Combination Feeding Schedule...

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by MissMolly08, Jul 17, 2017 at 5:17 AM.

  1. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 3, 2017
    Sorry for so many questions lately, just trying to figure this all out!

    As some of you read in my other posts, I have a 9.5 year old female DSH that was free fed dry all her life. About a month ago, I came across this site and started adding wet food into her diet. We started slow with just 1 feeding a day (1.5oz) as we rotated through brands/proteins to see what she liked and what her tummy could handle...
    Now I am finally down to only 1 new food left to try and then I will have my rotation of foods. I would like to start adding in a second feeding of wet but I'm not sure how...
    Currently, she is getting her daily portion of dry food (1/2 c) in the morning and then her 1.5 oz wet for dinner. She actually adjusted to this fairly quickly! The first couple days, she gobbled up most of the dry before I even gave her "dinner". She quickly realized though that once that dry was gone, I was not refilling the bowl like I used to and she started eating only half the dry in the morning and leaving the other half to snack on AFTER dinner. There was usually even some left the next morning!
    So now I am wondering how to make yet another change to her schedule.... She will be moving to 2 wet feedings (1.5oz 2x a day) and I would like to continue giving the dry for her to snack on in between but I'm not sure if that means I should give 2 wet meals and 2 dry meals or give the whole portion of dry in the morning and let her self regulate again or what...
    She loves the wet food and will 100% choose that over her dry which is great for a kibble kitty! So would it be appropriate to give her the wet and dry at the same time in 2 feedings.... Like 1.5oz wet and 2tbsp dry in the morning so she will gobble up the wet first and then have the dry to top her off and nibble on until dinner... Then again 1.5oz wet and 2-3tbsp dry for dinner... again gobbling up the wet first and having the dry for overnight snacking?
     
  2. thehistorian

    thehistorian TCS Member Adult Cat

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    So, honestly, I saw the word snack and went "NOPE". Do not give her any dry food as a snack or leave it out for extended periods of time. That will just feed her attachment. Other than that, you are doing everything right. However, if you really eventually want to completely transition here to wet, I would make the following suggestion: feed her wet food in the morning. The reason being is that the lapse between dinner and breakfast will make her more keen on it. My two cats go 11 to 12 hours between their dinner and breakfast. I was able to break my big boy's die-hard attachment to dry with this method. And yes, it is perfectly safe for cats to go 11-12 hours between meals.

    The first thing to determine is how long does she go between her dinner and her breakfast? About 9 to 12 hours should adequately jump start her hunger, so when you put down wet food in the morning she will gobble it up. Then for lunch I would give her another small portion of wet food. Then at dinner time I would give her the dry.

    How I feed my fur babies should serve as an example:

    6:00AM: I put down two whole cans of wet food. They usually lick the bowls clean within an hour.

    12:00PM: I take one half of a Nutro Natural Choice tray and split that into a further half. Lunch is generally meant to be the smallest meal of the day anyway.

    6:00PM: I put down two bowls of dry food, each with 1/4th a cup of dry food in them for a total of 1/2 a cup.

    My own plan is to eventually work up to putting one bowl of 1/4th a cup of dry food down at 6PM and put a whole can of wet food in the second bowl. Within a year, my plan is to serve 2 whole cans of wet food at 6:00AM and two whole cans of wet food at 6PM. If it is necessary I will serve a 1/8th a cup of dry food for the afternoon hours.

    It's a project with cats. LOL
     
  3. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 3, 2017
    I'm not aiming for a 100% wet diet which is why I mentioned combination feeding. I'm going for 50/50. I just don't know how to fit the dry into the schedule.
    She actually has had no problem taking to the wet food! She loves it! It's ME that wants to keep the dry food for budget reasons.
    With her getting 1.5oz twice a day, she still needs 1/4 c. of dry to meet her daily calorie needs.
     
  4. thehistorian

    thehistorian TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jul 2, 2014
    United States
    Ah, I see! Well, in that case, I would still suggest the following: wet food in the morning, a tiny bit of wet food in the after noon, and dry food for dinner. I suggest this because again - although you are not aiming for 100% wet - the space between dinner and breakfast will help jog her hunger she will finish it sooner. You never want wet food to sit out too long. You want it to go as fast as possible. Then she may be ready to go at noon or in the afternoon for more.

    So, for the afternoon meal for my babies I use the following:

    Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Cat Food Trays, 2.6-oz, case of 24

    I use one half of the tray and split it between them. It's a bit pricey, but it does the job.

    Sheba (if your cat likes it), has a more affordable tray version, so you can try that for the afternoon meal. Obviously, since you are feeding one cat, you would probably portion this out much in a much different way:

    Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Multipack Poultry Entrees Cat Food Trays, 2.6-oz, case of 12 twin-packs

    But the trays are awesome for when you have to portion stuff out for whatever reason. So for your girl, maybe one can of wet in the morning, 1 half a tray in the afternoon, and 1/4th a cup of dry in the evening?
     
  5. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Young Cat

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    Jul 3, 2017
    Thanks for the suggestions. She does like Sheba but we were using the cans and now they have discontinued them :sigh:. I feel like the trays are so overpriced. The cans were 3oz for about 60 cents here. The trays are 75 cents for only 2.6oz.
    Right now I have FF classics, ProPlan true nature, 4health (Tractor supply store brand) and just added Merrick rabbit pate in my rotation.
     
  6. thehistorian

    thehistorian TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Jul 2, 2014
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    Yeah, I feel you on how over priced they are. If you think she will eat cold food, you can split a can in half and save the other for the next day. Some cats can be weird about that, though.
     
  7. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Young Cat

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    22
    Jul 3, 2017
    That's what I have been doing so far. I take it out of the fridge 45 minutes or so before meal time and let it come up to room temp and she's been fine with that. I've learned that she isn't very happy with food that's been in the fridge more than 2 days though...I guess the quality is too degraded by then for her so I am trying to rotate to where she eats all of 1 can within the 2 days.
     

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