TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Keeping free-feed food separate?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Keeping free-feed food separate?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
As many of you already know, I'm expecting... Ginger will be arriving here at her new home next Thursday.

She is currently eating a mixture of two foods (neither of which are what I feed my current two). So, I have a couple questions...

1. Do I need to continue with the mixture or could I pick just one of the foods to feed her until I can make the transition to what I'm feeding?

2. How separate do I need to keep the cats from the other food(s)? Obviously, for a while the cats will all be separated, but after Ginger is integrated is there a good way to keep her eating her food and Trent and Ophelia eating their food? Sounds as easy as herding cats.

3. Should I let Ginger eat the food she is used to for a while, or start transitioning her to "our" food immediately?

Thank you!
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
As many of you already know, I'm expecting.
You almost gave me a heart attack with that one....until I read on...

Personally, I'd mix up Ginger's as regular, then mix 25% more with your current kind. While they are all separated, give Ginger that mix. Mix 25% of Ginger's into your current resident mix. Once they are integrated, change it to 50-50 and feed the mix to your entire crew, slowly weeding out Ginger's mix.

Unless you want to keep them all separated for an indefinite period of time, this is so much easier than trying to keep cats from eating each other's food. Mine will go to the new flavor, simply because they can.

Just my 2 cents (and I can be a bit lazy at times)!
post #3 of 12
I agree with the above .. give her what she is used to and then slowly mix in your food... Congrates on the new arrival ..
post #4 of 12
I have to keep Zoey and Saki from eating each others food due to crystal problems, etc. It is not easy. You may have to feed them like one in the bathroom with the door closed and one in the kitchen. For me, Saki is a great jumper and very agile so I have his food in the bathroom on a high shelf. Zoey is kind of clumsy and there is no way she can get up there lol... so the only problem I have is trying to keep Saki from eating Zoey's food, which is in the kitchen. I just keep my eye out and he knows when he gets near her food I scold him and he meows and goes directly to his food When I'm not home I take Zoey's dry food away so she's pretty used to her feeding schedule now.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicycat View Post
I have to keep Zoey and Saki from eating each others food due to crystal problems, etc. It is not easy. You may have to feed them like one in the bathroom with the door closed and one in the kitchen.
This is what I have to do, since Polly is likely to be on rx food for life, and I don't want Prego eating it. Keeping the food separate is really hard to do if you're free-feeding. We did it sucessfully when Polly was tiny by taking advantage of the size difference, but it doesn't look like you'll have that option. (I've seen the Ginger pics!)
post #6 of 12
1)Ideally, you would want to keep up with the mixture. If we are mixing two foods for a cat that gets adopted at the shelter, we send a weeks worth of the mixture home with the adopters.

2)When Lily was still on kitten food & Twitch on adult, I simply cut a small hole in a box & fed Lily in the box. Then I came home to find a Twitch butt sticking out a box trying to walk around the house. She had manged to eat all of Lily's kitten food, BTW. So, I started mixing 1/2 kitten 1/2 adult. Twitch ate all the kitten food before Lily got any. So, I just started sitting & watching to ensure Lily got some kitten food ate & Twitch some adult, then I picked it up. I left out an all lifestages food to snack on during the day. 2x a day I fed Lily kitten & Twitch adult(dry).

3) I would give her a few bites of the new kibble the first day. Maybe by the 3rd day be up to 25% new kibble? If her stools get really loose or something indicates you are switching too fast, you can always reduce the amount of new kibble or keep it constant until things calm down a little.

That's just my opinion. I know Damita needs to be transitioned to a new food over a period of at least a month, or she gets sick. Every cat is different, so I think the tieline for switching depends on how well Ginger can handle it.

Congrats on the new furkid!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help!

Now, I have to throw a monkey wrench in the mix, and I would really like feedback if my plan sounds reasonable.

When we switched to Royal Canin, we thought that perhaps we had narrowed down Trent's food sensitivity down to chicken liver, not just chicken in general. Well, this was confirmed this weekend when Ophelia insisted that I open the Eukanuba (for Ginger) and give her some. Of course, Trent wanted some too, but I didn't give him much - maybe 2 teaspoons total. The next day he threw up twice, whereas he hasn't "oop'ed" except for hairballs since we switched to Royal Canin.

Now, the other food is Purina One, which does not contain chicken liver, but does contain corn gluten mean (I think he's a bit sensitive to corn as well) and poultry by-product meal.

I'm thinking I should wean Ginger off of the Eukanuba in the first while that she's here, since that definitely doesn't agree with Trent at all (and he's not smart enough not to eat it). Hopefully by that time I can do a mixture of Purina One and Royal Canin for all three of them, gradually switching back to all Royal Canin.

