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They say having cats is a blessing, and as a pet parent, I can assure you that. But what does it mean to have multiple cats?

When you live with more than one cat at home, you will likely come across instances where one pet would be found eating in the other’s bowl. It is quite common in households with multiple pets until they learn to live with each other in harmony. When you get a new pet, the old ones take some time to adjust to another family member and how things change. They might not realize that you have put the food for the other cat and eat it. However, there can be several different reasons if your fur baby is eating from the other’s food bowl.

Follow these steps to prevent your cats from eating or drinking from each other’s bowls: adjust an eating schedule, feed felines in different places, keep an eye on them when they eat, use multiple feeders or automatic pet doors, and try to remove any leftovers from cats’ food bowls. Ensure there are no medical causes by visiting a vet.

Other than eating from each other’s bowls sometimes you might also experience your cat drinking from another water bowl. If you come across any of these situations, be vigilant about your cat’s behavior to find out the cause. Necessary measures must be taken to prevent cats from eating each other’s food.

What is it like having more than one cat at home?

Around 52% of cat parents have more than one cat at home. With more cats comes more love and increased responsibility as each of them has a personality of his own. The amount of effort you put into keeping your cat protected and in good health doubles or triples as you bring more cats to your home. The most important part of a cat’s care and looks after is food, and more pets at home can be unfavorable for your older pet. When more pets are feeding in the same house, particularly in the same spot or bowl, they might not get along very well.

Your cats might sometimes be afraid of the presence of another animal and not eat properly. Moreover, the pets might try to get a taste of each other’s food. Yes, it is a common occurrence in households with more than one pet. They are many times seen eating each other’s food and depriving the other of dietary nutrition.

What’s worse is that it can go unnoticed for a while if your pet does not show hunger symptoms or does not resist the other animal. When you come across such behavior of other cats in your house, make sure that they do not eat each other’s meal, and everyone gets the fair share.

Why do cats steal each other’s food?

Before you try to find out solutions to cats eating the other one’s food, you must know the reason behind your cat’s such behavior. It is a common practice that medicine is prescribed as per the condition presented to the doctor. Similarly, you can determine a way to stop your cat from doing so when you are well aware of the cause of her behavior.

There could be several elements that affect your pet’s behavior, and they steal each other’s food. Let’s look at some of the possible reasons to evaluate what can be done to avoid it.

· Curiosity

We know that humans are curious, yet we might not know that curiosity is not confined to humans. Animals are also curious beings and love to explore their surroundings. Cats have an inquisitive nature, and they want to know about everything around them. And they do not hesitate to get into every other thing in the house.

You can see your cat resting on your books, sitting in the bathroom, or even howling outside while you respond to nature’s call. Why? Because they are curious about knowing what you are doing inside. Similarly, they are interested to know what the fellow cat is being served. They might not necessarily like the food you are helping other cats, but the curiosity kills them, leading them to steal food from different bowls.

· Tired of the same food

Cats are not humans, but they relate to humans significantly. While the cats outside are habitual of hunting their prey and enjoying their dinner themselves, the indoor cats have to eat what you serve them. And sometimes, like us, they also get tired of eating the same food.

Many times, cats eat the food of others because it looks and tastes different. If all the cats are being served different foods due to the unique dietary requirements, care must be taken to avoid stealing. We recommend that you should change the protein in your cat’s meal every three weeks or a month to offer a different taste.

· The other cat’s food tastes delicious

As we already mentioned that cats are curious and might try the food in the other bowl for a change of taste; what if it tastes better to them? If your cat finds the other cat’s food better than theirs, they are more likely to steal the other cat’s food.

· That’s how cats are…

Okay, we know that it might not seem to be a convincing reason for your fur baby to eat from another pet’s bowl. Yet, it is true. Cats and kittens that are being petted at home tend to think that humans exist only to care for them and serve them. This innate nature makes them believe that the food you put in their bowls is for them to eat. They do not care about the presence of other pets in the house.

Cats that behave this way without the presence of any other possible reason want to show their dominance and ownership over other pets.

· Grudge

Cats seem friendly, but only until you are superior to them. These cute little balls of fur can be brilliant if somebody tries to annoy or outsmart them. Often, cats steal food from each other’s bowls for revenge if the other pet is being annoying. If the other cat has eaten from that bowl in the past or annoys them in another way, they utilize this method for resentment.

More than one pet in the house elevates the chances of this behavior, which is dangerous in the long term. The pets can replicate this habit and harm each other sometimes. Also, having pets with the practice of taking revenge can cause distress to you too.

