Monday, October 22, 2007

FAT CAT feeding system.

THE PROBLEM:

Overweight cat in a multi-cat household.

This is Vernon:



He is a slightly husky boy living with our two other cats. We'd like to keep dishes of dry food out so they can all eat when they want to, but as Vernon was a rescue straight from the street, he is conditioned to eat CONSTANTLY. As such, he became a very heavy boy soon after moving in with us.

THE SOLUTION:

Our vet suggested we create a feeder cage (in this case, a birdcage) so the other two can get in and eat when they want to, but our big-boned boy could not.

Here it is:





See how that works? Vernon gets fed regularly, don't worry- and he's lost three pounds, putting him back into the heavy but healthy range.

As you know we moved recently, and the new place is a bit smaller, so we need to conserve kitchen space. Thus, this past weekend I built a new feeder cage into an old rolling kitchen cart. It went a little something like this:



1/2" hardware cloth...



Hinged panel for access to the food dishes... held in place by velcro...


The little "door" is actually two cheap ikea picture frames. We tested it by putting it around Vernon's head. There's no way he's getting in there.



And there's one of the svelter cats gettin' her food on...

So there it is. Probably added years to his life.

26 comments:

Robert said...

Very cool idea and implementation, but I would consider adding a second door to the far end. Many cats are very uncomfortable if they don't have an escape route while feeding. A container with only one door, that they must put their back to while eating, definitely fits that description.

Anonymous said...

and if vernon gets small enough to squeeze in then he can stay in until too fat to get out :)

Anonymous said...

We tried our own version with the exact same IKEA frame...so far so good!

Moxie said...

I keep coming back to this via Ikea Hacker... I think we will make one this weekend.

Also, the larger cat is bullying the smaller cat from the various litter boxes. So we thought this would be a good alternative for a litter box like the Booda dome (they don't like covered boxes) that would allow only one in, and allow her to see out while using it. Thanks for the great post!

Anonymous said...

Nicely done! We did something similar for our two cats: except in our case Skinny Cat could climb and jump very well and Fat Cat could not... so we put Skinny Cat's food on top of a six foot carpeted post (with a platform on top for comfortable dining). There's also the High Tech solution: you can buy cat flaps with electronic collars that will allow the collar-wearing cat in but not others.

Marina Martin said...

I have a 16lb Maine Coon (plus two tiny 8lb girl cats) and was eager to try something like what you did out, so when I saw the birdcage from your earlier photos at PETCO, I bought it. Turns out the bugger can still slip right in!

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Anonymous said...

Good thinking! Cats are differnt but I think this would work for 96%of cats. I want to try it with my cat, Its getting way to big and I have to put the other cat in a room alone so it can eat. Then again we call him the escape artist.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I went in search of a large bird cage, but couldn't find one with a large enough door for the skinny cats, so I bought a guinea pig cage. Works perfect!

Julianne said...

Quite useful info, thank you for the article.

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