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How to transition a cat to free feed

So since we got Molly, she's been a joy. But we're still trying to settle into a feeding regimen. We're currently on a morning feed (wet), an after work feed (wet), and a right before bed snack (high quality dry). It's fine, but it would be great if it could be a bit more flexible or less frequent. I wonder if we could put her on a free feed system like my friend does with her two cats, but I'm scared of overfeeding her. Does anyone have advice on how we could try transitioning to that sort of thing? I'm not sure about doing it gradually because I feel like that would just make her eat more and more. But if we just go straight to an always full bowl, will she just gorge herself all of a sudden and make herself sick?
posted by like_neon on Sep 2, 2014 - 24 answers

Private Dining for Four Cats?

Aargh. One sick cat who needs a special diet for the rest of her life. Three other cats, too. I need practical tips for how to handle this. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Sep 1, 2014 - 20 answers

What's the skinny on grain free/raw food for cats?

Bunny is a generally healthy, happy 1 year old with smelly poo the consistency of frosting. I'm thinking of switching her food out. What's the skinny on grain free/raw kitty food diets these days? [more inside]
posted by Hermione Granger on Aug 23, 2014 - 31 answers

How much should he be eating?

I recently adopted a 10 month old cat. He wants to eat a lot more than I expected. What is the right amount? [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Aug 14, 2014 - 26 answers

Homemade cat food

My neighbour would like to/needs to make her own catfood for her ageing cats. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jun 27, 2014 - 8 answers

What is a good dry cat food for a senior (13 years plus) cat?

What is a good dry cat food for a senior (13 years plus) cat? [more inside]
posted by The locked room sockpuppet on Jun 25, 2014 - 19 answers

Can a stray cat eat this?

I periodically come across stray cats in my city, and I like to feed them. I've gotten into the habit of carrying around a can of cat food in my car for this purpose. My partner told me that he thinks the food inside the can might go bad from sitting in the car while the temperature/seasons change. Is this true? How can I figure out how long I can carry around the cat food without it going bad? (I could switch to carrying dry food, but that's less aromatic and thus less attractive to strays.)
posted by southern_sky on May 11, 2014 - 10 answers

How do I calculate combined percentages?

Mathfail: I'm considering supplementing my cat's food with plain meat. I'd like a rough idea of how much it would bump percentage of calories from protein and fat. [more inside]
posted by moira on May 10, 2014 - 6 answers

My cat-wizard pees crystals. Cheapest food to make him stop?

Alternatives to Royal Canin SO wet cat food? [more inside]
posted by Luminiferous Ether on Mar 13, 2014 - 18 answers

What automatic feeder should we get for our cats?

my main coon cat Bear laughs at our anti cat devices and pounds on the door for breakfast. He started pounding at 5:00 a.m. this morning, 90 minutes before my alarm goes off, and kept it up long enough to ruin my sleep. It's time for a new strategy: automatic feeding devices. Please recommend the best device. [more inside]
posted by rebent on Jan 2, 2014 - 25 answers

Feeding Teenage Cats

I have two six-month-old kittens. I am worried I'm not giving them enough food. Advice? [more inside]
posted by jaguar on Sep 27, 2013 - 14 answers

Given the symptoms, what could be wrong with my cat?

You are not a vet (but maybe you play one on TV). Inconclusive cat symptoms: what could they mean? [more inside]
posted by itsacover on Sep 22, 2013 - 13 answers

Another fat cat question

This is Pico, a wonderful cat with an incredible mustache. Pico is quite large and really needs to slim down. Help us help our 17 lb cat live happy and healthy and as forever as possible. Gratuituous cat pictures inside. [more inside]
posted by avocet on Sep 7, 2013 - 19 answers

Looking for an automatic, random, hide-able cat feeder?

We have two cats that are growing older at the same time we're become less tolerant of their constant crying for food. I would like to feed them with 3 hockey puck style containers that each open at some random time within 24 hours of being closed and placed randomly around the house. [more inside]
posted by ChrisHartley on Sep 4, 2013 - 12 answers

Cat. Wet food. Nothing is easy.

