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How long to leave out?

edited 22 July, 2010 in Food & Nutrition
I'm sure this has been posted before, but I had just one more question. How long do you leave out your wet food? For example, I will feed them at 6:00am in the morning and can I leave it out until 6:00 that night? Or should I take it up at 7:00 before I leave for work? By the way.....I am feeling a little more comfortable with my food decisions. Thanks for all the support! I am so happy I found this site! It has been super helpful for this transition for my babies.... They thank you with many purrs and meows....


  • Victoria TalbotVictoria Talbot VegasMember Posts: 11
    edited 21 July, 2010
    I feel comfortable leaving my wet food out up to 12 hours. However, when I know I'm going to be leaving it out for more than 6-8 hours, I freeze the food. You can leave a portion of the daily food out fresh in the morning, and the other portion frozen. It will thaw throughout the day helps with the freshness. I did have a silly kitty who would lick the frozen food obsessively, but she pretty much lived to eat. =) I use an auto feeder dish for my cats and I often freeze the portions that get fed later in the day. Hope that helps! Twisp's Momma
  • Karina GressKarina Gress Member Posts: 402
    edited 21 July, 2010
    Think of it like human food: you wouldn\'t eat perishable (like meat) food that\'s been left out all day, would you? Moisture+heat+time=bacteria I feed my kitties when I first get up, and an hour later when I leave, if it\'s not gone, it\'s garbage. But my cats love their wet food, so if it isn\'t eaten, it must be icky anyway. :)) If you can find a way to keep it cold all day like in one of those auto feeders with the freezer pack, or frozen like the other response suggested, I think that would be OK, but I don\'t have experience with that, so don\'t take my word for it. I do leave a little high quality kibble out during the day, but not much so they don\'t over eat. (No lectures about free-feeding or grazing please; it\'s either a little crunchies during the day or a pica cat eating TP.) Once you figure out how much your cat should eat at one setting, I\'d start with that.
  • edited 21 July, 2010
    I think I will start doing that! I will probably do half of it frozen in the morning and then the other half for the day. Then of course the evening feeding in the evening. Great idea! Thanks!
  • edited 21 July, 2010
    By the way...I totally get the eating of TP! I have an excessive TP eater and am willing to sacrifice a little dry food to keep in in tact.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 22 July, 2010
    Hi welcome to Catster, I have been feeding an all wet diet to my 2 cats for over 4 years now, and I leave it out until its finished (about 2 hours). When feeding a higher protein wet food they are more satisfied quicker I find. Naturally cats will not eat all their (WET) food at once, they usually will come back later, you may even see them trying to paw at the dish, they are trying to bury it for later, lol! This is normal. Though cats being fed a carb laden food will tend to eat it all right away as they are not getting enough protein, thus are not satisfied. If your house is hot I would not leave it out too long, maybe 2 hours. other than that just let them finish it when they want, once it gets all dried up they probably wont touch it anyhow. How much food are you putting down for them?, and how many hours are you gone from the house? You can get those flat ice packs, ( not the ones that have that gel stuff in them, they are useless) get the actuall ice cube packs, then just put their plate on top, if you are really worried. Or if you have a timer feeder then put it in the bottom of that. I will say It is totally safe to let your cat go 12 hours without food, this gives their digestive system the right amount of time to digest the food, and to let thier pancreas, and liver rest. This is why so many cats today get obese, and get diseases like Diabetes, is becuase alot of times they are getting the wrong fuel in the engine so to speak, and on top of that too much food available all day is way too hard on their pancreas.|^|
  • edited 22 July, 2010
    Right now I\'m usually gone about 11 hours. Depending on the day obviously.... But mostly 11 hours. I leave at 7ish and come home around 6ish. We are not doing an all wet diet right now due to money issues, but I want to work up to that. I will try the freezing and then thawing throughout the day and I will try the ice packs. Also, I think the girls are so used to \"grazing\" that they aren\'t used to eating all at once. They been kibble kitties until 2 weeks ago so that is where they got into the bad habit. The bad habits are harder to break.
  • Victoria TalbotVictoria Talbot VegasMember Posts: 11
    edited 22 July, 2010
    My Shadow was a half kibble (free fed) half wet cat until she developed feline diabetes, then it was wet food only. I fed her small portions every four hours using an auto feeder throughout the day. It took her a few weeks to get used to specific "feeding times" instead of being able to free feed as she had done for 13 of her 14 years. Your kitties will get used to it, especially if they like wet food as much as my Shadow did! =) My new boys get fed every six hours (they don't have blood sugar issues, so we don't feed them as often). They don't always eat all their food in one sitting, but it's usually gone within an hour or so. I know wet food can be expensive, especially the high quality stuff. Cheers to you for making a go at switching to wet. ;c; You have to do what you feel is right for your cat and works for your lifestyle and schedule, and if that means dry food for a while, then that's what it means. ;) It took us about six months to find a system that worked for Shadow (her illness complicated things), and we're still tweaking the boys' system (after having them for four months). Just keep with it and it'll work out. =) Twisp and Charlie's Mom
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