Anonymous asked in PetsDogs · 1 month ago

Keep Dog from Eating Cat Food?

Recently my 16 year old cat tore his ACL. My vet advised me to keep him from jumping, and to give him painkillers through his food. I was told not to change the way he is fed (free feed) since we don't want to discourage a cat his age from eating, especially with his medications mixed into the food. 

I usually have a gate in front of my room to keep the dogs (2 Saint Bernards and a Chihuahua) out, the cat can jump over it usually, but now he can't. The dogs get into the room and eat every bit of the cat's medicated food. The biggest problem is the Chihuahua, one scolding to the big dogs and they never did it again. 

I need a way to keep the Chihuahua from eating my cat's food, without making a barrier for the cat to jump. I don't want to buy a microchip feeder since I've heard those aren't at all reliable, nor can I put in a microchip cat door in my wall. 

I also can't do a pet boundary because the Chihuahua already has a beeping bark collar on (so unless I can do some kind of chip on the pre-existing collar). 

Any recommendations? I'm at my wit's end trying to get something to work. 


How the hell did I end up on the side of answers that has ZERO empathy for these animals?!? WTF is wrong with you people?? Telling me to leave the cat locked up all day while I work- would you want to be penned up for 8+ hours 5-6 days a week?! With this COVID mess I can't board the animals either?? Jesus. I came looking for genuine help to keep the animals happy safe and healthy and ended up with people attacking the cat? Why doesn't the dog get penned? Oh because it's cruel to lock an animal 

Update 2:

Locking ANY of the animals up all day is cruel and evil. This is ALL of their homes, I can't imprison them. 

Update 3:

I honestly hope none of you people have pets because it's clear you give very little thought to their happiness and safety. "oh the cat's destroys your room, maybe it should be crated". Are you kidding? I work every ******* day for 8+ hours, if I were ANY of the animals I would hate being locked up that long.

This is my best friend in the whole world and to everyone it just seems like the dirt y'all walk on. I pray for your pets. Terrible owners. 

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Can’t help but wonder if you have anger issues, are frustrated or a little bit of each. Anyway - maybe I’m missing something. The chihuahua presumably can’t jump over a gate. Can’t you keep the cat on one side of a gate (so he doesn’t have to jump to get his food) and the dogs on the other? When I had a very similar problem with 2 dogs, one on painkillers - ACL surgery - they free fed, and the ONLY way I could KNOW which dog was taking the medication was to put her where the other dog couldn’t go. I used a baby gate. They certainly weren’t their happy selves when they were kept apart, but it was the only way one dog could eat (in the bedroom, bathroom and hallway) and the other had free run of the house. As I said, they were unhappy to be separated, but it was the only way I could be POSITIVE that the right dog took the medication. I looked at it as a temporary fix, not torturing either one of them - although that was not their feeling on the subject.

    Not agreeing with you doesn't make anyone a terrible pet owner.  I’m not saying to “lock the cat” up. I’m saying to limit the cat to some rooms/room and the dogs to others. Again, it’s a temporary solution until your cat heals. I have NEVER used a crate/cage for any dog, and mine have almost all been rescues. I have used a puppy pen set up in my kitchen to confine a puppy. The senior dog would “visit” the puppy, but I didn’t have to worry about what the puppy was doing when I was gone. Boarding? Never - one bad experience, never again. And in a boarding facility somebody would be in a cage!FYI - almost all of the people who post here have pets. If they didn’t and if they didn’t care they go over to politics and fight with the people who post there. MOST of the people here are caring. EVERYONE has some knowledge. MUCH of that knowledge conflicts with other people’s experience and knowledge. For example, I’ve never crated, and I’m in the minority. That doesn’t mean that other people are wrong. I know what has worked for me and my pets.I know some dogs take change better than others. I have a bonded pair now, both rescues, and keeping them apart would be very, very difficult.I know you’re upset and angry, but the great part about his is how much you care for your animals. Many people would do nothing. I think you have to look at any fix as temporary, and then work things out from there. When my dog tore her ACL and had surgery, I had to keep her “quiet” for 6 weeks. It took the patience of Job. She normally bounces off the walls and was a very, very unhappy dog for 6 weeks. That, unfortunately, was necessary.When my GSD was very sick and I HAD to travel for business, absolutely no choice, I hired a pet sitter to live in my house and supervise my dogs. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Not letting the dog eat cat food will harm him later in life. He may identify as a cat. Encourage him to be what makes him happy. Not all dogs want to bark and chase cars, he may prefer to meow and lay around being lazy. 

  • 1 month ago

    Your cat should be restricted totally anyway if she has just had ACL surgery.  


    I say cat in a room and shut the door.   She needs to anyway for her recovery.  

  • 1 month ago

    Can you put the cats food higher on something in the room?  Don't allow the dog in there until the cat has healed.  I use a child's gate to keep my dogs where I need them.  I have to put them away when people come over.  Child's gate comes in real handy.

    Who is the boss?  You or your pets?  Yeah, the pets rule, dumb question.  Me too.  You'll find a way.  Where there is a will,  there IS a way.

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  • Ocimom
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Easy.  Crate the dogs when they are eating their food.  The cat remains free  to eat.  When everyone is finished pick up the bowls till the next time a meal is served.  If you had the cat and dogs on a schedule of twice a day feeding it would not be a problem.

  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Like many you want answers  and then the only thing you say is " I can't do this and I can't do that" Put the cat in a room, with food, close the door...... really easy!

  • 1 month ago

    Put the cat in a room or rooms that you can CLOSE OFF from the rest of the house with DOORS.  Then cat will not be jumping any gates & can still eat as it wants and be sure to move the litter box into the same area.  Oh, the cat DESTROYS your room when locked in it.  (Maybe the CAT needs to be crated.)

    Or I second PR's suggestion of putting it in canned food (if not his normal fare and if he will eat it readily with the meds added) while you stand there.  Otherwise yes, pumping a liquid medication mix through a non-needled syringe and into the cat's mouth is the last option.  Last option is leaving cat at the vets (boarded) until thru the medication.

  • 1 month ago

    Babygate half the house.  Cat had one half, dog had the other.

  • PR
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    If it were me, I would administer the medication with a syringe and be done with it. That way, you know the cat got his med. Besides that, you could put the cat in the room with just a bit of canned food along with the medication, and wait for him to eat that up. That way, again, you know he got is medication. 

    Beyond that for the free-feeding method, you may need to separate the animals so the dogs are in one part of the house, and the cat is in a different portion of the house until his ACL is healed. This would be the best method since you really can't keep a dog from eating what he thinks is a MUCH BETTER meal that his own, and nearly all dogs are of this belief.

    There are doors that are activated by an electronic device in a collar, but it seems like a lot to go through, when they probably should just be separated. 

    If none of these work, get a food the cat is inclined to eat all at once. We use a mix of canned/dry/water mixed together. We have never had any trouble getting any of our four cats eat all their food. Dry-only won't go down as well, so some cats may take more time to eat it. You may need to alter what you are feeding to get though this. Something, of course, needs to change in order to make this work.

    Or, send a couple of the dogs to someone else's house during the daytime, until the ACL is healed.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    just try to keep the food away from your dog

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