Does this sound like a plan? Would that be too many switches for poor little Ginger to handle?
post #8 of 12
I think you should wean Ginger off her mix ( both at the same time).... Then while its mixed get her on the RC (IMHO much better than the two in the mix)
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Thanks for the help!

Now, I have to throw a monkey wrench in the mix, and I would really like feedback if my plan sounds reasonable.

When we switched to Royal Canin, we thought that perhaps we had narrowed down Trent's food sensitivity down to chicken liver, not just chicken in general. Well, this was confirmed this weekend when Ophelia insisted that I open the Eukanuba (for Ginger) and give her some. Of course, Trent wanted some too, but I didn't give him much - maybe 2 teaspoons total. The next day he threw up twice, whereas he hasn't "oop'ed" except for hairballs since we switched to Royal Canin.

Now, the other food is Purina One, which does not contain chicken liver, but does contain corn gluten mean (I think he's a bit sensitive to corn as well) and poultry by-product meal.

I'm thinking I should wean Ginger off of the Eukanuba in the first while that she's here, since that definitely doesn't agree with Trent at all (and he's not smart enough not to eat it). Hopefully by that time I can do a mixture of Purina One and Royal Canin for all three of them, gradually switching back to all Royal Canin.

Does this sound like a plan? Would that be too many switches for poor little Ginger to handle?
Ahhhh...I didn't know Trent had any food allergies! In that case, I agree with Jennifer...just switch Ginger off the Eukanuba & ONE at the same time. Trent will already be aggrivated by a new kitty, it will be a little less stress for him to not get sick from the food, too.
post #10 of 12
Heidi, do you know (from Eileen) that Ginger is a picky eater, has allergies, or is sensitive to any changes in diet? If not, why not just offer her the RC straight off, and see if she accepts and tolerates it? Jamie, ZsaZsa and Miezi all have no trouble whatsoever with eating a new food (and love the variety), provided I watch the ingredients due to Jamie's allergies, and almost all the shelter cats just eat what they get (usually RC dry, because we get it wholesale, and/or whatever canned food is donated or on sale). Some cats require a slow transition, but, IME, that's the exception to the rule. Ditto with dogs. My mom's (now three) really enjoy my visits, because they get something other than Purina or Iams dry and Alpo canned, and I've never seen any adverse effects from the changes. I usually buy a three or four-month supply of various foods when I visit, and when that's gone, she switches them back to the usual brands. I seriously think that a lot of advice on this issue is generated by the producers, as "brand loyalty" is in their interests.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I think you should wean Ginger off her mix ( both at the same time).... Then while its mixed get her on the RC (IMHO much better than the two in the mix)
That sounds reasonable. We did get the smallest bags available because I planned to switch her over as soon as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Ahhhh...I didn't know Trent had any food allergies! In that case, I agree with Jennifer...just switch Ginger off the Eukanuba & ONE at the same time. Trent will already be aggrivated by a new kitty, it will be a little less stress for him to not get sick from the food, too.
I forgot to mention it, too, and was kind of hoping against hope that the foods Ginger is eating wouldn't upset his tummy, but obviously that wasn't the case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Heidi, do you know (from Eileen) that Ginger is a picky eater, has allergies, or is sensitive to any changes in diet? If not, why not just offer her the RC straight off, and see if she accepts and tolerates it? ...IME, that's the exception to the rule.
That's definitely interesting. I guess my own experience kind of backs that up. When our previous food went out of production (with no advanced warning from the manufacturer) we had to rush the switchover. Trent and Ophelia both did fine with it - better with the new food almost immediately. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I also figured that Ginger is going through enough transitions and shocks to her little system that I wouldn't shock her more with strange new food. I figured that would be at least one thing she was familiar with at her new home.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
That sounds reasonable. We did get the smallest bags available because I planned to switch her over as soon as possible.



I forgot to mention it, too, and was kind of hoping against hope that the foods Ginger is eating wouldn't upset his tummy, but obviously that wasn't the case.



That's definitely interesting. I guess my own experience kind of backs that up. When our previous food went out of production (with no advanced warning from the manufacturer) we had to rush the switchover. Trent and Ophelia both did fine with it - better with the new food almost immediately. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I also figured that Ginger is going through enough transitions and shocks to her little system that I wouldn't shock her more with strange new food. I figured that would be at least one thing she was familiar with at her new home.
She might love the change though, and adapt more quickly. I introduced my mom's new dog, a 13-year-old mutt who spent ten years outdoors only and was fed just dry food, and then lived over two years at my sister's, where he didn't get treats or premium food, to tasty bits of cream cheese and bagels in the morning, bits of cheese (and sometimes chocolate), snuggling in bed, and premium canned food: He adapted to the change very, very quickly (and my mom has been complaining for over a week that she has to get cream cheese, which she doesn't like, "just for the dogs", and now has two dogs in bed with her every night; at least she doesn't have all three).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Keeping free-feed food separate?