or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Behavior › Cat only likes to eat if I'm in the room
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cat only likes to eat if I'm in the room

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I recently adopted a cat from a local shelter that is about 2 years old. All is well, and she is adjusting well. No issues at all, other than a weird circumstance I've run into. For some reason my cat only likes to eat if I am sitting in the same room with her.

I will get up in the morning, put her food down, she will walk over to it, smell it, look back to see if I'm still in the room, and if I sit in the chair, then she will sit down and start to eat the food. If I would immediately leave the room, then she will follow me out, meow at me, until I go back in sit down, and then she will eat again. It's just odd, I honestly don't mind it, but I'm only around as much as I am right now because I am not working full time. Once I go back to working full time, I won't be around all day to sit and watch her eat.

Any suggestions?

Thanks
Alan
post #2 of 22
Believe it or not, cats are social animals and like to eat with other companions, so your kitty is perfectly normal. It could also be because she's in a new environment and isn't completely settled in. All of my kitties eat better if I'm there with them, whether standing right by them or in the vicinity. Do you leave food out for her at night and is it eaten in the morning?
post #3 of 22
It certainly does not sound abnormal if a little cumbersome I would think it can be a social thing but also a security thing. I know with a food snatching brother, one of my cats feels more confident if I hover a bit because then thieving won't happen. Your cat is in new environment and you are the food giver, so it's probably a warm feeling to have you around.

I have one cat with food-ADD. He is a poor eater and gets distracted very easily. He of course is the skinny-bean too and I would like him to eat (the wet) food because someone else will eat it before he can return to it for seconds. He would like me to stay around while he eats but also not 'do' much as it breaks his concentration! I have worked with him to a point I don't need to stand next to him but I can be in the kitchen and move about a bit - but he still easily 'forgets' he is eating and wanders off. If I go back to the cup with him, he happily continues to eat!

What would really make him happy is me feeding him but I decided I am not going there! I think some cats just are social eaters.
post #4 of 22
So Emma is showing her unique personality traits early on! My cats prefer my company when they eat too, but I couldn't leave them alone anyway, as I am the Dreaded Cat Food Police.

My advice is to schedule feeding times around your activities, for instance ......your computer time. Give her a special meal spot near your computer, and feed her while you are on the computer.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Good thoughts everyone. Like I said it doesn't bother me, I just wasn't sure if it was normal. I've spoiled her already though, so it's partially my fault. She hardly ever leaves my side. In fact she is laying next to me when I'm at the computer right now.

I love that she loves and trusts me, I just worry that eventually when I'm gone for 8 hours a day or so she won't eat that's all.

As far as leaving food out overnight, I don't leave the wet food out overnight. She usually eats it all within an hour or two. (3.5 oz pkg x 2 per day). I do leave a little bit of dry food out too, but she only nibbles on that from time to time. I know she was on all dry food at the shelter, but she has transitioned to wet food pretty well. I switched because I read wet food was better than dry for a cat's health.
post #6 of 22
Emma is a very lucky girl to have ended up with you. But wait, she Chose you didn't she, so she knew what she was doing.

On work days, just allow yourself a little extra time in the morning to spend with her during her breakfast time. And of course in the evening at supper.

I'm glad you've got her on a wet diet, you're right it is much better for her.

If you have just made this change suddenly though she may experience some diarrhea and tummy upset. You can give her a probiotic for a few weeks to help her cope with the diet change, if she needs it.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
Emma is a very lucky girl to have ended up with you. But wait, she Chose you didn't she, so she knew what she was doing.

On work days, just allow yourself a little extra time in the morning to spend with her during her breakfast time. And of course in the evening at supper.

I'm glad you've got her on a wet diet, you're right it is much better for her.

If you have just made this change suddenly though she may experience some diarrhea and tummy upset. You can give her a probiotic for a few weeks to help her cope with the diet change, if she needs it.
She did choose me yes, and I couldn't be happier. I remember when I went to get her at the shelter it was the 3rd time I was there, and as soon as she saw me look through the door, she jumped down from her perch and ran over and was actually excited to get into the carrier, it was pretty cool.

