I have two cats and one is very over weight (18 lbs) while the other is a very healthy weight. The smaller cat never over eats but the larger cat always eats too much. I keep dry food out for them all the time but that method of feeding is clearly not working for the larger cat.

I've thought about trying to put the smaller cat's food up higher but the large cat is still very agile and can get wherever the smaller cat can.

Any suggestions as to the best way to helping the larger cat lose weight without completely changing the smaller cat's routine? Also any thoughts on the best amount of food food to start feeding the larger cat when I put him on a diet?

  • You're hard to reach location isn't hard enough. Healthy cats should be able to jump considerably higher than overweight cats. Height/distance are going to be the biggest factors in choosing the right location. I have a shelf about 4ft (+/- several inches) off the ground that my healthy cat can jump up no problem but my heavier cats either cannot or are too afraid to try - it is working wonderfully.
    – Enigma
    Jun 5, 2015 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


As you say, free feeding isn't working for one of your cats.

You can attempt a mechanical solution if you can find or create a place the non-overweight cat can get to but the pudgy one can't. If the latter is not able to jump as high, moving the daytime food up onto a counter or shelf might work; I've seen this succeed, once. Or you might need to go technical, with a cat-identifying cat-door giving access to a container holding that bowl of kibble.

But realistically, since you have to put one of them on a defined meal plan, it'll be easier to just do that for both of them.

  • There unfortunately is not any area that the larger cat can't get to that the smaller one can. I've thought about a mechanical feeder but the issue is I'd need to watch them every time they eat because the smaller one would stop eating and the larger one would end up probably eating two thirds of the food. I'm open to putting them both on diets but am trying to find a solution that will not require me to literally watch their every move every single time I feed them... Jun 4, 2015 at 16:42
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    Have you tried just feeding them in seperate rooms? Letting the larger of the two out only when the slimmer of the two has finished?
    – Aravona
    Jun 5, 2015 at 11:10
  • Friends did that by-room separation for many months, when one of their cats required a diet that wouldn't have been good for another. But in this case it sounds like simply having a defined mealtime rather than nibble-at-will might do the job.
    – keshlam
    Jun 5, 2015 at 14:36
  • Sorry for the delay here. I ended up switching to a much better quality food (I was feeding blue buffalo which markets itself as grain free but is not - I switched to gofit) and this has helped a lot. I also stopped the free feeding for a period of time but it was a lot of work. Now they get a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of gofit in the morning and a 1/2 can (3 oz can) of Spot Stew at night. This has helped a lot as the big cat has lost a few pounds and both cats have much softer coats. Apr 15, 2016 at 13:17

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