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Feeding routine advice needed for 5 cats!

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by wilchil64, Aug 10, 2009.


  1. wilchil64

    wilchil64 PetForums Member

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    Hi,

    I'd be grateful for some advice here, as the situation with my cats is hard work at the moment.

    We have 5 cats, well, one belongs to a friend but is lodging with us long term until she finds a house. We have our two original cats, who are black short hair, now aged 13, neutered brothers. Then we have an old tabby who adopted us at some point, she just walked through the cat flap about 7 years ago, we traced her owner but she just kept coming back, so they said she could stay. In retrospect we were not sure she was there's, as they said she was six months old, but the vet was not sure of her age at the time, but said she was definitely much older than 6 months, however they insisted she was theirs! She looks very old but the vet said last year that her teeth are in good condition. She may be about 13 too.

    We have our Siamese kitten, who is now 9 months old, he is also neutered.

    And then our friend's tabby cat, who is 10 years old and a neutered boy.

    The main problem is they all want to eat all the time! They currently eat different food, but I'm working on that one. We've had several problems with the Siamese kitten's health, including a diagnosis with FIP which luckily wasn't the case, but one of the things he's always suffered with seems to be a dodgy tum. He gets very smelly soft stools and sometimes diarrhoea , which seems to be related to what he eats. So when we found out he was ok with Hills Kitten pouches we've kept him on those for now. However, the other cats eat Pets at Home Purely Senior pouches.

    As a compromise I am now trying to VERY gradually mix in a little Pets at Home Purely adult pouch in with Max's Hills kitten food, in the hope that eventually I can get them all on that and hope that the older cats will be ok with adult pouches rather than Senior. The reason for this? Well, they all ask for food all the time (they seem to eat non stop!), I put food down for whichever cat is asking, then the older cats come along as soon as I turn my back and eat the kitten food and the kitten eats the senior food! As they are constantly eating I can't stand in the kitchen watching them all the time! Something has to change. It is impossible to ignore them, because they are all very vocal and miaow when they want food, they don't accept that they won't be fed now, but carry on miaowing, follow me around the house, asking for food!

    I have started (yesterday) putting down Burns dry food for them in the hope that if they are really hungry they will eat it, but they don't seem to like it and also I have to watch the kitten doesn't eat it, in case it affects his tum.

    Sorry, if this sounds like a petty problem but I seem to spend all the my time standing over them making sure they eat the right food, picking up bowls and putting down bowls, and I am getting quite stressed about it. The whole situation has been stressful since we got the kitten, as we have worried about his health for so long, then had to keep them separate because of fighting - they bite and scratch each other and the vet said to be careful as they can easily develop abscesses!

    I would now like them all to live in relative harmony and become a pleasure to have around instead of a chore.

    So, what does everyone else do in a multi-cat household? Do they all eat the same food? If so, what is best - senior food for all, adult food for all, dry or wet food? I started buying Pets at Home Purely because it has at least 50% meat in it, after reading that commercial food, in supermarkets has a very low meat content which could cause a lot of digestive problems in cats (which ours have, i.e. the black brothers suffer with vomiting and diarrhoea, and of course the kitten easily gets diarrhoea or at least loose very smelly stools).

    I am very grateful for any advice at all and sorry that this message is so long!

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Kat28

    Kat28 PetForums VIP

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    I have 4 cats 2 of which have a special diet they are on hills cd cat biscuits which to be honest i leave down all the time so they can eat as and when they are hungry the other 2 have this as well its easier than trying to have 2 or 3 different lots of biscuits.The old cat and the younger 1 also like there meat so they are given a pouch in a morning and 1 at night. These 2 also have raw meat which 1 of the persians will eat every now and then but roony is a fussy little monkey and will only eat his biscuits.My youngest cat went on to adult whiskas at 6 months as she prefered to eat the older cats meat to the kitten food and the vet said she would be fine with it.
     
  3. kidsandcats

    kidsandcats PetForums Member

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    Hi
    It's a tricky one and I am not sure what to suggest about switching from senior to adult but my old cats never went on to senior just stayed on adult until the end of their life at 15. What I will advise though is if you want to start using dry food don't expect to just start eating it as it is so different to wet food. Try mixing a little dry into their wet and gradually build up with with more dry and less wet until you can get away with all dry. Make sure you have plenty of fresh water available at all times as cats get most of their hydration from wet food and none from dry so it is vital you make sure they have plenty of water to drink. The vet said to me once that if you have outdoor cats they tend to drink outside and that a cat who doesn't drink water in the home will definately be getting it from somewhere else so not to worry too much but if they are indoor cats make sure it is down all day for them.

