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My Calico is Really Aggressive for Food!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I'm having some behaviour issues with my 9 month old Calico, Abby. I have her on a premium food (Royal Canin, Kitten 36), and the packaging recommends 0.7-0.9 cups per day for her age and weight. I feed her 0.9 per day, 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 in the evening. I feed her each morning at 8am and each evening at 6:30pm. I had her to the vet about 10 weeks ago for her spay, and she checked out as having ideal weight, etc. So I don't think there is any physical need for more food. She's also an indoor cat, so she doesn't need major calories as far as I can tell.

However, she gets VERY aggressive and needy for her dinner already by ~4:00. She's normally very affectionate and good natured, but she jumps on me, clinging to my pants, meowing incessantly and trying to 'lead' me to her food cupboard or dish, and sometimes starts batting and me and otherwise being a huge nuisance! I've had several cats in my lifetime (though never a calico), but never one so aggressive when it comes to mealtime! When I first got her, she would wake me up each morning - again, really aggressively - though that has improved quite a bit. Now, it's mainly dinner that she gets crazy over.

I'm reasonably confident that she's getting the proper amount of food for her age, weight, and activity level. I could be wrong, of course. What I'm more concerned about is the behavioural aspect. I don't think I should just feed her more simply to prevent her 'outbursts' if she doesn't need - and indeed could become unhealthy by - additional food.

Any suggestions/comments?

post #2 of 6
I presume that you can't feed her three times/day because you are at work at mid-day. How about getting an automatic feeder, something that will dispense at pre-set times? Then you can set it up to give her smaller meals throughout the day.
post #3 of 6
Nora gets a specified amount to eat during the day also, but she gets wet food also. She gets 1/2c per day, and I used to give her 1/4c in the am and then another 1/4c in the afternoon when I brought my son home from school. When I did that she would do exactly what your cat is doing, and freak out and act like she was starving.

I started putting the whole 1/2c in the bowl at one time, after she ate her wet food in the morning, and she actually seemed to eat less. She would pick a big here and there throughout the day, and would finish it finally in the late evening. She didn't do the crazy, hungry thing either...unless for her wet food which she loves.

Are you giving wet food? Maybe try offering the whole thing in the morning one day and she how she is when you get home from work. If she feels less hungry through the day she might not get so crazy and be less inclined to pig out.

Good luck!
post #4 of 6
Bear in mind that kitties' tummies are designed to eat many small meals frequently. We free feed all of our cats. They don't overeat and we give them one wet meal each evening.

If you have a problem with free feeding or she over feeds if you let her free feed (maybe try it over a weekend while you're there to keep an eye on her?), then I'd go with an automatic feeder that you can program, so she gets smaller meals more frequently.

Honestly, I have no idea how much any one of our cats eats. We have seven and we go through a 10 pound bag of dry food every few weeks. That's as close as I can get!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies!

She's on dry food only, by the way.

I did actually get an automatic feeder, a LeBistro Portion-Control one. I got this one because it was able to dispense as little as 1/4 cup per serving... seems like most of the others are 1/2 cup and up, which is fairly useless for one cat. The problem was that it was really inconsistent with how much it dispensed. I don't know if it was the size/shape of the kibble, but it would jam and only dole out a tablespoon or so... then when it turned over the next time, the rest of the first meal would come out, as well as the entire portion of the second! I called the company and talked to them, and they said that shouldn't happen... But I took it back and decided not to replace it with another.

I haven't tried free-feeding her, but maybe I'll give it a shot and see what happens. I've free-fed some of my cats in the past without a problem, but my last one had a very sensitive tummy and would throw up almost every day So we had to feed her several times a day... Maybe I'm just in that multi-serving mindset still and should give free feeding a go again.

Thanks again!
post #6 of 6
I know you don't know if over eating is a problem. But tricks to help "gobblers" with the free feeding: choose a large kibble kind of food that they must chew. Put it "up" on something like a short stool (that they cannot also stand on) so they have to keep their heads up to eat it, making it just a little awkward to get at it - then they have to slow down and can't just gobble mouthfuls. Just ideas.

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