Understanding how cats eat

Understanding how cats eat

Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver BC and I’d like to welcome you to my series of practical skills for pet owners. I’m joined by Lancelot today to talk to you guys about best dry cat food brands. I get quite a few questions about both in clinics and in the YouTube channel. About cat eating behavior and when to worry when not to worry what’s normal, what’s abnormal? So before I get into that I would like to remind you all to squish the subscribe button and pat the little bell icon next to it. So you get notifications of upcoming videos and livestreams You’ve done that? Thank you. And now let’s get into the video as a veterinarian it is quite common for people to come to me with a concern that their pet is not eating enough. And of course anorexia, or inappetence are a really common sign of disease in cats. Most cat diseases present as loss of appetite and loss of muscle mass or like anorexia wastage getting skinny, whatever you want to call this. Getting skinny, not eating enough. Having said that, quite commonly people will come to me concerned that their cat’s not eating as much as they used to or that their dog is not eating as much as they used to. And I look at them and they’ve actually- and when we go look at them in the clinic they’ve actually gained weight. And what’s happened there is in those cases the cat or dog is completely fine, but they’ve gained weight and they’re using their nutritional intelligence to say “Oh I’m getting a little chubby. I need to eat less” and they know this and they just- and they try and self-regulate and the owners get so concerned that their poor pet isn’t eating enough. We often see this after a diet change where we change their type of food for whatever reason. And owners get very concerned that “My dog’s not eating enough”
“My cat’s not eating enough” and of course it’s always worth checking out but sometimes It’s just that they’ve gained a little few pounds and they realize they’re– and they– and they’ve used their nutritional intelligence to realize they need to eat less and of course as- as owners, we’re always very concerned about our pets’ feeding behavior. So Lancelot here is a poster child for cat feeding because he’s been both a self-regulating cat and an overeating cat at different parts of his life. And that is the two cat- I guess eating attitudes that most people will encounter. Some cats will be self regulators and some cats will be greedy little eaters. Yeah, right. You might also notice Lancelot has a little shaved bit on his arm he just gave blood recently. So he’s been eating very well since then trying to make up for lost energy. As you guys know from “The story of Lancelot” video he is an occasional blood donor in our clinic. So this cat saves cat lives. Don’t you, sweetheart? Cats differ from dogs in one important matter. They are trickle feeders. So to understand feeding behavior of cats what you really need to do is look at how they behave in the wild in nature. And there’s an important difference between cats and dogs in this regard because cats are predators primarily who hunt small prey. Whereas dogs are really kind of scavengers, you know. They can exhibit some pack-hunting behavior where they’ll hunt large and larger animals. They also hunt for smaller ones, but they’re also very, very happy to scavenge. Now cats are, in nature, will eat 14 to 16 small meals a day because you know they’ll be wandering around and they’ll eat a little bird, eat a mouse, eat a fish depending on which food source is available to them in the environment and which one they learn to feed on because cats actually acquire feeding behaviors from their mothers and typically a cat will eat whatever food source the mother eats. So if you have a mother cat that’s a bird hunter Then the kittens will generally be bird hunters. If you have a mother cat who’s a rodent hunter you’ll have kittens who are rodent hunters. Lancelot’s gonna go hunt… You know, his litter box probably because I think he’s just eaten I’m gonna- so… *chuckles* So when cats live with us they are happiest generally when they can exhibit the same behavior that they would in the wild, so trickle feeding. So Lancelot had a little feed right before we started shooting this video and now he’s off and then he’s gonna want to come back to his food. Every so often and probably once every hour or so have a little bit more of a feed and then walk away. Like I said, we call that trickle feeding and that is pretty much the optimal way for a cat to eat. There