    I weaned my kittens onto dry by mixing it with wet and eventually could leave a bowl of dry down all day but I still gave them 1 pouch of wet food each in the morning and at night.

    Sharon
    x
     
  4. wilchil64

    wilchil64 PetForums Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I will try mixing some dry food into the pouches for the older cats. They used to eat dry food in the past, we somehow slipped into the wet food, as my friend's tabby had a bladder infection and wasn't drinking enough so I thought it would be a good idea to feed him pouches instead of dry. They all thought that stuff was great! and didn't want to eat their dry food from then on. Guess I'll have to slowly wean them off it again.
     
  5. ambercat

    ambercat PetForums Senior

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    If they all want to eat at once I'd make use of that and give them set mealtimes. I've got 11 cats and I feed them once in the morning, once in the early evening and then again at bedtime, they don't get any food in between times. I always stand there while they eat to make sure all are sticking to their own dishes LOL!, but thats only 5 minutes or so (doesnt take them long to eat everything up!) 3 times a day.

    If they don't like the dry then I wouldnt bother feeding it, its not like they need to have to dry, and especially not if the tabby had bladder problems, and I also wouldnt worry about feeding different 'lifestage' foods either, they are not necessary. Wet is much better for them than dry anyway. :)
     
  6. kateaitken07

    kateaitken07 PetForums Junior

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    My lot get wet and dry. All bar one of them is on kitten food!!

    Ronnie is the only one who eats "adult" food. She has only dry and eats on the porch or in the garden (her choice!!) although she sometimes eats the leftovers the other have left.

    Roxy gets fed 4 times a day on kitten food as shes got her babies.

    I leave dry food down all day for them
     
  7. princessx87

    princessx87 PetForums Senior

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    We also have 5 and its a nightmare lol

    Break Down:-

    Princess- dry food, all day as she needed building up a little, and she was never one to eat it was always a case of a few nibbles and out the window.

    Porsha- was on wet / dry mix, 3 times daily

    Topsey- wet / dry 3 times daily (Sister to porsha)

    Storm- was the most fussy eater ever, she didn't like wet or dry, but when she did eat something, she never stopped.

    Sammy- storms son, same thing as storm.


    So to stop all confusion we have done, Wet and dry mix in the morning.
    (Small portions)

    Dry in 2 dishes, all day / during the night.

    Sammy atm, is only 14 weeks old, and has wet / dry x2 times daily.l
     
  8. wilchil64

    wilchil64 PetForums Member

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    Everyone does different things! I think I'm going to try feeding them the adult pouches, 1 each morning and evening and leave dry food down in the daytime and not give them any pouches inbetween - once I've weaned the "baby" off his kitten pouches.

    So my next question would be, what does everyone feed, ie. what brands? What is the best wet and dry food out there?

    Thanks.
     
  9. kidsandcats

    kidsandcats PetForums Member

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    11!!! They must cost you a fortune. I am feeling sad as we are bringing my two new kittens home on the 29th and one other sister is being rehomed elsewhere but the other brother is being left as no new home yet. I am so tempted to say we will have him too but hubby says we just can't afford it with the cost of pet insurance, decent food, vaccinations, worming, de-fleaing etc!

    Sharon
    x
     
  10. Cat_Crazy

    Cat_Crazy PetForums VIP

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    A while back I had an elderly cat that I fostered for the RSPCA, due to bowel problems she was on a strict prescription diet which was a nightmare with my existing cat as they used to eat each other's food!!

    It wasn't too big an issue if my own cat ate the prescription food other than the fact that it was expensive and the RSPCA were paying for it but the elderly cat got very ill if she ate any other food.

    I solved the problem by introducing set feeding times, e.g once in the morning and once in the evening.

    At feeding times I would fill a bowl of each and place the appropriate cat along with the appropriate food in a closed room until they ate there food (only a couple of minutes as they tend to finish all the food when on a feeding time).

    I then took the bowls away until the next mealtime.
    This worked well and ensured that each cat got their own food.

    Hope you manage to sort something out!
     
  11. munchbunch

    munchbunch PetForums VIP

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    I've got 5 cats & I feed them all the same dry food. I buy breeder bags of Royal Canin - works out much cheaper than the small bags. I use the skin & hair (something like that!!) - it's for sensitive stomachs too. I buy mine from North West Pets who are based in Blackpool, but they deliver free to virtually the whole country - North West Pet Foods, pet supplies, pet food for dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and more!. They're very friendly & helpful - you can order online or by phone & they sell all the premium brands. They also visit cat shows & do special prices at those. :D
     
  12. Lumpy

    Lumpy PetForums Senior

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    This is something I struggle with too.

