Avatar universal

Keeping new cat out of resident cat's food

Hi all, my new 11-month old Gus, is a gobbler. He inhales all food like it's his last meal. Since I got him on December 20, 2014 I was hoping this would have gotten better once he realizes he has frequent, regular feedings.

My resident cat, Callie is 9 1/2 years old and is currently having a herpes upper respiratory flare-up thanks to Gus' arrival. Callie has always been a grazer but I can no longer leave out her kibble dish because Gus goes straight for it. I bought him a slow feed bowl but he wanted Callie's dish. I got Callie a slow feed bowl, he still goes to hers first.

I try to coax her to eat while he is gobbling down canned food in the morning and evening but it is also when I medicate her so she isn't inclined to eat much and she is in a no canned food mood right now so kibble is the only thing I can get her to eat.

I have tried being firm and saying "no" to Gus, moving him back to his dish, using a water bottle to spray his side but nothing is working very well.

I am back to work as of today so I don't want to separate them at meal time because I won't have time to let them out of whichever room they are in before I go to work. I had tried separating them for a few days at mealtime but as soon as he was loose he was at Callie's dish.

I am still hoping this is a phase for Gus but would love to hear suggestions that anyone has. I have to start Callie on antibiotics this evening for her flare up and even though Gus is vaccinated, I really don't like him eating out of her dish when she's sick.


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Avatar universal
Gus is still a growing boy.  If he is not having any consequences from the amount he is eating (e.g. vomiting, constipation, dehydration, obesity, etc.) then I wouldn't be too concern about him.  The real issue is ensuring that Callie is getting enough food.  So you can try putting out more food, an additional bowl or two, to ensure that Gus gets his fill but still leaves enough for Callie.  However, since herpes flare ups are often stress induced, separating the two of them into different rooms when you are gone may be a good idea for more than just the food issues.
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Avatar universal
Hi, thanks for responding. I left out extra food this morning before I left but I have been trying to avoid separating them because Callie seems to get distressed when I lock either her or Gus in a separate room.  She cries and scratches at the door to be let out/in and I don't want to increase her stress level.

Gus is good at giving her space and he is not showing any symptoms at all. I mentioned it to my vet last week and he said that since they share a water fountain and litter boxes there isn't much point of stressing either of them out by further separation. Until today I have made sure he doesn't eat out of the same dish but I had to leave her something this morning.

They tend to be at opposite ends of the same room or in different rooms altogether when I am not at home (even when I am home for that matter). I have had my landlady go and check in periodically to make sure things are looking good.

I was wondering if I left out a lot extra if he would eat it all or leave some for her. I have tried hiding hers but he always sniffs it out. He's a piggy for sure but other than being a bit gassy he seems to be tolerating his rapid eating well.

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134578 tn?1614729226
I would try shutting Gus away and giving Callie the run of the place, while you're at work.  Of course, this will mean Gus will be in a mood to frolic all night when you get home, but at least Callie won't be stressed by being shut in, she will have most of the space to herself in the daytime.  Gus is probably eating like this because he is young, but also to try to be dominant, and Callie is probably stressed by the dominance message.  So, he gets the one-down position of being shut in the bathroom or wherever all day.  You, the mama, are showing him he doesn't get  to lean on his roommate in this way.
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Avatar universal
I guess I misunderstood your original post.  You had said that Callie's herpes outbreak was due to Gus' arrival so I assumed you meant Gus' was causing her stress.
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Avatar universal
Oops, my bad, my post wasn't very clear. Her herpes flare is a result of Gus arriving at home but she is as adjusted as she can be at this point I think. The virus isn't doing the damage it normally does but the loss of her littermate and then Gus' arrival was too much for her system.

At this point she only has eye symptoms and no sneezing so I am taking the lack of progression in symptoms as a sign that she is getting used to him.  She only hisses at Gus now when he tries to steal her food or trying to get her to play when she'd rather be resting.

There is very little growling from her these days too which is an improvement and most nights they sleep on the bed but on different sides of course. :)

I tried locking Gus in the bedroom but Callie really hates closed doors. Even if she has free reign of the rest of the apartment, she cries and scratches at any closed door (except to the outdoors) regardless of what side of it she is on.

I tried giving Gus more canned food than kibble last night and there was still kibble left in Callie's dish this morning so I'm thinking that might work for a bit.

Thanks so much for replying ladies!


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