are studies showing that cats who have food freely available to them and eat multiple times a day will have lower insulin levels and are less likely to be obese than cats who are fed discreet meals but of course this all depends on the cat’s ability to self-regulate and we call that nutritional intelligence. Most cats exhibit very good nutritional intelligence meaning that they know when they’re hungry and then when they’re not hungry and they’ll adjust accordingly. Now one way we can help them in this regard is by feeding food that is calorically appropriate to them because different cat foods and whether it’s dry or wet doesn’t actually matter so much but different cat foods will have different calorie contents per gram. So when you’re a young kitten you have a- you need more calories than you do as an adult cat. And an adult cat probably needs more calories than a senior cat whose metabolism has slowed down a little bit. Whereas a cat with a specific health issue may need- they have very specific dietary requirements for that health issue, so it’s quite important to feed correctly for your cat’s life stage and your cat’s metabolism which you will know because if you feed your cat the wrong food and they’re a trickle feeder. They’ll gain weight. They’ll become obese, and that’s not ideal. Right? There’s also all sorts of health issues that come with being overweight, so… Cats who’re trickle- most cats are going to be trickle feeders that’s the natural way for them to eat. And we can facilitate healthy trickle feeding just by making sure that the food that we offer them is appropriate for them. Now small proportion of cats will be what we call food obsessed meaning that they, pretty much, you put food front of them and they will eat it all, they’ll just finish it. And in those cases we have to help them self-regulate because, again in the wild they would never be in a situation where there’s an unlimited food source. Whereas in living with us, they could potentially have that food dish that never runs out or that automatic feeder that- you know, that refills every hour. And then they can just gorge themselves as much as they want and these cats’ mission in life is to get as fat as possible. These cats are a little bit more like dogs. And in dogs nutritional intelligence is a bit rarer. Certainly, there’s some breed predisposition where certain breeds typically are pretty good at maintaining their own kind of caloric requirement whereas other breeds and I’d say most Labradors and retrievers which are, you know, obviously the most popular pets in North America fall into the category where they’ll just basically eat until they throw it up and then eat it some more. So in dogs, trickle feeding is a bit more of a rare phenomenon. But in cats it’s kind of the norm and– but some cats will become food obsessed and what can lead to this? I think there’s a couple factors I think breed does have some predisposition for this. I’ve just made the duration throughout my career that male orange cats tend to be really, really into food and I think this is- I always thought– https://kittyneeds.com/best-cat-tree-reviews/
I don’t have any factual evidence behind this but I always thought that this is where the myth of Garfield came from. Cause, you know, Garfield is the orange cat who loves lasagna and will eat, and eat, and eat and is food obsessed and I have a strong suspicion that Jim Davis the artist behind Garfield has shared his life with an orange boy cat at some point. Because it’s just it’s– it’s a recurring pattern, orange boy cats tend to be really, really obsessed. Really into their- into their kibble and their wet food and they tend to be quite fat, is what I’m gonna say right out there. They’re fat cats generally. Very rare to see a skinny orange boy out there. So there’s some breed predisposition.
I also think that the experiences of the cat particularly early in life how they live as kittens can influence this certainly I’ve noticed that many cats who are rescues have an increased risk of being food obsessed particularly ones who’s had a bit of a rough start in life, maybe have undergone a period of starvation they kind of learned that food is a rare commodity and when they’re in an environment where food becomes unlimited so once they get adopted into a loving home. They’ll just eat, and eat, and eat and become completely food obsessed. So it’s something to watch out for maybe when you get an adoption cat just keep an eye on the fact that- just be aware of the fact that they may be food obsessed. And you may need to regulate their food intake a little bit and there’s a number of tools for that that I’m gonna probably talk about in a later video when I talk about feline obesity. So know your cat. Do they have good nutritional intelligence?
