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Feeding a large family?

Karen HollandKaren Holland BrookvilleMember Posts: 833
edited 2 January, 2007 in Food & Nutrition
Ok, so there are 4 of us now. Soon to be 5 (we think Mommy has gone nutty personally). She has already looked into drinking fountains and decided on the Drinkwell fountain for big dogs. But, she is trying to figure out how to set up our food. Individual bowls or a couple bigger bowls? How do others do this with big families? Thanks! Meows, Harry


  • Marta GasperMarta Gasper FairburyMember Posts: 636
    edited 12 December, 2006
    Congrats on being a large family..we're 8 and though we started out with individual bowls, now we have a dinner plate each! That's for canned food that's messy.. we've 3 dr food bowls (breakfast bowl size) and 1 LG waterbowl (dg size) The waterfountain is a great idea, Meowmy is thinking about getting one for us. The fosters eat out of individual saucers (canned food), treats in paper plates and dry food in bowls. Waterbowls are individual because they have to be separated for taming sometimes and when they came they had bad colds
  • Karen HollandKaren Holland BrookvilleMember Posts: 833
    edited 13 December, 2006
    Thanks Madam. Meowmy thinks she will do it on trial and error and see what works with us.
  • Pamela HaneyPamela Haney Old ForgeMember Posts: 893
    edited 14 December, 2006
    We are a family of 4. We have 1 LG dog bowl of dry food. We get individual bowls of canned food once daily. There is a large dog bowl of water downstairs and the faucet drips upstairs so Mom doesn't put a bowl up there because we prefer the faucet anyway.
  • edited 14 December, 2006
    There's now 5 of us in our family. Our mom believes in free feeding so we have a 10 pound food dish(like the water dishes but made for food). She puts a full 8 pound bag of dry food in it every other week and we all do fine. As a matter of fact when I first came to live here I was really really bad the vet was worried about my lungs and I weigh a healthy 16 1/2 pounds(down from 32 pounds) which the vet said is right where my weight should be since I am a big girl. He said I am one of the biggest female cats he has ever seen......and he has never seen a Calico as big as I am!!!!!
  • edited 14 December, 2006
    We are also 4. We have one dog-sized water bowl, and two dog-sized food bowls that are refilled when the bottom shows. Mom tried separate bowls, but it didn't work. Tabby and I prefer one bowl, and Skylar and Lydia prefer another, but we switch off sometimes.
  • Dana OPrayDana OPray TorontoMember Posts: 283
    edited 14 December, 2006
    Well at our house we have an auto waterer, and mum bought us these cool separated dishes two separations in each dish. She puts each different kind of food in a different slot(all four of us each eat a different kind of food). And she feeds us the wet on a big dinner platter.
  • Melinda BMelinda B Member Posts: 1,628
    edited 14 December, 2006
    We are 4, used to be five of us. We have scheduled feedings; first one is dry food at 6am, next is dry food snacktime at 1pm, and last is either canned food or dry supper whatever time the humans go to bed. We each have our own different pattern china saucer that we eat out of, and we never trade. I will not eat out of any dish except my glass swirly dish, but Sassy will eat anyone else's so Mommy has to pick them up as soon as we are done eating. It is easier than you would think to train us kitties to do scheduled feedings. We had the hang of it in a few days, and Mommy does cat sitting sometimes and one time she trained six cats to do scheduled feedings in three days while their human was away for a month. It is a good way to do the feedings if one cat needs a special food (our case). For water we just have three dishes, two are actually casserole dishes and one is a huge teacup.
  • Jill McWhiteJill McWhite Duke City, Land of EnchantmentMember Posts: 1,098
    edited 15 December, 2006
    Hi, there are 4 of us, and my mom is a little nutty too! (yay, for nutty moms who can't say no to a fuzzy face!) We have the big dog sized fountian, and one big bowl of dry food out for us all day. For our canned food in the evening we eat out of 3 bowls. Mom saw something called a "kitty buffet" that she would like to get for our canned food. It was four little bowls that sat in a raised holder. We are hoping she will get us one of those, bcause sometimes it seems like there are kitty bowls everywhere!
  • Martha EubanksMartha Eubanks Member Posts: 7,349
    edited 16 December, 2006
    Mommy has 10 kitties in her sanctuary. They each have their own bowls. They don't exactly eat of one particular bowl, but it helps mommy make sure the right about of food gets put down. She also has a small dog water dispenser (she's lost for the word of what they are called right now) that she fills up every other day or whenever they empty it. She has found that the big ones get dirty too fast and need to be cleaned before they are empty. Some of them bubble when they fill the bowl back up, and that was a problem because my brother, Oreo, would try to catch the bubbles and would splash all the water out of the bowl to get it to bubble.
  • Sharon BraatenSharon Braaten Great BarringtonMember Posts: 842
    edited 16 December, 2006
    There's only 3 of us, but we have the drinkwell fountain and we would HIGHLY recommend it! We love the constant running water, but just make sure it doesn't run out of water and suck in air. It makes a lot of noise and it is not good for the motor to suck in air. Mom cleans it out about once a week to clean out any cat hair and wash the fountain with soap and water to make sure it is all clean for us. I used to have cystitis of the bladder, but since mom got the fountain, I drink more and am healthier than ever (and I'm 17!)
