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getting 4 cats to eat at the same time?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have been having trouble getting 4 of my cats to eat at the same time.
This is how the hierarchy works at my home:
* Tom eats in my room by himself - he used to be the first one
* Max and Kata are now the first ones to eat in the kitchen. Each in seperate bowls.
* Then comes Sophie but she won't show up unless those 2 cats have completely finished or if one of them finishes and I take a bowl and move it very far away from the other cat... when that happens she is nervous and only has a couple bites - the same goes for the other cat.
This makes things complicated because it means they come back to eat again.
* Finally Mafy shows up [late.. always very late, making sure no ones there]. If any cat shows up she stops eating... she'll show up again afterwards.

They were free feeders. Now its on schedule - then the food is removed.
The whole process is long, its taking about an hour and sometimes I'm not sure who has eaten enough or not because I get a hungry cat 15 minutes later.. did she eat enough or was she interrupted to much?

is there anyway they can all eat in a more organized way?
I'ld like the hierarchy a bit more normal.. one cat first, then the next.. I know they don't get along [some tolerate each other, some just don't like each other] so if it has to be completely by order then thats fine.. I just can't stay watching them 1 hour for every meal and even then lose count
post #2 of 4
I believe you wouldn't have to watch them eat. You could set the food down and come back in an hour and pick it up. They all will eat when they are hungry. I free feed mine and none of them eat at the same time either.
post #3 of 4
Hi, I've had 4 cats over 35 yrs (2-3 diff. 'families', not related) and for at least the last 20 yrs (because I don't want a mess on the floor and because all that bending is getting to me) I have fed them on the kitchen counters... each has their own place. I divide their food up and dish it out fast, then stick around til they're done so no one finishes first and eats the others' food (just keep putting them on the floor, or blocking their way, etc.). It all takes 10-15 minutes and most of the time a couple at least don't finish, so I have put-away places for the dishes, then 10-15 mins. later they eat the rest, in their spot, with me monitoring. And that's it, 2-3 times a day (they have divided bowls - one side for canned, and the other for dry, and water's in one bowl in a corner of the kitchen). They eat 1st thing in the a.m., again at 3-4 pm (used to be later when I worked), and again at 8-9 pm (they get less then).
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for the advice.
It was such a success! I put 4 bowl further apart so all cats couldn't see each other and all of them, even my timid mafy ate at the same time.
It was so easy.

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