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Refuse to eat unless dish is overfilled

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am wondering if anyone else has this problem. I find it very strange and I have had this same problem with every cat I have had. They don't want to eat the food at the bottom of the food dish. My mom says she thinks it is because they like to know they still have some left lol idk about that since they always have food so I would think they would be confident that it would always be there. Maybe if they were strays at one point in their life I could see that but they aren't.

I also have thought about the food on the bottom getting stale and that would be why but I make sure to mix it up and such so that it isn't an issue.

It has gotten a bit insane now that they will act like the dish is empty even though it is full but not filled over the top of the dish lol.

Now a good junk of this could be my fault as I give in and will fill it back up everytime lol. They train me so well

We have 3 cats & 2 dishes. The one dish they never ask me to refill it and will eat from it even when it is low. It is also a smaller dish.



My cat Kami is the worst. The other two will finally eat from the dish if we do not refill it right away but she won't at all. And my lovely little princess acts up when she doesn't get her way lol. She asks once and if we don't notice or respond with what she wants she does bad things to get our attention. Which usually means finding every piece of plastic she can and chewing on it. Meowing and giving us dirty looks lol

Now my other cat Kisa has started meowing and getting into things also over this.

They act like they are gonna starve and misbehave so bad I stop what I am doing follow them to the dish and omg it is full! lol
post #2 of 17
Have you tried a smaller, cone-style dish? As in, a small dish so it doesn't take much food to appear "full," and cone-style or rounded (more like a people-bowl) so that food on the edges doesn't get pushed over very easily. It might trick your cats into eating more when they see that only a few bites are there. You would likely have to fill it up more, of course, but I know that our kitten prefers leaving a little food in the bowl, even when he's obviously hungry.
post #3 of 17
Or a flatter bowl/dish. Are you feeding wet or dry? Charlie eats out of a corella cereral bowl as does Keno. Ling has a cute shallow bowl that has a kitty face in the bottom.

Some cats don't like to touch the sides of the bowl with their wiskers, so if its a deeper bowl that's why they may be doing it.
post #4 of 17
That's okay. My cats have trained me to spoon feed them their wet food.

Luckily, I only have to feed them a few bites, then if I put the spoon in their dish, they keep eating. But if I take the spoon away, they stop.

How am I going to explain THAT to the cat sitter coming later this week?
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittys Mom View Post
That's okay. My cats have trained me to spoon feed them their wet food.

Luckily, I only have to feed them a few bites, then if I put the spoon in their dish, they keep eating. But if I take the spoon away, they stop.

How am I going to explain THAT to the cat sitter coming later this week?
hahaha! I thought I had it bad!
they definitely are better at training us sometimes than the other way around...
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kittys Mom View Post
That's okay. My cats have trained me to spoon feed them their wet food.

Luckily, I only have to feed them a few bites, then if I put the spoon in their dish, they keep eating. But if I take the spoon away, they stop.

How am I going to explain THAT to the cat sitter coming later this week?
good lucky with that oh the things we do for you babies
post #7 of 17
If the cats will eat the food with the spoon sitting in the dish, tell the cat sitter to leave the spoon in the dish
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
If the cats will eat the food with the spoon sitting in the dish, tell the cat sitter to leave the spoon in the dish
Ah, it won't really be a problem. My mom is the cat sitter. I was embarrassed when I showed her what to do, but...I know she'll do as I instructed.

Almost wish that I had a hidden camera so that I can watch her go through this embarrassing process of doing everything these goons ask her to do.
post #9 of 17
If it's a dry food bowl, how often do you wash it? Chynna will let me get away with maybe 2 days between washing it, but after that it doesn't matter how much food is in that bowl she won't touch it.
post #10 of 17
Nikita doesn't eat dry food that has been out more than 24 hours or so. I don't have to fill the bowl all the time but I do have to throw out the old food and put the new food in.

Maybe your cats have something similar going on? I.e they don't like to eat the food on the bottom that's been standing out longer?
post #11 of 17
I had never thought about the dish that their whiskers would touch the side of. I have two dishes one is wider and more shallow than the other. They always finish the dry food in that one but not the other one. Now I know why. Guess I need to get another dish like the one that they will finish the food out of.
post #12 of 17
Deeper bowls are not just bad because they make the whiskers touch. If they have to put their face into the bowl to get what's on the bottom, they can't see anything. They like to keep an eye on things, but especially when they are eating, since they instinctively protect their food from other predators.
post #13 of 17
Mine prefer saucers, at least for their wet food. That's the only concession I'll give in to. I love them dearly but they're cats, they can eat from the dishes I put down.

Sho used to have what my husband referred to as "empty bowl anxiety". He would ask to have his food bowl refilled just because it was empty, not because he was hungry at that moment. Sho has since been broken of such habit because he's no longer free fed.
post #14 of 17
My dog Sophie, won't eat unless he bowl is at least half full, I have no idea why but I just put some in when I see it getting low, or I call the other dog Rosie she finishes the bowl, and I refill it for Sophie
post #15 of 17
Butzie will eat everything in her dish, no problem. Sometimes when I check, the dish is empty but other times there is plenty of food. When she meows when there is food, I ask her if she would like some crunchies (dried food). So, I think that there are times when my cat will make "clean dish" but at other times she wants attention in the way of a little dessert. Of course, she has me trained.

Also, I have 2 feeding dishes and 2 cat mats. I wash one set and use the other. Butzie seems to like the variety. Did I mention trained?
post #16 of 17
It's funny that so many people mention the issue of deeper bowls and whiskers touching the sides.

My cats don't like to see an empty spot in the bowl. If one part is empty, they seem to think there is no food. I did what a previous poster suggested. I bought a cone style bowl. Which is deep and comes almost to a point. They like it because if there are only 2 pieces of dry food in there, then the bottom of the bowl is covered.

So...you'll probably just have to try different bowls and see...
post #17 of 17
I wish I had this problem with Maia!!!!!!! She devours every crumb of her food, and has love handles to show for it!
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