Cats can share an automatic feeder, but there are many factors that will determine the difference between success and failure. At the top of the list is the number of cats you have, how they behave during feeding time and their feelings toward an automatic feeder in general.
Can Cats Share an Automatic Feeder?
Multiple cats can share an automatic feeder, but you should consider getting a separate feeder for each cat. This will be especially true if you have one that’s particularly territorial about food or if you have multiple cats with differing diets.
So, if you have only two cats that generally eat at different times, then one automatic feeder will be fine. In all other cases, it’s best to get one for each. This will ensure each cat gets enough food and will have a bowl of their own to claim.
What to Look for in an Automatic Feeder for Multiple Cats?
Before considering an automatic feeder for your herd of felines, you have to consider how they eat, when they eat and how they interact with each other at feeding time. You want to ensure each one gets enough food while keeping territorial, bullying behavior at bay.
Types ; Models
There are many different models. Some link up with microchips, others use voice recording and yet most are standard, only refilling the bowl once it’s empty. These are often manual, meaning there’s no mechanical or digitized parts at all.
But others are often machine-based or robotic, which can freak some cats out. Although the scene may be amusing, this skittish behavior may prevent the cat from eating altogether. This isn’t good for any cat because they could starve. You will have to do a bit of research and hunting around.
Is It Good for Cats to Have an Automatic Feeder?
Most veterinarians agree that automatic feeders aren’t good for cats. Since many models fill up the bowl once empty, your kitties will chomp down all day long and at their leisure. If this goes unchecked, they can develop serious overweight health-related problems like obesity and diabetes.
Sometimes They Are Okay
Of course, this won’t always be the case. To know if an automatic feeder is good for your cat will depend on your cat and the type of automatic feeder you get. Remember, though, that automatic feeders are for the convenience of the owner and not necessarily for the benefit of cats.
Also, consider how the small moving parts create high-pitched noises that can hurt a cat’s ear drums. What’s more, the mysterious, unprovoked movement may put the cat off entirely.
How Do You Introduce an Automatic Feeder to Multiple Cats?
Before you go out on a limb and purchase several automatic feeders for each cat, just start with one. You want to see which cat doesn’t mind it, which other one doesn’t like it and if they need adjustment time. All this will be a matter of trial and error.
Once you determine how it can work for your cats, you can then decipher how many of these you will need. It would be a beautiful stroke of luck if your one overweight cat doesn’t mind it and your other special-diet baby avoids it.
This way you can feed them at separate times and they may very well stay away from each other’s food due to the default setup.
Don’t Just Switch Feeding Apparatuses
However, understand that you can’t change their eating apparatus out of the blue and expect the cats to adjust to it right away. It’s good to try one meal and see how it goes. Continue doing this for a few days, one meal with normal bowls and another with an automatic feeder.
Monitoring ; Observation
Once the cats adjust to the new way of eating, then change it over entirely. Only do this if they’re amenable to the idea. Even then you want to monitor them. Make sure they’re eating enough or that
they’re not eating too much. Also watch for bullying and territorial behavior.
Another thing that can happen is one cat may at first be okay with the automatic feeder, but eventually stops. So, you’ll have to go back to feeding in the regular manner and leave the automatic feeder out of the picture.
How Can Automatic Cat Feeders Help with Feeding Multiple Cats?
If you have cats cohabitating well together, then you can get a manual auto feeder. You simply fill the top with food in the morning according to the precise measurement appropriate for each. Ensure you watch them to see how they behave and that they each get enough.
Territoriality ; Obesity
In the case of territoriality, an automatic feeder can help keep them separated. If you have a cat that bullies at feeding time, then having an auto feeder that only identifies the victim will prevent the bully from eating the other’s food. This will also be true for piggy cats, but you will have to work it a different way.
Finding one with a feature allowing for portion control will go a long way in helping feed multiple cats. You could plan it out so that when it’s time for the fat or bullying cat to eat, the auto feeder will distract them. You can then feed the others without worry.
Will an Automatic Feeder Help with Feline Obesity?
The only time an automatic feeder will help an overweight cat will be one that has features to control the amount of food dispensed and the time at which it dispenses the food. Some have chip identification that tracks, measures and identifies the cat for which it’s intended.
Other than that, it’s not a safe bet. Far too often, owners get a manual auto feeder and don’t monitor the calories the cat is receiving. Although some cats are good at self-regulation, many others will keep eating until they think they’re full. This can cause obvious health issues.