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Food and Nipping

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I wandered onto this forum because I've been having issues with my cat and nipping when he wants food.

I'm a college student and took this cat from a friend who couldn't keep him about 5 months ago. I'm guessing he's around a year old. I have brought him home to my parents house and they have agreed to keep him. He's relatively friendly and has never bitten in an aggressive way, but he is pretty stubborn/dominant compared to the two cats I have previously had.

Anyways, on to the problem. When I had him at school he never nipped but now if he is out of food he will come up to you, start rubbing all over you, just being annoying, and if you don't jump to it right away and get him more food he'll nip at you and keep nipping until he gets what he wants. My mom also feeds our dog canned wet food in the morning and started giving the cat a tiny bite of it. So now the cat expects the small bite of wet food and will nip at you until you give it to him. I've told her to leave the cat outside in the mornings but he throws himself against the glass sliding door and it drives her crazy so she lets him in.

Anyways what is the best way to deal with this whole nipping thing? Should we tell him no and then go feed him? Should we tell him no and ignore him for a while and then feed him? Should we just throw him outside and ignore him begging at the door? We have a spray bottle and have been trying to spray him with it but it's hard to constantly have it in your hand and get him right when he nips at you. My dad has been slapping at him, not hard, but enough to scare him off. My mom won't slap at him because she thinks it'll make him mean. Basically there's a whole lot of inconsistency at the moment, but I'd appreciate any opinions. I’m leaving for school again in a few weeks and would like to figure out a consistent way to deal with this, I don’t want him turning into a biter.

eta: this cat gets plenty of food and is actually starting to look a little plump lol

Thanks for reading through all this
post #2 of 6
I'd tell him No and then No again every time he does this. In a firm tone, never raising your voice. Then ignore him and give him food later.

Please don't let anyone slap at him. Cats don't respond to punishment, and all that will do is to freak him out and make him distrust you and maybe get more aggressive out of fear. They're not like dogs, who can make the connection between their behaviour and punishment.

A couple of mine used to nip at my head or pull my hair or midly claw my head when I was in bed. I told them No, Bad Cat, and just put them in another room, not closing the door, but making it clear that I was not pleased with them. Then ignored them. That seemed to cure the behaviour.

It takes a bit of time, but once a cat knows he won't get anywhere by pulling behaviours, he'll stop. Cats, after all, want what they want when they want it!

Good luck!
post #3 of 6
Have you read the sticky at the top of this forum. Ouch!! How to stop cat aggression towards people.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice seaturtle, I've asked my dad to stop slapping at him.

And yes I did. It didn't say anything about food aggression or relate directly to my situation.

The thing is we keep telling him no. Spraying him with the water bottle. He'll stop but then just do it again the next day - he's very smart and incredibly stubborn. If worst comes to worst I'll just have to take him back to school with me since my parents aren't too keen on keeping a cat that keeps nipping at them.
post #5 of 6
leokins, what food are you feeding? It may not have the proper nutrition to satisfy your kitty's needs and thus the cat needs to eat more to get his proper amount of nutrients. You'll find that most of us who have switched to a better quality food have found their cats actually eat less, and also use the litter box less, since they don't need as much quality food as they did of the ones full of grains and empty calories. In the long term, better quality foods end up costing the same or less because you won't go through it as quickly. There's also the savings on litter.

Also, grain filled dry foods tend to cause cats to get overweight. It may just be a matter of changing the food you are currently feeding.
post #6 of 6
If you tell him NO and then go feed him, the cat is smart enough to figure it out and will continue to do it, since he will associate nipping with you getting up and feeding him!

Try telling him NO or OUCH and then waiting at least 5-10 mins before you feed him.

All ours do is sit and complain they are "starving" and "feed me" while we eat, but they know they get fed after. They just want us to hurry up
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