2 cats, separate diets.....

(7 Posts)
SilveryMoon Thu 10-Oct-13 20:13:39

I have 2 cats. One, the female has urinary issues so the vet has recommended she goes on special food for it.
For the past year, both cats have been on the same diet, so I have put food into 2 bowls that live next to each other in the kitchen. Now, I have to make sure she gets this food and he does not. I also have to put medicine in with the food for a while.
She-cat does not like to be touched, is a very nervous animal and you cannot approach her, she legs it if you so much as twitch.
Any ideas/tips on how I can change the eating habits?
The vet said if she-cat has a favourite spot, I should use it. Her spot is in the airing cupboard. I have put a bed in there for her and she often goes there for quite time.
I'm not sure if the other cat will go in there and take her food (probably) if I put it in there (which is obviously not ideal).

Should I put food down for a set time and then remove anything that's not eaten, or leave food out for them to graze? I do the grazing thing at the moment, but think that might have to change to encourage them to eat in a more controlled way that I can monitor, you know?

CatOfTheDay Thu 10-Oct-13 22:54:43

Can they both have the urinary diet when she's finished the medicine? It will make it loads easier for you!

I'm the expert on this, we have 9 cats, 3 of them on different diets to the others, and I normally get landed with feeding duty. It goes roughly like this:

Fill a bowl with urinary tract healt food, send cystitis cat upstairs to eat it and shut the door.

Go into kitchen with the rest of the cats except IBD cat, and shut door to kitchen. Feed cats on floor, then put kitten's kitten food in bowl on worktop.

Put small morsels of kitten food in other cat's bowls to distaract them from the whole bowl of kitten food whilst I quickly go back into the front room to give IBD cat his digestive paste and a bowl of chicken and fish.

Back into kitchen - remove interchangable cheeky cat from kitten's bowl so kitten can carry on eating.

Give hyperthyroid cat pill when she's finished eating

Pick all bowls up so IBD cat doesn't get any!

It's like a military operation - I've pretty much perfected it though (apart from there always being a cheeky cat stealing the kitten's food!) smile

SilveryMoon Thu 10-Oct-13 23:01:08

Wow, that sounds like a hectic job!
The vet said it wouldn't do the other cat any harm but it wouldn't do him any good so not sure.
She cat went into the bedroom earlier so I left medicated food in there and closed door so I know she ate it.
The problem is because my cats are so anti social I can't get hold of her. The other cat isn't too bad and I can pick him up and remove him. Suppose it'll have to be that for now but I ideally want to set up a set routine and place for them.
Should I put food down for a certain time and then remove bowl so they're not free to eat as they please? Can't see any other way to keep her away from regular food. Or is the answer to put them both in urinary diet?

CatOfTheDay Thu 10-Oct-13 23:05:35

I've found that when you feed in seperate rooms a few times, they tend to get the idea and follow you to the right place.
IBD cat already knows he has to wait a few minutes and he's only been on the diet for about a week! smile

SilveryMoon Thu 10-Oct-13 23:27:43

That's good. Boy cat would be fine with that. She cat on the other hand I don't think would. She is such a nervous one and doesn't like to be around us much. She does come and show affection but doesn't like us to touch her :-(

CatOfTheDay Thu 10-Oct-13 23:31:55

Either way would be OK, but I'd lean towards giving them both the urinary tract diet and leaving it down.

I'd prefer to free-feed ours but it's not logistically possible at the moment so I pick the food up, but cats have small stomachs designed to eat several small meal per day (like small prey in the wild) so tend to work better that way.

SilveryMoon Fri 11-Oct-13 18:21:40

I googled it and looked at the brands website. It seems that I can't put both cats on the urinary diet as there is something in the food which dilutes the urine and to give that to a healthy cat would probably cause them some discomfort.
I think I will try to feed she-cat in private with the special food and leave boy-cat's bowl where it is and then she can graze if she wants during the day. Can't see it being a huge deal if she has a bit of regular food as long as the majority of her diet is specialist........?

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