Author Topic: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines  (Read 1814 times)

Offline andrea1970

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How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« on: December 18, 2012, 01:59:38 AM »
We just adopted a young calico from the humane society this weekend. She is about a year old.  At the HS they were feeding science diet and sent her home with a bag.  I plan to transition her to a different food soon, but didn't want to do it just yet.  The feeding guidelines on the bag recommend 3/8 - 5/8 cup per day for her weight.  But she seems to want way more than that.  She appears to be a normal weight, but she is very concerned about getting food and she runs after you and cries anytime somebody goes near the laundry room where we keep her kibble.   Should I really strictly stick to that amount or should I allow her to have more at first while she gets adjusted and work down to the recommended amount?

I assume she's way more active here than she was at the HS,so maybe she's burning more?  She is definitely not the sleep 16-hours a day kitty!!  Or maybe I've just totally forgotten what it's like to have a truly hungry kitty after years of geriatric kitties that were less worried about eating all the time.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."  -- Thomas Jefferson
Andrea DeJarnett

Offline Marybelle

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2012, 07:57:31 AM »
The guidelines are just that, and not set in stone.  If she's acting constantly hungry, give her a little bit more and see what happens.  As long as she' doesn't start to chunk up, you're good.  :)

Offline RattiesSix

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2012, 01:44:46 PM »
Definitely just vague guidelines. I've never had a young cat remotely content with what the bag says.  :yelcutelaugh: I think even with our 4 year old cat, it's nearly doubled.

Offline andrea1970

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2012, 02:50:54 PM »
I gave her 1/4 cup first thing this morning and it was gone within 20-30 minutes.   I think what I'll do for a couple days is measure out a cup at the beginning of the day and feed it in portions during the day and see if I can figure out how much she actually wants.  I've taken a plastic picnic cup and marked it for 1 cup on the inside rather than try to keep track of how many times somebody puts "a little more" in her bowl.

I looked at the difference in the feeding guidelines for the kitten food vs. the adult food and there is a HUGE difference in the total calories at the top of the ranges (318 for adult, 459 for kitten).  If she's just barely a year old, she may just not be ready to cut all the way down to the adult intake yet, especially with increased activity levels.  It's a lot of work exploring a new house and keeping track of the dog!!!

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."  -- Thomas Jefferson
Andrea DeJarnett

Offline Dragonfly

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2012, 02:55:23 PM »
My kitties are fairly active (indoor/outdoor) and they get 2 cups of Taste of the wild a day. My 3 year old Boxer dog gets 4 cups of TOTW a day when the recommended amount for his age/weight is something like a cup or so.
I agree with the others, as long as she isn't over weight, the recommendation on a bag are just recommendations and not really strict  guidelines.
Love the Creatures. Love the baby. Love the life.

Offline *Kat*

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2012, 06:28:34 PM »
At a year she's still growing so her needs will be more than a full grown adult.

Offline applecavy

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2012, 08:59:50 PM »
I just wanted to say that she is beautiful  :heart:

Offline HowlsOfAngels

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2013, 11:33:01 AM »
When you're ready to switch this chart applies to  kitties as well: http://moredooks.herobo.com/search.php?chart=ferret  ;D
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Offline andrea1970

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2013, 04:47:16 PM »
I started switching her over to Blue Adult Indoor Health (blue bag) and I swear it looks IDENTICAL to the Science Diet they sent home with her except for the little dark bits.  The transition seems to be fine -- no signs of stomach upset.  And since it all looks alike, it's hard to tell what the mix is now in the bin.

Overall she seems to be getting comfy.  She definitely has a mind of her own!! She still has no love for the dog, but I think the dog and cat must have had a "come to Jesus" meeting because Luci doesn't go upstairs anymore even though she was sleeping with me for a few nights.  I can only guess that Ginny claimed all bedroom rights.  But they peacefully co-exist at this point with just the occasional hiss.  I think Luci is curious about Ginny, but wants to check it out on her own terms, not a pushy doggy nose.

And so far she has shown zero interest in the dog door.  I think she considers it part of Ginny's space (like her crate) and just stays away from it.

The main "bad" habit Luci has is getting up on the desk/table/whatever.  Not much for the counters after the first couple days.  But she really wants to lay on the placemats on the kitchen table.  And she KNOWS she shouldn't be up there because she goes running off as soon as I get up to chase her off.  But in the universe of bad habits, that's fairly minor. Her other "quirk" is she can be a bit rough with the hand sometimes - she probably would not be a good fit for a family with young children. Sometimes she just gets in a mood and seems to be enjoying being petted or rubbed and then just attacks your hand and tries to pull it to her mouth.   I've learned to recognize her cues that she's about to try to "catch" my hand and stop touching her.  If she tries when I'm not paying attention, I just relax into it instead of fighting and she lets go when it's not any fun.

We also can't figure out her startle reflex.  She's very alert to some things and freaks (like opening doors) and totally oblivious to others (like a ringing phone).  I acquired some "racing stripes" the other day when I was holding her up on my shoulder and she was happily purring while I petted her.  Then somebody came in from the garage and she heard that door and went flying up my arm and shoulder and down my back and ran off to hide.  She seems to like everyone in the family, so I don't understand why she gets scared when someone comes in the door.  She does seem to accept Ginny's barking as a indicator it's okay to panic.  If somebody comes in the front door after Ginny has been barking, she's outta there! 

Overall, it's been fun having a younger cat again.  The aging process happens so slowly that you don't realize how much they've slowed down when you've lived with them for years.  My hubby is surprisingly attached to her and I've even heard him say "Daddy loves you".  He is so NOT a cat person, but he likes her spunk and personality.  He's interacted with Luci more in the past 3 weeks than he did our other cats in the past decade.  The kids are enjoying her too -- they are the chief playmates and let her chase the laser pointer and the dangling feathers toy.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."  -- Thomas Jefferson
Andrea DeJarnett

Offline Marybelle

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 09:24:31 PM »
If you want to encourage her off the table, put down some duct tape, sticky side up.  It makes it an unhappy place to be, and eventually, she'll stay off.  Cats don't like things sticking to their paws. 

Alternatively, get some throwaway mats and put double sided sticky tape on it.  :)

Also, this assures that she doesn't associate you with the "punishment", which makes her less likely to do it when you're not around.

Offline forkyfork

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 06:37:43 PM »
The petting purring biting thing is a calico trademark.  ;) Be glad it isnt the attack your feet and legs and draw blood for no apparent reason. Our torbie would run after my son and just grab his legs and imbed her teeth and claws if he ignored her when she wanted attention...but not too much attention.  ::)

Offline andrea1970

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Re: How strictly to adhere to feeding guidelines
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 04:24:43 PM »
The petting purring biting thing is a calico trademark.  ;) Be glad it isnt the attack your feet and legs and draw blood for no apparent reason. Our torbie would run after my son and just grab his legs and imbed her teeth and claws if he ignored her when she wanted attention...but not too much attention.  ::)

LOL.  Is the pitiful whiney meow another calico thing?? :)  She doesn't attack our feet, but she may end up tripping me one day trying to herd me towards the laundry room to feed her!  But she does have a funny ritual with my husband: he wears jeans to work and she'll stand on her back legs and dig her claws into his jeans on his thigh and knead and stretch.  It's not a sudden attack or anything and it doesn't hurt him -- more like it's a variation of the scratching post or something! She doesn't do it to anyone else or to bare legs, so I guess it's just their thing.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."  -- Thomas Jefferson
Andrea DeJarnett