Savannah Cat Chat - THE Place for Savannah Cat Talk

Welcome to the Savannah Cat Chat Forum! Our forum has been in existence since 2012 and is the only one of its kind. We were here, serving the savannah cat community before Facebook and Instagram! Register for a free account today to become a member! Please use an email program other than Hotmail, since Hotmail accounts are blacklisted by many servers and ISP's. Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site in some of the forums by adding your own topics and posts. But in order to take advantage of the full features, such as a private inbox as well as connect with other members ad access some of the larger topics, a donation of $2.99/mo or $25/yr is requested. This will allow us to continue running this forum!

Help segregating feeding

John Popp

Site Supporter
#1
We have 2 cats and a single kitten. All three have different dietary needs and all three seem to have a fascination with the others food.

One is on a reduced protein diet, prefers kibble and of course isn't allowed.

The second is a piglet who is on a reduced fat diet, feeding raw chicken with the skin removed, and will clean up any morsel left behind by the others.

The third, our kitten, largely has no interest in food and will wait until he's assured that there is absolutely nothing else going on before he'll eat anything. He's fed raw 3x a day, on demand kibble from an egg shaped puzzle feeder.

Currently they are being fed in 3 different portions of our home. Doesn't seem to matter as inside of 5 minutes they have all switched which food they are eating, and the kitten uses the bait as a good opportunity to ambush the older cats who don't always welcome his childish games.

Preparing their food isn't as difficult as it may seem, it's just the delivery that's problematic. Short of feeding them in carriers/crates I'm pretty much at a loss for what else I can do. Even getting them crated for meals still leaves the issues with the on demand kibble for our kitten.

Any ideas would be appreciated and depute having been through this before, I guess with a new kitten we are just presented with a new issue. I would like to have better resolve before the entry of a new kitten because as soon as he enters the picture science in resolving this will become art with the new set of variables added.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
Sounds like it would make sense to get the new kitten trained from the beginning to eat in a crate or in a room where the door can be closed. I've been very fortunate with my 3. One is a piglet and he eats in the laundry room with the door closed or he'd inhale his food and then raid the other two. One eats in the sun room and one eats in the powder room. Those two will first eat their own food before they switch rooms to investigate the leftovers of the other. As soon as they see me preparing the food, they run to their respective dining areas and politely wait to be served. If that didn't work so well here and especially if one or more had special dietary requirements, I would put each in a crate for their meals or they would each eat in rooms with doors that could be closed.
 

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
#3
John, I read the post and say, "Hmmm just like Mayhem." Your kitten. He will eventually eat. More and more and I am convinced these brothers are identical.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#5
Sorry John. I know the challenges multiple cat households can present. I often wish I would have been disciplined enough to clicker-train my brood when they were kittens. I have fantasies of them all lined up at their feeding stations in the same room patiently waiting for their food, eating only their food and not fighting over food. I visited my Taji's breeder a few times and when she fed the adult cats, she'd have their dishes all lined up in a single row and each cat (16 of 'em) would go its own bowl, eat, and walk away. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open. When I asked her what she did to make that happen, she said "they just learn." Yeah, riiiiiight. If I tried that here, the cats would be slapping each other and screaming like banshees.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#6
John, I read the post and say, "Hmmm just like Mayhem." Your kitten. He will eventually eat. More and more and I am convinced these brothers are identical.
You then know all too well the obstinance, recalcitrance and in a heartbeat decide they want to be affectionate. Getting into the others food isn't because he likes it, it's because he can and certainly it's going to reveal some type of new game or sport. I will say the puzzle feeder has been great, although he shakes and rolls it around until it's nearly empty before he decides to eat any of the kibble.

The unfortunate part in all of this is the veterans know exactly what it means when they hear some ruckus with a third party and make a quick dash to his food. It's a vicious cycle, and of course pure mayhem.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#8
I think you will either have to stay with the separate dining areas as you've been doing, but maybe work on it not being areas they can access the other cat's area so easily. Crate training likely would be the answer if you want to be regimented about what they eat. Or sit there supervising them as they eat, continually pulling off each other's bowls. It would be like children that way though, obviously they would think the other kid is getting better food and they want it. Grass is greener and all that.
 

Sunny

Loyal Servant
#9
Verbal commands is how I separate them, yet even today Anubis will try to be a thief. 1 out of every 6 meals (so once every 48hrs) he will try to poke his head into Ra's bowl, but only once a week will Ra try the opposite. Growing up together, they understood the word no from a combination of light scruffing or picking them up and moving them away temporarily, making sure to reinforce that as I'm setting them down. Simply calling their name sternly with a No! will make the cat retreat, if expecting to be picked up and moved, or from recognition they are doing something bad. I teach them other bad habits. ;)

Checking in once in a while with supervision to reinforce my role as pack leader and just silently watch is just one of those things when not free feeding we have to deal with. You can try distraction if discipline is not taking hold.

In my house, when raw feeding, this problem is exacerbated because Ra normally eats at the same pace or slightly faster, but twice as slow when raw food is involved from the extra enjoyable chewing action on both sides of the mouth that he does.

The catch is you don't want to punish them for eating but only being busted in the act. It's a long term project and there's no magic bullet short of complete separation during feeding time and making sure all are hungry.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#10
Thanks all for the advice. I'm probably going to crate Chongo (the kitten) while feeding for the time being. Probably need to be more diligent in measuring his food and weighing what he doesn't eat. With seemingly zero hunger drive, definitely refusing to eat his raw until it's at room temperature, I just need to get him on a reasonable schedule. I certainly don't want to starve him or anything, just get him on a schedule and quantity that he eats what I put out for him in 15 minutes. The on demand kibble is another issue, but I think I have that pretty much in control.

Thanks again!