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My Cats are PIGS!! (Free-feed question)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I love my cats, bless their little hearts, but they are getting me completly insane. First of all, they are still kittens (6 months and 4 months, if it might help...) They had a diarrhea problem that got better only recently, it lasted about 2 months. During that time, I had to carefuly calculate how much food I was giving them (and it was a very small amount!) I feed they in the morning and at dinner time. The problem is...they have developed a very aggresive relationship with food, when I get the food out, they become crazy and try to climb me up and eat the portion like they haven't seen food for a week. They also raid the garbage can when I'm at work in a desperate attempt to get some scraps. They are hungry!!
Now two days ago I told to myself that it was enough already! I would need to let them free-feed so they wouldn't get so famished waiting for me to get home. So I gave them each a huge bowl of dry food to eat all they wanted from it (to get them full) after a while of eating like pigglets I
filled their normal bowls with what was left, so that they saw their would always be food there....no need to hurry.
It worked, they left the food there, of course, they were completly full (I don't think they knew when to stop though...but I imagined they would learn...) Well, they did not. For the last two days they ate way too much, they don't seem to be abble to stop themselves...and now they both have diarrhea again. Needless to say I am now kicking myself in the butt.
WHAT to do??
I'm in a desperate situation really, I would like to come home and give them a bit of food at lunch time, but it's impossible! They have to stay all day alone.
How to keep them satisfied then? Because I know free-feeding isn't recommanded, how do you keep your cat from being hungry?
post #2 of 14
It's only been a couple of days - they need time to realize that they don't have to overeat - that food is there when they want it- they will adjust and so will their system.

My Loki did that when he first came home he would eat anything and everything (even frozen broccoli) because he was the runt and had to compete with his 2 bigger brothers. It took him a while to get it into his head that food is available 24/7 and that there was no need to stuff it down his face!!!

Also cats are grassers so I always found that free feeding was ideal!!!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, that makes sense...my other cats always free-feed. But I'm afraid to make them sick...they went to the litterbox three or four times in a night with diarrhea. And their little bellies are so fat! The little one made funny noises last night, too. I thought she was going to throw everything up...
But I think you're right...it might take time....
post #4 of 14
It took Loki a few months to understand and now he only eats when he is hungry...
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you! It's very encouraging to know! You know, I almost called my male cat Loki...love the name.:P
post #6 of 14
Sometimes depending on the food it is possible that the cat has a sensitive stomach and that is why the diarrhea. I free feed all of mine but I also give them expensive food because I have one with a sensitve stomach and one with sensitive gums. If they eat cheap food they get diarrhea and throw up. Also, did you recently switch foods?? That can cause diarrhea too.
post #7 of 14
What caliber of food are you feeding them? In general, lower quality food will produce worse fecal deposits than regular premium food.

Second, these cats are still kittens and they need to eat freely because they are still growing to full size. There comes a time to put fat adult cats on a weight-loss diet, but what you are doing is like restricting food to 8-11 year old human children so they don't gain weight.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, it's Royal Canin, I heard it's pretty good...I changed recently to the sort for older kittens, but only a small bit at a time. The diarrhea is clearly from over-eating, I see no other reason...
I didn't mean to deprive them, I know they are growing...but since it's written on the bag how much one should feed according to weigh...I thought it was alright...
post #9 of 14
do they have elevated dishs>>?? that might help them eat less at one time...

if your schedule permits maybe only put a third of the food for the day out at a time..just make sure to give them food three times a day
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I will try elevating the bowls....unfortunately, I can only feed them before I go to work (7am) and when I come back (5:30 PM)...
post #11 of 14
I don't know...something is amiss. The Royal Canin food is probably one of the top 10 or so available. Can't really sort the problem so I'll bow out.

Hopefully things improve!
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by Lilycurly
I will try elevating the bowls....unfortunately, I can only feed them before I go to work (7am) and when I come back (5:30 PM)...
Okay so two kitties say the guielines for wt are 1/2 each a day.. give a 1/4 cup in morning per kitty then when you get home the other portion
post #13 of 14
Royal Canin is the best!

We free feed, but we do this from the moment we start supplementing so they learn straight away.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes, I guess I made the mistake of waiting too long before getting them used to free-feed...
Now I elevated the bowls...but it didn't seem to slow them down too much...
Then again, they are in the process of switching from the "0-4 month" to "4-12"...so it might be the cause of the diarrhea...even though I try to be very careful about how I introduce it....
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