As a cat paw-rent, it can be bewildering sometimes to understand the unusual eating habits of your feline. But we love our cats despite all their cute tantrums, don’t we?
Anyone sharing their life with a kitty experiences their interesting eating habits at some point or another. A first-time cat owner might find their cat’s eating patterns challenging to understand. In some cases, cat owners even fear something might be wrong with their precious kitty. Generally, there is no cause for concern because cats can be unpredictable (which makes them all the more fun).
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Here are some unique eating habits of cats that new paw-rents should know about:
1. Playing With Food
In the wild, cats spend almost 12 hours a day hunting and climbing (both are part of their natural instinct). If you see your cat playing with its food before eating it, there’s no need to worry, as your little kitty is just acting on instinct. It is considered healthy for cats to be active while eating. It prevents laziness and keeps their interest in food intact.
If you see your cat overeating regularly, it may be time to check its food schedule. Binge eating can happen if your cat isn’t properly fed. An adult domestic cat needs two to three proper meals a day at fixed times. Cats do well on a feeding schedule, but free-feeding works better for some cats (having food available to them all day, so they can eat small meals whenever they want). Cats that don’t have feeding schedules can start feeling insecure about food availability, and might therefore resort to gorging.
3. Eating Alone
Cats are natural predators, which makes them fear eating among others. There is a constant concern that some larger predator might come along and steal their food, which is why most cats like to eat in a quiet and empty place. It is normal to witness your kitty eating alone. However, some cats take it to the extreme and only eat when completely alone, which can harm their health. If your cat is showing this type of behaviour, you should try to create an even quieter place and change some things around the house that might be disturbing your precious kitty’s peace.
4. Not Eating
Cat owners sometimes have to deal with their cats refusing to eat, but since they are experienced, they know there can be many reasons for this behaviour (not all of them alarming). However, it can be worrisome and confusing for new cat parents when their kitty refuses to eat. Check if you have recently made any changes to your cat’s diet. Cats like consistency; it makes them feel safe, and if they identify some changes in their food, they might stop eating altogether.
If there are no diet changes or recent stressors in the home, and your cat still refuses to eat, it may be time for you to get professional help. Take your cat to the vet to ensure that nothing is medically wrong with your little kitty.
How Can I Control These Habits?
As we mentioned earlier, cats are descended from wild animals, so we may never be able to understand or predict their behaviour completely. To minimise troublesome eating behaviours, it’s good to create a consistent and dependable schedule for your kitty that anyone who feeds it can follow. Prepare three meals a day and provide high-quality food to your cat. Your cat can also stop eating if you are not providing food it likes, so consider your kitty’s food preferences to encourage healthy eating habits.
Giving healthy treats to your kitty sometimes can also be the positive reinforcement that it needs to help develop good eating habits. Add a small treat to your cat’s bowl at meal time to encourage it to start eating if it seems a bit disinterested in its food.
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