Are they trickle feeders? Or… Are they food obsessed? And they’ll just eat, and eat, and eat as much as you’ll give them. Now there is another very rare subset of cats that is common enough for me to mention in this video, but is not overall. This is quite a rare third group. And these are cats who won’t eat unless their owner is present and this is both endearing and hilarious and a little bit sad, but certain cats, and again, in my experience this is mostly rescue cats who had a bit of a rough go of life who maybe have been neglected or undergone periods of stress and starvation. But certain cats just won’t eat unless you’re there. A great example of this is a cat that my mother adopted who, my mom worked as a home care aide, and one of her clients had this orange- orange boy named Joey. Big fat orange cat and when she passed away my mother adopted this cat he came to live in our home. But this orange boy was a stray who was found by the SPCA in our town. I think he was, you know, he was in really rough shape. He was- Had some pretty serious health issues. He was starving and… Obviously, they took care of him he got adopted into a loving home. He had unlimited food access, all of his health issues were resolved. He was a happy orange boy, but this cat would not eat unless his human was watching. And it was just absolutely hilarious that he would just stand there at the top of the stairs and meow at my mom until she or, any other human around really, he preferred my mom, but it’ll be anyone around. He’d meow at you and basically walk towards food dish, turn around, meow walk towards his food dish, turn around, meow, And he would lead you to his food there. So you could watch him eat. Every single day for the rest of his life. And this is- this happens with some regularity. I think I shared some- I had a number of clients who experienced this. And I don’t really know what to say about that. Other than that you just have to love them for who they are and just have enjoyed a hilarious cat you have if that is the scenario. I don’t think these cats would necessarily starve themselves to a point of being unhealthy if there wasn’t a human around to follow them. But they’re certainly very insistent that a human watches them eat. So it is important to know your cat’s feeding patterns. It’s important– I think it’s really good to know whether they’re a trickle feeder or an obsessive feeder and adjust your feeding accordingly. And if they are an obsessive feeder then just to know that how many calories a day your cat needs and break it up to two or three meals. And not offer them any more and certainly your veterinarian can do that. That’s, you know- We can calculate how many- the caloric requirement of a cat based on their body weight and figure out how much of a given food you need to feed for that. That’s very, very doable. If you are gonna feed discrete meals to a cat, it’s good to break it up into as many meals as your lifestyle will let you three or four, because again, we want to encourage them to trickle feed and the more meals they have per day the better they are gonna be at controlling their body weight and controlling their insulin levels to reduce the chance of getting diabetes and just keep them a little bit healthier. And while it is very important to be aware of when your pet eats less and know that that is a red flag that should- should let you know that there may be something wrong and that a vet visit is warranted. It’s also good to be aware that sometimes particularly after you change a pet’s food- because again different foods will have different caloric densities. Sometimes they will- after a diet change they will eat less
just because they’ve gained a little bit of weight or the foods a little bit richer and their exercising their nutritional intelligence to just take on less calories and maintain a healthy body weight. Well, I hope you found that to be educational and helpful. If you’d like to see more videos like this I would really appreciate your support which you can express by joining me on patreon where I have a wonderful community of patrons already or by getting some “SquishThatCat” merchandise like this t-shirt. I also have mugs and a bunch of other stuff. So please support me. I look forward to making more videos like this and until next time, have fun with your pets and I’ll see you again.

