Some cats can’t seem to mind their own business – or their own food! Here are a few handy ways to stop furry food thieves in their tracks.
In order to keep your cats from stealing each other’s food, you have to get crafty. I never thought the day would come when I would have to watch how much Misha eats, but here we are.
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To Catch A Food Thief
I noticed that Misha was getting distinctly chunkier as of late. At first I thought it was because we switched to 3/4 raw food in their diet, but I soon found out the truth.
Misha likes to swoop in after Tippy is done eating and devour her leftovers; in reality, Tippy is intimidated into giving up her meal early. Misha is tiny, but she’s also tough!
Why Stealing Each Other’s Food Is A Problem
It’s not just because Tippy isn’t getting to finish her meal. It’s also a matter of overeating for Misha. She’s naturally tiny, and although she isn’t overweight, eating too much makes her sick. This kind of behavior will lead to obesity if I’m not careful.
This begs the question: what can I do about it?
How To Stop Cats From Stealing Each Other’s Food
I researched a few different methods and came up with these solutions.
Feed Them Separately
This method works for me about half the time. Tippy gets weird about her 4 o’clock meal; she’ll refuse to come downstairs to eat, and trying to wrangle her is a no-go. I’ll leave Misha downstairs with her food and take Tippy’s food upstairs.
You can also try feeding them in separate rooms and shutting the door. Pet experts at The Nest recommend keeping them separated for a maximum of 30 minutes so they get used to finishing their meal in that time.
Use A Microchip Pet Feeder
This only works if both (or all) cats are microchipped. Microchip pet feeders latch on to your cat’s unique chip number and open only for them. Other kitties won’t be able to open the feeder because their chip’s info doesn’t match.
Microchip feeders are a great solution for pets who need prescription food, and they’ll make sure your pet gets their medication and meal without other cats stealing it. SureFeed’s microchip pet feeder works with all identification microchips, but they also sell RFID tags if your pet isn’t microchipped yet (however, the RFID tags aren’t foolproof like microchips are).
If you don’t have separate rooms to feed them in, you’re going to have to watch them. I have had to sit in the kitchen with both cats and physically block them from eating each other’s food. They’re determined, but eventually it becomes annoying enough that they get the picture.
You might have to use this method to determine which cat is stealing the other’s food in the first place if you merely suspect something’s going on. However, you can also start feeding them separately or using a microchip feeder before a problem arises. That way, they’ll learn to eat only out of their own food bowl.