them. In fact, the boy cat and my cat have a ritual where they each eat half of their own food and then switch bowls. It seems to be more about the location - if I catch them and then swap the bowls under their noses they don't care and they finish off the food from their own (original) bowls! But they get really upset and refuse to finish their food if I feed them in separate rooms where they can't switch places.

That's the most recent ritual; the cats seem to change their food rituals every few months.

Anyway, I'd like to give the rest of the cats a cheaper food - and my cat a weight loss food.
post #9 of 14
Also dying for the answer to this one- my eldest cat and the kitten both need feeding up and the boys need dieting! And they also get very upset if they're fed in separate rooms or stopped from switching bowls and the two girls then don't eat at all. Grrr. Currently everyone is on wet kitten food- that's not great for the eldest girl but it's not going to go on forever- and on adult kibble, but I also buy the high calorie/protein kitten kibble and give a handful to the kitten whenever I can catch her alone around the house. Sometimes that means dropping a handful on the stairs to keep the boys occupied for five minutes while she has a good feed! By the time she's old enough to come off kitten food the boys will probably be circular. Sigh.
post #10 of 14
If Emma is much smaller than Oliver, you could try putting her food bowl under a large cardboard box with an opening that he can't fit through. Another possibility, if you have your own home, is to install a cat door that requires a "key" attached to Emma's collar in an inside door, and keep her food in that room.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Got this email from DawnofSierra this afternoon, with a similar solution to Jcats:
Originally Posted by dawnofsierra
Looks as if you've got the million dollar question! Out of the same necessity, a member came up with this genius plan a while back, tell me what you think! You can get a box, sturdy enough that Oliver can't "break in", then, cut a little door way out just the right size for Emma! That way, Oliver won't be able to access Emma's yummy food, but she will have all she'd like. What do you think? Be honest! I'll brainstorm all night until we come up with a workable solution!
I'm gonna give it a whirl this weekend and see how it goes!!
post #12 of 14
Looking forward to hearing how it works out!
post #13 of 14
I probably should have added that it might be advisable to weigh down the box with a thick book or something similar. There used to be an Internet pet supplier in Germany that offered cardboard "feeding stations" that looked like "gingerbread" (Victorian) houses, with various sizes of perforated openings. All you had to do was "punch out" the proper size. Unfortunately, the supplier went bankrupt. I found them quite useful when we had a senior cat on a special diet, and a kitten. At the moment we have a small cat door installed in our laundry room window, which allows our neighbor's cat to visit for dinner (long story, but she wants to live here, which Jamie finds unacceptable), but is too small for Jamie to fit through (he's an indoor cat). If the cats are different sizes, you might be able to achieve the same effect with cat carriers or litter boxes. Our local "cat home" has cats of all ages in "communal" rooms, so the adult cats are fed in high places (counters, table tops, and high shelves), and the kittens' food is under boxes with small openings or in very small cat carriers. It more or less works.
post #14 of 14
that sounds like it will work for now and hopefully she gets tough enough to defend her food if you could get them to eat at a certain time that might work later on
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