100 thoughts on “Understanding how cats eat

  1. My elder Orange guy will meow at me the same regardless if I feed him that day or not, He was mistreated and became food obsessed, funny story, Living in Oregon I can and do legally smoke marijuana, accidentally got him stoned and he immediately wanted to eat, but a few days later he seemed to be cured of his food obsession, he still meows for food obviously, but no longer eats everything in front of him

  2. You're the best vet in the universe. May you succeed in your life, and may God give you even more beautiful, loving cats. You deserve the best, doctor.

  3. That part about male orange cats being the most obsessed with food… So true! We had a "Garfield" a few years back. He used to go to the apartment building next door in the summer, wander into people's apartments and beg for food. We had to ask every single neighbor to stop feeding him because he was getting fat, but he was just so persistent and really adorable!

  4. Something about all of these videos just make me so happy, just something about the vibe he gives off it so soothing. You can tell he really loves his work :,)

  5. Would you ever do videos of case studies? Like where you describe one of your patients symptoms and the causes and how the treatment unfolded? I think it would be really interesting both for vet students, and pet owners, who might want to understand more about the process of vet care and how common issues can be managed. Thanks!

  6. *It would be really great if you did guided meditations for cats and their hoomans, IJS. These shirts are adorable I'm getting one 😂❤️

  7. Ahah that's hilarious, my cat also calls us to watch him eat..also sometimes he won't eat unless it's with my hand. I would spoon out some dry food and he'd use my hand as a dish … -_- … but he also ests on his own, when we are out or at night

  8. Your compassion and love shine through my iPad screen. My year old orange kitties (brother and sister) don’t appear to have food issues

  9. Other than the love it!, I trickle feed 2-3 times a day so that we can all maintain a night long sleep pattern! I weigh out daily quantities and divide into portions but they gulp their quality, dense food down in seconds and always follow me to the kitchen. However, they do seem to know when “it is time” beforehand as the miaowing starts until the first mouthful is consumed. Before they were neutered, vet advised they were almost obese so I’ve regulated their intake carefully since then. Would love Mac to be less interested in food but now appreciate from the shared comments that it may not be realistic ! Am instead going to invest in food puzzle bowl to help kitties slow down their guzzling. Love that you take the time and care to help us make sensible decisions in caring for our adored bundles of furry fun. Thank you handsome Mr HVV.

  10. Hey Helpful vancouver Vet.. My cat will randomly just jump out of his bed hissing… is it possible he is having a harmless nightmare or is this something i should be concerned about?

  11. Just wana give you a quick thank you, I'm planning on getting my first cat soon so I've been binging on your videos to help prepare myself for when I get it.

  12. Hello Dr. Uri, I love watching all of your advice. It's helped me to take better care of my pets! I didn't know where else to put a bid in, but I would love it if you did some reptile videos. I've kept reptiles since I was a child, but knowledge on proper care / enrichment seems limited and less approachable. It's also a lot harder to tell when a reptile is ill. In the past I've had bad experiences with reptile vets who, when I bring in my scaly buddies, tell me they are fine (even though I know they aren't!) and, in one particularly traumatic visit, had my snake companion die right afterwards. Anyway, it would make me very happy to see my favorite vet feature some cute scaly friends in his videos. Thanks!

  13. I'm glad you identified which Vancouver you're in. I am in Washington State and we also have a Vancouver here. People in other places when they hear "Washington" they automatically think "Washington D.C." where the US President lives. That's on the other side of the continent from here. When they say "Vancouver" people think "B.C." I tell everyone we have "the other Vancouver in the other Washington". LOL

  14. I have 8 cats. My orange cat eats more than the others combined. He isn't that fat because he is super active. One of my cats used to meow until one person was around. Now he evolved and meows until someone sits next to him and watch him eat.

  15. Gawd! You are such a delight! Your care and concern for the furry ones really shine. I am happy that you are doing these videos

  16. after reading and watching so many stuff about cats and their health im scared to have a cat, cause vets are expensive af here

  17. Hahaha I grew up with an orange male cat that loooved food too, so it is interesting to hear you say that about orange male cats. He was the only cat my family ever had that was overweight too. I now have a grey female cat who is food obsessed. I suspect something must have happened with her before I adopted her. But I have a male cat that prefers to trickle feed.. It is difficult to just leave food out though since my female cat will eat it all in one sitting.

  18. Our cat's are definitely over eaters XD Any tips to train them to regulate their appetite on their own?

  19. My cat is in third category. For no reason. We have her since she's born. I think she just like when we are around in the same room.

  20. I agree with you that cats become food obsessed when they have experienced starvation. Dogs too. Once any animal (humans included) experiences hunger, it sets a thought pattern of limited availability. That isn't something that can be easily overcome, even for a human seeing a psychologist. Pets remember that trauma too but only have their human to help them cope. So people who have a food obsessed animal need to consider this and make sure the critter knows you will make sure "they never go hungry again". Even 1 late meal could be a set back.

  21. We have got orange boy and I comfirm that he tends to overload himself. He always finishes his food and then go to the other bowl to finish the remains of other cat’d food and never leave tj bowl until everything has been eaten. He is a huge orange ball🤣

  22. My new rescue kitty likes me to be there when she eats. If I go into the laundry room counter where her food dishes are she cries and immediately digs right in, and if I leave so will she. She seemed underweight so I have three different foods for her so she doesn't get bored, and they have varying levels of protein.

