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Begging for people food

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oscar is 9 weeks old now. No matter what it is we are eating, he will beg for it and do anything to try and get some. Its like he goes into a frenzied state. Ice cream, bread, meat, cereal, etc. He has bitten me and my 8 year old once each (confusing our fingers with food). Is there any way to stop this behavior or do we just need to lock him up when we eat?
post #2 of 25
try to feed him before you eat. It will not help in 100%, as kittens can eat verry much, and ask for more.
But it will surely help some.

Him begging human food isnt as bad as it sounds. It is good he likes food of different sorts. It may become very useful. Say if he gets sick and you must lure in him medicines with some yummy treat.
Or he gets allergic to his usual food, and you must try with different brand.
post #3 of 25
I got a chuckle out of this. Bijou has his own small plate set at the table each evening. He will sit beside my husband's chair and patiently wait for hubby to cut up his serving of whatever meat we are having for dinner.
post #4 of 25
Riley does this. He will reach over the edge of the table and swipe things off your plate, or climb up the back of the chair and reach over your shoulder trying to get things off the plate

You might just try putting him in another room with a dish of wet food or some treat until he's a little older and you can teach him manners. He may be too young to try just yet.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I got a chuckle out of this. Bijou has his own small plate set at the table each evening. He will sit beside my husband's chair and patiently wait for hubby to cut up his serving of whatever meat we are having for dinner.
Zane does this, too. A bad habit, I know, but Father started him on it, and I can't bring myself to break him of it. "The Puss Plate" we called it.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I was surprised to hear about the cats getting their own servings at dinner. I have given him bits here and there but worried about giving him too much, fearing cat diahrrea!!

If I gave him enough to satisfy him even at all thats surely what would happen, I think? Or would he get used to the variety? I would really prefer to do it that way rather than lock him away, if its possible. Only giving him healthy food of course.

I had to give him a bath the other night, he was getting covered in too much stolen food dried into his fur! Luckily he didn't put up much of a fight.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
Riley does this. He will reach over the edge of the table and swipe things off your plate, or climb up the back of the chair and reach over your shoulder trying to get things off the plate

You might just try putting him in another room with a dish of wet food or some treat until he's a little older and you can teach him manners. He may be too young to try just yet.

How do you go about teaching a cat manners (when hes old enough)? The old squirt gun thing never works for me.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
How do you go about teaching a cat manners (when hes old enough)? The old squirt gun thing never works for me.
I don't know because mine don't seem to learn any I think some cats are just naturally more polite than others.
post #9 of 25
I feed my cat just before I eat about 10 min. in advance.
She is not free fed. It does help some. Or if we are having something she would want, baked chicken or hamburg I just set some aside and
give it to her before I start to eat. Once their belly
is full they normally lay down and sleep just like a pig.
post #10 of 25
I second the fed him before you eat. My cat free feeds dry but her dish of wet I put out in the eve before I eat. She still might beg if I've got something real interesting like a tuna sandwich or sushi.

If you are going to give in to his demand and give him samples when he begs you will never break him of the habit. Everything I give aya I put on the floor, so she knows it is not okay to eat off the coutner or tables. It seems to work. she will now carry treats down to teh floor to eat them.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrajean View Post
I second the fed him before you eat. My cat free feeds dry but her dish of wet I put out in the eve before I eat. She still might beg if I've got something real interesting like a tuna sandwich or sushi.

If you are going to give in to his demand and give him samples when he begs you will never break him of the habit. Everything I give aya I put on the floor, so she knows it is not okay to eat off the coutner or tables. It seems to work. she will now carry treats down to teh floor to eat them.
Oh, I didn't mean to give the impression I feed him off of the counters or table. The samples I give him are on his own plate on the floor.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
Oh, I didn't mean to give the impression I feed him off of the counters or table. The samples I give him are on his own plate on the floor.
Same here. Bijou sits on the floor beside hubby and politely waits for his portion. We don't give him huge amounts and only meat. He doesn't like any fish at all so usually it's just beef, pork or chicken.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Same here. Bijou sits on the floor beside hubby and politely waits for his portion. We don't give him huge amounts and only meat. He doesn't like any fish at all so usually it's just beef, pork or chicken.
I wish Oscar would wait politely
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
I wish Oscar would wait politely
Bijou is a polite little gentlecat in every way.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyrajean View Post
If you are going to give in to his demand and give him samples when he begs you will never break him of the habit.
I agree with this. If you want to break him of this habit, you can't give in to him. He's also incredibly young, and if you start to redirect him to his own food before your own meals, he'll learn over time. Stop giving him any human food for a while so that he doesn't expect any, and eventually if you want to give him some human food, do it before meals.

