Free feeding cats turns out to be one of the worst ways to feed them. It’s convenient, yes, but simply putting down dry food and letting our cats decide how much and when they eat isn’t doing them justice. We must do better by our kitties and now’s the perfect time to start!
The biggest excuse we get from cat parents is that they work too much or just don’t have time to start scheduled feedings. We don’t have that excuse at the moment since we’re all home. Heck, we shouldn’t use this excuse anyway.
Why Free Feeding Cats Isn’t Healthy
First, cats are not cows. They weren’t designed to “graze” their food so an all day buffet isn’t part of their ancestral diet. When we take the feline instinctive nature away from our cats they become bored. A bored cat is a stressed cat and a stressed cat is an unhealthy cat. Got it?
Indoor kitties are often bored in the house anyway, so free fed cats will also stress eat – meaning they eat because they’re bored. You may be familiar with that right now too. This type of eating is leading to obesity, diabetes and other illnesses in cats in epidemic numbers.
Because dry food is high in carbohydrates, free fed kibble diets also causes severe inflammation and dehydration in the body. This is leading to issues like chronic kidney disease and urinary infections.
Indoor cats like schedules. Studies show that cats who are fed small meals throughout the day are healthier than cats that are free fed. Try feeding a tablespoon of food 3-4 times per day to your cats instead of the all day buffet. It won’t take long before your cat is reminding you when feeding time is and you’ll also see their energy levels increase. A healthy cat is a happy cat, so let’s help reduce their stress and increase their health!