  • Sha LiSha Li HammondMember Posts: 390
    edited 28 December, 2006
    We are 4 too. Mommy wanted to scheduled feed but didn't work out, so now we have a auto feeder with plenty of food for us. We have one auto waterer and a water fountain, but the fountain got stucked all the time so mommy took out the motor and just used it as a water bowl. It works out pretty well now. Every other day mommy feed us (except sister Muffin) canned food on seperate plates.
  • Janet CrouchJanet Crouch Member Posts: 1,209
    edited 28 December, 2006
    There are eight of us, and we have several of the Marchioro Pet Dinettes with bowls. It's a feeding station and is great for messy eaters. The base has retaining rims to keep the bowls from moving around. We use ours just for food but you can do what works best for you. For water we have the Cat-it drinking fountain and love it, but we also like to drink water out of the dogs' water bowls and the filtered water from the kitchen sink. I tried to post the link here but it kept getting removed. shows a good picture of it. Purrs, Mercy
  • Dianne MeeksDianne Meeks ThornhillMember Posts: 7,069
    edited 28 December, 2006
    Hi kitties ;) There are 6 of us now and soon to be 7. There are kitty crunchy bowls on every level of the house - 2 in the bedroom, one in the office and one downstairs in the kitchdn. They are always kept full and a fresh bowl of water is in each room as well. For my sister Quattro, my moms leave the bathtub water running very very slowly, she only likes the freshest of water. We get a small amount of wet food in the morning and again at night and so we can nibble any time we want to ;) We are all very happy and healthy kitties and so far this has worked out great!
  • Courtney DeemsCourtney Deems ParkersburgMember Posts: 177
    edited 1 January, 2007
    There are four kitties in my family. I too believe in free feeding but for different reasons than I suspect others do. Booger was an only cat for several years and ate nothing but dry food until he got sick. At that point, eating in general was more important than what he was eating and he ended up on a schedule of wet food twice a day and dry food as free range. Booger, however, was one of those cats that would nibble at his food all day long but, with three additional family members, you can only imagine what happens to an unattended plate. Therefore, since Booger doesn\'t mind dry food (and actually seems to prefer it) I keep dry food out all the time so he can eat at his leisure. The other cats prefer the wet food and really don\'t eat much, if any, of the dry. (Before I get in trouble from the nutrition experts for free feeding, I want to say that some cats have a tendency to overeat when free fed so please keep that in mind.) All four of my cats receive a can of wet food for breakfast as well as diner and, for the most part, this seems to be working very well. I do have one cat, Joey, who is becoming quite a glutton so I may need to change my routine in order to control his food consumption. I also use wet because I also use a vitamin supplement. (Again, this is mostly because of Booger.) I personally don\'t use a feeding station, but I can see why a lot of people recommend them. However, I do spoil Tui just a bit though. She eats her breakfast downstairs because she\'s a bit on the shy side and doesn\'t really like to socialize if my toddler is awake and running through the house. (And yes, I have become her slave and walk downstairs to feed her breakfast every morning.) And now, for the brand of food... I think this is one of the hardest questions to answer. In another post, I stated that for obvious reasons, every manufacturer will have \'valid\' reasons as to why their food is superior to the other brands. It\'s our responsibility, unfortunately, to separate fact from fiction, and in the end, we have to make what we feel is an educated decision based on nutrician, and, in large families, on price as well. Before I tell you the particular brand I chose, there are a few more things I want to mention. 1.) I\'ve been told, and I think everyone will agree, that the best way to chose a food is by the ingredient lable. I really don\'t think it\'s possible to find the \'perfect\' food, but ideally, the first ingredient should be a named meat (i.e. chicken, beef, liver, etc.). The opinions on by-products are probably worthy of their own forum, but if you end up with a food that contains by-products (as I did) it is better to have a named by-product (i.e. chicken by-product vs. meat by-product). 2.) Obviously, your cats have to eat it. I have experimented with just about every brand on the market from the best to the worst. (By the way, price is not a good guideline to follow. Expensive does not always equal better.) Believe it or not, all four of my cats turned their noses up to what I consider to be the best food on the market. 3.) My vet in Pennsylvania (who I highly respect) actually recommended Fancy Feast. According to him, it\'s one of the best store brands on the market, it\'s affordable, almost all cats will eat it, and it\'s proportioned more appropriately than some of the other brands. So, there you have it - all four of my cats eat Fancy Feast. I won\'t say it\'s the best food on the market, but the ingredient lable is by far not the worst. In my opinion, it\'s affordable, especially if you buy by the case when it\'s on sale, and well, it\'s the only thing Booger will touch. Good luck! (And, whatever brand you chose, look for coupons!!!) ~Booger~
  • Melanie BenoitMelanie Benoit CochraneMember Posts: 3,101
    edited 2 January, 2007
    There's 8 of us. We used to be free fed and that was working until Zak got sick. He's doing food alergies so until mom figures a food that Zak can handle we are fed twice a day. I think the time of free feeding will be back soon since Zak haven't done any reaction over the new grain free food in a week and he's looking better than before. Well usualy we are fed out of a Bistro type of dispenser. Mom bought the water one too and its free for us cats and for our 6 doggie pals to drink out. The water always fresh as mom have to fill it 3 times a day at least!
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