Dominant Male Disrupting Cat Feeding Time

I have 3 cats: 1 large male and 2 smaller female; all of them are fixed. The male dominates the food dishes, driving the other 2 away, and making them wait. This has made the other 2 nervous whenever he is near. How do I solve this?

Feeding time in a "multicat" household can sometimes be problematic, as this is when underlying dominance behavior can come to the fore, even if previously unseen. It is important to take control of the situation because every cat needs to get the right amount of food, and in some cases the right type of food from an assortment. It may be easier to leave food out constantly, but it is better to feed all your cats at a set time so that you can monitor their intake, and since a constant source of food can lead to over-eating and obesity in some cats. The first thing to do is to make sure that you have lots of separate dishes which are widely dispersed – not just lined up. This way, the weaker or less dominant cats always have somewhere to go. Even if your dominant cat follows them to each dish they will be able to continually source food. Another strategy is to slow down the dominant eater. If you are serving wet food you can add water to it, which will slow down the act of eating the food, and giving your other cats more time to feed in peace.

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