Hi everybody! Molly, with your Bonding Tip of the Week! This week’s bonding tip is: feed frequently.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself that just last week, I told you to feed your cat meals. After all, meals provide multiple opportunities for you to bond with them. But something else to keep in mind is animal welfare—enrichment = how closely your pet’s life resembles what it would in the wild.
Well, in the wild, cats are going to eat 10-20 small meals a day. If we’re trying to mimic as much of that natural environment as possible, we’re going to have to feed them certainly more often than just twice a day. So, I recommend feeding 4-5 times a day.
Now, of course, that’s impossible if you have to go to work every day! You’ll feed the cat in the morning when you get up, but then how are they going to have lunch?
Food timers to the rescue!
There are these wonderful food timers out there that make this possible. It’s real simple: all you have to do is put your canned food in there and turn the dial to how many hours you want the timer to pop open after you have set it. It even comes with a freezer pack to keep the food fresh.
When you’re leaving in the morning after making your cat breakfast, go ahead and set lunch up in the food timer, setting it to go off probably four hours later. When you get home from work, you can feed them their supper meal. And then, after feeding Pico right before I go to bed, (meal number 4) I personally like to set the timer for a 3 a.m. meal. This way, he doesn’t have to go from 10:30 to 7:30 in the morning without eating. He eats at 3:00 a.m. when the food timer opens, and that makes him go back to sleep. He doesn’t bug us to get up, and as a matter of fact, it’s hard to get him out of bed in the morning because he’s full and doesn’t really want breakfast right away. Not only does the food timer make it a lot easier on us, but it’s also more natural to his natural bodily rhythm.
You can find these food timers on Amazon—they’re easy to find—or you can go to my website, CatBehaviorSolutions.org, and find a link to them under the food and nutrition resources. So get yourself a food timer, and if you do nothing else, set it to feed at 3 am! Until next time, keep calm and purr on.
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