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Two Kittens, one eating other's food!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm very worried. I have two kittens, they're about 7 months now. Brother and sister. The girl was the runt of the litter and has always been very tiny...but now she's getting fat! She's eating all the time...and not because I keep feeding her. I'm almost positive she is eating her brother's food as well, but I can't ever catch her. We noticed she was getting heavy about a week ago, so it hasn't been TOO long...but I don't want this to continue. Also, her brother seems like he's so skinny now...but maybe he just looks skinny next to her. Either way, if she's eating his food, then he's not getting enough. I can't watch them all day and I don't want to lock one in a room so they both get the right amount of food. What can I do to get her to control herself? (They only get fed twice a day, right when I wake up and right before I go to bed...and it's been this way for months, so nothing new has happened to their diet.)

Thanks
Melanie
post #2 of 22
Are the kitties spayed and neutered? If not, at 7 months you may have a big problem brewing!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ha, yes they are both fixed.
post #4 of 22
Oh, good! In that case, she is probably eating his food just to show her dominance over him. I have heard that cats like to be up high because it shows dominance. Maybe you can elevate her food, so he eats off the floor, but she eats on some kind of shelf. Then she will be more inclined to eat her food instead of his.

Another way to help would be to leave dry food out all day, so no one is overly hungry at meal times.
post #5 of 22
She may be an overeater because she was a runt. I have an eleven year old runt that still overeats if given the chance.

I think the shelf idea is very good. What about giving them only a little to eat, and then feeding the boy by himself when you get home (from work?) and then both at night. In case he isn't getting enough to eat, it'll give him a chance to eat without her interruptance.

Maybe try the shelf idea first since it's less dramatic.
post #6 of 22
I have a boy that would eat anything and everything if given the chance. I've taken to feeding my three smaller wet meals (with a small amount of dry left out) and being a bit of a referee, he's not allowed near her until she's finished and walked away. It's the only way I could do it. It probably doesn't help that at 7 mos your two are probably getting ready for a growth spurt...I find Rambo goes even more food crazy just before he grows! Good luck
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well first off, they only eat dry food...so I don't know if that makes any difference. Also, I don't think it's a dominating issue because she just constantly wants to eat. She's eating crumbs off the ground anywhere, always trying to get in the fridge, basically licking the bowl clean now, and anytime I am near the cabinet the food is in, she runs over looking at it like she's asking to get some more. I also feed them both from the same dish. It's one of those divided dishes...I think it's so you can put food in one and water in the other, but we just put food in one for one cat and food in the other for the other cat and then they share a larger dish for water.

Any thoughts now?
post #8 of 22
She's hungry. Cats have a huge growth spurt around 7 months. They need more food at this age than they did before.

Additionally, feeding dry food in meal form can lead to problems. It is a very easy way to cause urinary blockages in male cats. If you must meal feed, it is absolutely essentially to make the meals at least 50% canned food.

I would recommend switching to canned food for their meals and giving them dry food to snack on in between. If the bulk of their diet is canned food, few cats will become overweight. For youngsters, it is necessary that they be allowed to eat as much food as they need because their nutrient requirements are constantly changing based on whether or not they are experiencing a growth spurt at that moment.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Alright, I hope that works!

Thanks a lot.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Oh, good! In that case, she is probably eating his food just to show her dominance over him. I have heard that cats like to be up high because it shows dominance. Maybe you can elevate her food, so he eats off the floor, but she eats on some kind of shelf. Then she will be more inclined to eat her food instead of his.

Another way to help would be to leave dry food out all day, so no one is overly hungry at meal times.
HEHEHE she is a smart Girl we rule boys drool Sorry had to add it...
post #11 of 22
I think that you should feed them in separate rooms. If given a chance my boy cat (about 10 months) would eat all of his and my girl cats food. So I feed one of them in the bathroom and the other in the kitchen. They get one dry meal a day and one wet meal a day. If I left dry out all the time (which I've tried), they both get fat!
post #12 of 22
Cats will eat more of a lower quality food as well. I also agree on the wet food diet. Bijou was getting quite heavy and when I switched him over to wet he has levelled out on his weight and seems to eat less.
post #13 of 22
I agree maybe get them on a feeding schedule and seperate them...
post #14 of 22
I, too, would recommend wet food at scheduled, carefully monitored meal times. Sierra and Serenity still require constant monitoring during their meals or else Serenity will eat hers, Sierra's, and anything else she can find, for that matter! Sierra also grabs any chance she can get to switch dishes for Serenity's food since she's used to eating her special diet.

