Adjusting meals post COVID

Juniper_Junebug

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Here's another solicitation for advice on helping kitty adjust to my being back in the office.

Since adopting Juno in October as a kitten, I've been feeding her three meals a day, plus a little kibble late at night. Now that I'm going back in the office more, I need to figure out a new routine. It also happens that Juno is now just over a year old, so I think I need to start slowly feeding her less as well. But I could use input on how to do this so it doesn't cause any more stress than necessary, since the back-to-work transition is already hard on her.

I don't have any timed feeder dish at the moment. On days I go to the office, I just set out kibble before I leave in the morning, after she's eaten her breakfast. Sometimes I put it in a puzzle feeder so she only eats it if hungry. On these days, I feed wet late at night instead of kibble. Should I get a wet timed feeder so I can feed that during the day instead? If so, any recommendations (space is a premium). If I continued to leave kibble in a puzzle feeder, would that be fine and would she learn to pace herself eventually? (She doesn't seems overly food motivated, though she does seem to be a little obsessed with the Dr Elsey kibble, more so than her kitten kibble). Or should I get a timed kibble feeder?

I suppose I could stop feeding her in the middle of the day, but that seems like it would be too much change, after I'm already changing a lot of her routines. But maybe down the road when she's adjusted?

That's a lot of words for a simple question, but any advice is appreciated.
 

daftcat75

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I would definitely give her a daytime wet meal for her if she’s up for it. It’s better for hydration, better for her gut and butt, better for weight control, and better overall.

My recommendation for timed feeders:
AWISE Automatic Pet Feeder for Dogs and Cats, 1.5 Cup Food Dispenser Feeder with 48-Hour Timer - Single https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FT93YM2/?tag=thecatsite

It’s worth mentioning that out of several hundred uses, that feeder failed to open only a few times. But the first time it did and Krista had a stomach acid barf waiting on a meal that never came, that was enough to convince me to buy and deploy these in pairs. I would take her daytime and overnight meals and split them across two feeders and stagger their opening. Two lunches or two overnights are better than one. 🐷😹

Krista took to the feeder on day one. And sometimes I still got a paw in the face in the middle of the night if she thought the feeder wasn’t opening soon enough. 🤦🏼‍♂️😹 But it was still easier to simply pop the feeder for her if she was especially persistent than to prepare the meal inside. 👍😴

June 6, 2020 (Krista passed in Aug 🌈):
She finished second dinner an hour ago and is already waiting on her overnights 🐷😹😻
D841E35E-6A52-4DAC-B34B-A051C5AFD6A2.jpeg
 
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danteshuman

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If you can’t afford a timed feeder; I would just switch her wet meal lunch with her dry food snack (give her extra dry to start with.) Whatever you do, do it everyday. It will cause less confusion then only feeding her a wet food lunch when you are home.
 

suzeanna

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A little more than twice as expensive as the first feeder linked, but I have the 5-meal version of this: https://www.amazon.com/Cat-Mate-C500-Automatic-Digital/dp/B01AUYLVU8/

Even though I mostly just use it to provide her 3 a.m. kibble snack, it's been helpful when we've occasionally gone away for the day to feed a couple small kibble meals at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. (home in time to feed her 10 p.m. wet meal). I know lots of people have used this for wet food too, but I haven't had much need to so far. It's also pretty resilient -- she's tried and failed to break into it quite a few times!
 

daftcat75

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A little more than twice as expensive as the first feeder linked, but I have the 5-meal version of this: https://www.amazon.com/Cat-Mate-C500-Automatic-Digital/dp/B01AUYLVU8/

Even though I mostly just use it to provide her 3 a.m. kibble snack, it's been helpful when we've occasionally gone away for the day to feed a couple small kibble meals at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. (home in time to feed her 10 p.m. wet meal). I know lots of people have used this for wet food too, but I haven't had much need to so far. It's also pretty resilient -- she's tried and failed to break into it quite a few times!
I don't like the wheel feeders because it rotates any uneaten food back inside the feeder. With the clamshell design, there is no time limit on a feeder portion once the feeder has opened. The same feeder link I posted above has a 2 compartment model for $5 more. Though I also prefer individual feeders so that the cat can attack the bottom dregs (those last stubborn pieces) from all angles. 😹
 

suzeanna

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I don't like the wheel feeders because it rotates any uneaten food back inside the feeder. With the clamshell design, there is no time limit on a feeder portion once the feeder has opened. The same feeder link I posted above has a 2 compartment model for $5 more. Though I also prefer individual feeders so that the cat can attack the bottom dregs (those last stubborn pieces) from all angles. 😹
Ahhhh! Good points. For our use, the portions have been in carefully measured amounts and there was basically zero chance of her not finishing immediately or within a couple hours (e.g., 20 kibble -- she's been on a strict diet for months and has been very gradually losing weight).
 
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