Kitten (cat) Feeding Schedules? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-22-2011, 06:13 PM
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Hi everyone,

I have had my kittens since 7/8/11. They are now over 5 months old. I made the mistake of always having food out for them as I had done with my kitties before.

The Calico has become a bit pudgy and the tabby, being a naturally larger cat, not so much. The first day I didn't leave food out constantly they were so upset they kept pushing the feed dish around the kitchen floor. Since then they have became more used to it. Still some begging.

I feed them Evo brand dry. Should I feed them only twice a day? I'd like the Calico to slim down a bit before her spay which is in early November.

Any insight into feeding schedules. Thanks.
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#2 Old 09-24-2011, 12:14 PM
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I have just switched my cats to scheduled feedings, and the two girls are fine with it, but my boy gets pretty antsy. He was homeless for awhile when he lived in Toronto, though, so I think he's still not totally sure he isn't going to starve. I do a small meal in the morning, a snack as soon as I get home from work, and a meal before I go to bed at night. Three things I've found helpful so fare are: immediately wash the food bowls and put them away to dry. That way no one is staring at an empty bowl and dragging it around the floor all day. Second, almost 100% of the time that I've fed them dry at a scheduled mealtime, since they've actually gotten HUNGRY by this point (which they still aren't used to) they over-eat, the kibble expands in their tummy and somebody barfs. Feeding canned food essentially eliminates this problem, as it's already wet and doesn't expand. Lastly and most importantly, SAVE THEIR BIGGEST MEAL FOR RIGHT BEFORE YOU GO TO BED AT NIGHT. Otherwise you may be woken up by yowling kitties way before your day is scheduled to start.

Hope this helps!
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#3 Old 09-24-2011, 12:45 PM
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I like to recommend feeding a couple times a day. I also find if you feed a couple times, they eat a little less because they aren't starving by the time of their meal. Since you have multiple cats you may want to feed them in separate rooms so that they don't finish theirs and go for the other cat's food. Cats are very smart and will learn the new system quickly.

Also! Cats will learn how they can manipulate you for more food! Don't let them train you into giving them more food. They might cry, or sit by their bowls or by the food. Food doesn't equal love, it equals diabetes! Fat cats are very prone to diabetes later on. It's best to keep them at a healthy weight for their whole life to prevent it.

What are you feeding them now? Any particular amount or just a bowl full?
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#4 Old 09-24-2011, 12:56 PM
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I feed my cat a measured amount only once a day, but she is usually pretty good at conserving food throughout the day instead of eating it all at once. Twice a day, portion-controlled feedings versus free-feeding are a really good idea though.

To figure out how much they each need, look at the nutritional info on the back/side of the cat food bag. It should have a chart that has amounts in cups according to the cat's age and weight. Once you figure out how many cups of food each cat needs per day, divide this amount by two, and that's how much you should feed at each feeding. For the overweight one, if she does not slim down on this regimen, then you can decrease the amount of food she gets slightly.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Julie

"I remember the days when we talked for hours/And we were young, we thought we had superpowers/We weren't our problems, our age or our paychecks/And we weren't taking anybody's $h*t."
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#5 Old 09-24-2011, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegbunny83 View Post

I feed my cat a measured amount only once a day, but she is usually pretty good at conserving food throughout the day instead of eating it all at once. Twice a day, portion-controlled feedings versus free-feeding are a really good idea though.

To figure out how much they each need, look at the nutritional info on the back/side of the cat food bag. It should have a chart that has amounts in cups according to the cat's age and weight. Once you figure out how many cups of food each cat needs per day, divide this amount by two, and that's how much you should feed at each feeding. For the overweight one, if she does not slim down on this regimen, then you can decrease the amount of food she gets slightly.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

Julie

The back of the bag is a good start, but it should be used as a high number usually. The amounts there are for intact (not spayed or neutered) cats that are already at a healthy weight. If you want them to lose weight, try making that amount a little smaller. Weight them weekly to see if you need to adjust their portions. It's important to have them loose weight slowly because they are prone to something called hepatic lipidosis. It is caused by not drinking enough water (which cats don't drink a lot to begin with) and the breakdown of fat essentially flooding the liver and somewhat poisoning it. To avoid it, make sure your kitty has plenty of fresh water and you should aim for a loss of 0.5-2.0% of its body weight per week.
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#6 Old 09-24-2011, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn.Movement View Post

The back of the bag is a good start, but it should be used as a high number usually. The amounts there are for intact (not spayed or neutered) cats that are already at a healthy weight. If you want them to lose weight, try making that amount a little smaller. Weight them weekly to see if you need to adjust their portions. It's important to have them loose weight slowly because they are prone to something called hepatic lipidosis. It is caused by not drinking enough water (which cats don't drink a lot to begin with) and the breakdown of fat essentially flooding the liver and somewhat poisoning it. To avoid it, make sure your kitty has plenty of fresh water and you should aim for a loss of 0.5-2.0% of its body weight per week.

I agree, the numbers on the back of the bag are for maintenance of an already healthy body weight. She said only one of the cats was overweight though, which was why I suggested slightly lowering the recommended amount for that cat if switching from free feeding to controlled feeding wasn't enough for the cat to lose weight (which it often is). You should be safe following the formula on the back of the bag, but obviously if you see them losing or gaining weight when you don't want them to, you can increase/decrease the amount slightly.

Hepatic lipidosis isn't actually caused by drinking too little water... it's caused when an overweight cat completely stops eating for whatever reason, and the cat's body goes into starvation mode and starts breaking down excess fat proteins for energy via the liver, which does overload the liver and causes it to stop functioning in some cases. There's probably little chance of this happening to young, healthy cats unless some other disease process is present, but I totally agree that they should lose weight slowly to avoid any complications.

Julie

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#7 Old 09-26-2011, 01:23 AM
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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies.

Right now, I am feeding them when I get home from work at about midnight and then a smaller amount before I leave for work at about 2 PM. I have broke down and fed them some around 8 AM or so in an effort to be sure they allow me to sleep. Normally they do pretty good.

So far they have adjusted pretty well and the calico's little gut seems a little smaller. I've also thought about more canned food. They seem to do OK on the dry. Even though they are litter mates they are two completely different build of kitties with two completely different personalities. This could mean an ongoing challenge.
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