TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Slightly odd question about the way my cats eat treats....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Slightly odd question about the way my cats eat treats....

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sorry this is a bit strange and perhaps a slightly frivolous question, but it's something that makes me wonder....

I give my cats treats by hand, I am trying to train Radar to sit on top of the pedal bin when I ask him to (long story about why I want him to do that but it is sort of irrelevent to this thread!) by saying 'Radar, bin' and then giving him a treat when he is on it, also I use them as rewards/bribes for claw clipping and the like.

The point is that I always feed Radar treats from the palm of my hand the same way you would feed a horse some tasty morsel - he sniffs it out, gently picks it up, and eats it. All is good.

Sonic on the other hand - I offer him a treat on the palm of my hand the exact same way - and he tries to eat the ends of my fingers! Why? Is his nose so long that it gets in the way so he can't see the treat? Is his sense of smell faulty? Why can't he tell the difference between fingers and treat? It hurts because he really does try to chew them. He's not a biter (other than the occasional overexcited nip during bed-mice hunting) so I know it's definitely that he can't tell that he's got hold of my fingers instead of treat!

Which one of my cats is normal? (well OK that may be pushing it but you know what I mean )
post #2 of 14
My experience has been that a lot of cats have trouble focusing their eyes on something directly in front of their noses, so I tend to think that Sonic's response is more the norm.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Sorry this is a bit strange and perhaps a slightly frivolous question, but it's something that makes me wonder....

I give my cats treats by hand, I am trying to train Radar to sit on top of the pedal bin when I ask him to (long story about why I want him to do that but it is sort of irrelevent to this thread!) by saying 'Radar, bin' and then giving him a treat when he is on it, also I use them as rewards/bribes for claw clipping and the like.

The point is that I always feed Radar treats from the palm of my hand the same way you would feed a horse some tasty morsel - he sniffs it out, gently picks it up, and eats it. All is good.

Sonic on the other hand - I offer him a treat on the palm of my hand the exact same way - and he tries to eat the ends of my fingers! Why? Is his nose so long that it gets in the way so he can't see the treat? Is his sense of smell faulty? Why can't he tell the difference between fingers and treat? It hurts because he really does try to chew them. He's not a biter (other than the occasional overexcited nip during bed-mice hunting) so I know it's definitely that he can't tell that he's got hold of my fingers instead of treat!

Which one of my cats is normal? (well OK that may be pushing it but you know what I mean )
You are not alone. I get upset when I try to give my cats a treat in my hand and they look all over the place like they cannot see it right in front of them.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
My experience has been that a lot of cats have trouble focusing their eyes on something directly in front of their noses, so I tend to think that Sonic's response is more the norm.
I think you're right, and I'd be curious to know which 'method' other people's cats use! Radar is I think just being very gentle, I don't think he can see the treat, but I feel his breath puffing on my hand as he sniffs out where the treat is. Perhaps Sonic is just too greedy to go to that effort
post #5 of 14
I agree with Jcat...she made a good point about their eyes. However I have found that the biting tends to subside with practice. Somehow they seem to learn that it hurts me and stop doing that eventually. I guess it's my reaction.

I was just thinking about something similar yesterday, because I noticed that Beandip and Paisley will allow me to "feed" them the treat...by putting it directly in their mouth (no biting!) from my fingertips, but none of the others will. They just look at me like "when are you going to put that down so I can eat it?".

Except for the method I use w/Bean and Paisley, I usually just put the treat down. Too much chaos here if I held my hand out, I guess. Leopold will eat "properly" from the palm of my hand, though.
post #6 of 14
Mine used to not know how to take treats, more like a Sonic but she is really good at it now, like a Radar
post #7 of 14
Oliver will take the treat out of my flat palm, but usually kinda sniffs all around my hand first... my thinking is, I use my fingers to get the treats out of the containers, so my fingers are gonna smell like the treats too - I think he sniffs til he finds where the treat smell is strongest and then goes in for the eat.... I can kind tell while he's sniffing that he's like looking for where exactly the treat is... and i can't imagine that they can see exactly in front of their noses simply because of the structure of a cat's face....
post #8 of 14
I don't know if there's a certain way they "should" take treats, but I'll tell you how my cats take them.

Raven--pretty much any way--he just about takes my fingers off grabbing the treats. I don't have to worry about him not finding it.

Nabu--have to put it on the floor. He just won't find it in my hand or fingers.

Stimpy--he'll take it out of the flat of my hand or the floor/whatever flat surface he's hanging out on.
post #9 of 14
My little monsters are very polite with treat-taking. I've taught them that where my fingers are pointing on my hand is where the treat is, and I usually use treats that are darker in color than my hand. They really do have a hard time telling. I give mine treats in loads of ways.. out of my mouth, held in my fingers, put on my lap or arm, off the floor, in the palm of my hand, etc. Whatever is new and fun works. Mine don't bite, but that's b/c I have yelled "OW!" and removed my hand from them without letting them have the treat. They quickly learned where to bite.

You might want to try something radar can only slurp off of you... a little bit of low-fat peanut butter or something that's ground-up and wet (soak some dry food and mash it, then rub a little on your hands. Then you can slowly work up to teaching him not to bite.
post #10 of 14
Cats are quite near-sighted - e.g. they literally can't see the nose in front of their face because it's too close, and it's you're much better off to keep at least a 6" distance between them and what you want them to see. If you try to kiss them, and they happen to be a bit wary to begin with, they'll pull away the closer in you get, as they only see a very large (menacing?) thing coming at them and don't see 'you'.
post #11 of 14
I agree it's a sight thing...Bella will sniff all over the place, but not find the treat without nosing all over my hand, so I usually put hers on the floor (but I make her come to me to get it). Stan and I have a little routine where I hold the treat out and he gets up on his hind legs and takes it (yes, he's a bit dog-like)
post #12 of 14
I have to put my crew's treats on the floor, if I tried to feed them one by one I'd get mobbed!! but I have noticed in the past that they can't seem to find a treat if it's in my palm
post #13 of 14
I give Zoe her treats from the tips of my fingers, normally, occasionally from my palm, and she's fine. But I agree with the whole "sight" thing; cats don't focus the way we do. Try giving Sonic his treats from your fingers; prevents nips and makes it easier for him to attain his reward!
post #14 of 14
Swanie can bat a treat out of the air as it flies by, or catch it in his mouth occasionally, but if it's sitting 2 feet in front of him, he can't see it. I think I've read that they rely more on smell than eyesight (if it isn't moving), so when he sniffs it out, he's all over it.

As for eating it out of my hand - Swanie will, but he has to sniff it first. Cindy won't touch it until I put it down.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Slightly odd question about the way my cats eat treats....