cats on different diets...how to regulate?

rouge21_gwAugust 11, 2013

We have a 14 year old cat who eats exclusively the k/d renal health Hills food (wet and dry).

We have now a kitten who eats the "Kitten food" (dry) from Hills.

We have had the kitten for 2 weeks and up till now the older cat was not aware of where the kitten was being fed (basement). And although it has been inconvenient keeping the kitten away from the cats bowl of dry k/d we were managing ie give the older cat a small portion and cover it once he was done eating.

BUT now the cat has discovered where the kitten food is located :(.

As it stands now it will be impossible to control who eats what.

What are some options to keep the cat and kitten eating their proper food given that we are not home during the day (and even if we were it would be problematic).

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laurief_gw

Well, as much as I'd LOVE to convince you to STOP feeding your kitten dry food - and esp. dry Science Diet food - that's not what you asked about, so I'll refrain.

Since both of your felines need to be fed throughout the day while you're not home, the only solution to your dilemma is to keep your felines separated behind closed doors with their own food, water, and litterboxes whenever you're not home. During the hours that you ARE home, you can offer them food every few hours, again behind separate closed doors, and then remove the foods when they're finished eating.

Not an ideal situation, of course, but the only one that will keep them out of each other's food.

Laurie

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 10:41AM
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rouge21_gw

Thanks for the reply.

I was so hoping not to shut them off to rooms when we are away.

It has been my experience that cats much prefer wet food over dry. And so my thought was if gave each cat wet food in the morning before going to work they might well eat it all before we even left the house. And so that might allow us not to have to feed them again until we returned in the late afternoon when we could give them a bit of dry to top them off.

What do you think?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 8:00AM
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laurief_gw

Kidney cats should be fed multiple, small meals throughout the day, or they should have steady access to food all day. They tend not to do well on just two or three larger meals a day, because they often don't have enough appetite to eat a large meal at one setting.

Kittens under the age of 6 mos should be fed AT LEAST 4 times a day. Between 6-9 months, I consider 3 meals a day to be optimal. After 9 mos, they should do fine on 2 meals a day. I would not want to leave younger kittens without food for 8 hrs at a time. They burn through calories too quickly to go that long without food.

Laurie

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:02PM
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annzgw

From my experience they won't/can't eat enough wet food in the morning to satisfy them thru the day. As a kitten my cat needed to eat her wet food at least every four hours and she could only eat the amount that was in the small cans. Even now, as an adult, she averages eating every 4-6 hours.

With an elderly cat, I would much prefer to see them separated than to go without food thru the day. Since your older cat already has kidney problems, the more wet food she eats the better (more water intake).

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:34PM
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meme01

From my prior experience with this issue, I asked my vet if it would be OK to mix the different foods half and half. I would ask your vet ask if the cat with kidney issues could tolerate half kitten and half kidney food for a few months, then transition them both to a kidney diet as your kitten grows up until they are both on a kidney diet.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:22PM
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laurief_gw

Cats with healthy kidneys should NOT be fed a protein-restricted, prescription renal diet. Feline physiology is designed to thrive on a high protein, meat-based diet. Low protein diets can seriously weaken felines and should only be fed when absolutely medically necessary. There is currently considerable debate about whether or not restricting dietary protein is even advisable for cats with earlier stage kidney disease.

Laurie

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:16PM
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rouge21_gw

UPDATE:

We feed our kitten the highest quality food we can find.

For wet we generally use the canned "Hounds and Gatos".

(This is the pate form and so each time I mix in water to get my cats extra hydration).

For convenience we also do give out dry food but it is the Canadian made "Orijen" which is very highly regarded:

Our other cat who is 14 years old had been on the "kidney friendly" Hill's KD food for several years. I decided to stop this and have had him on the same (as the kiten) high quality protein foods for several weeks now.

(To keep the older cat from eating the kittens food we have the kitten's food bowl on top of the....dryer (it is high enough up that the older one cant jump up)).

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:40AM
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