If you have more than one cat in your household, you might notice that one likes to eat more, while the other eats less. This can be a concern if you have one cat on a weight loss regimen or in need of a therapeutic diet. The good news is that there are a variety of high- and low-tech options to decomplicate the multi-kitty mealtime dilemma.
Automatic feeders are a high-tech solution that only allow access to specific cats. These feeders are great if you need to keep a cat with a diagnosed food allergy away from a certain food. You can also get a separate feeder for each cat to make sure they only have access to their specific food — both the type and amount. Such feeders are programmed to open based on a microchip or radiofrequency ID tag that the cat is wearing.
A low-tech way to manage multiple cat dietary needs is to place one food bowl up high for a more agile cat to access, while restricting your overweight or arthritic cat to their own food on ground level. But take caution not to set up a situation where anyone gets hurt trying to reach a bowl. Another option is to feed each cat in a separate, closed room or in his or her own cat carrier. This also trains cats to love their carriers and can assist with transport to the vet.
Creative solutions and a little extra effort can make mealtimes less like herding cats, and more of a delight in knowing you’re keeping your beloved felines healthy.
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Emily Kalenius, DVM