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Multi-cat Feeder System

By: Rebecca O'Connor

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Do have a household of multiple cats and one that needs to spend some time on Jenny Craig? Perhaps your veterinarian has laid down the law and told you that Fluffy must go on a special prescribed diet to slowly lose some of those pounds. You've got a great vet then. Feline obesity is a very big problem.

Obesity in cats is very common and can predispose the cat to diabetes, Hepatic Lipidosis and arthritis. Overweight and obese felines outnumber cats of normal weight and are being seen more and more commonly by veterinarians for various disorders. But if you have multiple cats, how do you deal with giving only one a special diet?

The new NekoFeeder™ feline feeding system, allows a cat with normal weight full access to food anytime for self-feeding. A special trap door prevents an overweight cat, a cat with allergies, or a hopeful dog away from the food supply. The system includes a large, high-quality cat carrier and feeding box outfitted with a specially designed swinging door.

The system is controlled by a battery-operated tag on the cat collar to unlock the door, enabling the cat to enter the isolated space to eat. A cat with a restricted diet simply does not have the "key" for access. More than one family cat may use one NekoFeeder and up to four NekoFeeders can be used per household.

Adjusting to the new system depends on the individual cat personality. Even skittish cats learn to use the feeder within two weeks. Most cats will quickly learn to go into the box for treats with the door open. Once comfortable with coming and going from the space, it's an easy transition to learning to look for kitty's food dish in the NekoFeeder.

NekoFeeder was designed by Brad Portelance when he was given two kittens as a housewarming gift. Hana was a normal cat, but Neko grew quite plump. Portelance tried every possible way to control Neko's weight without upsetting Hana. Finally, in desperation, Portelance created the system with a locked door. On his controlled diet Neko has reached a healthier weight while Hana continues to enjoy the freedom of food on demand in her NekoFeeder. If you have a similar situation, you may want to investigate Portelance's invention.

How can you tell if your cat's too fat? You should be able to feel the ribs easily. Even thin cats may have a little "pooch" in the belly between the hind legs, but this should not be excessive. Looking at your cat from above, you should be able to see a bit of a waist, rather than a bulge, between ribs and hips. If you think your cat is fat, you should visit your veterinarian.

Any cat that is overweight should visit the veterinarian and have a physical exam performed. Your vet will take an exact weight then run blood and urine tests. She will want to know if normal thyroid hormone levels are present and that the cat has no physical or metabolic dysfunction. If the cat is physically normal, other than the abnormal body weight from fat deposition, then a gradual and careful weight loss program may be recommended by your vet.

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