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The situation now is that we have a 6 year old cat (no breed) with his special dietary food and a small kitten of 5 months (Mainecoon / Norwegian forest cat mix) with her special kitten food. We don't have a feeding schedule as the cats are not food obsessed and eat their bowl throughout the day. As the kitten food is much tastier than diet food, our big cat tries to get to it, but for now we have made a box for the kitten's food where only a small cat can get in. But as she will get much bigger, the box system won't work. Also the kitten sometimes eats the big cat's food seemingly just for company. So the question is what to do in that situation? Do we make a feeding schedule for the small cat or both of them? And how to go through that slowly or just start different feeding?

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    Welcome! Are you feeding wet food or kibble?
    – Stephie
    Sep 10, 2020 at 15:11
  • Kibble @Stephie
    – demiters
    Sep 11, 2020 at 8:03

1 Answer 1

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I recently had to start feeding both of my two cats different food. I accomplished this by switching from leaving food out all day to feeding them twice a day. It was much easier than I expected. When I put the food out, I just make sure each cat starts with their own bowl; I find they stick to their bowl and don't try to switch. I don't have to stand over them and enforce it.

I thought my cats would start waking me up for the morning feed, but they don't. I think that's because I don't serve them breakfast until about a half-hour after I wake up. Also, I give them more food in the evenings, so they aren't ravenous in the morning.

There are mechanised bowls that will open only for a specific cat. Some work by detecting the cat's microchip, so your cats would need to be microchipped. Others work by detecting a special tag on the cat's collar. These special bowls are expensive, and I have no idea how well they work. This might be an option you could explore if necessary.

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  • I have since bought some of the feeders with microchips, and have found that it works very well. It was easy to get them to use it, because it had a training setting where you start by leaving it open until they are comfortable with the bowl. Then you set it to twitch slightly when they approach. Once they are comfortable with that, you set it to close slightly when they are done and reopen when they approach. Finally you set it to close and open normally. The ones I bought were about €75 each, IIRC.
    – mhwombat
    May 15 at 15:58

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