And squirt bottles don't work. It only teaches them what not to do, not what they should do. Redirecting them to the proper behavior (e.g. their own food bowls) works so much better over time.
post #16 of 25
I know its probably not a good thing, but when you have those cute little faces looking at you, its hard to resist giving them samples. It does cause behavior problems!

Jack is "food obsessed" and will eat just about anything you give him. And he doesn't care if you say no or not - if he can steal it, he will. The only things we are very careful about with people food are chocolate, onions, small bones, etc.

They are spoiled, but are healthy and not fat, so my guys will continue to get some people food.
post #17 of 25
I made the mistake of sharing with Spaz as a kitten.
Now she sits on the arm of my chair while I eat.
And she thinks that if I'm holding it in my fingers that it's destined for her, so she'll reach and grab, sometimes with claws.

I learned my lesson, I do not share people food with cats now (except Spaz), I never let them learn that the food I eat is the very same food I sometimes give as treats.
As a result, none of them pay any attention to me while I eat.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I know its probably not a good thing, but when you have those cute little faces looking at you, its hard to resist giving them samples. It does cause behavior problems!

Jack is "food obsessed" and will eat just about anything you give him. And he doesn't care if you say no or not - if he can steal it, he will. The only things we are very careful about with people food are chocolate, onions, small bones, etc.

They are spoiled, but are healthy and not fat, so my guys will continue to get some people food.
I agree with GK on this one. I personally don't have a problem sharing with my cat. He's part of our family and much loved. If he wants some of what I'm eating, he can have it. We had a lovely black longhaired cat that absolutely loved spaghetti and meatballs. He would follow me around and be under my feet while I was trying to serve up dinner. I finally got the idea of chopping up some spaghetti with some sauce and meatballs for him, put it down where he normally ate and he was in heaven and left us alone while we ate. My little female Siamese was the same about curried chicken - she loved it, the spicier the better. I never had a problem giving them a bit. It wasn't like I was giving them spicy food every day. As for Bijou, I don't see any harm in him having about a tablespoon (that's about all it works out to when chopped up) of whatever meat we are having for dinner.
post #19 of 25
Ooooh! I'm guilty, guilty, guilty on this. The two older cats know not to jump on the table when we are sitting at it, but they will sit on the floor or another chair and do their baby meows. I'm sure the two new cats will pick up on it soon enough.

But as a few of you said earlier - they are so darn cute and look at you with those big eyes! How do you say no?!?!
post #20 of 25
im guilty! me and BF always end up eating on the couch watching TV, which makes it very easy for the cats to investigate. Sabastian doesn't bother unless im having a yogurt snack, then he will sit next to me and when im done ill save a spoonful for him and feed it to him.

If we are eating any type of meat product, Nipper get up on the back of the couch so hes head level with us and will look and stare until we share.

Princess is 10 mos old and just started showing interest in human food. She's a little more aggressive then the other 2 cause she will come and try to steal a sample right off the plate, but she's so darn cute i cant yell! So far she likes sweet n sour chinese, hamburgers, and eggs, ill always share.
post #21 of 25
I don't like giving Maggie any people food and normally she never comes in the kitchen during dinner. But Maggie is a porker. No, she's not overweight, she's 5 pounds but any pork like bacon or ham and she's begging. She's good though, she sits and waits but if she has to wait too long for 1 or 2 small pieces, she'll stand up and tap on you. Now the dog is another story No, I don't give her much in people food. She knows to stay out of the kitchen during dinner but ends up crawling slowly to the table...it's so pitiful and yep, I end up giving her a bite I'm such a softie!
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycee View Post
Oscar is 9 weeks old now. No matter what it is we are eating, he will beg for it and do anything to try and get some. Its like he goes into a frenzied state. Ice cream, bread, meat, cereal, etc. He has bitten me and my 8 year old once each (confusing our fingers with food). Is there any way to stop this behavior or do we just need to lock him up when we eat?
Keep a spray bottle nearby when eating. You must do something about this behavior if he becomes so frenzied that he is no longer careful about not harming you/your child. Start off by telling him sharply no and pushing his nose lightly away. If the kitty continues or gets more aggressive, sneakily spray him in the face as he is trying to reach the food and say no affirmatively.

