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Need advice: food obsession

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Greetings. I have a 4 year old male Bengal cat who is food obsessed, and he's driving me crazy. I got Simba from a shelter a year and a half ago, and we've made some good progress as he is very demanding and even for cat lovers, difficult to take at times. He has peed on both myself and my husband a number of times in the middle of the night, but has not done this in quite a while. I've been told by behaviorists and my vet that some cats are like this.

The moment I walk in the door, he expects food, regardless of what time of day it is, and he will cry, scratch furniture, do basically any thing negative to get my attention--for hours. I have been consistent with his feedings, I don't give him treats, I don't reward him for this kind of negative behavior. I've tried distracting him with playtime, but this doesn't seem to do the trick. He also eats everything, including citrus, tofu, and vegetables, and he licks the floor.

I'm now trying raw foods with supplements, and letting him eat as much as he wants in the first feeding (I feed him 3x a day, 2 good sized meals, and a few kibbles before I go to bed so he doesn't wake me up in the middle of the night). My cat sitter recommended the raw foods because he suspects he may not be getting ample nutrition, but it's expensive. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 8
How much does he weigh?
post #3 of 8
Aren't bengal's mixed with nondomesticated cats? Would this change their eating requirments any? I went to a cat show last year and they had about 10 bengal's and we noticed how noisy they were( you could hear them meow from across the room. Have you tried going to a Bengal message board and get some advice? Maybe people with Bengal's have different insight? I post to another board to a girl who had only one bengal and had lots of problems, now she has two and I think the first one has calmed down some. It sounds like he may be bored if he only thinks of food. Mabe get a good cat tree, bengals love to climb, and lots of toys and I would think of getting another cat too. Good luck!!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Simba weighs in at 14 pounds. When I first brought him home, I definitely gave him too much food and he weighed almost 15 1/2, the vet recommended I keep him at 14.
post #5 of 8
The rule of thumb for how much a cat should eat is 1 ounce per pound. If your cat weighs 14 pounds, then at least 14 ounces of food is indicated. That would be 5 3-ounce cans or 2 and a half 6-ounce cans the way I would do it. While I can wholeheartedly understand why your vet would make such a recommendation if he/she felt your cat was obese at 15.5, sometimes you have to listen to what your cat is telling you and if he is telling you he is hungry, then feed him.

As an aside, have you had blood lab work done recently? Checked for parasites?

post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by lengelbert
...He also eats everything, including citrus, tofu, and vegetables, and he licks the floor...
Has he been wormed?

When Russell had worms, he was trying to eat most things in a desperate attempt to get additional nourishment.

Is it possible that he has a nutrition deficiency in his diet? I think a bloodwork or even something as simple as a check up can determine this.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your replies. I do suspect boredom may play a role, as these kinds of cats are very interactive (like kids!) and enjoy constant attention. Simba has been checked out by the vet, knowing that I was concerned about his food obsession. Nothing was uncovered, and I was told that some cats are just food obsessed. Is it possible to tell from blood work what may be lacking in a diet? That I don't think has been done, but he has been checked for parasites.
post #8 of 8
I had this problem with 2 of my cats. I took them to the vet for their annual checkups and asked about the food thing and they did the exam and both had worms. You can check yourself. They look like small grains of rice. You'll find them underneath the cat's tail or on their feces immediately after they've went. The vet gave my cats some kind of pill that got rid of the worms within a week.

Also, another sign is excess gas.
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