Living in a multiple cat household has so many wonderful rewards and benefits but it also comes with a few challenges. One of those challenges many cat parents face on a daily basis is how to manage feeding time. It can become a struggle to keep one cat out of another cat’s food bowl. A cat parent begins to feel more like a kindergarten playground monitor or even a traffic cop whenever mealtime comes around.
The mealtime routine can get even more complicated when one or more cats must be placed on a special diet. The reasons for individualized diets can vary greatly. You may need to feed growth formula to a kitten while trying to keep the adult cats focused on their own food or maybe one cat has been prescribed a special diet for chronic renal failure or even a reduced calorie diet for weight management. Whatever the reason, it can be difficult to keep cats from wandering away from their own bowls to check out what another is eating.
Feeding individualized meals may seem like an impossible task in a multiple cat household but with a little planning and patience, it can be done. Here are eight tips to get you started.
1.Have the Needed Supplies for Feeding Your Cats
If you’ve been feeding out of one big food bowl for all of the cats, you need to get the right supplies before you implement a new mealtime plan. Each cat will need their own food bowls. If a number of the cats will be eating specific diets then it may help to buy bowls of different colors or types so you can more easily keep track of who gets what food. The cats certainly won’t care about color but when you’re trying to remember what food you put in a specific bowl, it’ll help. You can also write the cats’ names on all the bowls with a permanent marker. Develop whatever plan you need so you or anyone else feeding your cats won’t accidentally offer the wrong food to the wrong cat.
2. Take it Slow
Abrupt changes in food can be upsetting to a cat’s stomach and may also lead one or more of the cats to reject the new formula. In general, cats don’t like change so any diet changeover should be done gradually. Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to do the change based on your specific cats and based on the urgency of any medical condition that requires the nutritional change.