Related eating habits and disorders

Your pet might find it funny to eat from the other one’s food bowl to do so for any other underlying reason. Yet, it is not healthy. Eating from another pet’s bowl should never be encouraged, and should be prevented from eating each other’s food. If your pet continues to eat another pet’s food, it can result in several issues regarding your cat’s physical and mental well-being. Keep an eye on your pet’s behavior and find an appropriate solution to avoid this situation.

· Overeating

Your cat can be finishing his food and also eat from neighboring ones. If your cat begins eating more than usual and gets habitual to that amount of food, this can create trouble in the long course. Pets usually do not realize that they are eating more than they need and stuff themselves as much as possible. However, overeating can result in obesity over time and cause health problems for your cat. Consulting a vet is necessary if your cat puts on the extra weight and is difficult to manage.

· Eating quickly

If your pet knows that you are trying to keep him from eating the other pet’s food, they will try to swallow it quickly. Eating quickly and swallowing the food as it is can be troublesome for the cats. Swift eating can also lead to overeating, along with vomiting as a result of indigestion. This kind of habit can be utterly problematic for your pet if left unseen and lead to gastritis, i.e., inflammation of the mucosal lining in the stomach.

· Pica

Another eating disorder or habit that is common among cats due to several reasons includes pica. Pica refers to the practice of eating anything that is not edible. It is common for cats to bite or nibble onto things other than food. But, if your cat tries to engulf or chew it to eat, it is not the best sign. Consuming anything other than food particles can land you and your pet in great trouble by causing esophagus’ blockage. If your cat cannot swallow it, you need him to throw back the object or immediately visit a vet. On the other hand, if swallowing any inedible item, the cat would feel nauseous and vomit out. Nevertheless, the pet should be taken to a vet immediately.

· Compulsive eating

Obstructive compulsive disorder is not only common in humans, but cats also suffer from it. They exhibit in a different way than how humans react in such a scenario. Your cat might develop a compulsive eating disorder and wishes to eat from another cat’s bowl due to emotional stress. It can be daunting to keep your cat away from the food, keeping his condition in mind. Yet, to avoid other issues like pica, quick eating, or over-eating, you must derive ways to convince your cat to eat in his bowl only.

· Health concerns

Pets without any ailment are commonly given regular cat food. Yet, sometimes few cats might be given exceptional food as per their nutritional requirements. The change in food for such pets can affect their health and may cause malnutrition. If your cat does not take its food and indulges in unhealthy eating habits like overeating, it is prone to diabetes, arthritis, heart issues, and other medical conditions.

Optimal Food portions for your cat

To understand if your cat is getting all the essential nutrients, we also need to care about the portion of food given every time. The nutrients can be provided in an optimal amount to your pet by knowing every portion. Calculating quantities for the pet becomes incredibly easy when you master the art of reading labels. You can conveniently determine the food portions for your cat based on your pet’s age and weight.

The following table will help you divide food portions for your cat according to his body mass.

Weight of catTypical Calorie Intake of a Healthy catCat in need of weight loss  
5 lbs.183 kcal/day105 kcal/day
7.5 lbs.245 kcal/day140 kcal/day
10 lbs.303 kcal/day173 kcal/day
12.5 lbs.362 kcal/day207 kcal/day
15 lbs.413 kcal/day236 kcal/day  
17.5 lbs.462 kcal/day264 kcal/day
20 lbs.513 kcal/day293 kcal/day

Why do cats drink each other’s water?

The drinking pattern of cats is different from each other as they do not feel thirsty at the same time. So, it is not very common for cats to drink from each other’s water bowls. However, there can be other causes if your cat does not drink from its water bowl and opts for another. A common reason can be the distance of water from the food. It is common to observe that cats prefer drinking from water bowls (or sources) that are away from their food.

If your cat drinks from another pet’s bowl, it is an instinct because it is away from the food bowl. There is no harm in two cats drinking from the same bowl. You will only have to be more vigilant about the water levels and filling bowls more frequently if needed.

How to prevent cats from eating each other’s food

If you find your cats eating each other’s food, try to find out the reason behind it as soon as you can and get rid of it. You can also try some of the below-mentioned methods to prevent cats from eating each other’s food.

· Keep a schedule

One of the most convenient and effective methods to stop your cats from eating each other’s food is keeping a schedule for each cat. Ensure that the cats are fed at different times of the day, and only one cat is allowed in the feeding area.

