The only thing better than owning a cat is owning more than one cat. While a multiple-cat household means additional snuggles and cuddles, it can also mean a little extra work when it comes to mealtime. Fear not! We’ve assembled this tasty buffet of tips to help make sure all your feline companions get the proper amount of food and nutrition.
Why Cats May Have Different Diets
Similar to their humans, cats’ diets vary for a number of reasons. First is personal preference. Some cats want dry food, others wet. Some like different flavors or to dine at a specific time.
Other reasons your cats may require a more specific diet include life stage or lifestyle:
- Older cats appreciate food that’s softer and easier to digest.
- Kittens need bite-size meals that help build their growing muscles and immune systems.
- Overweight cats need food to help them manage their weight without sacrificing flavor or nutrition.
- Some cats may need to take prescribed medication with food.
Now, how can you make sure each cat is eating the right food come suppertime?
6 Tasty Tips for Feeding Cats Different Diets
1. Take It Slow
Make any changes to your cats’ diets gradually over the course of several days. This will help reduce stomach issues or requests to “speak with the manager.”
2. Schedule Mealtimes
Instead of setting up a 24-hour buffet, schedule regular times for dining. This helps ensure your cats are hungry when it’s time to eat and won’t steal from anyone else’s dish throughout the day.
3. Be a Lunchroom Monitor
The best way to prevent fights over food or other eating issues is to keep an eye on your cats when you feed them. You’ll be certain everyone is getting a proper meal, and you’ll get some extra time to hang out together.
4. Separate Dining Rooms
Try feeding each cat in a different room, putting their food bowls far apart or separating eating spaces with a barrier like a baby gate, trash can or chair.
5. Take Mealtime to a New Level
Another option is to put one cat’s meal on the floor and the other’s on a countertop. This works well if one of your cats is older or heavier and can’t make the leap.
6. Stay Patient and Positive
Your furry friends might not take to these changes immediately, but kind words, your ongoing affection and judicious use of treats will go a long way toward having them accept a new mealtime routine.
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Confused by the ingredient list on your kitten’s food? You’re not alone. Marketing pet foods that have “human-grade ingredients” is becoming commonplace. While appealing to many pet owners, it is important to be aware that the term “human grade” has no legal definition and is used primarily for marketing purposes.
Foods, typically meats, are labeled either as “edible” or “inedible, not for human consumption.” Once a food leaves the human food chain, even if it is of outstanding quality, it has to be labeled “inedible, not for human consumption.” Therefore, meats used in pet food must be labeled as “inedible,” regardless of the source or quality of the meat. The only way to make a pet food with ingredients deemed “edible” is to never let the meat leave the human food chain and actually manufacture the pet food in a human food facility and transport it using human food trucks. Therefore, advertising a product as containing “human-grade ingredients” is untrue if it is not manufactured in a human food facility. However, just because a pet food isn’t marketed as being “human grade” does not mean that the ingredients are poor quality.
Here are some tips to help understand ingredient labels:
- The ingredient list is not the only method you should use to select a pet food, because it doesn’t provide pet owners with enough information about the quality of the ingredients or the nutritional adequacy of the overall diet.
- Instead of concentrating on ingredients, pet owners and veterinarians should look at the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement and the quality control protocols of the manufacturer. For more information, see the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s brochure “Selecting the Best Food for your Pet,” available at
Opens a new windowwww.wsava.org/nutrition-toolkit.
- The ingredient list may be arranged to make foods as appealing as possible to consumers by the order of the ingredients (e.g., having lamb first on the ingredient list) or inclusion of seemingly desirable ingredients in the diet, but often in such small amounts that they have little or no nutritional benefits (e.g., artichokes and raspberries listed after the vitamin and mineral supplements).
- Having more ingredients does not make a diet more nutritious.
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