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Catsey Junior
 
Cats owned: Moggies
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Preston, Lancs
Posts: 90
24-01-2012, 10:14 AM   #1

Free feeding or set meal times?


What do you think is best? Or what suits your cats best and why?

Food down all the time, or a few meal times a day?



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yola's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 1 Persian and one b/w moo-cat mog
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Reading, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 12,673
24-01-2012, 10:30 AM   #2

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


My cats have always free-fed dried food. When old Balie was alive he liked the odd sachet of meat/fish but the 2 remaining cats now are happier grazing on biscuits.



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angieh's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: Magnificent moggies
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 21,718
24-01-2012, 10:44 AM   #3

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


Very much like Yola - my two have two different sorts of kibble (RC Digestive Comfort and Purina Pro Plan) down all day. In the mornings, Pip likes to have some wet food, well actually it's the gravy he likes and he doesn't eat much of the meat and sometimes Kizzy joins in. I like to encourage them to at least try a little bit. They also have a water fountain.



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truthisouthere's Avatar
Catsey Senior
 
Cats owned: Birman.
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 759
24-01-2012, 11:07 AM   #4

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


I think alot depends on how the cat regulates their intake, and also what work hours dictate to you with sticking to a regular feeding routine. Are cats natural grazers? Yes. But I think if we tempt them or feed them with too much rich food all the time, and they have little else to look forward to without exercise they could become overweight.

I try and keep to set mealtimes Hevvur because it gives them something to look forward to. There is always an array of dry food in their bowls, just as well because Mitzi always likes to have a crunch just as her ma's got settled in bed! Neither are overweight.

My 2 have the wet for breakfast always and sometimes dinner. Chesi doesn't always have much because he's a real little grazer and likes to keep active, but with Mitzi I need to stick to several set mealtimes because she has warm broth with her wet food to keep her ok with her condition and to make sure she gets plenty of fluids with her meals. But always dry food down.

What age are yours Hevvur? My 2 are quite elderly, so little and often suits them.

I've found with all my cats they like to have something in a bowl, somewhere, for a nibble. If not they panic and act like starving souls!.... Look up the 'Simon's Cat' cartoons and see how often the cat asks for food all because he has an empty plate. You'll see exactly what I mean. Classic!



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Catsey Senior
 
Cats owned: Tiger and Lester
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Inverness, Scotland
Posts: 349
24-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #5

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


Tiger has wet food at breakfast, which suits me as I hide his fortekor in there and then grazes on dry. Lester is not such a fan of wet food and is fed twice a day and pretty much scoffs it in one sitting. I weigh Lester's food now as the vet said to go on the directions on the packet but found he was in danger of turning into a fatty if I did that.



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Velvet's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 5 DSH. 2 DLH
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Nth Ireland - UK
Posts: 3,605
24-01-2012, 02:06 PM   #6

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


For breakfast they get a wet food sachet each. Rest of day its couple dishes left out for free feeding with dry food.

I love first thing in morning, they all troop in to kitchen quickly tails high in air, Misty usually squeaking loudly with excitement.

Tim is only one who keeps to same dish over by window - the others just "think" food & dash to a dish



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pamela81's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: 2 domestic short haired
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Cumbernauld, scotland
Posts: 3,192
24-01-2012, 03:42 PM   #7

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


my 2 get a puch in the morning and 1 at night, we cant leave biscuits out for them as Harris has probs with cystitis so we need to watch how much he gets. They also get sticks during the day aswell as other treats



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lynz85's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: dsh called pip!
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: scotland
Posts: 1,708
24-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #8

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


pip gets wet and dry at night, and i refill his dry in the morning. when i get home from work he'l usually try to bully me into giving him more but he was getting to porky so i've had to tell him no! to leave out food for him i'd need a dog size bowl



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Mary-Poppins's Avatar
New Member
 
Cats owned: British shorthair
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane
Posts: 2
01-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #9

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


Has anyone got any advice on how I can make Barnaby eat set mealtimes?I leave dry food out so he can graze during the day and attempt to give him 3 meals a day...but it's not working! I will put a small amount of wet food in his plate,he will eat a mouthful then leave the rest.He won't touch wet food if it has been down for more than 10 minutes.So,he eats very little and very often and the waste is shocking! I'm always throwing food away!I know it is my fault,i should put 3 meals a day and that's it! He won't starve,he has dry food after all,but he just sits there,head to one side,looks at me and waits and waits(he's doing it now!)and I melt and give in.I know he hasn't got worms so am I going to have to harden up? any advice is most welcome.Thanks.(He is still watching and waiting for just a thimbleful of food)



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angieh's Avatar
Catsey Veteran
 
Cats owned: Magnificent moggies
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hampshire, UK
Posts: 21,718
01-08-2013, 08:37 PM   #10

Re: Free feeding or set meal times?


This sounds rather like my Kizzy, she is a very fuzzy madam! Does Barnaby go oudoors/catch his own food at all? I always have to remind myself that Kizzy may well have had a mouse or similar because she eats what she catches (unlike Pip). I think if your cat is used to eating dry food at will they do not need a set mealtime. Take up the dry food and you may find Barnaby eats what he is given! If you are not worried about him being underweight, that may be worth trying.



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