Have you ever wondered “Why does my cat want me to watch her eat?” “Why does my cat like to be petted while eating?” What do your cat’s warning signs mean? And how do we handle anorexia in cats? This article will primarily address your cat’s eating habits and how to deal with them.
Eating with others is a very social activity. It helps to strengthen our relationships and brings us closer to others. When we’re feeding our cats, we get the same feeling. We want them to eat and have fun while doing so. As a result, when they refuse to eat or appear picky about their food, we as humans struggle. So, here are some facts on cats and affection eating, along with some tips on how to get a cat to eat
Cats love to be petted while eating
“Don’t bother the dog while he’s eating!” you were probably told as a child if you grew up around dogs. Because many dogs guard their food with zeal, so this is good general advice for canines. However, the advice does not extend to cats. In contrast to dogs, many cats enjoy being stroked or petted while eating. Understanding this can assist cat owners and shelter volunteers in caring for a feline companion.
Dilara Perry is the founder of Feline Minds, a cat behavior consulting service in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mealtime, she says, represents an opportunity to connect with a “difficult” cat. While eating, a shy cat may allow you to approach. If your cat is easily overstimulated, for example, if he/she bites or scratches when you pet him, you may be able to desensitize him to touch by gradually increasing petting time while he eats.
Why do cats stop eating
Cats can be difficult to please. They will sometimes reject food that they would normally eat. However, if the cat refuses to eat anything you offer for more than 24 hours, something other than pickiness is most likely at work. She could be suffering from a serious medical condition that causes a loss of appetite. She could be suffering from a non-emergency medical condition, such as a toothache, that makes eating painful. A cat on medication or who has recently been vaccinated may be reacting to the medication. Or the cat could be under psychological stress: cats may stop eating while boarding, after a household move, or after being placed in a shelter or with a new family.
How to Get Your Cat to Eat
There are several approaches you can take to get your cat to eat. You know your cat better than anyone else, and based on their personality, you know which option is best to begin with. You may also need to combine different options. But don’t try any combinations until you’ve tried several of them individually.
- Determine if they are social eaters or if they prefer to dine alone.
There are some cats that like to have company when they eat, while others prefer the peace and quiet of eating alone. Sitting and petting your cat while they eat may be just what the doctor ordered to help them get back on track with eating regularly if you have a very loving and generally sociable cat.
Petting your cat while they eat, on the other hand, isn’t going to help if your cat prefers alone time. Place their food in a location where they will not be disturbed by people or other pets. This could be a closet for some cats, or it could be under a bed for others. Divide their meal into several bowls and place them in various locations to see which one they prefer.
- Place the bowls in various locations to see what works best.
Something may have scared or turned off your cat near the original feeding location, and they now avoid that area. We are not always present when our cats eat. There are times when a negative event occurs in the vicinity of your cat’s food bowl.
This may make your cat feel uneasy about eating in that location. You may need to try a few different places before you find one that suits your cat and where they want to eat. Additionally, try placing a Feliway Diffuser (calming pheromone) in the area where the bowl will be placed. Your cat will naturally relax as a result of this. A calm cat is more likely to consume food than a stressed cat. Feliway pheromones have a calming effect because they mimic the pheromones emitted by their mother during nursing.
- Consider alternative feeding methods for your cat that will engage their natural instincts.
Cats are not prone to chowing down a large meal for the day. Cats, as hunters, are more accustomed to hunting their food and eating small amounts throughout the day. Periodic, small feedings, especially feedings that require your cat to move around and “hunt” their food, like from a food puzzle — can help keep your cat from becoming overweight and give an indoor cat an outlet for their pent-up energy
- Always keep their food fresh
Cats make eating decisions based on smell and taste. Your cat, like many people, does not like leftovers or stale food. When food sits out, especially canned food, it loses its smell and flavor and becomes dry. Canned food left out for an extended period of time — say, 20–45 minutes, depending on the food and how warm it is — can cause it to become dry and hard, and bugs and bacteria, as well as other critters trying to eat it, can set in. Therefore, make sure to keep it fresh
Cats are picky eaters and more prone to diseases than other pets, so cat owners must pay more attention to their pets as well as their food issues. Finally, cats, like us, enjoy receiving attention from others, so make an effort to spend more time with them.