I have two cats with two distinctly different feeding requirements.
Roxie Loves to Eat
Roxie is a fat cat. Her favorite hobby is what one might call “gorge and purge“. The rules of this activity are simple:
- Eat really, really fast.
- Relocate from hardwood to carpet.
- Barf all recently consumed food onto aforementioned carpet.
- Return to step 1.
My veterinarian has suggested to me that I no longer free-feed my cats – that I should have one feeding time in the morning and one in the evening, both meals limited enough so that Roxie doesn’t regurgitate it all back onto the floor. That would be great and all, if it weren’t for Min.
Min Loves Attention
Min is a skinny cat who weighs about a third of what Roxie weighs. Her favorite hobby is climbing on high things and traipsing across my bladder in the morning when she wants snuggles. Min is a grazer. She’ll stop by her food bowl a few times per day to munch a couple kibbles, and then she gets on with her business of doing cat things.
When I try feeding them only in the morning and evening, Min never manages to get enough to eat. Roxie wolfs it all down because Min is more interested in interacting with the humans than she is with eating.
How can I possibly force a feeding schedule when it means Min will never eat?
CJ’s Anti Cat Barf Contraption
It’s actually called the Stimulo Cat Feeding Station and Activity Center. This was one of CJ’s internet finds I thought the cats would hate. (Nothing against CJ – it’s just a cat thing. Whenever a person gives their cat something special, the cat is required to reject it and go find some inane preference instead.)
The Stimulo Cat Feeding Station and Activity Center consists of vertical tubes of varying heights from which the cats need to extract their food. It’s a puzzle!
Roxie did, indeed, hate it at first. She didn’t understand how to get food from any tube other than the shortest. She thought we were trying kill her via starvation and vocally shared her opinions on the subject, oftentimes in the middle of the night.
Min, however, caught on immediately.
Roxie, determined to stuff her face, has finally figured out how to pull food from even the tallest tube. And happily, the time it takes her to extract the food from the tube prevents her from gorging. No more barf!
I’m definitely a fan. If any of you have cats who are gorgers, barfers, or just generally bored and into mischief, I highly recommend giving it a shot.