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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 11:32 AM   1
Mum (Mom)
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Cats going from scheduled meals to free feeding

I have two cats that I love dearly, but they can also drive me crazy.

For years, I have fed them two meals a day.
Problem is, they are the whiniest cats ever. They will whine nonstop for us to feed them (and they're really loud about it too!), and they have started earlier and earlier in the morning, sometimes waking us up at 5:30-6am. Drives me nuts. Now that I'm pregnant, I already have trouble sleeping and these cats don't help. I wouldn't want them to do that once the baby is here either.

So as a test, I have switched them to free feeding. It's only been 3 days, but their whining has decreased quite a lot (unless I forget to fill their bowl) but what worries me is that they eat much more than before. Like 2 to 3 times the amount I was giving them for meals. I'm hoping that once they realize that food is always there and they don't need to pig out, they might slow down some. Right? Or will they just get morbidly obese?
Has anyone made that transition before?

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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:38 AM   2
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They will get used to it, cats aren't greedy animals, in the wild they will only eat as much as they need ... It depends which food you have got them on also ??

I always have dried food down for my cats, they get a bit of wet food twice a day..

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Old May 25th, 2012, 19:28 PM   3
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We used to free-feed our cats until they both got obese. We had to take them down to two feedings a day. They'd whine and moan and carry on but we stuck to the schedule and they finally shut up. There's the occasional meowy-morning, but to have them not dangerously obese is worth it.

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Old Jun 10th, 2012, 18:26 PM   4
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My cat is an ex stray and estimated at around 17 years old now. I have had him for 6 years. He had to have all but one of his teeth removed and so he will eat dried food but only when he is absolutely starving and loves wet food. But only whiskas, he wont touch anything else!

He free eats but is a pain in the bum as he always appears and lingers around our feet whenever we go near the kitchen. He also plays me and OH off against each other so he gets fed loads! I dont know if it is because of being a stray but up until this year, he has always scoffed everything in front of him in one go. He is not overweight and all he does is sleep and eat so I dont know where he burns it off.

I used to have a special call for him when i fed him so that he would associate food with the call and would only come when called which was a lot better but this went out the window when i split with my ex and now he just pesters by following us in the kitchen and if he has gone a good while (6+ hours) will get under our feet elsewhere in the flat and make a show of running towards the kitchen and stopping to make sure we are following to indicate he is hungry.

He is fed little and often. I think he would drive me insane if he was only fed twice a day!

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Old Jun 13th, 2013, 10:52 AM   5
Mum (Mom)
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From my experience of how many free fed cats I know that are ridiculously fat, I wouldn't advise it. My old cat before rehoming him was given very strict set meals from day one and never whined, even the dogs know not to whine when their dinner is late because I just do not give into their whims. A few months after being in his new home he quickly grew obese, lazy and was just a shell of the active cat I raised.

However I understand about not getting enough sleep, its sooo much harder to be a strict owner when you're pregnant and tired with a hundred more important things than the little tiffs they get into lol. So if you feel it makes your life easier then why not, the cats may get a lil fat, just try to moderate how much they eat overall.

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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 10:18 AM   6
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I feed her when she asks really. Although she loves her food so going to have to watch her xx