You think it’s an easy feat. You’re the one who feeds them, so your cats should be obedient to you right? Wrong!
My cats were always eating each other’s food. It was a never-ending battle and no matter what I did, one cat, Boots, would always eat from the other dishes.
So I tried something new. First I did some digging on what to do about this. Then I formed a plan and put it in action. Below, I’ll show you what to do.
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Why Do Cats Eat the Food of Others?
Are you a cat person or a dog person? If you are the former, then chances are you may have more than one cat at home. When you have multiple cats at home, feeding them can result in some problems. For instance, cat owners would often search on how to keep cats from eating each other’s food.
If you are curious about why your pet cats would scramble and fight during feeding time, it is merely because of their will to survive.
If you own multiple cats, this could really pose a big problem as some cats are more dominant than others. If this is not addressed properly, it may and will result in your pets not being nourished with the right amount of food.
Tips on How to Keep Cats from Eating Each Other Food
1. Create a feeding schedule
One of the things you should avoid as a cat parent is to do free-feeding. Free-feeding is not scheduling a definite time in the day to feed your pets. Some pet owners would dish out food in the morning and leave it all day. You can start by creating a schedule.
Allot about two to three feeding times per day and stick to it. If your pets are used to free-feeding, they may constantly cry and whine at the start but keep pushing it, and they will eventually follow suit.
2. Keep them separated during feeding time
Once you start on a scheduled feeding time, make it a point to do the feeding into separate rooms or areas. This tip is the best solution on how to keep cats from eating each other’s food. Since the cats are in different places, they would not have any access or opportunity to steal the food of others.
Just remember that even if you feed them separately, you should still give them ample time to finish their food. Give them thirty minutes and then take away the food bowl. Eventually, they will learn and stick to the established feeding schedule.
3. Remember to clean up and pick up food bowls
Sometimes separating them in a room is not enough. You have to remember to clean up and pick up the food bowls. This way other cats would not linger and eat excess food that is not meant for them.
Always monitor them during their feeding times. Once they get used to this setup, then you do not need to do as much monitoring, and you can leave them be.
4. Always be ready with water and litter box
Whenever you feed your cats, do not forget to put enough water and have their litter box accessible. It will save you the pain of cleaning up the unwanted mess. Some cats may utilize the litter box right after eating, so it is better to be prepared than deal with the mess later on.
5. Invest in automatic feeders
If you have the money to spare and you cannot deal with watching your cats eat all day, then an automatic feeder can be a big help. There are plenty of automatic feeders available on the market.
The trick is knowing and buying the right one that will suit your needs and your cats’ needs. There are wireless, chip-enabled, and programmable feeders available. Shop around, read reviews and see which one fits your needs.
6. Put some distance between food bowls
If space is your concern and you do not have ample rooms in your home then simply putting some significant space between food bowls is enough.
Just giving some distance in between can be effective especially if your cats are not that territorial. Make sure that they have enough room to move around though. This can prevent them from stealing and sneaking other cats’ food. It is still best that you keep an eye on them during feeding times just to make sure that they do not fight or steal some nibbles.
7. No space? Use height!
Not all of us have the luxury of having multiple rooms in our house. If you cannot separate your cats by room, then make use of height. This simply means putting a feeding bowl high and the other bowl low. You still need to keep an eye on them during feeding as the cat can jump and eventually eat all the food of the other cats.
8. Feeding cats with different diets
Sometimes cats have special needs and diets. If that is the case, feeding them separately is essential. You can always make a makeshift feeder if an automatic or specialized feeder is out of the budget.
If possible, you can also try feeding your cats with the same special diet food if the budget allows it. If this is not applicable, then keeping a close eye and applying the tips above are the safest bet to ensure your cats get what they need.
9. Feed the right amount of food
Overeating is a real thing between cats, especially if your cat gobbles up everything in sight. To ensure that this would not happen, just place the right amount of food during feeding time.
A good way to determine the right amount of food is by reading the food labels on the cat food. You can also ask your vet for recommendations on the right servings.
10. Monitor pets during feeding
If all else fails, go the old-fashioned way. By monitoring and watching your pets while you feed them. This can be quite inconvenient, but it is one of the solutions on how to keep your furry friends from eating each other’s food. Through time, they will learn to mind their own business and eat their own food.
Cat feeding can be quite a pain sometimes. You need to dedicate some time to ensure that they keep to their feeding schedule.
The tips mentioned above are just some of the ways on how to keep cats from eating each other’s food. It could be effective or not depending on your cats’ personalities and behaviors. It may also involve a lot of trial and error. Hopefully, these tips will help you solve your problem and keep your cats happy and full.