There are 2 cats in our household and they couldn’t possibly be any different from one another.
Cat number 1 is Lily. Lily was adopted from the Humane Society as a kitten over 12 years ago. She was just a tiny little thing when we brought her home and not much has changed from that first day, she has grown up into a lovely looking cat, but she is still petite weighing just over 6 pounds.
Food has never been a priority for Lily, in fact you could present her with fish on a platter and she would take one look at it, then look at you as if you were crazy thinking she could possibly consider eating this thing and turn her back and walk away!
Lily, although she is sweet, has never been a cuddly cat, she will allow you to pet her on her terms and she prefers the pets come from my son or me, and these pets are on a time limit – meaning when she’s had enough she lets you know!
Then we have cat number 2, Lloyd, who we adopted from Toronto Animal Services as a kitten. He was a scrawny kitten, bony in fact, but that changed quickly. Unlike Lily, Lloyd LOVES his food, Lloyd LOVES Lily’s food, and Lloyd when given the chance would LOVE Edie’s food and human food, and anything else on the floor that even resembles food!
Lloyd is a cuddly cat, although he can be timid with strangers, once he gets to know you all you have to do is look at him and he will purr on demand, he loves attention, loves to be petted and being rubbed under his chin, loves to sleep at the foot of my bed, he will have conversations with you, meowing back when spoken to.
Lloyd’s biggest issue is his greatest love, the love of food, and it’s this issue that has become a challenge, not only for health issues of him becoming overweight, but an issue effecting Lily, her weight, and as she becomes older and less agile, her safety.
Until the last year or so we have been able to feed Lily by placing her food up high, Lloyd has never been the best jumper and he would leave her food alone (mostly), but as Lily is aging and not as agile as she once was, we had to place a stool for her to jump on so she could safely get to her food, but Lloyd used this stool to his benefit and started enjoying Lily’s food as well as his own! Thus the extreme weight gain for Lloyd.
We didn’t know what to do, Lily being as small as she is needed all the nutrition she can get, yet she also needed to be able to get to her food safely as she aged. We moved their food to different levels of the house, trying to “confuse” Lloyd, that didn’t work, with his strong sense of smell it wasn’t long before he tracked it down, and there was only so much we could do as far as watching Lloyd and catching him in the act.
What to do, what to do?
Discussing this with a friend they suggested putting Lily’s food in a box with a cut out for her to enter.
Would it work? Would Lily eat in such a box? Would Lloyd push his way through and get at the food?
We ran out of options and for Lily’s safety and Lloyd’s health we had to try.
Happy to say it works!
The box needed a few “adjustments” as far as what size to make the cut out so that Lily could get in comfortably and Lloyd couldn’t.
Then it never occurred to us that Lloyd would jump on top of the box collapsing it and basically finding another access to the food treasurers! So we then placed a bored across the top of the box so that if he stood on top he could not get in.
We placed a larger hole at the back of the box to gain access to Lily’s bowl, and place the box up against a wall hiding the larger hole from Lloyd.
So far, so good!
Lily can go to her bowl and it is just as full as she had left it and she can do so safely without having to jump up as she ages.
Lloyd on the other paw was not as impressed. he will sit or lay down in front of the box, willing the hole in the box to get bigger so he can get in, but he too is benefiting because now he should start trimming down to a healthier weight, but I guess the next challenge for us will be when Lloyd does lose some weight, he will be able to fit through that hole in the box!
Update: Things were going great for a couple of days with Lily’s food box, BUT it appears Lloyd had his own plans as to how to get the food even though he couldn’t fit in the hole. I caught him, face in the hole, reaching in and grabbing the food dish, brining it towards the opening and having a good old feast!
Back to the drawing board!
I was not going to be outsmarted by Lloyd! I have now added an addition on the back so that his long paws can not reach the dish and pull it forward.
We will see over the next couple of days what Lloyd comes up with this time in his continued adventures of getting Lily’s food!
Stay tuned for updates!