Baby Ani-Cats are born with all the food and milk they require to carry them into adulthood.
Once your Ani-Cat is an adult, it will seek out food every hour. If your Ani-Cat was unrezzed for a while, when it is re-rezzed, it will seek out food almost immediately, and will then try to align its eating time with the server assigned meal time.
If your Ani-Cat's food level gets below 95%, it will show a bowl icon over its head, to give you an indication that it hasn't been able to eat recently. That icon will go away as the cat's food level gets back to 95% or higher.
All Ani-Cats will try to eat food from the onset of adulthood through retirement. The only thing that will cause an Ani-Cat to stop seeking food is to use the Furrever potion on the cat. Note, this potion will also cause the cat's reproductive cycles to stop as well.
There are times you may wish to attach your cat, either to sit on your arm or to follow you as you walk around. During those times, you may choose to wear a bag of Kitty Treats as well. These treats, when worn, will be able to feed a cat that is attached to your avatar. In this way, you can travel the grid and not have to worry about your Ani-Cat missing a meal.
Your food bowls and milk bottles allow you to determine who's cats may consume from them. Owner cats are the cats owned by the same person that owns the bowl or bottle. Group allows anyone with cats rezzed in the same group as the dish to eat. Finally, everyone simply allows any stray at all to come eat and drink for free.
Also, you can set the effective range of the bowl or bottle. Even though your cats might have a very short range, the range of food and milk allows cats to consume from them without actually having to come to the dish. A single bowl could feed every cat on your land if you set the range for 5000m.
Any of your adult Ani-Cats, when not retired, will also seek out milk every hour.
You can prevent the drinking of milk with your HUD, marking your cat as NOT allowed to mate.
If you have milk rezzed, but you have some Ani-Cats that you don't want reproducing, the 'Allow Mating' button on the HUD is your friend.
Milk, when consumed, will:
- Advance a cat's heat level (male and female)
- Advance a female cat's pregnancy towards delivery
- Advance a female cat's recovery, preparing it for another reproductive cycle
In order to see the effects of food and milk on any of your Ani-Cats, simply view your Ani-Cats, and click the button for any of the cat IDs. This will take you to the trait display page for that cat, and lower down, the recent food and milk ingestion logs, including data showing how that food or milk affected your Ani-Cat.