I was worried about diarrhea but so far so good. I've been scooping her litterbox twice daily, and all looks good so hopefully that keeps up. I'm going to try to get her on some higher quality wet food soon. I've been trying to find what flavors she likes since she seems a bit picky, so far tuna and chicken seem to be the overwhelming favorites... any suggestions on a good healthy wet food?
post #8 of 22
Don't worry about when you go to work. She'll sleep most of the day and be happy to have you home.
post #9 of 22
Our cat will only eat with us in the room, too! Breakfast can be a bit of a challenge, but we all eat supper together.

lin
post #10 of 22
My cat Fiona was like that when I first got her. It did go away in time. I got her a kitty friend within 6 months of having her so I can't remember if this was what ended her needing me to be there for her to eat? She can still be clingy occasionally and I humor her by hanging around and its like a special bonding time for the two of us. But don't worry, she just sounds like she is very happy to be with you and doesn't want to miss out on anything.
post #11 of 22
This is interesting, because I, too, though it was an oddity with my Genever. She would only eat when we got home from work or being out, or when we got up. (there's usually dry left out overnight because she just doesn't eat it in a 'meal', she picks.) I always felt bad that she felt she couldn't eat when she was alone. But eventually she had started to eat on her own when we're gone, in another room, or asleep. She still will often go right to the food dish when we get home though.The last time BF and I were out of town, she was staying at our friend's house, and he mentioned that everytime he came home, she would run to the food dish.

I mentioned it to the vet not long after we got her, and the vet said yep, some cats are just social eaters. And I am reading here now that it's not uncommon. Ya learn something new everyday...
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yeah I guess it's just gonna be something I have to adapt with, with Emma, which I am fine with.

I was gone today from like 9-3, and I put food out before I left. I sat down for about 10 minutes before I left with her, and she didn't eat so I figured she just wasn't hungry. Left the food out, came home.... hadn't touched it. I went into the back room, sat down on the chair, said .. time to eat and pointed at dish, and she went over and started eating.

It's cute.
post #13 of 22
Are you sure she's not a dog? I once had a fan who had 2 dobermans and if she left them in the care of someone else for a weekend or for vacation, she had to tell them to eat while she was gone. Otherwise, they'd not eat. Seriously.
post #14 of 22
Nora will eat alone if she is really hungry, but she prefers to eat with one of us in the room. Her food is in the kitchen, and if we are in there for whatever reason, she will run in and start eating. We call it her "dinner date."
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Emma continues to do this. I Just hope she can break the habit at least a bit, since I won't always be home to watch her eat. I don't mind sitting with her while she eats, but its not that she eats it all at once, she nibbles eats about half, then comes back later after she meows for me to come in the back room to finish eating. If I just leave her by herself she will just come out and get me.

It's cute, but it's almost like she thinks she needs my permission to eat her food.
post #16 of 22
Is this a new thing for your kitty? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it could be mouth related pain if it's a sudden change in behavior. Although a lot of cats really do prefer to eat with company. I hope this is the case. My cat from 6 months on had ulcers in his mouth caused by a virus, and we would have to get him steroid shots from time to time so he could eat. Again, like I said, I'm not trying to make you panic, but just have you be aware.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyHitchhiker View Post
Is this a new thing for your kitty? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it could be mouth related pain if it's a sudden change in behavior. Although a lot of cats really do prefer to eat with company. I hope this is the case. My cat from 6 months on had ulcers in his mouth caused by a virus, and we would have to get him steroid shots from time to time so he could eat. Again, like I said, I'm not trying to make you panic, but just have you be aware.
It's not new. I've only had Emma for a about 3 weeks, but she's been doing it since I got her. I figure that since she was in a shelter with lots of cats, that maybe is just how she is used to eating. I don't think anything is wrong with her mouth, but I go to the vets next week anyways so I can have them check.
post #18 of 22
Well let's just cross our figglers that it's something your baby has picked up behaviorly for reaffirmation being a shelter kitty. There are all sorts of weird things that happen to a cat's brain after being in a shelter that usually fade away.

A list of a few I've had, that worked themselves out:
  • Bread-mauling (LOOK! Loaf of bread! LUNGE!)
  • Food aggression
  • Over-eating
  • Crying
  • Manic Behavior
  • Absolutely HAVING to go to the bathroom when I went to the bathroom (my litter box has almost always been in my bathroom since I've been an adult)
post #19 of 22
In my feral colony there are those who won't eat if I'm around, those who won't eat if I'm NOT around, and those who don't care. But food will lie there all morning, and then if I come and sit with the cats, they go and eat, as if they'd been reminded of food when they saw me... Who knows, maybe it's a conditioned reflex: feralsmommy --> food.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skullman80 View Post
It's not new. I've only had Emma for a about 3 weeks, but she's been doing it since I got her. I figure that since she was in a shelter with lots of cats, that maybe is just how she is used to eating. I don't think anything is wrong with her mouth, but I go to the vets next week anyways so I can have them check.
Hey Skullman, how did Emma's vet visit go?
post #21 of 22
Got my kitty from a shelter around 6 months of age , she was found under a hedge, she will follow me every time i go in the kitchen and eat her food she is nearly 8 now also she wont come home if any man is in my home even if its my son or dad that she has known for years. Poor thing. Lol as i am writing this two cats outside are having a fallout!!!
post #22 of 22

@mysticsmeg This thread is quite a few year's old.  Maybe you would like to start your own? :)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Behavior › Cat only likes to eat if I'm in the room