Fighting and finicky eating driving me crazy!

julia123123

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Nearly a year ago, I adopted two semi-feral 8 - 10 week old kittens. I had an elderly female cat at home. I did all the proper, slow introductions. She just never warmed up to them. She STILL doesn't like them. They're full-of-energy teens now and bother her quite a bit. She sleeps most of the day, but she likes to be downstairs with us in the mornings and at night. The boys stalk her and sometimes chase her (but don't jump on her, just paw at her). She hates it and I've started keeping her upstairs in the evenings because I'm so tired of hearing her growling and hissing at them and breaking up fights, ...but then she cries because she's lonely. I put the boys up in their own room at 8:30 p.m., so she has the run of the house from 8:30 p.m. to about 8 a.m. Yes, I've tried everything to stop them from bothering her. They have oodles of toys and lots of interactive play time. Can this relationship be saved, or should I just keep them separate?

Meanwhile, these two boys have very different eating habits. One is a very light, finicky eater and will eat just a few bites at a time, but wants those few bites every hour or so. If I had just him, I'd leave out a bowl of kibble and be done with it - he'd be fine. But the OTHER cat is absolutely obsessed with food, eats as much as he can, constantly crying and begging for food. I've never seen anything like it. I took him to the vet because I was worried about his behavior, but no physical issues. I feed them about 4-5x/day but they're continually begging for more...cat #1 because he only had a few bites last time, cat #2 because he's NEVER full and ALWAYS wants to eat. Between the food issues and the friction with our older cats, I'm really stressed. Any advice?

P.S. I've tried slow feeders with our gobbler, doesn't work. He eats all the food in the feeder and begs for more.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi -
I think you'll need to continue to help out your older kitty as you have been, until the youngsters become older and more mature. It'll happen faster than you think :). If you can, try and find ways to enjoy them while they're like this.

Regarding the two different eating habits, the frantic eater may need a higher fat food. Would a microchip activated feeder help your slower eater?
 

arr

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Are you feeding wet or dry food? One of my boys loves to eat and is prone to weight gain, and I found that feeding him wet pate food, with water mixed in, really fills him up and satisfies him much more than dry food.
 
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julia123123

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Hi -
I think you'll need to continue to help out your older kitty as you have been, until the youngsters become older and more mature. It'll happen faster than you think :). If you can, try and find ways to enjoy them while they're like this.

Regarding the two different eating habits, the frantic eater may need a higher fat food. Would a microchip activated feeder help your slower eater?
Maybe, but the two boys are always together and if a feeder drops food, the "eater" will push the other boy out of the way to get to it. I work from home so I'm able to monitor them, but it is time-consuming. Finicky will eat a bit and walk away, and "Eater" will polish off both servings if I don't watch!
 
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julia123123

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Are you feeding wet or dry food? One of my boys loves to eat and is prone to weight gain, and I found that feeding him wet pate food, with water mixed in, really fills him up and satisfies him much more than dry food.
Both! They each get generous dollops of wet food three times a day (third of a can each, each time?), plus dry food feedings probably 2-3x/day. They both act like they're starving all the time. I know it's a lot of food, but they're young and energetic. Our finicky eater is already starting to slow down a bit (although the other one continues to eat whatever, whenever).
 
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julia123123

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You're right, they need all that food, maybe plus for the frantic boy :)

Maybe try this;
I did do the separate-rooms thing, but our "eater" wolfed down his food and then pawed at the door where "finicky" was eating. "Finicky" was then distracted and didn't finish his food. I think I'm going to have to feed them in completely separate areas. It's a pain because everything is all set up in their "food room" but it's the only thing I can think of right now!

