Second Chance: Is There A Right Way To Feed A Cat?

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been serving San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. The shelter is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 11 to 5:30. Community veterinary services are available by appointment.

View shelter pets and services online:

Go here for more on Dr. Shari DePauw of Second Chance. Second Chance veterinary clinic is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Call (970) 626-9713 or email

Donate here.

Go here for more options from Second Chance.

Cats are complex creatures. They have a reputation for being finicky eaters and will sometimes reject food they used to scarf down. Maybe it’s not the food. It might have something to do with how, when, and where you’re feeding them.

Putting a bowl of kibble on the floor twice a day may unintentionally cause stress at feeding time. Lining up a row of bowls for your three or more cats may be another problem. The same goes for feeding your cat with your dogs.

Although your cat may get along with your other cats and your dogs, mealtime for a cat is a vulnerable time. Cats are instinctually solitary hunters and predators. They may want to “hunt” and eat alone.

To help your cat have a finer dining experience, better digestion, and a happier attitude, consider changing how much you feed and when.

Experts say cats need small, frequent portion-controlled meals each day, and they need to interact with their food. It is normal cat behavior to take one to three bites and walk away. It is a misconception that this is being finicky. When we fill a bowl of yummy food, some cats can overindulge. That leads to scarf and barf (you get the idea). A cat’s stomach is only the size of a ping-pong ball and can only hold so much food at one time. Smaller portions spaced throughout the day are recommended. If you can’t be home to feed your cat multiple times a day, a timed feeder can help.

Some experts suggest that feeding cats from bowls can cause behavioral issues. We might be depriving our indoor cats of their innate need to hunt and catch their prey by feeding them in bowls. Frankly, bowls are boring. Environmental enrichment and simulating cats’ natural feeding behaviors in the home is a great start. Hiding food in toys or in different areas of the home can help their basic instincts stay active and be happy well-behaved family members. This is part of the growing movement of cat lovers who are committed to providing safe, healthy, and engaging lives for indoor cats.

We realize you probably have things to do other than feeding your cat and making it interesting. We suggest making a few changes to vary your cat’s feeding experience, which could make her a happier cat.


My name is Harvest. I’m a young, black-and-white cat. I was on my own and pregnant, yet I trusted a human to feed me. I was lucky to land at Second Chance, where they spayed me and gave me a warm, safe place. I am waiting for someone to bring me home where I can receive love and care for the rest of my life.

AND… To continue the Second Chance Highlights section, we want to share the following:

Julie- Volunteer Cat Cuddler (and SO Much More)


Julie is one of our most reliable volunteers and is so loved by the felines. She’s been volunteering for many years, mostly in the Cat Castle. You’ll often see her sitting on the floor with a lap full of purring friends.

Julie explained her passion, “It’s so important for them to get as much contact with people as possible. By loving and petting them, I’m helping them understand that people are their friends. It makes them so much more appealing to potential adopters.”

Julie left a high-stress career for small-town life and helping pets. Her passion is definitely helping cats and she’s extremely empathetic.

She’s helped with medical clinics and cats with special needs (especially ones in ISO that need constant care). Julie is very much our Cat Castle Angel.

She is always happy to volunteer on holidays, understanding that the kitties don’t know when it’s Christmas Day. That is the sign of an amazing volunteer!!

Thank you, Julie, for your dedication, generosity, and ability to make cats purr.

Interested in volunteering?

We always welcome dog walkers, cat cuddlers, thrift shop volunteers, event help, and behind-the-scenes admin helpers.

January theme at our Paws for Art gallery is Photos & Posters. This a fun way to update your walls for the new year.

Paws for Art Gallery is located in Ridgway (across the parking lot from thrift shop at 309 Sherman St).

Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 4pm or by request during thrift shop hours.

All proceeds support Second Chance Humane Society.

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