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Old August 28th, 2012, 10:03 PM
rachelsf rachelsf is offline
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Question How to keep new cat from begging for people food

Hi everyone,

My husband and I adopted a 1-year-old male cat a few weeks ago. He's adjusting well but has a big problem begging for food. I feed him 1/3 can wet food (that's all he eats at a time) twice a day (morning and evening) and leave dry food out at all times. He loves the wet food and only eats the dry stuff when he's out of the wet food. However, his dry food dish is never empty, which makes me think he's not starving.

Whenever my husband and I are in the kitchen, the cat is right there begging for food. If we leave food unattended, he's all over it. Yesterday, I greased a baking dish with coconut oil, turned around for a minute, and he was on the counter licking the dish. The other day, I caught him just before he walked over a still-hot burner on the stove to get at something. Other than what he sneaks, we don't feed him people food.

It seems like the longer we've had him, the more aggressive he gets with sneaking food. This evening, my husband had friends over, and the cat jumped on the coffee table and stuck his head in a bag of chips. One of our friends tried to shake the bag to scare him, but he was not deterred.

What can we do to stop this behaviour?

I should also mention that we live in a small apartment, so we don't want to restrict the cat's access to parts of the apartment. I also feel that squirting him with water is mean.

Thanks!
Rachel
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  #2  
Old August 28th, 2012, 10:29 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Hi rachelsf, and welcome to pets.ca!

What brands/flavours does your kitty eat? It could be that he's missing something nutritionally and isn't satisfied with mainstream commercial pet food. He might actually be a great candidate for a raw diet! At the very least, I'd be inclined to feed him more canned food and eliminate the kibble, which to be honest, isn't that great for cats anyway. www.catinfo.org

Forgot to mention that you can actually leave canned food out for free-feeding, if that's your cat's preference.
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Last edited by sugarcatmom; August 28th, 2012 at 10:30 PM. Reason: added something
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Old August 29th, 2012, 08:23 AM
rachelsf rachelsf is offline
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Thanks for the response! I'm gluten-free and think that if wheat isn't good for people, it's not good for cats. So, he eats all natural cat food (both the wet and dry stuff). I only give him 1/3 can of the wet food at a time, because that's all he eats at once. I was giving him more, and he'd eat half and go back for the rest later, but a friend told me that you shouldn't let the wet stuff sit open.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 09:32 AM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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What size can? What is the brand of cat food? Are you feeding him canned just before you are cooking/eating so he is full?

We've always shared our food with the cats, well, what is good for them. We have one cat that gets to lick one chip when we get out the chip bag, we have another 2 that get tastes of all meat & cheese we are cooking with. Finally the last one could care less about what we are eating, so she doesn't beg and we don't bother giving her any. It seems to satisfy them when they know they will get their "share" of food.

We leave canned/raw mix out all day for the cats when we are at work (12 hours) and have not had a problem.
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Old August 29th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsf View Post
I was giving him more, and he'd eat half and go back for the rest later, but a friend told me that you shouldn't let the wet stuff sit open.
Nah, not true. Unless you have a problem with pests, there's no reason you can't leave wet food out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
We leave canned/raw mix out all day for the cats when we are at work (12 hours) and have not had a problem.
Ditto that!

Rachelsf, I'm still curious about what brand your kitty eats as the "natural" label is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to processed pet food. It also has no official meaning and is often a marketing ploy applied to totally inappropriate products like Science Diet Nature's Best kibble:

Quote:
Ingredients
Chicken, Cracked Pearled Barley, Corn Gluten Meal, Whole Grain Oats, Brown Rice, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Soy Protein Isolate, Brewers Rice, Cranberries, Apples, Carrots, Peas, Lactic Acid, Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Broccoli, Flaxseed, Taurine, Oat Fiber,....
There's nothing "natural" about feeding cats highly rendered chicken meal, Soy Protein Isolate or Corn Gluten Meal. Many of these foods don't have high enough animal-based protein levels to meet the needs of an obligate carnivore, causing cats to constantly feel hungry even when they eat lots. This is one of the reasons for the current obesity epidemic in domestic cats.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 11:18 AM
kittiesandbirds kittiesandbirds is offline
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I have three cats all over 11. Two of which are suffering terribly because of the food I fed them all their life. I would change his diet now before the vet bills become costly. Nike has cost us 2000 dollars this year (he is almost 14) and that may seem old but the vet told us his bone structure is still good. If I had fed him a more appropriate diet as the other posters mentioned he may never have developed a super colon. Pheobe cost nearly 400 for constipation but would have developed a super colon had we not seen the signs. If your cat is young he is trying to tell you his diet is lacking something. Many cat food brands have so many things in them that cats really don't need. I have started making food and giving the vet prescribed food also.
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Old August 30th, 2012, 02:50 PM
rachelsf rachelsf is offline
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Thanks everyone for the responses!

