Cat question - please advise.

My two kittens adopted me a few weeks ago. They are both 3 month old males and are really really cute - well all kittens are I guess! They eat out of the same dish and sleep on the same bed and for most of the time ignore me altogether. Yesterday I noticed one of them passing lose stools. Googled on the net and found that the answer that most probably fits my problem is the overeating that this little one is indulging in. When I relate what I witness at home, I found it very plausible because this guy heads for the food bowl much more often and seems to enjoy eating a lot more than his friend. I guess he must be crazy about food because he even purrs while eating. The solution suggested on the google sites was simple. Keep the food from getting near the glutton. Reduce his intake. Prevent him from overeating. Ok so here are my questions:

  1. How do I feed the cowboys? I had read somewhere that letting the cats eat whenever they want to is not bad. Most cats nibble and snack a little all day. But in my case one of the gangsters is going overboard eating and making himself sick in the process. How do I prevent him from overeating?
  2. Since the cats are at home by themselves, how do I prevent the greedy-gut from hogging too much, possibly even eating his friend’s share. In other words how do I ensure that the one who does not have the problem gets his normal share of food and the stuffer gets to eat less at least until he gets better.
  3. And lastly how much of dry cat food should I be feeding each of them? I know it is there on the box but I do not know how my hand should feel holding 90 grams in it.

He might have worms, diabetes, or have a thyroid condition. You should take him to the vet to make sure before you start altering his diet.

He was at the vet just three days ago for a general checkup and vaccinations. The vet found him quite healthy. And I am not trying to alter his diet. I do feel though he is overeating when I compare his intake to his friend’s. Before I go lighten myself by another $60, I just want to try reducing the amount of food he consumes and see if that helps. But I can’t seem to figure out how to do that?

Did they do a stool test (you would have had to bring in a sample)? If not, you should probably get one done.

He could be eating normally and the other one could be a light eater. I wouldn’t start restricting food intake at this young age. I’d watch them to make sure the light one is, in fact, getting his fair share and not being muscled out of the bowl. If the chow-downer isn’t getting fat, he’s probably not overeating.

If he IS truly overeating, you’ll have to feed them, watch them eat, and take the food away after giving them enough time to finish. The light eater might take longer. This is time-consuming because you’re going to have to alot enough time for them to eat without their feeling that the food is going to be taken away; then they’ll start bolting their food and that’s no good either. Plus, it will make them barf.

Your last question is easy: to figure out how much 90 grams is in your hand, get a measuring cup.

Having a cat who now suffers from the liver disease of lipidosis (from which she almost died last year), I must make the following warnings because I still can’t get rid of the guilt even now.

My McKinley has lipidosis because she was a heavier cat, who for some unknown reason, lost a lot weight quickly. She never would have gotten lipidosis if I hadn’t let her get fat in the first place. Thus, you have to do what I didn’t, make sure she only eats enough to be fit, but not too much to get fat. I wish I could tell you a specific amount, but it changes with each cat. I would get a recommendation from your vet as he knows your cat the best. I would not leave food out all day. I would feed each cat twice a day, separately, in places where they cannot get at each other’s food. I would not leave food out all day, because my cat loved eating it all day if I let her.

I’m not saying that your new kitty is going to have those problems, and I’m not trying to scare you; but I just want to let you know that letting your cat get heavy is never a good thing - a cat should weigh an average of 10 pounds. Our cat was 14 which would be like a person who was supposed to be 150 pounds being 225 in actuality. Meaning, 4 pounds may not seem like much, but on a small animal, those 4 pounds mean a great deal!

Good luck with your new babies!

My parents have a very similar problem with two older cats (ages 5 and 13.) They way they’ve had to do it is to get two food dishes, one for each cat; feed them each a pre-determined amount twice a day; and watch the heavier eater like a hawk to make sure she doesn’t go for the other cat’s food once she’s done with her own. (The old squirt-bottle trick works well for this.)

Oh, and a measuring cup won’t help with figuring out how much 90 grams is, although a scale would certainly do so. I’m a little surprised that they don’t have rough volume equivalents on the bag – which brand are you feeding them?

If you cat just started passing loose stools AFTER they went to the vet for their vaccinations – it could just be a reaction to the medicine. Our cats still sometimes get diarrhea for a day or two after they get certain vaccinations – and we had a helluva time with the dewormers.

Well yes that could be a possibility. Maybe I will just wait a couple of days and see if the situation improves.

And that’s what my problem is. I leave for work a little after 8. If I feed them separately in the morning, say by putting them in separate rooms, how long will it take them to finish their dining? As of now they tend to eat and then wander about, then get back to snack a little after a while, then wander off again and so on. With that habit they might not be able to get the required amount down their tummies before I have put their food away and gone. Or can I hope that after the first few days when they realize that chow is not available for the asking any more they will learn to fill up in time? Just wondering how intelligent they are to be able to grasp that though I have my doubts about it when I seem chasing a torch beam endlessly.
And thanks everyone for the suggestions.