Pumpernickel is having UTI issues and needs to go on a strict wet-food-only diet. After buying more brands and flavors than I can count, I think we've found some he likes. BUT, he never eats enough of the wet stuff and at this point supplementing with dry needs to stop. How do I help this cat! [more inside]
posted by Tequila Mockingbird on Sep 3, 2013 - 30 answers

My cat needs help eating his dry food.

My cat, Mars, recently had most of his molars removed and now he's having a bit of trouble chewing his dry food. Is there something tasty and nutritious I can soak it in before feeding him? I was thinking some kind of broth or stock but I'm curious to see what other people have done. Thanks!
posted by Fister Roboto on Jun 25, 2013 - 27 answers

Do I have to keep my cat on a prescription diet for life?

Kitty recently had a UTI and the vet seems to want him on prescription food for life. The thing is, my cats hate the food and so do I. Is this necessary? Additional ask about urine test results and red blood cells inside. [more inside]
posted by amycup on Jun 12, 2013 - 27 answers

Can they eat it?

Will cats eat meat that is so off it will kill them? [more inside]
posted by moody cow on Mar 9, 2013 - 11 answers

Crazy Cat People, I need your hacks.

Is the CatMate C50 really the only game in town for feeding wet food in a way that doesn't fill me with dread about bacteria? [more inside]
posted by Medieval Maven on Jan 5, 2013 - 9 answers

Making the Great Canned Food Switch

Trying to figure out how much we really need to feed our cats. Hoping someone here can help because I've read everything and it sounds slightly as if I would be preparing my cats for careers as foie gras geese. [more inside]
posted by Medieval Maven on Nov 25, 2012 - 19 answers

Hey! Hey! Hey! It's 4 AM! Did you know you have to feed me in two hours?

Large, young, lovable cat won't leave us the hell alone when we're trying to sleep in the mornings. I feed him when I get up at 6am, so naturally he's bugging me by 5am, sometimes 4am. How do I get him to knock this off? [more inside]
posted by scaryblackdeath on Nov 20, 2012 - 34 answers

When you need food, not the best food, just food they will eat.

"Best" wet cat food available at Kroger or similar? [more inside]
posted by Medieval Maven on Sep 27, 2012 - 15 answers

Cat treats: made of pure, unadulterated cat heroin?

What is the difference between dry cat food and cat treats? Why is one a dull part of the daily diet, and the other a miraculous food that is cat ambrosia? I haven't done a taste test, but they pretty much look alike, little crunchy bits. [more inside]
posted by jeather on Sep 12, 2012 - 23 answers

In search of feline harmony

I would like my two very different kittehs to get along. Help? [more inside]
posted by *s on Sep 11, 2012 - 14 answers

how do I de-fatstinkybutt my cat

My cat is fat, lazy and does not groom nearly as much as she should. How do I remedy this? [more inside]
posted by electriic on Aug 30, 2012 - 31 answers

She won't eat green eggs and ham.

Cat food: wet/dry beanplate version. [more inside]
posted by brina on Aug 18, 2012 - 23 answers

Kittens cannot live on motor oil and fan belts alone. Right?

You might remember me from such questions as "There's a cat wedged in my car" and now that the cat isn't wedged in there but instead entertaining the entire household with hysterical kitten antics I have a concern about feeding him. [more inside]
posted by marylynn on Aug 15, 2012 - 21 answers

Colitis in cats?

Colitis in cats? What to do? Diet? Help! (long and poop-related...sorry) [more inside]
posted by fromageball on Aug 12, 2012 - 4 answers

Do typical lab results for raw-fed cats (domestic and small wild) exist? If so, where?

Three of my four cats are (mostly) raw-fed. My vet knows about this, and finds their recent blood test results unremarkable, despite the fact that some of their values are technically "out of range" or near the extreme end of what is statistically "normal". I'm not worried if my vet isn't, but where's the data on this? Does it even exist? Do I need to perhaps compare my cats' results to those of small wildcats, and if so, where's that data? [more inside]
posted by aecorwin on Jul 26, 2012 - 3 answers

Hungry Hungry Kittehs

Scheduled, portion-controlled feeding is failing for my cats. One ravenous kitty versus one food-agnostic kitty equals lots of frustration for me. Can anyone share some tips for making this work? [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jul 5, 2012 - 17 answers

Looking for a soft or moist "dry" cat food.