· Stay near when they eat

It is the most basic way to keep your cats away from each other’s food while they eat. Stay near them when they eat and keep a strict eye. Seeing you near them signals the pets about being invigilated, and they avoid doing anything such. Keeping an eye on your cats when they feed for a few days can be a game-changer.

· The high-low method

The high-low method is relatively popular in houses with two mischievous cats that do not let each other eat in peace. The technique is simple. The high-low method says that you should feed one cat on the cat the other on a higher surface to ensure that they do not eat from each other’s plates.

· Feed-in separate rooms

What’s better than keeping your cats away from each other altogether while eating? Feeding your cats in separate rooms or areas is the most fruitful option if you have enough space at home. Place each cat’s food and water bowls in different rooms to keep them away from each other. This way, you can prevent cats from eating each other’s bowls.

· Clean up after the cats are done

The only time cats get to eat from each other’s food bowl is when they do not find anyone to look at them. If you keep an eye on your cats while they feed but not later, your fluffy baby may create some mess with the leftovers. A cat might want to have a taste of the other cat’s leftover out of curiosity. Fill the bowl only as your cat would eat and discard the rest if there are any leftovers.

· Use automatic pet doors

Technology has provided an excellent opportunity for pet parents to care for their pets even better. Automatic feeders and pet doors have proved to be of great help while feeding pets. Especially the presence of more than one pet makes it considerably challenging to take care of them. With the automatic pet doors with microchips, you can create a safe space for your fur baby to feed comfortably. The pet doors are readily available and come in different sizes for your cats. They are perfect for cats with psychological or eating disorders to let them eat in solitude.

· Use automatic feeders

Automatic feeders are another convenient option for you when your pet creates problems while feeding. Having a feeder for your fur baby allows him to eat only as much he should eat throughout the day. If you set each of the feeders at different times of the day, that would be a plus as the other pets would not be around. You can also place the automatic feeders in different parts of the house for each of the pets to have their meal without disturbance.

· Use multiple feeders

Another suggestion on the list is the use of multiple feeders for cats. Your cats would eat close to each other but from their part of the bowl. Automatic multiple feeders have grown quite popular in the past years to prevent cats from eating from each other’s bowls.

Best multiple feeders for two or more cats

You can find various types and brands of multiple cat eaters to feed two or more cats at one time. They provide several benefits and take away your worry about cats eating the other one’s food.

1. Fluffy Paws Smart Pet Tri-Feeder

Fluffy paws smart pet tri-feeder is a cute, adorable, and functional multiple feeder for your fluffy babies. It offers space for three cats to feed at once without troubling each other. The feeder’s appealing design attracts your pets, and they take an interest in having their food.  It provides a small area and portion of food at once for your pets to eat easily without choking. The following features make it an ideal feeder while you want to feed two or three cats at once.

  • Non-slip design
  • Microbe fence technology prevents microorganism buildup
  • It does not require a battery or electricity to operate
  • Easy to clean and assemble
  • It does not cost a fortune

The only con is that it does not offer automatic portions to your cat, and only small amounts can be fed at once.

2. Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder, CSF-3

If you want something more tech-savvy that saves you from filling the food bowl repeatedly, Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder, CSF-3 is the one. This feeder is perfect for feeding more than once cats as it has a huge capacity and can provide multiple portions daily. The primary container has a capacity of 5 cups. You can get an attachable container that can hold up to 7 lbs. of kibble. It does not require any batteries as it is electrically operated. Look at the features to see why this is the best automatic feeder for multiple cats at home.

  • Has an automatic dispenser
  • Holds up to 7 lbs.of kibble
  • Can be attached to the wall
  • The container is made of non-toxic plastic

The feeder should be washed by hand and not machine-washed.

Though the Super Feeder Automatic Cat Feeder, CSF-3, is a bit expensive, it comes with all the specifications you need in a multiple cat feeder.

Should cats and dogs share food?

Cats and dogs and different nutritional needs, and the food is based on various components. Taurine is an essential part of cat food that is vital for cats’ eye and kidney function. However, on the other hand, dog food does not contain taurine and has lesser calories than cat food. Any of the animals eating each other’s food can cause health issues and also does not fulfill the nutritional requirements. Therefore, cats and dogs should not be fed the same food.


When you know why your feline eats or drinks from another cat’s bowl frequently, take immediate action to prevent your fur baby from doing so by any of the methods mentioned above. A delay may give rise to health problems for your pet.

Happy Cat-Keeping!

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