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Begging for food.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Penny, my 8-mo stray female is the worst at begging for human food. She won't stop no matter what. I can't be in the kitchen without her underfoot all the time. I can't sit down to a meal without her pawing at me and jumping on the table. She jumps on the counters looking for food -- most annoying when trying to cook a meal. She knows she isn't suppose to be up there, but she doesn't seem to care. When I scold her she sasses me. I've tried to feed her canned food at the same time I am sit down to eat. When she's finished with her's, she comes begging for mine. It's so annoying. I push her off the table (or counter) and tell her NO! It's impossible to sit on the sofa and eat or drink anything. She sits on the armrest and paws at me non-stop. My other cats don't do this.

She eats very well. She's free fed kitten chow, and receives Iams kitten canned food 2-3 times a day. She gets real meat treats or tuna water every now and then. She will eat anything, and I mean anything.

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 6
I would put her in a small room while you eat your meals. At that time make sure she has some canned food in there, as well as her litter box and some water and toys. Once you are finished eating, let her come out and be with you. She will probably cry and get upset, but it will stop her trying to get your food, and it won't be very long before she gets the message that robbing your plate and jumping on counters isn't acceptable.

Start washing your counters off at night with a citrus scented cleaner - just not Pine-Sol- or add lemon juice to your cleaning solution. The smell will keep her off the counters.

Her behavior is typical of strays, they know when there is food out and they have this trigger inside of them that takes awhile to shut off that says that they better eat all the food they can find, because it might not be around later. You can also stop that trigger by providing scheduled feedings, in a routine, so she always knows at that time of day she will get fed, and then her anxiety will lessen.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I was afraid you were going to say that. I considered isolating her during my mealtimes, but decided that would be my last resort. I guess I'm at the last resort phase, huh?

I suppose it didn't help the first few months she stayed with my mother. Mom has 8 other cats who run the household. Penny probably had to compete for food then, and I know she was on the counters alot.

I guess we start isolation methods today.
post #4 of 6
Morgan is a lot like that. Although hes better about not getting up on my counters, he wont stay off my table while we are eating. And forget eating on the couch, hes right in your face trying to get every bite! Its kind of funny, sometimes annoying. I just keep putting him back down on the floor and usually the last half of my meal is better-- hes tired of jumping up just to be put back down again. I think part of it with him is just curiosity because Ive let him get his face right in some of the stuff to see if he would eat it but he doesnt. Hes just nosey and wants to see what Im eating I guess
post #5 of 6
LOL my Logan was a little like that, but he used to wait til you turned your head. He figured you were done then & started his meal LOL:.
post #6 of 6
My little guy does the same thing! As soon as the refrigerator door opens, he's between my feet! I've started calling him 'mommy's little beggar!' He was a stray as well, so I'm sure that that's why he tries so hard to get his paws on every bit of food available.
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