From free feeding

(It’s 2:30am. I want to be asleep. I need to be asleep. After tossing and turning for an hour, I came downstairs to take some allergy meds. I’m now waiting for them to kick in.)

Glitch has always been free-fed. His food bowl, as regularly as possible, has been kept filled with food. Not always to the brim, but there’s almost always food available for him. Between my work schedule and Mandrina’s gimpiness when we first got him, it seemed like the thing to do. He’s a nice, slender cat, too, so it hasn’t led to any massive weight gain.

Our two problems, however, are making me have to reconsider. Both have “sensitive stomachs,” and I’ve spent a pretty penny figuring that part out. Bit has problems with her output — as in, where it should go. She has never tried to get to Glitch’s food, however.

Pixel, on the other hand, takes the fact that Glitch’s food is up on a table as a challenge. He’s used bar stools as skipping stones. He’s leapt from the top of a 4′ high DVD rack to a table three feet away. He’s the athlete of the two — and too stupid to be scared. He also doesn’t associate punishment “properly.”

The last straw was today. Mandrina and I did some cleanup in the living room over the last week and a half. One of the items moved was the DVD shelf I eventually need to find a better place for. For the moment, it’s living in the breakfast nook. See previous note re Pixel jumping from the top. So I moved the DVD rack a few days ago so that he could no longer jump to the top of it from another table; I moved it next to the table with Glitch’s food. It worked for a whole three days. Then Pixel discovered this morning that he could climb up the side of it, using the Plastic-wrap-like substance that was used to keep all the DVDs in while we were moving. I caught him, and moved the DVD shelf so that if he tried to climb it where he had been, he would bump his head into the bottom of the table.

I came home tonight to discover Glitch needed food. Guess what! He needs food again. Pixel found another route up to Glitch’s food, I’m not even sure which one. I’m tired of trying to make Glitch have to work for his food. It might be time to start feeding Glitch on a schedule — as if I had one!

Anyone have any ideas how to change a cat from free-fed to scheduled feedings?

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