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How to monitor food with more than 1 cat?

(20 Posts)
DollyParsnip Wed 18-Jan-17 10:50:22

Hi

We adopted 2 cats at the end of October, a Mum and her Son. She is approx 18 months old, and her son is about 7 months old. When we got them they had been living with 3 other cats in a 1 bed flat and, although not neglected, they were very skinny and needed feeding up.

We were advised to give 1 x sachet of wet food per day between them and keep biscuits out all day which we have been doing (plus the occasional treat of Like-e-Lix or the weird semi-dry treat sticks). They are both a lot healthier and heavier than they were and seem very happy!

However. The Mum is very nervous and the Son very boisterous and I have noticed since we got them that she will wait until her Son has eaten before she goes for food (the same with treats). This is slightly concerning me as Son is now seeming to eat all the wet food before Mum gets a look in, and I can't be sure how much dry food she gets as she's a grazer. I was advised to give them both kitten food as the Mum also needed the extra calories, however I have tried alternating Cat /Kitten food and biscuits in case it was the smaller bits that made it easier for the Son to eat it quickly, and I've also tried giving them a pouch each but that seems too much.

Any suggestions? She is a very petite cat compared to Son, who is shaping up to be very long and a bit of a bruiser. They generally get on well so I don't think he "bullies" her out of the way; she's just a little more wary and will often run away if I try to encourage her to eat at the same time as Son.

Thanks in advance for any help!

DollyParsnip Wed 18-Jan-17 10:56:25

Oops, here's their photo!

mistermagpie Wed 18-Jan-17 10:59:12

I have two, one is bossy and a total grubber and would happily devour both dinners if I let him. Mine are only on wet food and eat it all immediately when it's put out, so I just feed them at opposite end of the kitchen and supervise until they are finished. It only takes them about 5 minutes to eat their food so I will be emptying the diswasher or making tea or whatever while I'm supervising them.

I used to feed the more timid one up on the kitchen surface (I know, I know, hygiene...) but he has got a bit more confident over the years, so they are both on the floor.

mistermagpie Wed 18-Jan-17 10:59:30

They are gorgeous by the way!!!

mistermagpie Wed 18-Jan-17 11:01:36

Sorry for the million posts, are you feeding them from the same bowl? Stop that straight away if you are, use seperate bowls and put them as far apart as your kitchen will allow.

LTBforGin Wed 18-Jan-17 11:01:40

Aw I love it when they cuddle together!

Is it possible for you to lock one out the room and feed them one at a time? Have the two bowls of meat at opposite ends of the room?

LTBforGin Wed 18-Jan-17 11:04:09

Maybe have three food bowls of biscuits-just small amounts in each one. So then greedy boy can have his own with one extra if necessary and that will leave queen with a bowl to herself

PinkSparklyPussyCat Wed 18-Jan-17 12:01:47

Have you thought about microchip cat bowls? I've only seen the Sureflap ones but there might be others out there.

NewCatSlave Wed 18-Jan-17 12:07:06

Dolly Firstly they are adorable smile

We have a similar problem in the Slave household - and end up supervising all meal times and if the smaller one still doesn't get food we end up distracting greedy guts with snuggles until the smaller one has eaten.

StumblyMonkey Wed 18-Jan-17 12:11:43

Agree with PP....we have four cats.

Three girls that are delicate eaters and one monster sized (not fat, just big) male cat who will eat everything in sight immediately.

We feed the girls with DCat4 shut out of the room until the girls have finished their wet food then let DCat4 in to hoover up the remains.

StumblyMonkey Wed 18-Jan-17 12:12:30

With dry food we just leave it out for all four to snack on whenever as even the monster DCat4 won't Hoover that down in one go.

DollyParsnip Wed 18-Jan-17 13:49:49

Hello, thank you all for your really helpful responses - I am a novice at this so all help gratefully received smile.

They each have their own food bowls (though Son seems to take this loosely) and there's no fighting if they're both eating - it's just tempting Mum in in the first place. Tried giving her food where she was sitting today, just outside the door, and she looked at me as if I was mad and skipped off back to the sofa!

I guess it may just be that she's not as hungry as Son, maybe she eats more overnight and just prefers biscuits confused. Will definitely try some of the suggestions here though!

Thank you!

LTBforGin Wed 18-Jan-17 13:59:45

If you're ever sitting for any length of time (mumsnetting) get a bag of dreamies/chopped chicken/ham and try and tempt her over with them.

It will help her to bond with you. It may well be that the boy comes over too and tries eating it all but keep at it. She'll come over in time

Mistykit Wed 18-Jan-17 13:59:50

I have the same issue with 2 of mine. I work around it by giving Greedy cat her food first and when she's finished I give Claws of Blades her half whilst I nudge Greedy out of the way or put her out (that lasts about 2 mins in this weather & cat flap). Other times Claws of Blades will eat at the same time but only a nibble, so I take her bowl away when she's had a nibble (so Greedy doesn't eat it) until she's ready for more (after a wee usually). Other times I plonk Claws of Blades in front of her bowl to eat, giving lots of pets...this usually does the trick and she then eats at the same time as Greedy (sometimes only a nibble though and have revert to the second option).

If anyone can come up with anything else I would also be grateful. Greedy is quite fat sad

Blooming hard work the lot of them but they are such cute masters.

eddiemairswife Wed 18-Jan-17 14:18:13

I had to feed them in separate rooms with the doors firmly closed. I couldn't believe the strength of a small cat desperate to eat the food of an larger, older house mate after she had wolfed down her own portion.

Rollypoly100 Wed 18-Jan-17 22:24:53

Highly recommend Sureflap microchip feeders.

LazySusan11 Fri 20-Jan-17 12:19:49

We have 2 cats and because they're on differing amounts of food due to lazy girl being a greedy bugger we bought the sure feed microchip feeders. They are brilliant and hopefully she will soon start to lose the excess pounds.

wtffgs Fri 20-Jan-17 12:28:29

Those microchip pet feeders are amazing! Sadly no longer an issue for us, our more timid cat was pts with kidney failure sad I used to feed them separately. Greedy boy would snaffle timid cat's food before his own. He was an absolute git about it (still we remain enslaved to him wink)

dodgydonkeysdoodah Fri 20-Jan-17 20:50:18

I have to feed mine in two different rooms as one is very greedy and the other rather nervous.

DollyParsnip Sat 21-Jan-17 20:34:04

Hello all,

Thank you so much for all of your really helpful suggestions! Since my OP I've started to sit in with them whilst they eat, feel like I'm stalking them grin.

It now appears that Son actually just eats all of the jelly from the food; Mum is left with quite a lot of meat but it looks less as I mix the meat in with some biscuits (on the advice of CPL lady, to stop him bolting food). Have also noticed that she prefers meat with gravy to jelly so I've been alternating the food types and she seems to be getting more of a look in!

I swear I've been more stressed about the amounts the Cats are eating than I ever was with DD as a toddler!

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