  23. Hi Doctor, is it normal that my cat is uninterested in wet food? She only likes kibles and just leaves the wet food until it spoils

  24. My cat only likes to eat if Im around, she will eat whilst Im out at work (especially if its a long day) but certainly wont eat much until I get home and she can get her squishes, and some "fresh" food 😛

  25. I think brown/gray tabbies tend to eat a lot and quickly (since they seem to be the type most ubiquitous in the wild due to protective coloration) and fearful. They don't know when their next meal will come from. But they may also save some of their food for later for the same reason My cat will often get me to come watch her as she eats, even though there is food in the bowl.

  26. My dog doesn't like to eat if we aren't home to watch her eat! She'll even go and get a mouthfull of food and carry it to the room we are in, so she can spit it out and eat in front of us. So naturally, the bed and all our things are full of little bites of dog food, unless we are diligent about cleaning.

  27. Why is my cat eating fog food? Im worried for her, her food is fine and all but i believe shes been eating my dogs food on the side and thats why her food bowl isnt emptying as fast as it was.

  28. Very good information on feeding.
    I hope you'll also go into the raw food vs. kibble and/or canned food diets. I think that really needs to be addressed.
    Here's a video of the dog on YouTube that I told you about earlier that eats a raw food diet. This one specifically references the food. His dinner in this video is a taste test of the different chicken products.

  29. When he said that orange male cats are more prone to overeating, I thought about my parents overweight orange male cat, who's seriously obsessed with food. He's always hungry and is serious obese . 😅😅

  30. Does anyone else have a cat who wants his food stirred (or sometimes I can just pick it up and set it back down in front of him) every time he goes back for more food throughout the day?

  31. Can you do a video on how to syringe feed a cat? I have to syringe feed mine soon and she is not going to like it.

  32. My kitty is a trickle feeder. I recently watched a Jackson Galaxy video where he said it's wrong to let your cat eat like that. I thought I had done something wrong for 16 years! Seeing this makes me feel SO much better, especially since there's no way I'm going to change his eating habits at his age. He's happy and a good weight.

    I really enjoy your videos and love seeing you interact with your animals.

  33. yes!!! I have an orange boy cat and he is obsessed with food! my mum and I always joke because he's quite timid and non-confrontational in everyday life, but when it comes to food he becomes a little brute!

  34. I'm glad you said that because my cat is a male tabby and he's totally food obsessed. However, he wants me to feed him fresh canned food about a dozen times a day. Mine is a rescue and he was abandoned with a big plate of dry food until I caught on and started feeding him. He has bowls of dry food out he can eat but he always wants me to feed him which I won't do. I think it's psychological. Sometimes when I get up and point to his dish, he'll eat. Like he needs my permission or something. Mine licks his lips or rubs up against my legs to tell me he wants food but he doesn't want anything else so I know what he wants. I have to be vigilent that I don't overfeed him so I stick to a strict schedule. The rest he can have dry food which he likes too.


    cats eating , as my cat must be self regulating at present time he is presented with many types of food but not eating very much,
    but this has come about in last five days.
    He is still a kitten of 7 months old and is fed raw minced chicken, raw minced turkey.raw minced beef steak also other times diced raw
    chicken and raw diced beef and also cooked chicken or small amount of chicken livers is also fed plus dried food (fish) Salmon with Tuna freeze dried known as Raw Boost

    and also Ians pouches along with pate type meals and I also supplement with vitamins/minerals /taurine daily.
    I make a very mixed diet to keep his interest and not create boredom.
    I notice that when weather is warmer he eats less and as he is teething, which I learned about as when I was
    cleaning his teeth on one occasion when one tooth came out and he was then much happier.
    Is there any recommendation for treating cats teething difficulties please?
    Thanking you in anticipation of hearing back from you,

  36. What about tan boys? I just adopted a DLH tan colored creampuff of a kitten 😂 He's 10 weeks and cute as a button but I wonder if he may become chubby like Garfield too. I currently have a 5 year old DSH tuxedo cat who has been overweight since I got him neutered at 6 months. I've had him on weight control food since then, he doesn't overeat, he has no health issues according to the vet, and is very active. I think he just has a crappy metabolism.