I am feeding them Hill’s “Science Diet” for kittens. The vet said that was the best. And that’s right there are no graduation markings.


I bred cats for almost 20 years. The most likely cause of the loose stools IS the recent vacinations - especially if your kitten was eating the same amount and the same brand of food before the trip to the vet with no problem. If a cat overeats too much at one time, the usual result will be that it will throw up - not develop loose stools.

You’re 3 month old kittens are the equivilant of 7 year old children - please DO NOT restrict their food intake. If these were strays, they were most likely undernourished when you got them. Your kitten may be physically driven to eat more as his body is trying to make up for the lack of nutrition earlier. You could be doing him real harm not to let him eat as much as he wants. Or it may be that your kitten is psychologically driven to eat more because of earlier hunger. He may be afraid that his food supply will disappear and he’d better get it while he can. In either case, his appetite will moderate with time.

It may also be the kind of food you’re feeding him. Often, wet canned cat foods are too rich for kitten digestive tracts to handle efficiently. I really like Purina kitten chow - kept all my kittens (and I have had several hundred) on it with excellent results. Always kept my nursing mothers on it too for the extra nutrition. It’s a dry food, which I also prefer because canned food looks and smells disgusting. - Oh, and because it’s so digestible, their poop doesn’t smell nearly as bad - so it makes for a much less noxious cat box.

Cats very rarely overeat to obesity unless they are getting along in years, are sedentary and have been neutered. It’s almost impossible for a kitten to over eat - I’ve never seen it.

Yes and yes. To the vet. They’re about old enough to neuter anyway, aren’t they? Have they had their shots? Find a good vet (or clinic) and establish a relationship for them.

Sorry, wisernow, I seem to have jumped the gun. I see you are taking them to a vet. Cool :cool:. Too many come on here seeking advice because they didn’t consider the true cost before adopting animals.
My cat died of a congenatal kidney problem a couple years ago, and I’m still a little touchy about it.
Enjoy your new family. :slight_smile: They’ll be a handful, I guarantee.

As a cat lover, with lots of cats in my life (got four now), I’ll have to say that one of the most common mistake cat owners do, is feeding the cats with rubbish, like Whiskas or whatever cat fodder brand you see on the commercials. What you should do, is buy the more expensive fodder at your local vet’s. I know this might sound silly, but one will find out that one’s cat will eat less in a day, and get a stomach you yourself could live with. Iams, Science Hill, even Royal Canin – there’re a lot of brands out there (perhaps not on tv, though) which are more expensive by the pound, but since the fodder is not primarily shite, you’ll notice your cats will eat less, and stay more healthy, and you yourself will save money. It’s like a human being living on hamburgers and french fries on the one hand, or on real food on the other. Also, these producers of seriuos cat fodder, have several specialized versions, for sensitive stumachs and so forth. Talk to a vet by the phone, if nothing else, and I’m sure s/he agrees with me.

Myself talking from experience, not being scientific or anything. Most cats I’ve learned to know, love Whiskas, but pukes like Linda Blair afterwards.

Purina Cat Chow = kitty heroin.
My vet said it’s ok, but not the best.

Several dogs and cats have owned us over the years and we’ve always free fed them with dry food. We keep their bowls of food and water full at all times and we’ve yet to have an overweight animal.

If fresh food and water are always available, it seems that the critters will not overstuff themselves because they know that a fresh nibble is always available.

Just how do pets get overweight? My friends cat weighs 19 lbs! :eek:

Will these cat foods work to take pounds off your cat once he is already overweight? I just adopted an overweight cat. My first cat is used to having her bottomless bowl, and she is a scrawny little thing. Both cats are adults.

Try a “less active” or “indoor” formula food. Still all the nutrition the cats need, but it has more fiber so it isn’t as rich as regular kibble. Added bonuses: fewer hairballs, and a less stinky litter box.

Does your vet sell cat food? If so, doesn’t that tell you something? Cats eat bugs, rats, birds covered with mites and anything else yucky in the wild - puleez-

Reading this makes me appreciate that my glutton Ragdoll will not jump onto tables and counters, making separate feedings a snap.

I’m not sure what your point is, so I’ll explain my comments:
Kitty heroin = my cat loved it, and didn’t want anything else. Including canned. Many cats who have had Purina are addicted to it. Ask around.
My vet never tried to sell me food, I don’t know what brand she might have had.
BTW; domestic cats are not wild. They may think they are, but they’re not. Contrary to popular belief, feral cats don’t do well. The healthiest and longest-lived cats are strictly indoor cats who get regular vet visits and who are loved, well fed, and exercised by their families.