Thought for food…
In the last issue, we gave you tips on how to make your kitty comfortable to his new environment. Here are a few more tips for feeding your kitty:
Why interval feed?
- Interval feeding is important, that is food’s not available at all times.
- Smell of the food and not the taste triggers the cat’s brain sending out the message to slow down the whole metabolism so that the body can concentrate on digesting…this is perfect for digesting the food efficiently, but not a state of affairs we want to continue 24 hours a day. So, while we often think we need to leave the food out for a cat who is finicky and/or needs to gain weight, we are actually achieving the opposite, as the cat’s appetite is not stimulated naturally.
- Recent research states that cats who fall ill with urinary blockage almost always come from homes where food was left available all day long.
- Leaving food available all day long is also the primary cause of the finicky eater syndrome. Slowed metabolism is a cause of several health problems–among them dandruff, obesity and skinniness. If a cat has a poor appetite, the answer is not to leave more food available for longer periods but just the opposite.
- Putting food out identifies you as the source of the food and helps you and your kitten to bond.
- We start training our kittens to come to “Here Kitty Kitty Kitty…” when we feed them. Adding the cat’s name to this sequence, teaches him his own name and to come when called.
How to feed?
- For a 9-12 wks old kitten, try just 1/8th cup three times a day. Call the kitty: “Here kitty, kitty, kitty, NAME-kitty” when you put food out, every time. Let the cat eat and leave. Then after 10-20 min, discard the leftovers where the cat will not smell it.
- If you have more than one kitten, give each his own bowl, which lets you monitor how much each kitten eats and
keep them from competing for food.
- Some male adult cats want more than 1/3rd cup every 8 hours and some females eat barely 1/4th cup total in 24 hrs at 12 wks though this is very low.
- Males eat twice as much as females during their rapid growth phase of five to ten months, usually. Males’ appetites sometimes increase rapidly.
- The ribs should be identifiable as ribs but not countable, having a slight layer of fat over them.
- Use cat food as it has proper supplements and vitamins.
- Dishes need to be wide enough so that he does not need to bend his whiskers when eating off the bottom of the dish, or drinking from the bottom. Cats do not like to bend their whiskers, and will eat and drink less, rather than go through this unpleasant experience.
- Dishes should be ceramic without lead or arsenic in the glaze, or metal or glass, not plastic.
(Kit Humphrey, featured columnist of Cats & Kittens, is a retire physician. From Siberian Gatos Cattery in the US, she is responsible for cattery policies and choices that include a programme to eliminate Corona Virus, HCM, Bartonella, Toxoplasmosis, etc.)