Some kittens get into the habit of eating only when their human guardian is by their side. It is, without a doubt, a routine learned by the intervention of man and that can compromise the health of the animal if its owner stays away from home for a long time. Sustained fasting in felines can cause stomach ulcers .
In the following lines we are going to explain why a cat can demand that its owner accompany it to eat, what risks it implies and what we can do to reverse this behavior.
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Cats, animals of customs
Pussycats stick to habits as a defense mechanism. Faced with possible dangers or unfavorable situations, they resort to customs to preserve their integrity. Having everything under control makes it easier to react if a danger arises.
Following this same reasoning, some puppies or cats that have been in their new home for a short time may take advantage of their owner’s interest from those first days as a requirement to feed .
It deserves your attention that at the time of eating the cat is more vulnerable and everything that comforts it will be taken as essential to start eating. In the wild, when hunting, they must concentrate, with all their senses, on capturing their victim and, consequently, they are vulnerable to attack by other predators.
When adaptation is already consolidated
As we say, requesting the presence of their owner to eat can be understandable in cats that are fully adapting to their new habitat. However, if we do not act to correct this behavior, the cat will maintain it into adulthood. You will have understood that there is nothing wrong with what you are doing and you will repeat it over time.
If you must be absent for a few months for work or you go on vacation, unless you take your pet with you, in your absence it will not feed and this entails risks to its health . Prolonged fasting encourages the accumulation of digestive fluids in the cat’s stomach. As there is nothing to digest, these remain in the stomach.
This accumulation will bring with it irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining. A situation that, in addition to causing the vomiting of bile, if not remedied, will cause ulcers in the intestinal tract of the pussycat. Digestive disorders and their associated complications will not wait.
How can I reverse this habit?
If you are in this situation, if you observe that your cat only eats when you are by his side, far from encouraging this behavior, you must introduce certain changes to redirect this dynamic. According to the opinion of the specialists, your performance must inevitably go through:
- Modify the location of your feeder.
- Promote their caloric burnout through environmental enrichment.
1. Modify the location of your feeder
Take advantage of the moments that you are at home to change the location of your feeder. It should be a clean and quiet place, away from the sandbox and the drinking fountain. To make this trance more bearable, offer him your favorite food. If he loves the smell, taste and texture of wet food, don’t hesitate to buy or cook it for him.
At the entrance Homemade recipes with paté for cats you have some simple and tasty proposals. We recommend that you temper the food a little before feeding it. In the wild, felines eat their prey while it is still hot, at around 36.5-38 ºC. As you make sure he has started eating, you can leave him alone.
2. Promote your caloric burn
In addition to changing the location and acting gradually, you will need to stimulate him physically and cognitively to consume calories and be hungry. Providing cat trees, scratching posts , toys, or shelves with which to entertain is appropriate. In turn, you will be helping to prevent conditions derived from stress.
If you notice that your pet cannot unlearn what he has learned, it will be time to receive the advice of a feline ethologist.
What to do if you stop eating
During this process it may happen that your kitten stops eating. It may be motivated by the stress generated by the barrage of new stimuli or by other factors. Therefore, you should check if there are other symptoms such as:
- Stop interacting with you or playing games.
- Behaves elusive or fearful.
- You are going through a bout of diarrhea.
In the case of trichobezoars or dead hairballs in the intestinal tract, the cat may suddenly stop eating. Providing cat nip or catnip , a teaspoon of malt oil or olive oil can provide relief by facilitating their expulsion. To rule out that the obstruction of the digestive tract is severe, you should go to the vet.
The BARF diet, your digestive ally
The similarity of this diet, in terms of its composition, with that carried out by cats in the wild is attracting more and more followers. Its defenders warn of its many benefits: it is more digestive, prevents tartar, provides essential macronutrients, strengthens the immune system and prevents diseases such as pancreatitis.
Devised by Billinghurst in 1993, this feeding philosophy for dogs and cats prioritizes the presence of protein over the carbohydrates that clutter up processed feed. 60-80% should be reserved for raw meat, chicken or turkey. 2 times a week you should eat lamb, rabbit or duck meat.
The BARF diet for cats is completed with 10% raw and grated vegetables, 5 eggs per week and a weekly serving of cooked fish or organ meats. Taurine supplements will help protect your heart and keep your joints and muscles in perfect condition.
Just eat downtown food
Some cats only eat the food in the center or do not eat directly if they observe that the bottom of the feeder is visible. Feeders with edges that are too high, those that are too deep or too narrow, will get in the way of your best friend’s whiskers. Interference with these delicate sensors can cause them to feel uncomfortable.
Don’t underestimate this behavior
In short, if your cat asks you to accompany him to eat daily, do not normalize it and act. In the long term, it could have negative consequences for your health if, due to certain circumstances, you should be absent. After all, isn’t that independence the essence of felines?