Feeding multiple cats of varying ages and body types can become complicated. In some cases, a food formulated for multiple cats may be provide a solution. In others, a routine of feeding different formulas may be required.
Multi Cat Food
Multiple-cat formula dry food can be the solution for a multi-cat household. Multi-cat formulas are formulated for different body types of adult cats. For plump kitties, it contains L-carnitine, which helps to burn fat, and enhanced levels of vitamin A to reduce the possibility of weight regain. For slender cats, it contains higher levels of protein to maintain muscle mass.
However, multi-cat formula food is not a uniform solution as it is only appropriate for healthy adult cats younger than 7 years old. Cats who are 7 or older need senior formula food and kittens need kitten formulas.
But what age constitutes a kitten? The ASPCA states that kittens should be introduced to dry kitten formula food while still nursing at 5 to 6 weeks old. They should stay on kitten formula food until they are 1 year old, and it should be left out for them at all times. This is because kittens tend to graze and need a great deal of energy to support their rapid growth and play.
At age 7, cats need a senior formula food. The ASPCA says that the main objectives in feeding senior cats are maintaining health and optimum body weight, preventing and slowing chronic disease and minimizing or improving any symptoms of diseases that might already be present. They recommend talking to your veterinarian about increasing your senior kitty's vitamin E and beta-carotene intake. These antioxidants help eliminate the free radical particles that can damage tissues and cause signs of aging.
Feeding Routine for Multiple Cats
If you must feed different formulas to different cats, WebMD Pets recommends feeding them in different rooms if possible. If this is not possible, supervise meals to make sure that everyone is eating the specific formula he needs in the portions he needs. As each cat finishes eating or has time to do so, pick up his bowl. Repeat this process every 12 hours, morning and night.
Effects of Weather and Health
Also, remember that both weather and health affect your cats' nutritional needs. Outdoor and indoor-outdoor cats need more calories in extreme weather. This is because it takes more calories to maintain a healthy body temperature in cold or hot weather. Cats who are recovering from surgery or illness may need increased nutrition in order to fight infection or heal properly. Always consult your veterinarian before making changes to the diet of your feline family.
Leslie Carver has been a professional author since 2009. Her work appears on multiple websites. She has an associate's degree in English with progress toward her bachelor's at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has been awarded an Outstanding Student Award in English and twice nominated for creative writing awards.