It's not unlikely that it's not that your little boy is unusually thin, but that his sister has hit a little growth spurt ahead of him and he will catch up, or, it's always possible he may grow up to be a smaller cat.
post #15 of 22
Just to add....be prepared for several more growth spurt feeding frenzies in the months to come. Rambo's spurt seem to come later then Lucky-girls, but he's now well over a year and he just had another one. I can usually tell they are coming because he gets a little moody, all he wants to do is eat and sleep. And then poof...he's a pound heavier and running around like a kitten. Good Luc withe sorting this all out.
post #16 of 22
Once I switched from regular Purina brand to a higher quality food (Purina Pro Plan), my cats didn't seem like they were starving all the time.

Maybe you could try switching to a high quality food.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
She's eating crumbs off the ground anywhere, always trying to get in the fridge, basically licking the bowl clean now, and anytime I am near the cabinet the food is in, she runs over looking at it like she's asking to get some more. I also feed them both from the same dish. It's one of those divided dishes...I think it's so you can put food in one and water in the other, but we just put food in one for one cat and food in the other for the other cat and then they share a larger dish for water.
She's a runt; maybe she's trying to get as much food as possible for fear of not getting enough later on? If so, it makes sense she'd be obsessed with scouring for food, licking bowls dry, etc. Not sure how to fix that, though. It may be part of her personality as a runt, now. As for the double bowl-- which I also use for kittens-- maybe try separating bowls? It can't hurt. Maybe she thinks that since it's all one unit it should belong to her?
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Oh, good! In that case, she is probably eating his food just to show her dominance over him. I have heard that cats like to be up high because it shows dominance. Maybe you can elevate her food, so he eats off the floor, but she eats on some kind of shelf. Then she will be more inclined to eat her food instead of his.

Another way to help would be to leave dry food out all day, so no one is overly hungry at meal times.

I do that with Pudge when the fosters were here because she likes it up there. It was to keep them out of her food though. She had no interest in theirs.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow lots of responses since I last checked!

Ok, update:
We switched them to wet food. But they are not taking to it well. I'm assuming it may just take time to get used to it. But they aren't really eating it at all. They are even putting things in the bowls on top of the food, so as to say "look it's dirty, you have to throw it away" or "i don't even want to look at this or smell it!" It's quite funny that they do that though. I will take the junk out and then walk back and Willem will have put a comb in there or something. Ha!

Ok, so is the not eating the wet food [because they just changed] normal? Also, we bought a variety pack of all fish...so maybe they just don't like the fish flavor...but ugh, I don't want all that to go to waste!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by melanie610
Wow lots of responses since I last checked!

Ok, update:
We switched them to wet food. But they are not taking to it well. I'm assuming it may just take time to get used to it. But they aren't really eating it at all. They are even putting things in the bowls on top of the food, so as to say "look it's dirty, you have to throw it away" or "i don't even want to look at this or smell it!" It's quite funny that they do that though. I will take the junk out and then walk back and Willem will have put a comb in there or something. Ha!

Ok, so is the not eating the wet food [because they just changed] normal? Also, we bought a variety pack of all fish...so maybe they just don't like the fish flavor...but ugh, I don't want all that to go to waste!

Many premium brands are garenteed ... so take it back to the store and try another flavor mix
post #21 of 22
Was gonna ask the spay/neuter question too

Ok you are feeding them twice a day - that is good - they can't "free feed". What are you feeding - dry or canned?

If canned food your solution is an easy one. Give them their portion on separate plates/bowls and put them in separate rooms to eat. When they are done eating, then let them out.

Now if you are feeding dry, you have a challange cause cats don't eat all the dry at once.

Maybe it would be better to give them canned and a portion and pick up after eating - if separated, they can't eat each other's food.
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well they were eating dry and I think the growth spurt was correct. We switched them to wet food and the boy is eating is fine, although he wasn't all that interested at first. The girl will sometimes eat it depending on which flavor it is. But, I noticed this morning that she is just licking it, not actually eating it. I gave her some dry food last night because she hadn't eaten anything in like two days because she didn't like the wet food. I'm scared now that she's just going to lick the wet food and not actually eat it and be malnurished. (And we already tried mixing wet and dry, at that point, she just ate around the wet food to get the dry food...so I would really just like to get to her to actually EAT the wet food, not just lick it. Also, I'm thinking after not eating it right away it may be sitting out too long and then it smells or something and she thinks it looks/smells yucky...)
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