  37. my orange boy Pumpkin is very chubby too! but he self regulates so he stays at a slightly chub chub state but not overweight 😀 it all makes sense!

  38. That's funny. I have a Male orange cat which we named Garfield, but he's actually pretty small. It's his mom pixie who is really fat. But with pixie being a rescued barn cat and used to eating bugs, she just keeps eating and even tries to steal Garfield's food.

  39. I think there should be more healthy organic renal foods out there. The wet foods all come in chunks they should make more pates for teeth less cats or vitamin jelly sauces like soups just ticker because a lot of cats love that goo.
    And they should invent more cat foods for dietary and oral needs. Current dietary renal foods have huge pieces that require teeth 🙁 I don’t know what to give to my cat.
    The vet market has nothing for him.

  40. What treatment do you recommend for a 16 year old cat with hyperthyroidism. My Vet has him on a low iodine diet. I just want a second opinion. Thanks

  41. Dr. Uri Burstyn, I'm surprised how difficult it is to find more information on this online. I am going to be setting up an auto-feeder for my cats (10 months old), and I am curious what times of day are best for them to have a meal, based on their natural activity cycles and circadian rhythm. I can feed them up to 4 times a day and I want to feed them at 3am, 9am, 3pm, and 9pm. It's every 6 hours and our cat Juniper kneads on us ever night at 4am, so I'm thinking feeding her at 3am might stop her from doing that. Is there a better schedule I should use though? Maybe more concentrated during their natural active hours?

  42. Doc is there a reason my sister's cat attacks me every time I go to near it we always had problems with her I have taken one bad hit one the wrist he bit bone deep it's always been a pet

  43. I realized today the reason mine eats so fast is he doesn't want to miss out on going outside now that the weather is warmer. I'm going to have to leave his bowl out in the mornings. That should reduce his vomiting. Yucky 🙂

  44. Both my cats are trickle feeders when they eat at the same time, but one of them (a female tuxedo, now a bit fat) goes after all the food if she gets to the food bowl first—we’re thinking it’s an area denial attempt, since she doesn’t like our other cat particularly.

  45. Lots of great info here. Really clears up a lot of foggy areas about feeding your cat properly. Awesome vid.

  46. Dr. Uri, thank you for your amazing, gentle channel. Our beloved 17-year old girl has had some frightening health issues this year (including GI lymphoma, as we learned last week). There have been so many tears, but your videos have been an oasis of smiles, calm, and lifesaving tips. Lots of love and warmth to you and the cats! :3

  47. Dr Uri, Do you have an advice for multi-cat households where you have a cat who self regulates her food intake plus two mostly food-obsessed greedy-guts?

  48. So much fun to hear about the 'social eater' cats that need a human to watch.. I volunteer at an animal shelter, cats department, and actually see this behaviour a lot with the more socialized cats we have! As soon as we go to them and have a little chat, they move to their bowls and start munching. Thanks for all the video's!! All the tips actually make me feel more secure when handling cats that need some extra attention/medication ^^

  49. Is it bad if my parents cats won't eat unless there's other cats around, and when there's other cats, they will eat pretty much everything that looks like food?

  50. Can confirm. I have a rescued orange boy named Artyom. We distribute his food in three meals a day, according to the package's recommended serving according to his weight. He'll eat the whole dish and every now and then ask for more food. He'll also come to me or my boyfriend and meow at us until we go watch him eat.

  51. It's funny because my cat Mink, is sometimes a trickle feeder and other times he's greedy. He was rescued.He's very attached to me. For a while he wouldn't eat until I came home from work. My daughter says he will sit by the apartment door and start meowing an hour before I come home.Once I'm in the house he stops meowing and eats his food

  52. I've had two different cats that would only eat with people around.

    The first was a male tuxedo that we got from my brother's friend when I was a kid, and he wouldn't eat unless someone was upstairs. My mom tells the story that she and my dad had just come home and the cat had been outside and came in with them and kept trying to coax them upstairs. Then when he heard me come out of my room and realized someone was upstairs, he ZOOMED right up there to eat!

