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One cat eats first.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
When I feed my cats wet food, one cat eats first, the second one waits. I put the food into 2 bowls, but still, the second cat waits until the first cat finishes eating.
post #2 of 15
That's pretty normal. Is it a case of a boy cat eating first while the girl cat waits?
post #3 of 15
It really doesn't have anything to do with gender. It has to do with the Alpha cat- the one that has proven him or herself to the others to be the quickest, the smartest the strongest. My alpha is a 5 month old male (at the moment). But before he was introduced the alpha was a 3 year old female. In a multi cat household the alpha can change all the time, as the kittens grow up, or as new cats are introduced. Your alpha is the cat that always sleeps on the highest point, sometimes doesn't cover their waste or chases or bullies the others- not to the point of distraction, but to make a point. In the wild in a colony, the alpha is the reason the group is surviving and this is instinct. Bringing a cat inside and forcing it to live inside (which is unnatural to them) does not take this trait away from them.

You can allow your cats to eat together, by putting the first food bowl (your alpha's food bowl) down first, then a minute later, a second bowl for your other cat is given to her/him. And don't feed them real close together, they should see each other, but not crowd each other.
post #4 of 15
When I had just two cats, the dominant cat was the female cat (Mellie). However, she allowed the male cat (Rocket) to eat first. Now that I have three cats, the dominant cat is the newest male cat (Tommy). They all eat separately now, but if I allowed them to eat together, it would still be Rocket who hogs the food. And Mellie would hang back and let the other two eat first. That's why I have to feed them separately. Tommy fits all the described characteristics of an alpha cat, but he'd still be number two behind Rocket at the food bowl.
post #5 of 15
Two Girls eat first (together) - then the boys in whatever order they feel like it.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
It really doesn't have anything to do with gender. It has to do with the Alpha cat- the one that has proven him or herself to the others to be the quickest, the smartest the strongest. My alpha is a 5 month old male (at the moment). But before he was introduced the alpha was a 3 year old female. In a multi cat household the alpha can change all the time, as the kittens grow up, or as new cats are introduced. Your alpha is the cat that always sleeps on the highest point, sometimes doesn't cover their waste or chases or bullies the others- not to the point of distraction, but to make a point. In the wild in a colony, the alpha is the reason the group is surviving and this is instinct. Bringing a cat inside and forcing it to live inside (which is unnatural to them) does not take this trait away from them.

You can allow your cats to eat together, by putting the first food bowl (your alpha's food bowl) down first, then a minute later, a second bowl for your other cat is given to her/him. And don't feed them real close together, they should see each other, but not crowd each other.
The funny thing is the cat that eats first is Scaredy. He is younger, smaller, was a second cat in the home, and is scared of everything. How in the world did Scaredy become an alpha cat?

And what does it make my other cat?

Scaredy is always there to eat first, and my second cat just goes away and waits until Scaredy leaves. I can't imagine how Scaredy has accomplished becoming alpha cat. Cats are weird.
post #7 of 15
Perhaps your opinion of which cat should/could/would be the dominant cat is filtered through which one you appreciate more as a tame household pet?
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano
Perhaps your opinion of which cat should/could/would be the dominant cat is filtered through which one you appreciate more as a tame household pet?
No, I just don't understand how Scaredy who mostly lives under the bed can become an alpha cat over a normal cat that mostly lives in a living room.
post #9 of 15
Yes, your living room cat recognizes/accepts the cat living under the bed as its superior. As for why, we can only speculate but living in a house is an artificial environment and for whatever reason the scaredy cat's preferred location is under the bed. Nano has some strong alpha-cat tendencies and she spends 2+ hours a day curled around the hot water heater (she has to squeeze through a narrow opening by the dishwasher to reach it). I have no idea what she is doing back there but it isn't a matter of fear -- she just seems to like it.
post #10 of 15
thats different
post #11 of 15
With my 5 cats, it's whoever gets there first. The rest of them sit in a line one behind the other and wait. It's really quite funny to see, because their bowl is a huge rectangle size bowl and there's plenty of room for everyone to eat at the same time.
post #12 of 15
Usually has to do with "pecking order" showing dominace and submissiveness. Ripley used to be the Alpha cat which always cracked me up , since she is smaller that Cleo, even though she is much more intelligent. Then in the past few months Cleo has most definately become the alpha cat, must be she realized how big she is (24lbs) and built like a brick s*** house, she must have decided not to take Ripleys bossiness any more.
post #13 of 15
When we had our first two cats sharing one big bowl, it was our big male who always ate first. He would eat for a minute or two then walk away, our female would come up and eat for a few minutes and leave, then the male would come back and eat more. Now each of the four have their own dishes for moist food but they share a communal dry food bowl.

Also, from my experience, cats will 'negotiate' among themselves which dominant behaviors each is permitted. Our first female is the only cat that hisses, for instance, even though it was the male that ate first.
post #14 of 15
I know this is a reallllly old topic, but I went looking for more info on google for this specifically.

My cats do this, but the weird thing is...it's the "dominant" cat brother that waits to eat. He's the bigger cat that is always picking on the other, will drive the other cat out of a warm spot he wants just with a glare (sometimes a tiff, which is basically him scruffing the other cat with his teeth until the other cat cries loudly). He gets first dibs on the bed, and will force the other cat to snuggle with him occasionally. They get along very well, but they have run-ins every once in awhile.

I have to put the food on the counter, though, and the bigger cat is a bit stockier and occasionally with throw up if he eats too fast...so I wondered if that had anything to do with it. I have no idea. I would think the so-called dominant cat would eat first. They used to eat at the same time. ...Maybe the other behaviors are not dominant? Or maybe cat hierarchy is more confusing than dogs?
post #15 of 15
Luna will wait for Midnight to eat first unless I pick him up and move him over to his own food dish. Then they eat peacefully together.
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