I've had many clients at Preferred Pet Sitter that battle daily between multiple cat households. There is always one overweight cat in the bunch that acts as the school yard bully stealing the others snacks. And generally, it's not just a few pounds the cat gains from this activity, Many times kitty gains an advanced body condition score of 'obese'- and this goes for dogs too. Obesity is one of the top medical issues facing American pets today.
Prescription veterinary diets are another obstacle. A passive pets' health suffers when it's medical diet intake is lacking. On the flip side, a healthy pet that's stealing medical diets from others is likely not receiving the appropriate nutritional balance it requires.
Keeping cat food in a dog heavy house is different problem completely. Cat food is a high ticket item in our household. The dogs want it, and only stuggle to steal it when they can't get it. Our cat always wants more so she has used stealth maneuvers to MacGyver her paw up into our autofeeder to receive kibble bits.
I've scoured the web and also considered some of my past ideas to help with these issues:
1. Elevate the cat food dish above the dogs. This works great in our dog heavy house. We keep the cat auto feeder on top of our dryer where the dogs can't reach. And added benefit for us has been that kitty needs to jump up to get to her food, giving her just a little extra exercise to work for it.
2. In an all cat household with one obese cat, try housing the cat food inside a heavy duty Rubbermaid box with a small hole cut out. Make sure the hole is only small enough for the small cats, and too small for chubby to get through. This will shut him or her out of the major supply. Make sure the box is weighed down, otherwise big kitty might get clever and topple over the box.
3. I stumbled upon this one a few weeks ago. The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder works with overweight and prescription diet pets alike. The pet is given a microchip to wear around it's neck, the pet walks under the feeder arch and the doors to the dish open. The chip essentially acts as a key so only that the pet wearing it is the only one that gains access to the food. This leaves our bully pet out of it and locks them out of the dish. It's also got sparkling reviews and a few videos to see for yourself. Click the link below!
Let me know what solutions you've come up with for your individual diet pets below, I'd love to hear them!