About a week ago we published an article about why it’s best to feed your cat in meals rather than providing him with free-choice feeding.
We received several questions regarding this topic from people who were determined to make the switch, but did not know how to do it properly. In this post, we explain how to transition your cat from free feeding to scheduled meals.
Just do it – remove the food bowl now
And the simplest way to do it is to jump right in. There is no gradual approach, like when you switch food types. All you have to do is to remove the food bowl right now.
Okay, are you back? Now you can start scheduling your cat’s meals.
How many meals per day?
The next step is to figure out how many meals per day you can provide. In general, the more you can offer, the better! The most common approach would be three meals per day, which is good enough. Does this scare you?
As we talk to cat owners, most are intimidated by the idea of a three-meal schedule. Why? Because they think of it in human terms, as in breakfast, lunch, and dinner. How are they supposed to feed their cat lunch if they don’t come home at that time? Good news – that’s not necessary.
You can easily provide a three-meal schedule for your cat. The second meal is not at noon, but when you come home. The last meal is scheduled at the time you go to sleep. This approach will help you to control your cat’s activity at night.
Remember, keep the schedule even and consistent. A good example for three-meal schedule would look something like this:
- #1 at 8 a.m. – when you leave home
- #2 at 6 p.m. – when you come home
- #3 at 11 p.m. – when you go to bed
The above example allows between 5 and 10 hours between individual meals, which is considerably less time than if you were to feed twice daily, which would leave at least a 12-hour gap between two meals.
Of course, you can adjust this schedule according to your own daily rhythm, but after you choose the best schedule, you should stick to it.
One last thing: What if your cat doesn’t get the concept of scheduled meals? Then it’s time for you to play with your cat. Get him going, and let his natural energy loose. It’s good for his mood, it’s good for his health, and it’s also good for his mental wellbeing. Click here to find out why else it’s good to play with your cat.
Anyway, as we mentioned earlier, there are several benefits of scheduling your cat’s meals. Just give it a try, and you will see it for yourself. One of the best things – now you can think about providing your cat with a wet diet, which, by the way, is very cool.