Going from three servings to two while on vacation

arr

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Hello everyone,

Im thankful to anyone who can offer advice or reassurance. We are going on a one week trip soon and are trying to figure out how to feed our cats while we are gone. Currently they eat three meals a day that I have perfectly calibrated. They need to be monitored because Fizzbin will eat the girl‘s food if left unattended. We have a pet sitter coming twice a day because that is the only option open to us. The plan was to have her feed them two wet meals a day and then have the timed auto feeders dump kibble in the middle of the day. We figured out how much of the kibble Fizzbin is likely to eat and how much the girls will manage to get. The problem has become that Penny seems terrified of the feeder (I think it’s the sound of it dumping the food) and just won’t eat, so of course Fizzbin will eat too much. We can’t allow that because he is already slightly overweight, which we’ve been working on and making good progress, and I hate that this trip is interfering with that.

So now I’m thinking, would it be possible to just do two meals a day for just this week? I could take Fizzbin‘s daily calories and divide by two, and I know he will have no problem to eat his portion. Then for Chloe, who is a skinny little thing, the pet sitter can just feed her until satisfaction, and she too can put it down in one sitting if she is hungry. The problem becomes Penny, because she is very set on the portion she eats. I don’t think she’ll get enough calories, and to make matters worse, she has issues with regurgitation, so I’m afraid eating a larger portion will be difficult for her to keep down. We still have two more days to experiment, so I’m thinking of trying the two portions and seeing how Penny does. Maybe she’ll actually eat more if she’s only getting the two portions. Or maybe I should keep trying the auto feeder and see if she gets used to it. We are also thinking of having the auto feeder dump half the food we planned and just figuring Penny won’t eat but at least the other two will get a small snack. We started them on it on Monday and she’s still scared.

I hate how stressful this is. We have the pet sitter coming tonight to meet the cats and we don’t even know what to tell her about how much to feed. I guess my main question is, will they be okay doing two servings a day for a week and will Penny be okay going a little hungry? I feel terrible about it and it makes me wonder if I will ever enjoy traveling again. We have two more week long trips coming up this summer so I need to sort it out somehow.

Also, just in case anyone mentions it, we really can’t have any other situation than a twice a day visit. We are rather rural and don’t know any neighbors well enough to invite them into our home and don’t want to rely on acquaintances to drive out here. We’ve made that mistake before and we are going with a professional this time.
 
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arr

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Hello everyone,

We’ve been talking it over and I’m leaning more and more to doing two servings a day. For one thing, we‘ve been giving Penny all the wet food she wants in the morning, and when the auto feeders go off, evidently her hunger doesn’t override her fear, so I think the wet food is holding her pretty good. And then in the evening, she again can eat all the wet food she wants plus some kibble if she wants it. And with this method I can keep Fizzbin’s calories just where they should be, which will take a huge weight off my mind. My husband also pointed out that the cats are liable to be much less active while we are gone and sleep more, so perhaps they won’t need quite as much food energy.

I guess at this point I’m kind of thinking out loud here, but I think this is what we will try. With the trip in just a couple of days we are running out of options anyway.
 

fionasmom

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You have probably sorted out your only real option. It is not like you are planning to give less food really, but just to portion it out differently if I am understanding you correctly. Your husband's point about inactivity is a good one, too. It seems that Penny is the concern with the fear of the auto feeder and the regurgitation problem. Make the cat sitter aware of this so she can try to do the best she can to help Penny to eat a sufficient amount.
 

Pjg8r

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I feed three wet meals a day but also have a pet sitter only twice a day when I travel. I have the sitter feed larger portions each time to compensate but I don’t have one that monopolizes the wet food.
 
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arr

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You have probably sorted out your only real option. It is not like you are planning to give less food really, but just to portion it out differently if I am understanding you correctly. Your husband's point about inactivity is a good one, too. It seems that Penny is the concern with the fear of the auto feeder and the regurgitation problem. Make the cat sitter aware of this so she can try to do the best she can to help Penny to eat a sufficient amount.
Yes, basically we are aiming for the same amount of calories, just twice a day instead of three times. I just hope Penny can hold a slightly larger portion, but yes, we are going to explain it all to the pet sitter and she is going to be staying long enough each visit that Penny can take her time to eat. Thank you so much.
 
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arr

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I feed three wet meals a day but also have a pet sitter only twice a day when I travel. I have the sitter feed larger portions each time to compensate but I don’t have one that monopolizes the wet food.
Thank you, this is so reassuring to know that your cats adapted to twice a day. It gives me peace of mind to hear a real example.
 

vince

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I feed three wet meals a day but also have a pet sitter only twice a day when I travel. I have the sitter feed larger portions each time to compensate but I don’t have one that monopolizes the wet food.
I do the same thing when mine have a sitter. They do just fine with two somewhat larger meals.
 
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arr

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I do the same thing when mine have a sitter. They do just fine with two somewhat larger meals.
Thank you for this comment. I’m starting to feel better about it. It has helped to hear others say that it will work out fine.
 
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