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Frustrated with 8 mo. old male

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi, about two mos. ago I adopted this otherwise sweet male from a no-kill shelter where he'd basically been caged most of his life. He's a third cat here now (just lost a long-timer 3 mos ago). Well, at first I thought being at the shelter had made him a little nuts when it came to feeding time, and his manic, scavenging ways would eventually ease off, but they haven't, and it's getting old! Not only does he practically inhale the food (canned & crunchies) before I even open it, then make a charge to the other cats' bowls (I've got a sort of routine worked out now to deal with it... just), but spends all his time otherwise hunting down food... licking clean dishes in the drainer, going thru acrobatics trying to access anything in containers, licking the floor near where he's eaten (that one's standard!), literally leaping into the fridge every single time I open it, etc. etc. He's been dewormed (not that he particularly showed any signs of having worms anyhow), is not hyper/hypothyroid or diabetic, and I believe it's all mental, but it's no longer cute and while I'm not going to give him back to the shelter or anything, I realllly could use some advice. I've had so many cats over so long, but this is way beyond the time I'd expect any one to need to adjust. Thanks!
post #2 of 6
My Skinny, the second cat I adopted/rescued, has been with me for 10 years and she has always acted like she couldn't get enough to eat. Now that she's getting old, she has toned down at last but replaced with really long naps.
I had to work out a system so she could not get into edible stuff and during meals take her away from the rest of the cats when she was done eating so she would not get to their food. Everybody got used to this way of doing things that it just became part of our daily lives. Maybe it can happen to you too.
post #3 of 6
My technique with starving cats was... let them eat. I didn't care if they got to the size of the Goodyear blimp. The only way to let them know there will be enough food is to let them have enough food.

It's not reasonable to expect the cat to "get over it" when people rescued from similar situations take months or years to handle the same thing, and they have the benefit of counseling and therapy. I based my own therapy on cats from human therapy. People who were on a radically reduced diet in volunteer experiments would become so food obsessed they would change professions to become chefs!

Every time, within six months of as much food as they wanted, they would calm down. But your attempts to restrict food only prolongs both of your agony. Get something like Tender Vittles or healthy treats and dole it out whenever he asks. Is there dry food out all the time? Get a high quality dry and let him know it's always full. If the other cats aren't hungry, will they eat? If so, that will work.

High quality food seems expensive, but I've found mine eat less because it has more nutrients. I wish there was another way to handle the starving cat, but I never had luck restricting their food; it just made them more crazy.

My own kitten had these problems, and we fed him six times a day at first. Now, two months later, he's still growing, but he's leaving food in the bowl if he's full. All because I let him eat as much as he wanted.
post #4 of 6
When Bingley first found me, he was literally starving (a neighbor who saw him says that he was not very far from death). I fed him constantly and he ate constantly (always had dry available and fed him large amounts of wet a couple of times a day). He would always ask to be fed if I went anywhere near the kitchen (a loud mournful cry). I always complied with his wishes. After a couple of months I noticed for the first time that he did not lick his bowl clean and was THRILLED! He now will leave some of his food uneaten and it makes me very happy to see that he is getting enough. He also never begs for food.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
He wasn't starving when I got him... but maybe lost out too often to cage-mates when it came to getting enough food. His manners have improved a little - maybe I'm just impatient (and spoiled by others!). Thank you all for being on his side too, he does need that... and I need more patience I guess. I just don't want to turn years of dedicated meal times (that have worked so well) into free-for-alls and don't want fat or spoiled cats in future, but I guess I need to be more flexible to some extent. He is already getting more food than others anyhow, because he finishes so fast and feels deprived when others are still eating, so I do give him a little more. I think I'm a bit 'offended' by what looks like greediness (not pretty), but will try to be more understanding - he is a cutie and it's not his fault after all.
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by Werebear View Post
My technique with starving cats was... let them eat. I didn't care if they got to the size of the Goodyear blimp. The only way to let them know there will be enough food is to let them have enough food.
Skinny was a starving adult pregnant stray when she came to me and I did feed her on demand for the first year or so. I think Skinny was abandoned and had a pretty hard time fighting for food with other strays. Cats do not easily forget their past hardships. So in my case, Skinny would eat sometimes to the point of throwing up getting worse as my feline family grew. Perhaps she would have adjusted better in a single cat household where she would not have like she was competing for food.
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