Am I feeding my cat enough??(8 Posts)
I was hoping to get some advice about my cat. Bit of background, we've had him 6 years he's a rescue cat but we think he could be (at least partly) Maine Coon. He's big (6kg) and has a diagnosed heart murmur (apparently this can be a characteristic of a Maine Coon).
I love him so much he's such a big sweetheart but he's driving me a bit insane at the moment! He's started waking me up early in the morning wanting fed, meowing leaping about the bed and his favourite at the moment is lying down on my pillow surrounding my head, purring heavily and occasionally licking my head. I didn't mind so much when it was just before my alarm went off about 6.30am but it's getting earlier and earlier, this morning it was 4.15am! And he didn't settle down again properly he was just campaigning (as we call it!) until I got up at 7.30.
I realise this is a habit of many cats but the thing is is that I'm 6 months pregnant (first baby) and I have a job where I'm on my feet for 9 hours a day - I've been lucky so far with symptoms but I am starting to get tired and sore and I desperately need my sleep! Now when he wakes me up I truly feel like I hate him and I can't bear feeling like that, I'd hate to be one of these people that ignores their pet once a baby appears!
I'm sure he's not been this bad for the last 6 years, he seems to go through phases. Could it be that he's changed since I got pregnant? He's been the same with me otherwise. We live in a small one bedroom flat so shutting him out isn't an option, we hear him yowling and scratching wherever we put him and I've read that denying a cat free access to it's territory is very stressful for it.
I was wondering if getting a timed feeder might be a solution? We could time it to open about 5am, but I'm worried this is just setting him up to expect to be fed at 5am and it would make the situation worse. Basically at the moment he gets a morning pouch of food then another at 6pm then another at 11pm, does this seem enough for a cat of his size?
Oh another bit of relevant background is that he refuses to drink water, at all. When we first got him we'd feed him pouches and have a bowl of dry food but he'd just fill up on the dry food (he LOVES it) and leave the wet food. As he wasn't drinking water at all he soon became really dehydrated and ending up getting cystitis and then a blocked bladder! Ever since then the vet advised only giving wet food, occasionally mixed with water to make a soup (he hates this but he'll tolerate it to get to the food). We tried everything with the water (including an expensive cat fountain) but he's just not interested. So maybe he's mistaking thirst for hunger?
Anyway sorry this is long wanted to get all relevant info in, if you have any advice I'd be very grateful!
How much do the pouches say you should feed according to weight? Go by that to judge the amount. We feed our lad smaller more frequent meals as that seems to work-he would still eat at the same frequency but would happily eat twice what we give him!
Wet food does have a high water content and some cats aren't big drinkers. On got days I have added a small amount of water to wet food so it doesn't look too different. Some cats prefer drinking out of your drink so have you tried putting water down in a "human cup" away from his food?
No advice on the early waking, ours is the same 4.45 this morning. I think it's the light
mornings and the birds are chirping away.
Trying to work out your times, after his 5am feed are you not feeding him until 6pm, thane one at 11pm as that's a long gap between meals, I have a mainecoon
and he eats a lot more then that, we actually use a dog bowl as cat bowls are to small we fill this every morning with royal canine cat biscuits and in between if it's all gone, I would feed more often and maybe mix dry food in with it to make it more filling, our boy is very greedy and still acts like a baby very loving cats
Thanks for the replies!
Sorry I should've made it clear he doesn't get fed when he wakes us up early, we wait until we get up which is 7-7.30 so that's when he gets his morning feed. The thinking was that he'll learn it's pointless to wake us earlier cos he gets fed at the same time every day - unfortunately he's a determined cat!
But I suppose 7.30am until 6pm is a long time,maybe leaving a bit of dry food out for him during the day would be an idea. Although he loves it so much he'd wolf it all down as soon as we put it out! But he'd maybe get used to it.
The cat food box says 3-4 pouches per day but I looked on the internet and the recommended amount was way less for a cat his size so I was a bit confused. He does seem hungry a lot of the time but I can't tell if it's genuine or just that greedy way! We'll maybe try smaller more frequent meals and if that doesn't work then up his intake.
Thanks again for the advice!
I have been told dried food is better for their teeth as it helps with reducing plaque.
Wet food has a high water content so he’s possibly not getting enough food from the food iyswim.
My cat eats only dried food but drinks well. My mums cat (a rescue stray funnily enough) only eats dried food and rarely drinks water despite all efforts. He was getting frequent urine infections (mainly to due stress/anxiety) so she changed his dried food to a more expensive one with stuff in for this problem. He’s only had 1 urine infection now in the last 3 years!
Also, the dried food you can just leave down for him to eat when he wants .... and maybe collect rainwater as they apparently prefer this ...
Does he have any dry food out that he can snack on? Does he get any treats during the day too? It's a long time for him to go between meals. Cats often like to graze rather than eat two meals a day.
I'd keep a bowl of water out too, whether he drinks from it or not. You might find giving him biscuits makes him want water.
He could be reacting to your pregnancy. But it's hard to tell, cats are weird.
If he is very vocal and pestering for food a lot, it is worth getting him checked for diabetes or thyroid problems.
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