Your cats know one thing is for certain when it's time to eat: the other food bowl just has to have something better in it. The trick to stopping your gluttonous felines from eating each other's food is to change their feeding schedule and feeding locations.
Create a daily timed feeding schedule. Always feed the amount suggested on the food label -- or as directed by your vet -- but portion it out over multiple feedings, such as two or three times a day. If your cats are used to free feeding, they'll initially cry and whine constantly when you begin timed feedings. If you get them on a routine, they'll begin to learn that they're fed at specific times each day, and they'll realize that no amount of crying and whining will put food in their mouths any faster.
Put your kitties in separate rooms when it's feeding time. This is a foolproof method for deterring your little meowing felines from munching down on each other's food, because they can't eat what they don't have access to. Only keep them separated for 30 minutes maximum or until both bowls are empty, whichever is shorter. Your cats will eventually learn that they need to eat all of their food within 30 minutes or it goes away.
Provide each of your cats with water and a litter box during each feeding. While 30 minutes isn't a long time to ask a cat to wait to use his litter box, some may not be able to hold it and others may refuse to. It's better to play it safe and give them each a place to do their business.
Feed one cat high and one cat low. This only works if you have a cat that struggles to jump, and if the cat you feed up high is satisfied after he eats his own food. The trick to making this strategy work is to pick up the cat that can jump and place him at his food bowl. Immediately feed both cats afterward. The upside to this feeding method is that you don't have to waste time feeding each kitty in a separate room. The downside is that you need to keep an eye on them while they eat, in case your jumping feline decides to take a few bites out of your other cat's food.
Separate your kitty's food bowls by a few feet. Sometimes cats simply cannot withstand the allure of another bowl of food right next to theirs, even if it holds the same exact food. By putting a bit of space between each bowl, your cats aren't right next to one another and may be satisfied with leaving each other's food alone. Always keep an eye on both cats to make sure they're not sneaking bites of each other's food.
- If you try to feed your cats in the same area but separate their food bowls, you still need to keep with the practice of timed feedings.
- Don’t swat, kick at or yell at your cats if they eat each other's food. Simply move them back to their own bowl or place them in separate rooms to eat.
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.