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Feeding A Growing Kitten During The Day With Two Scarfers.

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by EmersonandEvie, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    So I had this nice little setup for Dexter to be able to eat dry food during the day to where Evie and Emerson couldn't get to his dry food (Evie has very bad food insecurity and will gorge herself if left to free feed). Dexter has officially outgrown our little jerryrigged system. Does anyone have any idea on how to keep dry food only available to one cat? I have seen the automatic feeders that are activated by a microchip, but I've read a lot of reviews that say a very determined cat (read: Evie) can still get to the food inside. And at over $100 plus the cost of actually being microchipped, that's a very expensive gamble, especially since we have shifted down to one income.

    Today was the first day we took up Dexter's hard food and husband said he was miserable when he got home. Just crying and begging. Then he proceeded to eat 6oz of canned food in one sitting...poor baby was starving.

    Any ideas? Husband works too far away (40 minutes) to come home on a lunch break for an afternoon snack. I live away during the week for school.

    Thank you all!
     
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  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Hi!
    What about installing an automatic/chip activated kitty door (maybe into plywood) to an area that only he can access?
     

  3. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I can't think of a door/area that we have where only Dex could get to. There is the garage but that door is metal (older house) and he is in his Destructive™ stage at the moment...I think he would hurt himself (and our garage stuff) if he was put in the garage.

    He's just so stinking big. He is maybe 6 months (the vet and I disagree about his age) and he is already Evie's size, although he weighs less.

    I told husband he should put a few "decoy" bowls out with tiny amounts of dry and then take Dexter to an area with a filled bowl so that he knows where it is. While that is good in theory, I think Evie would still find it before Dex actually got a chance to graze throughout the day.
     
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  4. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    The only other thing I could think of would be to try a chip activated feeder anyway, or to contain him with toys and cat trees etc while your hubs is gone so he can eat, because he really does need to eat while he's growing :)

    Hmmm. You wouldn't be able to get a big sheet of plywood that could be made to fit into an entryway that a chip activated kitty/doggie door could be put into? Depending on how big he is ;)...just trying to think out loud...
     

  5. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Even if we could...could the other cat just not follow him in directly behind him once the chip activated the door?
     
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  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Maybe, if that cat is determined enough, but I don't actually know how the doors work in regards to how fast they close etc :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019

  7. mizzely

    mizzely TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I wish I knew how to help. I used to try and separate my kitties for meals so I could give Lydia the things she loved but that Jasmine couldn't have and I sadly gave up! :(
     
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  8. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    Maybe you should put in a room by himself during the day so he can eat unmolested. He can be social with the other kitties at night. Of course, he will need a litter pan, too, but that's cheaper than anything chip-automated.
     
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  9. Richard2121

    Richard2121 TCS Member Adult Cat

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    How old is the kitten now? And do you feed the other two older cats dry food?

     
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  10. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I *think* Dexter is pushing close to 6 months...the vet and I disagree over his age. The other two cats get dry food but only as a nighttime treat. They are not free fed.

    DH tried to leave out several bowls of food today for Dex so I will know how that went when he gets home around 530.
     
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  11. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    We don't have an extra room to out him in, really. I think he would be very, very destructive in a room if he were to be left to his own devices for playing too. The other cats kind of keep him in line...lol
     
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  12. Richard2121

    Richard2121 TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Maybe you don't need to leave food out anymore? I have a 14 week old kitten and even he does not get food when we are away from the house for work. I have never free fed any of my kittens and I have had all my cats since they were very little. He does just fine and has adjusted accordingly. He knows every meal counts and he eats as much as he wants. I just make sure my older kitties don't take wet food from his bowl! I think 4-5 meals a day all-you-can-eat style is a great way to feed a young kitten. Then just slowly decrease the number of meals to fit your schedule! I aim for about 3-4 meals with the last meal being more of a bedtime snack from my older ones.
     
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  13. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Unfortunately this article and the ones that are linked don't address older kittens.

    Hopefully your husband has good news to report, because it sounds to me due to what you said earlier, your baby needs food during the day.

    If it's still needed depending on how today went, maybe you could create or buy a playpen sized pen with hard sides, put in a chip activated kitty door and have his food inside that. This would only need to be in place for the next few months until his food frequency diminished :)

    What Do I Need To Know About Feeding My Cat?

    Feeding Cats In A Multi-cat Household: A Quick Guide
     
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  14. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Husband just texted me and said "someone ate the food but I do not know who, so the results are inconclusive at best." I love being married to a scientist. :crackup:

    We may just have to suck it up and free feed for a few months.
     
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  15. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :lol:
    Hmmm.
    Can you give your other cats more exercise?
     

  16. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Husband could definitely try! Dexter keeps them on their toes when he isn't sleeping. Those are his modes: PLAY or Zzzz. When he wants to play, they zoom all around the house, wrestle, chase each other up the cat trees, etc.
     
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  17. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    These furry buddies of ours sure put us through our paces LOL
     
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  18. sargon

    sargon High Priest of Freya, The Slightly Bitey. Alpha Cat

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    Surefeed makes a microchip controleld feeder that only opens for the cat(s) programmed to it. it is somewhere around $200.00, however, so it isn't exactly a low cost option. Still, it is an easy solution if you have more money than time.

    A more affordable option would be to get a large storage bin or even a plywood or perhaps even heavy cardboard box) and add a magnetic cat door to it. It takes a bit of DIY, and a cat who will accept wearing a collar with a little magnetic dongle, but you should be able to exclude all but 1 cat from the food for around $50
     
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  19. vince

    vince TCS Member Adult Cat

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    I have a kitten about the same age as yours (probably a little older), and two older cats that behave like yours. For a couple months now, she's been on the three meal a day routine the same as the older two. I just have to stay close by to make sure she gets everything that she wants to eat (she eats as much if not more, than either of the other two eat).

    As others above have said, you may be able to transition your kitty to a meal schedule rather than having her free-feed.
     
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  20. EmersonandEvie

    EmersonandEvie Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I'm worried about during the workday. Husband works 40 minutes from home, so going home on a lunch break wouldn't work. So Dex goes without food for basically 9 hours if nothing is left our for him.
    We are doing the free feeding and hoping that Dexter is getting some of the food. We may just end up with a portly Evie...
     
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