For the wet food, I've been changing brands a lot - depending on what the store has. I always look for "gluten free". I've bought Lick My Chops, Wellness Core Grain Free or Wellness Gluten Free. For treats, I use a brand where the only ingredient is chicken. For dry food, I use Orijen.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 08:42 AM
kittiesandbirds kittiesandbirds is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsf View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses!

For the wet food, I've been changing brands a lot - depending on what the store has. I always look for "gluten free". I've bought Lick My Chops, Wellness Core Grain Free or Wellness Gluten Free. For treats, I use a brand where the only ingredient is chicken. For dry food, I use Orijen.
If you feel that the food is of good quality you may also want to watch to see if someone is encouraging the cat. I know that when we order chicken my cat Nike knows to come to see me. I used to piss off the family because he would beg for chicken from them when we ordered. My portion is so big when we order that I just give him enough chicken that he doesn't bother anyone. They know it's my fault but he never begs at the table only when we order that Sunday meal in front of movies. Nike is an old boy and it seems to me that he has figured out not to bother other people. It may be that a younger cat is having a hard time making that distinction. Just an idea.
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Old August 31st, 2012, 10:08 AM
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Koteburo Koteburo is offline
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From the brands of better quality ingredients that I know I find that one of the most affordable ones is EVO. I used to feed mine EVO 95% (95% protein but they also have other varieties) The label is great. Healthier than a lot of human food and no by products at all of course.
Sounds to me that your little guy might have been a stray. Usually they crave for left overs and human food a lot and they also tend to steal it. But like everything if you follow a routine for them it can be accomplished and they will stop begging. And please do not fall for it. If you give him a bite that will only encourage him to keep begging. No matter how cute don't fall for the begging.
I had a serious problem with a couple of food cat burglars, but REALLY REALLY bad I found them on the street and if you don't fall for the begging, routine feeding times and good food they eventually will get used to it. Some take longer than others.
Please have your little fur angel patience. Remember it takes time for them to fully adapt.
And congratulations on adopting a kitty
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Old August 31st, 2012, 11:20 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsf View Post
Thanks for the response! I'm gluten-free and think that if wheat isn't good for people, it's not good for cats. So, he eats all natural cat food (both the wet and dry stuff). I only give him 1/3 can of the wet food at a time, because that's all he eats at once. I was giving him more, and he'd eat half and go back for the rest later, but a friend told me that you shouldn't let the wet stuff sit open.
You are getting good advice in this thread so i don't have too much to add.
The only thing i wanted to write is that I think you can get into real trouble by applying human nutritional preferences/requirements to another species.
Whether wheat is good for humans should not be factored into when making decisions about cats....

I am a vegetarian for example and think that for me, it's a healthier choice. But NEVER in a million years would I try to put my dog or especially my cat on a veggie diet....

Just something to be aware of - welcome to the forum!
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Old August 31st, 2012, 04:26 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsf View Post
Hi everyone,

My husband and I adopted a 1-year-old male cat a few weeks ago. He's adjusting well but has a big problem begging for food. I feed him 1/3 can wet food (that's all he eats at a time) twice a day (morning and evening) and leave dry food out at all times. He loves the wet food and only eats the dry stuff when he's out of the wet food. However, his dry food dish is never empty, which makes me think he's not starving.

Whenever my husband and I are in the kitchen, the cat is right there begging for food. If we leave food unattended, he's all over it. Yesterday, I greased a baking dish with coconut oil, turned around for a minute, and he was on the counter licking the dish. The other day, I caught him just before he walked over a still-hot burner on the stove to get at something. Other than what he sneaks, we don't feed him people food.

It seems like the longer we've had him, the more aggressive he gets with sneaking food. This evening, my husband had friends over, and the cat jumped on the coffee table and stuck his head in a bag of chips. One of our friends tried to shake the bag to scare him, but he was not deterred.

What can we do to stop this behaviour?

I should also mention that we live in a small apartment, so we don't want to restrict the cat's access to parts of the apartment. I also feel that squirting him with water is mean.

Thanks!
Rachel
I was going to say spray your cat with water. I would rather have a wet mad cat than a burned or dead cat.
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