Freefeeding vs Food Restriction

Willowy

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To be fair, millions of years of evolution necessitated eating anything and everything you could whenever you found it. Which is kind of what gets us (and our fat little Beagles) in trouble in the modern world, lol.
 

Furballsmom

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W Willowy yes, exactly.

As discussed many a time, some cats are wonderfully self regulating, and some are like Betta fish and other types/species of fish who typically don't have an off switch and will simply keep eating to their own demise. (On the other hand I actually have a Betta who runs against the grain, and stops eating after a few pellets).
 

kittenmittens84

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Cats will not starve to death in a day, and frequently we accidentally reinforce the “meow for food -> get tasty food” behavior cycle so then you get a lot of cats who just meow for food regardless of how hungry they actually are and you just have to resist and remind yourself that dinner is at 6 and they can survive an hour until then just like they do every day!
 
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The Goodbye Bird

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That's so true. Last night, Mingo was back in the kitchen meowing for food an hour after I fed him.
A lot of the comments on this video refer to the cat being "spoiled" and I find that a little unfair, but this seems to be an example of what you three are talking about.

 

DreamerRose

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They are not spoiled. It's that Pavlovian response. Before pop-top cans, my cats would come running whenever they heard the can opener. My two now always follow me into the kitchen, ever hopeful.
 

cataholic07

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Yeah I agree. I am going to draw the line at food-restricting a pregnant queen. If she weighs a metric tonne so be it. Those fetuses need nutrition.



Food-restricting just gets to me disproportionately for some reason. I have a persistent sort of nightmare about waking up to all my animals having starved even though nothing close to that has ever happened. In fact I've always been the animal guru from the time I was a kid. If it was some exotic-looking reptile or weird frog somebody found in the Everglades, I could get it eating when no one else could. My little pack of friends used to hang out at the reptile shop and gab about what we found instead of buying anything because we didn't have any money. Sometimes he'd trade us food for what we found. I wasn't always the best at finding but I was definitely the best at caring for.

If I need to get over it I'll get over it. I've already had to, to some degree with the dog. It's just very, very difficult for me but I would climb to the moon to do this so whatever I gotta do, I gotta do.

It's not just because it makes me feel bad though. I honestly don't think my measuring cups and the latest research on exactly how much of what Fluffy ought to have can equal to millions of years of evolution, and I kind of think Fluffy knows best.

Cats were designed to hunt mice and birds throughout the day yes, but not dry food. Cats were never designed to eat carbs that is in the dry food. They can be chronically dehydrated on it, and can have health issues because of being only dry food like UTIs. Some cats are good at self regulating yes, some aren't. I have seen some fat intact cats before. Honestly to me unless your breeding purebred pedigreed cats that are not only health tested but you keep kittens until 12 -14 weeks and have them fixed before they leave.. your cats should not be not fixed because you worry about weight gain. Dry food will always cause a cat to gain weight no matter if they are fixed or not. It's carb heavy, filled with fillers and sugars. That's just the way dry food is. I don't free feed because my cats would get overweight, and well I feed raw so can't really free feed that lol. But I like to know who is eating and who isn't, I also find that regulated meals help strengthen the bond between owners and their cats. Even with shy fosters food was the best way to help get them out of their shell and learn to trust me much quicker.
 
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The Goodbye Bird

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Dry food will always cause a cat to gain weight no matter if they are fixed or not.
That's counter to my experience. However, I don't really like dry food anyway, though some cats came to me unable to eat anything else.

I'm willing to take advice and it seems everyone is pro-food-restriction so I suppose that's just what I have to do.

I wonder if it's okay to just have mealtimes and let everybody eat up, then save whatever is left so it's not always out. This would mean that everybody gets their fill, but they aren't always munching.
 

Furballsmom

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I wonder if it's okay to just have mealtimes and let everybody eat up, then save whatever is left so it's not always out. This would mean that everybody gets their fill, but they aren't always munching.
This certainly would be worth a try :)
 

Talien

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That's counter to my experience. However, I don't really like dry food anyway, though some cats came to me unable to eat anything else.

I'm willing to take advice and it seems everyone is pro-food-restriction so I suppose that's just what I have to do.

I wonder if it's okay to just have mealtimes and let everybody eat up, then save whatever is left so it's not always out. This would mean that everybody gets their fill, but they aren't always munching.
That's how I do it. I set the food out and give them 20-30 minutes or so to eat, then if anything is left I put it in the fridge and set it out again after a few hours.
 
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