If you’re free feeding your cats, its time to stop. There’s this idea we have as cat parents that our cats will be happier with an all day buffet, but studies prove otherwise. In fact, I recently wrote about a study conducted at Ohio State University that showed cats who are fed on a routine basis are healthier and less stressed.
Cats who are free fed are more prone to obesity, boredom and stress; all of which lead to disease. We totally understand the convenience of free feeding, as we fed our cats this way for many years. Heck, we rarely even cleaned our kitties’ bowls until it looked gross because we just didn’t know better. Easy and convenient may be nice for us, however, it’s not nice for our cats at all! Can you imagine eating out of a dirty dish that continues to be refilled with ultra processed food every day?
Our poor babies. 🙁
The good news is that once we know better we can do better. A better way to feed our cats is in smaller routine meals throughout the day. Obviously, this depends on your schedule, but cats are much happier and healthier when they are able to anticipate their food. This more closer mirrors the way that they would eat in the wild.
Think about it, cats in the wild don’t eat from an all day buffet. Instead, they stalk, hunt, chase, catch and kill their meals. This normally happens several times throughout their waking hours and keeps them mentally and physically healthy.
If you work long hours or are away from home for long period of times, look into indoor hunting feeders or automatic timed feeders. These are two brilliant inventions that help keep our cats on schedule and active while we are unable to engage with them.
It’s time to stop free feeding your cats if you want the best for them!