    I have eight cats - the eldest three are 15, 14, 14, and are all overweight. My vet has said not to worry too much about getting them to diet as they are very healthy for their ages, but I obviously don't want them putting any more on.

    I then have two other cats who are just over two who are both slightly underweight and three who are 14 months who are just right.

    At one point I was trying to feed senior food, adult food and kitten food - but gave up! My cats all go outside, I work quite long hours but do pop home a couple of times most days, so they get food down throughout the day. If the two who are underweight are in I will put them in another room and feed them but they spend more time scratching at the door to get out than they do eating!

    Some eat dry, some eat wet and some will eat both. I feed raw occasionally and the youngest three will eat it but not the older ones.

    My eldest three are quite lazy and sleep on my bed a lot so I am trying to encourage them to exercise more as they will still play if I dangle a toy mouse in front of them. I think increasing their exercise is easier than trying to get them to eat just 'light' food.

    Good luck with your fur babies.
     
  13. wilchil64

    wilchil64 PetForums Member

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    Phew, some of you have a lot of cats! If my husband was reading this, he would be getting quite worried and tell me not to get any ideas! :)

    Luckily, mine aren't overweight, so that's one sort of food I don't have to incorporate! The 2 older ones have been out a lot during the summer and they do seem to have lost weight though, so I need to keep an eye on that.

    I've fed them all this morning with a wet pouch each and have put some dry food down for now. All is quiet on the western front! They are all asleep at the moment, either out in the sun or on my bed. The clamouring for food will start this afternoon, I think I'm going to have to ignore them and see if they get the message that we are having set mealtimes from now on and only dry food inbetween. I always have two bowls of fresh water down inside and a big bowl of water outside anyway.

    Fingers crossed this is going to get easier.

    Thanks for the link to North West Pet Foods, I'm having a look at it right now.
     
    #13 wilchil64, Aug 11, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  14. wilchil64

    wilchil64 PetForums Member

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    I would want to take the other one too! :( You can get some fairly cheap pet insurance now, but the vaccinations do add up.

    Has anyone read what the man who founded Burns pet Food says about vaccinations? - he thinks that boosters aren't necessary and may potentially cause a build up of toxins in the body (I think that's right, it's a while since I read the info he sent me). He is a vet, so knows what he's talking about, I guess.
     
  15. kidsandcats

    kidsandcats PetForums Member

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    Hi
    My cousin is a vet and has always said that animals do not need boosters. She advised me to get the vaccinations done initially and not to worry with the annual boosters as it just a way of vets drawing guaranteed income. It makes me mad to think that vets will put animals lives at risk just to make money. I must admit that we never gave our cats, ceifer and Josh the annual boosters because of what she said but then when they died at the ripe old age of 15 and got new kittens we reconsidered with Ted and Dusty as our own vet voiced his opinion when we had their first jabs done. I thought maybe my cousins opinion was her own. Unfortunately they didn't live until the booster age so never went down that road anyway. Now we are getting two new kittens I am still in two minds with what to do about boosters, but we have a year to think about it. I read so much stuff about vaccinations anyway and worry about it, especially after the post from the lady who's kitten died a couple of days ago after it's vaccination.

    Sharon
    x
     
  16. wilchil64

    wilchil64 PetForums Member

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    That is interesting. I didn't know someone's kitten had died after their vaccs.

    When we got Max the siamese kitten, we were told he had been vaccinated but they had no papers, because of this when we took him to our vet they recommended waiting 3 weeks and then vaccinating in case he hadn't been vaccinated. After that when he went to be neutered and had a pre op blood test, he had raised liver enzymes. Now I'm wondering if it is possible that he had been vaccinated twice and the liver was fighting with a raised level of toxins because of double vaccination. If so, it would mean all the tests, the operation for the biopsy, the cost (although luckily he is insured) could have been avoided, if the vet had thought to test somehow first?

    Ah well, that's just theory. However, I admit none of my others have had boosters for years. I'm not sure what to do with Max when it comes to time for his booster, my gut instinct tells me not to, if two vets are saying it's not necessary and possible harmful. But no cattery will take him without seeing his vaccination papers! I doubt if we'll put him in a cattery often, as usually friends look after our cats here, but if we needed to we couldn't!
     
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