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Time consuming habit

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, my male cat Turner has been allowed to develop a habit of 'asking permission' before he eats. As he eats little and often he asks for food a number of times a day. This consists of crying and then wanting to be walked to his food dish, and then sometimes I have to stand over him for a time so that he eats a sufficient amount. He would do this at night too but we prevent him from sleeping in the bedroom for this reason. We go out out frequently and we would come back to find that he has not eaten whilst we were out so is therefore quite hungry. I would love to know if there is anything I can do to help break him out of this habit. It stems from his kitten days when his owner would be up early in the morning and would feed Turner at the same time.

Any suggestions would be welcome!

E x
post #2 of 5
LOL. I've actually met a few of my former clients cats who were like this.

One would only eat if you stood there with it and petted it.

I think a lot of it comes from being spoiled. Like my cats, sometimes they wont jump on the counter to eat their food, they wait for me to pick their lazy fur up and put them there!

If your cat is truely hungry, it will eat, make sure you give him food that he REALLY likes, and give him lots of attention all the other times. Or feed him at a place where you most often are around, aka next to your computer, in the kitchen.
Why don't you just free feed him, so you wont have to worry about getting him out a meal several times per day.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have thought of moving his food nearer to me(he asks me all the time as I am the one who feeds him lol) but he is also fussy about the 'age' of the food. I have had to feed him a little amount each time as he refuses to touch food that has been lying around for long periods of time. I shall move his bowl next to my computer desk and see what happens.

E xx
post #4 of 5
Make sure his food and water are as far away from the litter box as possible. AngelZoo gave you some good advice there - try lavishing love and attention during non-feeding times - interactive playtime is always a good way to release pent-up stress and bond you together. Unless the cat has some relevant medical condition (like obesity) I would also advice on free feeding. I agree, let him have some good tasting food and let him eat when he's hungry enough. Cats can go without food for as long as 48-72 hours without harm provided the cat has no medical problems, is not overweight and is under 6-7 years old. Overweight cats may look like they can do without food for a long time, but in fact, if they don't eat for more than 24-48 hours they are prone to developing a serious illness called Fatty Liver Disease.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your help and advice and I will certainly give him more love and attention as you suggest. I think he is a very misunderstood cat that gave his previous owners he did not like any love etc but he has shown to me that provided it is when he wants it then he is more agreeable to it. He does not like being picked up so I am reluctant to do so unless absolutely necessary. He seems to ask for more attention from me than my male partner but I think that is because I don't do anything unless he wishes it!

I do keep his food and litter tray separate so that is not a problem and he is also allowed to free feed. He is not over weight either so that is not something that I worry about. I think he does need more attention as he has been moved to many homes in his short life.

E xx
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