First things first… cats aren’t cows. If your cats graze their food from the ‘all day buffet’ you’ve left out, it’s time to consider some changes.
Many cat parents free feed their kitties for convenience. Putting kibble in a bowl before you leave for work is an easy way to make sure your cat has food available whenever she’s hungry. However, having food available at all times is not the way cats were designed to eat.
In the wild our cats have specific times of day in which they hunt for their prey. They anticipate these times of day and their bodies and minds prepare for their meals. It appears (from the comments we’ve received) that the average pet parent believes that having food available at all times is what reduces a cat’s anxiety levels. Contrary to what many think, however, the anticipation of mealtime is actually a stress reliever for kitties.
You see, a bored cat is a stressed cat. This is because cats weren’t created to be stationary at all times. Their instinctive nature tells them to hunt, play and explore. While confined into homes with food left out for grazing, kitties are unable to be ‘felines’. What do they have to look forward to?
In addition, when cats graze their food they are more prone to obesity, which is a leading cause of the epidemic of diabetes in domesticated cats. I don’t know about you, but when I’m bored and stationary I tend to eat more. The same goes for many kitties.
You can change the course of your cats’ stress, boredom and weight issues by simply scheduling their meals in smaller amounts throughout the day. Pick the times that work around your schedule and watch your kitties become happier and healthier.