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Cat stealing other cat's food

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I recently adopted 2 kittens. There's Artie, DSH orange/white tabby, he's 10 mos old and 10 pounds. He came first. Then there's Sasha, DSH solid black, he's now 7 mos old and 6.5 pounds. Artie is a mischief maker and total rule breaker and kind of aloof, Sasha is a lap cat, timid yet very playful and loving. Artie antagonizes Sasha constantly and that bothers me. But, what really bothers me is feeding time. I feed them both, routinely twice a day. Artie is about double the size of Sasha so he gets a little more in his bowl. You can hear him scarfing down his food so fast, then he licks the bowl clean AND THEN he goes and nudges Sasha's head out of the way and tries to eat up Sasha's food. It really bothers me. Sasha just watches and never fights for back or retaliates! Whats up with that???
post #2 of 6
artie has asserted himself as alpha cat. years ago i had a male toby and female susie. susie knew she had to sit back and wait to eat until toby was done before she was allowed to eat. it's amazing that SHE ended up being the fat one and toby was nice and lean!
post #3 of 6
Sasha is smaller and younger, by your own description. How do you expect him to fight? Even a human wouldn't want to fight someone twice his size.
Maybe you should increase the amount of food you feed to the bigger cat.
Are you following guidelines as to how much the cats should eat for their size?
post #4 of 6
You have to grab him when he finishes and put him behind a door somewhere, or else feed her in another room.. whatever works, but don't allow it to keep happening. I've had the same thing with all my cats and have always monitored feeding times to be sure they all get to finish their food (or I put it away for 20 mins and then let them have another go at it) properly without being harrassed.
post #5 of 6
It's not Alpha behavior as we think of with dogs. One simply wants it more than the other, and knows the other cat will not protest effectively.

Be the Boss of Cat Town. Make sure everyone gets what they need, even if someone has to be shut in another room to do so.

We adopted a starving kitten who would ignore his own food to steal first from the adult's bowls. They were much bigger than him, but would simply look up at me, pleadingly. "Would you get this kitten head out of my bowl?" They recognized his need, and didn't have the heart to chase him away.

So now RJ eats in the bathroom, and is only let out when the other cats are done.

He couldn't help stealing food; he was a starving kitten. They couldn't protect their food, they didn't have the heart. My intervention keeps everyone happy.

Which is, after all, the goal.
post #6 of 6

I have a similar problem. Except that the cat that steals food is the original cat. He is 9 months old and he is submissive even to our bunny. Therefore it came as a surprise to us that when we adopted a 9 year old female that it's our old but much younger and usually timid cat that keeps on stealing her food (her previous owners asked for a free Vet visit and then when they heard they have to treat her for a simple UTI and that she has allergy to fleas - their house was infested and they did nothing about it, they asked the VET to put her down. He refused and took her to the shelter himself to save her.We adopted her last week, she is the most lovable purr-machine, she even exposes her belly for it to be rubbed). I don't understand how our 9 month old can be submissive to a bunny but steal the 9 year old's food, while she does not submit to the bunny.

I understand from the responses that I should feed her separately but it's not always possible. Every other month we leave to MA to visit my mom in law and I'm afraid that the 9 month old will steal the 9 year old's food during the weekend (we usually feed them wet food as it's good for their health but when leave for the weekend we leave  several full bowls of dry food plus loads of bowls of water and once a day someone comes to check on them). Is there no trick or training I could do with the cats to stop the younger existing cat from stealing food from the older newcomer?

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