If you have multiple cats and are willing to prevent them from becoming malnourished or obese, then it is necessary for you to prevent them from eating each other’s food.
Are you convinced that your cats will obey your commands and eat only when you feed them? Well! Not exactly.
Cats have a natural instinct to eat each other’s food because of their feline territorial behavior.
My cats were always eating each other’s food. I would say that it was a never-ending war, because my dominant cat, Simba, would always eat from other cats’ meals.
I went against the norm and tried something new, I found the ways that worked for my cats. Below, I have provided a blueprint of what I have done.
Why Do Cats Steal Each Other’s Food?
If you are a true pet lover then most chances are that you have more than one cat at home. When you are having multiple cats at home you face problems in feeding them. You faced the same issue that’s the reason you are here, no worries we have mentioned a few ways that you can try to stop your furry friends to eat each other’s food.
Are you curious about why your cats steal each other’s food? It is because cats are from feral families & it’s their will to the survival instinct. Mostly, if you keep felines in packs then some cats are more dominant than others. There are different reasons like this why you may see this type of behavior in your cats.
If you do not address this issue in time then you may see the results in your cats. You may find you are giving an equal amount of food to every cat but, some are suffering from malnutrition.
Tips on How to Stop Cats From Eating Each Other’s Food
1. Creating a Feeding Schedule
If you are filling the food bowl & leaving the cats then it is not the correct way. It encourages the cats to protect the food from the other cats. It also makes it a more difficult situation for you to monitor the food intake of individual cats. You will have to stop free-feeding it is not the ideal way of feeding your felines.
If you schedule feeding time for the cats then it might solve this problem. Choose the appropriate timing for feeding your cats & then provide the food to your felines. Once they are finished then just clean the bowl & arrange them in one place.
Your cats might take some time to adjust to the schedule but it’s fine they will get used to it they will bug you at the feeding time.
2. Separate The Cats
If you have scheduled the feeding timing, then you can do an add-on you can feed your felines in separate rooms. It will give an overview of how much do you each feline eats. however, if the cats are in separate rooms then there are no chances of stealing food from others.
You should give them adequate time to finish the food, you can stay & watch them & check for any odd behavior. Once the food is finished then you can remove the bowls, slowly & gradually your felines will learn about the scheduled feeding timing.
3. Always Remove The Food Bowls
If you are providing food in the different rooms, then you should keep in mind that you should remove the bowls once your feline has finished eating.
However, if you continue to leave the bowls in the same place where you feed the cats, then it may encourage your cats to keep stealing food whenever they get the chance. You can wait until your cats are finished eating. You will have to enforce this routine until your cats are accustomed to it and are following it.
4. Set Some Distance
If space is an issue & cannot use separate rooms then you can try setting the feeding bowls at some distance. By doing this you will demoralize the dominant cats to steal the food. Moreover, you also prevent that territorial instinct to come over & start a fight.
You can also separate the feeding bowls by height, placing one bowl on the floor & another one on the tabletop. Choose any of the ways you have to monitor their feeding time, it avoids a cat sneaking into another’s bowl.
5. Feed Appropriate Portions
Feeding your cats in appropriate portions is very essential as per VCA hospitals obesity is the most common disease in cats. In fact, round about 30-35% of cats are in the obese category, also 50% of cats aged 5-11 years old. They weigh higher than the ideal weight of a cat, Conversely, this is because of stealing the foods & overeating.
This might lead your furry feline to short lifespan osteoarthritis, joint problems, bladder stones, heart disease, and cancer. If you do not want to risk your cat’s life then you should provide the servings in a certain recommended amount by the vet. If you have any doubts then you can ask your feline veterinarian for recommendations based on your cat’s individual history.
When a Cat is Considered Obese?
When your cat is weighed over 10-20% above its ideal body weight then it is considered your cat is overweight. If your cat is weighed over 20% or more above its ideal body weight then it is considered obese.
How Much Time Should I Feed My Cat
A cat must be fed at least two times a day, you can keep 12 hours gap in between the meals. If the time of 12 hours passes by in between the meal timing then the cat’s stomach can become hyper acidic & cause nausea.
If you want to follow the perfect proportion then you may have to feed them in breakfast, lunch, afternoon, dinner, and right before bed.
What Can I Put in My Cat’s Meal?
Cats are obligate carnivores, they need meals very simple. You can provide canned food or raw prepared meat. If your cat gets rich protein food then it might be helpful in many ways such as for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system.
You can give them cooked beef, chicken, & turkey, in their meal. If you provide them with raw meat then it could make your cat sick.
How can you tell which cat is dominant?
When you are placing the feeding bowl then you may see the dominance. you have to keep an eye on their ears they will stiffen the ears & slightly rotate them sideways.
You also have to keep an eye on their tail if your cat is dominating some other cat then it will raise its tail in the air. Moreover, you might hear a few voices like hissing and yowling.
This leads us to the end, These ways would be helpful to you & your cats. You can modify the blueprint as per your cats’ personalities and behaviors.
As mentioned earlier you have to follow the right schedule for feeding the cats, or your cats may suffer from hyper acidic stomach & which can cause nausea.
If you are following these ways then. It may also involve a lot of trial & error. You should be patient in the entire process, as it might take some time for your cat to adapt to the situation.