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Cat Health

Methods of Feeding Your Cats


Cats are notoriously selective eaters and it’s sometimes difficult to decide which feeding method they respond best to throughout the day. We all love our cats and often that love is demonstrated through our feeding efforts, which puts even more pressure on cat owners!

Personally, we feed our cats wet food once at night, and allow them to free-feed on dry. We use an Aikiou Stimulo Activity Feeding Station for our cats, which slows down their rate of eating and allows them to do a little “hunting” because they have to work pretty darned hard to get that kibble out of the slender tubes. This may not be the optimum solution for you and your cats, though. Today, we’re going to be looking at the pros and cons of each feeding situation for your cats and how you can implement a unique method for your Pride. (Be sure you are aware of the feeding methods your cats prefer and how you can keep them in the best shape before you start free-feeding treats or dry food).

Whether you free-feed, feed once or twice a day, or just make up a part of your cat’s dining menu with treats throughout the day, we think you’re going to love these samples menus of all-natural cat food from Hills Pet Nutrion (don’t forget to enter our free giveaway for a gift basket of dog or cat food!).

[note icon=”yes”]This is a sponsored post; we have been compensated by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is not responsible for the content of this article.[/note]

Free Feeding

Free feeding is the preferred method for cats that are more skittish (in our case, our feral cat colony). It entails leaving a bowl out at all times and allowing the cat(s) to choose when they want to eat. Of course, this method works best with dry foods as you don’t want to leave moist or canned foods out for any period of time.

This is a great method of feeding in single-cat households when your cat does NOT have a weight problem or other health problem. Most cats like to take their time with their food, and this method enables them to do that. If you have a multi-cat household, you’ll need to closely monitor how each cat reacts to the method. Some cats may bully others and never let them eat. Others may take too much food and this can result in health issues like diabetes or weight problems.

Controlled Feeding

It used to be that you needed to be home to do controlled feeding. But, nowadays, there are controlled feeding stations that are triggered by microchips so you know that each cat is getting exactly the amount they need. Here are some tips on feeding individual cats in multi-cat households). Scheduling feeding times may be the best solution for multiple cats or cats that are a little greedier than others. Controlled feeding also works incredibly well if you’re using a feeder that focuses on individuals through a microchip. Some feeders will monitor each microchip and only allow a cat to eat their limit before locking them out for the day. For cats who feel like they are always hungry, this is an excellent option as it enables them to feel like they are in control of their food.

Portion Feeding

For cats that have health problems or problems with weight control who need to be closely monitored and fed throughout the day. Just like humans, cats can get a little grumpy when they haven’t eaten for a longer period of time. Portioned feeding allows you to distribute a few small meals throughout the day. This is very important method of feeding for cats who are on a prescription diet or who need to have medications mixed in with their food.

If you’re in a single-cat household, there are several good automatic feeders available that enable you to alternate dry food with wet food and treats at specified times throughout the day without actually having to be there. The one pictured is from PetSafe and it allows you to pre-program five separate meals each day.

No matter which feeding method you choose, you can rely on Hills Pet Food to provide a quality, well-balanced diet for your pets. Hills Pet Food has always been a big force in the pet food industry and has spent many years researching the needs of pets. From fresh chicken and cranberries to brown rice and flaxseed, they have incorporated the recommendations of pet owners as well pet nutritionists, so you can be sure your pet is receiving balanced nutrition and optimum taste in his food.

And now they have come out with a line of taste treats for your favorite feline – flavors that include proteins like Crunchy Naturals with Real Tuna. Treats aren’t just for dogs – cats love getting a special treat, too! Since Hills offers a wide selection of all-natural pet food, they have of course added pet treats for both dogs and cats to their line of Ideal Balance food.

Last year, we visited the Hills manufacturing facility for a tour and were very pleased to see the facilities were clean, meticulously tested and kept up, and each food goes through a detailed series of tests designed to keep food up to the highest standards. Hill’s Ideal Balance has no corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

When you feed Ideal Balance foods, you can be assured that your pet is getting natural ingredients in perfect balance – there is NO corn, wheat or soy and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives – and you can easily supplement your cat’s diet with any one of the delicious varieties of wet food for an extra tasty meal. These flavors include Baked Tuna, Braised TroutPoached Salmon,  Roasted TurkeySavory Venison and Slow-Cooked Chicken. These are all recipes that any feline is sure to love!

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