Is there a "dry" cat food with a soft or moist kibble? [more inside]
posted by Arethusa on Jun 20, 2012 - 26 answers

The Prodigal Cat

My cat came home again! Now what? [more inside]
posted by munichmaiden on May 30, 2012 - 12 answers

I'm Partial to the Salmon and Shrimp Flake, Myself

Inspired by this post about retirement savings, I'm using my question to ask something I've always wondered about: where did the trope about senior citizens eating cat food come from? [more inside]
posted by sfkiddo on Apr 30, 2012 - 10 answers

Best wet cat food for an elderly cat?

Best wet cat food for an elderly (17yo) cat? Special snowflake issues inside. [more inside]
posted by Jacqueline on Apr 22, 2012 - 25 answers

Kitty Atkins?

High fiber cat food? Need your recommendations. [more inside]
posted by Jason and Laszlo on Apr 2, 2012 - 15 answers

Why won't you eat your cheezies?!

Getting a cat back on kibble? [more inside]
posted by AmandaA on Mar 30, 2012 - 13 answers

A Tale of Two Poops

poop + cats = problems. How do I keep my sanity, save my nose, and help my kitties? [more inside]
posted by itsacover on Feb 27, 2012 - 9 answers

Yet another cat food question - fat cats with urinary tract issues

I took Damon to the vet yesterday and he's about 5 lbs over weight. Squeaky is similarly overweight. Damon has had crystals in his urinary tract (several years ago), so I'm looking for a diet food that will minimize crystal formation. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jan 28, 2012 - 16 answers

High fat food for cats?

What can we feed our cat to help him gain weight? [more inside]
posted by angiep on Jan 20, 2012 - 19 answers

No roaches in my cat food

Help me German cockroach-proof my cat's food and water dishes. [more inside]
posted by wondermouse on Jan 5, 2012 - 13 answers

Cat Food Sans-Dye?

Does anyone know where to find a list of cat food brands or types without any coloring or dye at all? I've tried a bunch of the natural types, and they all seem to come back up as orange or virulent yellow onto the very light beige apartment carpet, with some regularity. [more inside]
posted by thelastcamel on Nov 14, 2011 - 13 answers

Fancy Feast makes me feel ill

What is the real deal with cat food? Do my cats need canned food? [more inside]
posted by treehorn+bunny on Oct 30, 2011 - 39 answers

Aussie Cat Food

Calling all Aussie (and Aussie savvy) cat lovers. Looking for information on Nature's Gift. [more inside]
posted by kathrynm on Aug 16, 2011 - 8 answers

Are my cats addicted to carby grains?

Should I force my cats to switch to the healthier food or let them continue eating the not-so-great stuff they seem to prefer? [more inside]
posted by addelburgh on Aug 10, 2011 - 19 answers

Please help me feed my cat.

Please help me feed my cat. [more inside]
posted by dogmom on May 30, 2011 - 21 answers

What is in this stuff?

Is Hills C/D garbage? [more inside]
posted by r_nebblesworthII on Mar 31, 2011 - 15 answers

Meow, Meow, How?

How do I help our newly adopted older cat to adjust to our other cats' dry-food diet? [more inside]
posted by mneekadon on Feb 1, 2011 - 14 answers

High-quality, grain-free, healthy and tasty cat food?

Now that Wellness has gone the way of Iams and ScienceDiet, what should we feed our cats? [more inside]
posted by misanthropicsarah on Jan 26, 2011 - 39 answers

How much fish-based cat food is too much?

How much fish-based canned cat food is too much, for a cat who eats both dry and canned food? [more inside]
posted by sharding on Jan 7, 2011 - 4 answers

My cats have clashing eating disorders

How do I help one cat lose weight while allowing the other cat to eat enough? [more inside]
posted by threeturtles on Dec 8, 2010 - 25 answers

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