    The second was my little boy that I got 3 years ago, a male black cat. He would cry at my bedroom door if it was closed, or if it was open, gently claw at my butt when I sat at my desk, until I'd follow him downstairs. I had to stand within 3 feet of his food dish and if I walked away, even if I was still in the room, he'd stop eating.

  53. I help at an animal shelter and we've had our share of "attention-eaters" XD More often than not they leave their food untouched, so we ask one of the younger volunteers to sit down with the cat and lay down bits of kibble in front of the cat's nose. And guess what, they'll eat! I'll have to pay attention to the color of the compulsive eaters, but we had two black kitties that were super bratty during feeding time. In the end we'd scatter their kibble around the room so that they would be busier looking for it rather than gobbling it up in 5 seconds. Keep them videos coming! 😀

  54. I’m in love with this guy! If he were closer, Tristan would be one of his patients. This doc truly loves pets!

  55. Thanks for confirming what my Earl Grey is doing. He's definitely a trickle feeder. BUT because of crystals, he needs his wet food. We're adding extra water (a couple of tablespoons) and that keeps it moist for 12 hours. He usually finishes by then and eats his crunchies (Hills C/D), if hungry, until his next 3 oz of gushy food (Fancy Feast, preferred, with occasional urinary tract, tolerated). He gets bored too, so I have to keep swapping things in and out. Feeding cats, oy.

  56. I feel so called out in this video, but obviously I am not a cat… however this whole trickle feeding is something I understand in myself


  58. I watched this because my cat will not eat unless I’m sitting next to her. So glad you mentioned this! Cats are social diners 😻

  59. All 3 categories describe the feral rescue cat who lives with us. My son found him with half his face badly torn up, and he was severely underweight. So it was encouraged to feed him. One year later he had developed the habit of conserving resources. I didn't help prevent that, because I was serving a whopping measure and keeping his bowl full even as he continued to gain weight. So then he became overweight and I had to scale back, giving him only 3 smaller portions of a smaller measure of feed. That has seemed to work well, although he has not really lost weight. He is an orange male, neutered after my son found him (during his first eye surgery, poor guy). He was feral and must continue to "hunt" in our home. If his food dish isn't sufficiently full for his preference, he will attack me, although my son did train him to get my attention more politely first, but if I don't jump up fast enough, he goes full on feral. We have been working on waiting until every last kibble is gone before answering his call for food, and it's going ok. I just have to hide in the closet until his dish is empty so he won't attack me. (j/k — I practiced planned ignoring). By the way, he eats his food in a round dish, so the center empties before the edges, and he tends to think that means the dish is empty. He's just beginning to check the edges after a year of shaking it to show him there's food there. It's pretty funny. And yes, he will only eat when we are present. We don't have to watch him, but we must be near. So first thing in the morning, whoever is up first has a cat on the heels. Our schedules vary, but when we're both gone all day at work, whoever gets home first is greeted by a cat who acts relieved as he heads straight for his food dish after not having eaten all day. And the funniest thing is that I cannot sit down to eat without drawing a cat to my side at the table. It doesn't matter what I prepare, meat or vegetarian, he is right there demanding to try some. Sometimes he's groggy from sleep and drooling as he demands to sniff what I have. And if I don't give him a sniff, he acts like the schoolyard bully snatching it from me. I've learned to prepare a tiny crumb for his sniffing pleasure. And I do mean "sniff" — he doesn't eat it, he just wants to smell it. Then he goes to his own dish. One of the reasons we decided to keep him is because he's a handful, and not likely to be adopted by anyone else. It has been a remarkable journey from feral to domestication, really.

  60. I have two cats who eat very differently, one is definitely a trickle eater while the other (younger guy) needs to finished both bowls if he can. I was wondering if you have any tips for how to deal with feeding in households with multiple cats who have multiple eating habits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *