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He wont leave my food alone!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Long time no speak......

Just adopted a new male tabby, he is 10 weeks old, and we have had him for two weeks.

Whenever we eat, he constantly jumps up, and tries to steal the food. We have tried shutting him in the kitchen, but he just yells from behind the door. We want to be able to eat our dinner in the same room as him, but he just wont stop trying to climb up us to get at the food.

Ive had many cats, so I know I am feeding him enough, but he just always yells for food.

He also bites us a lot, I know its probably just him being a kitten, but Ive nevr had these problems before....

Please help, before he bites one of my children or steals their dinner.
post #2 of 13
Have you tried feeing him his dinner at the same time you are eating? We had this problem with Harley too, but we started feeding him at the same time we ate, and it helped!
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yes, we have tried that, but he still wants our food - Its actually very annoying
post #4 of 13
It might just be that he's being a kitten, so it'll probably take some time for him to really learn. Make sure to let him know that it is never ok for him to even jump on any chairs in the kitchen either. My friend let her cat do that, so he assumed everything else was ok.
post #5 of 13
I would put him in a separate room with his own food and a bunch of toys. Ignore his crys - he knows that if he does it long enough you will get up and open the door.

Most of our cats are put in other rooms when we eat. If not, and they jump up on us/chair they are immediately put on the floor, told no, and repeated EVERY time they do it.

They also are not allowed up on the counters either. We've learned to cover the pan/pot if there is food sitting on the stove - Ling's a pain in the butt - she thinks she is entitled to anything But she's learning slow but sure.
post #6 of 13
You just have to be firm with him. When he tries to take your food push him gently backwards (not roughly, just like his mother would) and say "No" firmly. Then do it again, and again, and again.... Eventually he will get the message and realise it just doesn't work. My kitten was like that when I got him. He climbed all over me and tried to take the food - he'd have taken it out of my mouth if he could. For the first few meals I could hardly get food in my mouth for saying "No" and it took ages to get a meal finished. But it worked very quickly and now he rarely bothers me when I'm eating.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Weve tried to be firm with him, weve tried putting him in the kitchen, weve tried everything....Im hoping he will grow out of it, but he just seems so demanding!
post #8 of 13
When my kitten tries to do that I put her in her crate (tim out) but I leave her in the same room where she can see me and smell my food. She HATES her little crate (its a pet carrier) and her cries are very annoying but I only put her in there when she tries to take my food and I scold her as I put her in there. That way she realizes it's a punishment and associates it with her trying to steal my food. Before long I expect she will quit trying to steal my food to avoid the crate. I will let you know if it works.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinsey's Pet
When my kitten tries to do that I put her in her crate (tim out) but I leave her in the same room where she can see me and smell my food. She HATES her little crate (its a pet carrier) and her cries are very annoying but I only put her in there when she tries to take my food and I scold her as I put her in there. That way she realizes it's a punishment and associates it with her trying to steal my food. Before long I expect she will quit trying to steal my food to avoid the crate. I will let you know if it works.
The only objection I would have to that is come time to take her to the vet she'll associate the carrier with punishment and I've always found that by leaving the carrier out for a few days before a vet appointment and putting a soft towel inside, that the cats use it as a place to nap and don't get all stressed out when we take them to the vet in the carrier.

I agree that the best thing is to be consistent and patient by putting her down off the table each and every time with a firm NO. She will learn if you can wait that long. Patience is everything with babies (of all species).
post #10 of 13
I also leave the carrier out at all times with a pillow and toys in it. She doesnt mind being put in it, its just being left in it that she hates. Its really the only punishment that works for her. If i just put her down and say "no" she will NOT leave me alone since she knows there are no real consequences. I dont usually have to use the carrier to take her anywhere but i will bring it to the vet with me incase she gets nervous or spastic. I do see your point, though, if you have a cat like my last one who, hated the carrier, the car, and anything but being home then punishing him with the carrier will make him go balistic when you actually need to put him in it. But it works for Kinsey.
post #11 of 13
I think all pets do this, dogs, cats and even birds! Sometimes they're just interested in what you're eating, sometimes they'll try to have a little lick from your plate

My kitten tries to do this too, she'll jump on the dinner table, so I just shush her and if she won't jump down, I tap on the table a couple of times. It seems to work, most of the time. I also try to feed her at lunch/dinner time, but she eats too fast and before the meal is over she's already finished!

The important thing is never to take pity on them and feed them at the table. Otherwise they'll grow up into those annoying pets that are always bothering people when they're eating. Not a good thing when you have guests! (That is, even if you tolerate it, other people might not feel the same way.)
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neesey
Yes, we have tried that, but he still wants our food - Its actually very annoying
He's just being a kitten.

At 10 weeks of age he is still very young and it is completely understandable that he hasn't gotten all the rules of living with humans figured out. An animal smells food, thinks he'd like to have some, and goes at it. For him to understand that it is yours and that he is prohibited takes training, and training takes time.

First- lose the emotion. Getting frustrated and angry does nothing except lessen your ability to communicate. Every time the kitten comes around just say "no" and set him on the floor. And again. And again. And again. For weeks. Patience is one of the most crucial qualities of successful trainers and this cannot be emphasized enough. You don't want to alienate or scare your kitten. You just want him to stop coming around for your food.

Second- make sure that he never ever gets a bite of anything out of anything other than his food dish. Many times people wll get riled up at an animal begging, then when they are done eating they will set the plate down for the animal to eat out of. If there is no payoff the behavior will extinguish- that is simple behavior modification 101.

Give it time. He is a very baby kitten and I think it is unfair of you to expect him to become a perfectly trained animal immediately. Most cats recognize boundaries better when they are respected and trained positively, and rebel and misbehave when yelled at or treated inconsistently. So it is up to you to be consistent, patient, and positive.

If you can't be patient and positive and consistent- put him in a different room while you are eating. Doors work, and if you are consistent he will soon stop crying to be let out.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay, so we stopped having him in the room whilst we eat, he stays in the kitchen for while we eat, even tho he crys for attention, but we ignore him

But now, I have another problem, again with food, and this time its his own!

He is now 12 weeks old.

I feed him, he eats, then when I go to the kitchen he whines at me, jumps up at my legs until I feed him again.....all he does is eat, eat eat.

Im feeding him as per the guidelines, he has water down all the time, hes been wormed, flead and vet checked.

Any ideas? Ive always had cats, but none like this, and im at my wits end
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