I have two indoor cats. One of them is pretty fat and he eats and sleeps alot. The other one is more slim. I have tried to make the fat cat eat less (since my other cat doesn't get that much to eat, they only get a certain amount per day). But so far I have not managed to get them to share in an easy way - other than forcing the fat cat away from the food when he tries to eat.

Is there a way to get him to eat less or force him to, without me having to guard the food?

2 Answers 2


Instead of forcing the lean cat to eat in a "prison", like a carrier box or a closed room, you could take advantage of the fact that the fat cat is just that; fat. Can he jump as high up as the lean one? Can he fit through a hole so tiny that the lean cat is just able to wiggle through?

Find such place in your home that only the lean cat can jump onto, and put the food bowl up there. Show the place to the lean cat, so it'll know where to find food. The fat cat can't get there; problem solved.

Example of a cat's ability to jump and climb:
enter image description here
(This animated gif is found in several pages in internet, I don't know whom to credit for it.)

I currently have this situation with our cats. We have five cats, the youngest of which is overweight. I feed four of the cats on kitchen counter. This one cat is not willing to jump even this much, a relatively low (85 cm/34 inches) height for a cat, but simply waits on the floor until I give him the leftovers after the other cats have all eaten.

  • Good idea... but my fat cat is able to bend the laws of physics and jump higher than the slim one!
    – mpowered
    Commented Nov 13, 2016 at 16:40
  • @mpowered - I sealed a small, sturdy cardboard box and used an exacto knife to cut a small hole on one side, which was too small for Mr. Chunkster to get in and out of. Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 20:04

We have a similar situation where one bunny needs more food then the others. They all share a common bowl, with a share for each of the 3.

When we need to feed the bunny who requires more food, we place him into a carrier and he gets a separate feeding all by himself.

  • 2
    Yup. This is the answer - separate the cats at feeding time, so you can make sure each is getting the portion you decide to give them.
    – hairboat
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:14
  • 3
    While that might work well for bunnies, I believe cats are not the same. Cats need to eat more continously all day around and not just at specific times, which would make this quite time consuming. I'll probably give it another try though.
    – martin
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:21
  • @martin actually the bunnies have a requirement to eat hay all the time and that is available to them all the time (which might be comparable to dry cat food), the eat food pellets as a treat/supplement (which might be comparable to wet food for cats), it is just the treat/supplement that needs to be limited. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:25
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    @martin I'm not sure that's true. When I adopted my current cats the folks at the shelter specifically advised not free-feeding them; they recommended offering food twice a day and picking it up after they'd had their fill. I didn't follow that advice after the initial household integration (I've always free-fed), but the fact that they're advising this makes me think it's ok. Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:39
  • Good to know. It's not like they get as much as they want - there's a daily dose and when it's out they'll have to wait till next time I fill it up.
    – martin
    Commented Oct 9, 2013 at 19:41

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