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Top Feeding Tips From Cat Owners
Dr. Amber Andersen, a Los Angeles veterinarian pursuing a master's in public health, makes mealtime special for her cats by singing and talking to them while opening their food.
"Mealtime should be a great human-to-cat interaction," she says. It offers you the chance to spend quality time with your cat and to create a cherished routine. The following tips and stories from cat owners can help you make feeding time special for everyone.
Maintain a Schedule
Andersen sticks to a regular mealtime schedule with her cats. "This way, pets know when to expect their food, and it keeps them from begging at other times," Andersen explains. Your cat should also learn to wait patiently for its food. "You should be able to take the food away without incident."
Talk to Your Cat
No matter how eager you are to begin your daily routine - or hop into bed after a hectic day - don't miss out on the chance to interact with your cat. When cat owner Angela Megasko adopted her orange tabby, Robert, he was was just a "skin and bones" stray. Now, Robert weighs 15 pounds and is lavished with attention at mealtime.
"Our morning routine consists of fresh water and dry food, and it always starts with the same question: 'Who wants breakfast?'" says Megasko. "The meows and rubs commence. Evenings are wet food, along with a similar question.'"
Introducing both wet and dry food may make it easier to hide medicine in wet morsels if necessary, notes Megasko.
Spread out Meals
Scheduling meals throughout the day and limiting snacking has helped make Kelly Williams' cats, Jackson, Elliot and Scooby, healthier. "We just recently switched to feeding them on a schedule and picking up the leftovers to prevent them from overindulging all day long," says Williams. "It has cut down on the amount of vomit and hairballs, and our obese cat lost 3 pounds."
Morning begins with a hearty scratch behind the ears for the trio, then breakfast with Williams or her father. Williams' husband sits on the floor with the kitties as the cats eat lunch. "They get a small dinner around the same time we eat dinner to keep them from trying to eat ours," says Williams. "Before bed, they get just a tiny bit more to keep them out of our bed at night crying, 'I'm hungry.'"
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