I agree about the food. The vet said (months ago) that I could stop feeding them "kitten amounts" and start feeding them "adult amounts," but they seem so ravenous that I think they really need the extra food. Hopefully they'll grow out of it. I've had many cats before but never such hungry boys!
 

ladytimedramon

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Have you considered microchip feeders? One of my cats wolfs her food, the other is a grazer. When I first adopted Delilah there were no issues. When I adopted Fancy a year later, Delilah took it as an opportunity to scarf down whatever Fancy left on her dish. In the rare attempt Delilah left something, Fancy was at it. Delilah put on extra weight that way. I got 2 microchip feeders (splurged on the connected version so I can track and monitor feeding patterns). Delilah will eat her food, about half, then 10 min later the other half. She will occasionally try to get at Fancy's food but can't because I set their bowls at fast close. Fancy will go back and forth to her bowl 5 or 6 times over the day. I also have a timed drop kibble feeder for snacks.

The feeders are especially helpful since both girls developed food allergies (no fish for Delilah, rabbit only for Fancy).
 

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Your two semi feral’s have a ton of energy and are not getting enough playtime, so it’s all being focused on your girl. Get a laser pointer and literally exhaust them. After a few times even clicking it will instantly grab their attention away from your girl. You have to wear those two down.
 

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I agree about the food. The vet said (months ago) that I could stop feeding them "kitten amounts" and start feeding them "adult amounts," but they seem so ravenous that I think they really need the extra food. Hopefully they'll grow out of it. I've had many cats before but never such hungry boys!
Naw they're still teens. They can grow up to two years. (We used to think one, but the research has changed as the food has become more nutritious)

If the body condition is still good, they can have more.
 

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r-kins

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I've seen some moderate success with microchip feeders, which I'm actually considering for myself since I have one cat that needs renal food and one that needs regular food, and they both want the other's meal. It's driving me absolutely nuts.

Rachel and Jun, two cat lovers in Japan, have a video about their experience with one. Since then, they've become available in the US. They are expensive, but depending on your situation may be worth it.
 
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julia123123

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I've seen some moderate success with microchip feeders, which I'm actually considering for myself since I have one cat that needs renal food and one that needs regular food, and they both want the other's meal. It's driving me absolutely nuts.

Rachel and Jun, two cat lovers in Japan, have a video about their experience with one. Since then, they've become available in the US. They are expensive, but depending on your situation may be worth it.
Hmmm...they ARE pretty pricey, and the reviews aren't very good (on Amazon). I'll have a look around and see if I can find something else. The cats don't even like being fed in separate rooms because they're so used to eating together so I'm not sure how they'd take to something like this. I'll read up on it, though!
 

ladytimedramon

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I've seen some moderate success with microchip feeders, which I'm actually considering for myself since I have one cat that needs renal food and one that needs regular food, and they both want the other's meal. It's driving me absolutely nuts.

Rachel and Jun, two cat lovers in Japan, have a video about their experience with one. Since then, they've become available in the US. They are expensive, but depending on your situation may be worth it.
Hmmm...they ARE pretty pricey, and the reviews aren't very good (on Amazon). I'll have a look around and see if I can find something else. The cats don't even like being fed in separate rooms because they're so used to eating together so I'm not sure how they'd take to something like this. I'll read up on it, though!
I swear by them myself, and I'm glad that I splurged on the connected version. I got mine through the website on a holiday 15% off sale. Both of my girls are on separate diets (no fish for one, no poultry for the other). But with the connected version I have some peace of mind. Delilah is there the minute she hears the can open. Fancy may or may not come when the food goes out and sometimes I worry if she's eating. The feeder sends me messages when they eat and tracks how much they eat at a time. So I know that she's eating, and how much each time. I also know that Delilah is licking her bowl.
 

ladytimedramon

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I forgot to mention there is a "training mode" and you'll have to supervise them for a bit. Fancy took to her bowl immediately; Delilah took a few weeks. Training mode sets how open the door is. it goes from fully open to 3/4 open, to half open, to 1/4 open, to fully closed. But when I was getting them used to it, I was only concerned about portion size, not Fancy's diet.
 
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