I don't like to spray my kittens with water, but when a behavior becomes a big problem, it won't harm them.

Just try to be a little sneaky, because you don't want the kitten to be mad at you :-P.

This technique has worked great in keeping my cats out of the giant pots of soil in my house that the indoor trees are in. They used to climb into it and dig. This is no longer a problem and they still love me just the same.

Best of luck,

Captain Cattings
Visit my blog!
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCattings View Post
Keep a spray bottle nearby when eating. You must do something about this behavior if he becomes so frenzied that he is no longer careful about not harming you/your child. Start off by telling him sharply no and pushing his nose lightly away. If the kitty continues or gets more aggressive, sneakily spray him in the face as he is trying to reach the food and say no affirmatively.
Please do not spray the kitty on the face...
IMO, the best way to train him the right way is to feed him before you eat, at his own place, and completely ignore his pleas for food.
I do agree it is a good thing that he likes a lot of different foods though - I wish Lucky was more like that... She won't eat anything besides her dry food, and I know I will have problems when she becomes ill and need medicine...
Bugsy eats wet cat food, but not human food; actually, I Lie - he loves buffalo wings.
Hope is my little beggar - it makes you wonder how come she is so tiny! The way I get around that is feeding her wet food before Bugsy and myself, otherwise she will not let us eat. I never give her anything from my plate - she only eats from her plate. Even if Bugsy is full, and I want to give her his left overs, I still transfer the food to her own plate.
If Hope was not a foster, I could care less, but.... I need to get her ready for her next family...
post #24 of 25
We are teaching our new boy, Barney, to be more polite at meal time. He actually got burned in his old home because he was trying to get at the people food

It seems that he will eat anything --even DH's bran muffin

That being said we are seeing some improvement. A couple of things we've done: feed him right before the human meal and feed him more than the other two cats (he's less than a year--growing boy), close him out of the room immediately if he goes for the food (he is very clingy right now and spends a lot of time rubbing himself on our feet--he wants to be near us all the time, so this does seem to have made an impression) and any paws on the dining table are immediately pushed back to the floor. After our meal, I give him a little bit of dry food as a treat. We have been doing this since we got him a few weeks ago and are just seeing the difference now. No spraying necessary.

Luckily, he is a smart boy and he's picking up on this, last night he sat next to me while I ate a burger and aside from a few sniffs he was very polite and stayed on his chair. He was rewarded with a wildside salmon treat

I still close him out of the kitchen when I'm cooking, I just don't want to take the chance he'll get burned again.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCattings View Post
Keep a spray bottle nearby when eating. You must do something about this behavior if he becomes so frenzied that he is no longer careful about not harming you/your child. Start off by telling him sharply no and pushing his nose lightly away. If the kitty continues or gets more aggressive, sneakily spray him in the face as he is trying to reach the food and say no affirmatively.

I don't like to spray my kittens with water, but when a behavior becomes a big problem, it won't harm them.

Just try to be a little sneaky, because you don't want the kitten to be mad at you :-P.

This technique has worked great in keeping my cats out of the giant pots of soil in my house that the indoor trees are in. They used to climb into it and dig. This is no longer a problem and they still love me just the same.

Best of luck,

Captain Cattings
Visit my blog!
Never, never, never spray your cat with water. If any water gets in their ears it can develop into a very serious infection to the point where they will lose their hearing.

There are many better ways to discipline than with water. If the cat sees you are the one spraying water they can become afraid of you and not want to sit on your lap or cuddle with you. They'll associate you with the bad thing. I wouldn't spray a child with water for incorrect behaviour and cats are no different. Do the same as you would for your child - time out, redirection of their attention, etc. Animals aren't so stupid they can't be taught better manners but I've seen people who are.
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