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Curbing food obsession in cat?


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#1 lozoodle

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:18 PM

Is it possible? Or do I just have to accept this is how it is?

Some of you might remember I adopted a new cat back in July. All is going well, she's well and truly settled in and my older cat is getting better at tolerance. Not perfect, but better ;)

But boy is she food OBSESSED. Nothing is safe from her. She was a stray up until May so I guess she once had to live like this. I try so hard to regulate feeding etc, but she truly believes she's starving... and not to fat shame or anything, but she's gotten a little tubby hehe.

Any tips on how to get her to calm down a bit about food? Or is this just our life now? Where we keep everything way or risk it being dragged off and demolished (not even a loaf of bread is safe on the bench!)

#2 Bono25

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:25 PM

You can get bowls that can help them eat slower, or look into clicker training. To be honest though, it's probably going to be like for a while until she learns she'll always have food.

#3 Riotproof

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:29 PM

I would try and have a strict time for feeding.

Our cat was similar, but not as bad. We ignored him when we were eating, and never fed him from the table. If he’s having a bit of meat that we are, it goes in his bowl. He has learned that he only gets food in his bowl, at a particular time of day.

#4 lozoodle

Posted 20 September 2019 - 06:58 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 20 September 2019 - 06:29 PM, said:

I would try and have a strict time for feeding.

Our cat was similar, but not as bad. We ignored him when we were eating, and never fed him from the table. If he’s having a bit of meat that we are, it goes in his bowl. He has learned that he only gets food in his bowl, at a particular time of day.

Yup I've been careful with it, especially as my other cat is much more relaxed with food so If I am not strict with time and keeping them apart, she wont get her food because fat milo will eat it all haha.

View PostBono25, on 20 September 2019 - 06:25 PM, said:


You can get bowls that can help them eat slower, or look into clicker training. To be honest though, it's probably going to be like for a while until she learns she'll always have food.

I'll check the bowls out, that's a good idea!

#5 panda eyes

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:24 PM

Put dry food in an icecube tray. It'll save you lots compared to a fancy bowl!

#6 lozoodle

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:51 PM

View Postpanda eyes, on 20 September 2019 - 07:24 PM, said:

Put dry food in an icecube tray. It'll save you lots compared to a fancy bowl!

Ooh I like this! I'll do this tomorrow, thanks!

#7 Lallalla

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:10 PM

I have had my cat for 9 years, he is very overweight. He still believes he is starving. He was extremely skinny when showed up at RSPCA at 1 year old -ish. He’s a useless hunter (caught a grasshopper once, was SO proud of himself) so not sure if he was a stray or just neglected.

I read somewhere that if a cat is starved before they are 1 or was the runt of a very large litter, they just won’t have an off switch - bit like a Labrador.

I have no tips for keeping the weight off, other than don’t let them gain it in first place as nothing I do makes this cat lose weight

#8 Jenflea

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:23 PM

Has he had his thyroid checked Lallalla?

#9 gracie1978

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:24 PM

Getting a cat to change.... ROFL

#10 kadoodle

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:27 PM

Food puzzle toys work for my fosters who are food obsessed.

#11 born.a.girl

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:36 PM

That's true about the lack of off switch. We got one about 18 months who was like that. He'd eat till he vomited, and was always hounding us for food despite being overweight.

#12 born.a.girl

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:37 PM

View Postpanda eyes, on 20 September 2019 - 07:24 PM, said:

Put dry food in an icecube tray. It'll save you lots compared to a fancy bowl!


I might try this for the glutton Schnauzer we're minding tomorrow.  I swear he inhales the food. Trouble is he'd probably crunch up the tray if I didn't get to it fast enough. Since he's been here we've lost three plastic cat food bowls.

#13 lozoodle

Posted 20 September 2019 - 11:13 PM

View Postgracie1978, on 20 September 2019 - 10:24 PM, said:

Getting a cat to change.... ROFL

:rofl: I know right. Oh well at least I have a large squishy lap warmer on me right now

#14 *Spikey*

Posted 21 September 2019 - 10:12 AM

For the dogs, you can do stuff like carrot cubes - they will happily eat them, but it will control their calorie intake.

Also, in warmer weather use ice as a treat - if you pop a couple of kibble into hot water (and more diced carrot to make it look interesting), you can convince them that they have had quite a large snack. I suspect the cold also numbs the hunger pangs a bit.

Cats are hard. If you have to, offer the diet or lite version of kibble, and be strict about how much they are getting. Feed separately, if you've got one that will go for seconds in the other's bowl.  Remove the bowl once the cat stops eating.

Also, if you can work out more 'exercise' for your kitty, you  may find that they will lose some of the chunk. Teach them how to play hunt and fetch, which will amuse you and have them doing loads of exercise ans they run back and forth chasing stuff (like a catnip ducky mine is so fond of).

#15 Riotproof

Posted 21 September 2019 - 10:19 AM

Re the hunt and fetch, we worked out that our cat really likes shaggy textures like our snuggle blankets on the sofa. Those are the kind of toys he likes to chase the most. We have one little mouse that I get a bit annoyed if we can’t find it.

#16 BornToLove

Posted 21 September 2019 - 10:43 AM

we have a food driven cat who can get quite hangry and aggressive when wants food.

I agree with the advice of a set feeding time. Never give food before the next scheduled feed, it causes issues as they want food earlier and earlier.

Also, what type of food do you feed the cat? Our cats get a good mix of tin, raw and dry food. A raw meal will keep them full for longer. With tinned food they could be happy with a serve every hour on the hour. Dry is just for grazing, it’s the least favourite food option of our food driven cat, so he only resorts to it if we get home later than his usual dinner time.

#17 born.a.girl

Posted 21 September 2019 - 04:12 PM

We just had our fat cat (not so fat any more) to the vet and got some interesting info. This cat would eat until he threw up.  His appealing 'I haven't been fed yet' fooled us occasionally and a second person would feed him, with predictable consequences.


He's now got (hopefully only ) severe pelvic arthritis and can hardly walk. He was on metacam for five weeks, which reduced his appetite significantly.  I asked the vet if it was likely to cause nausea, and he said that for cats like ours, who were once strays, eating is calming, and that if in pain or anxious, they were more likely to overeat. With the meds, both his pain and anxiety were reduced so eating less food.

#18 Kafkaesque

Posted 21 September 2019 - 05:48 PM

Our latest foster is obsessed with food. He was a stray and i think it stems from that. We feed a set times only in bowls. Doesn’t seem to help lol

#19 limakilo

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:09 PM

We too have a cat that will eat so quickly she vomits, and she may eat that too if we don't find it first.
My other cat eats when he wants, and not much, we have had to build him a ledge where he can eat and the fat cat can't jump up to.
Interesting about the metacam. Every few weeks or so my cat will do a massive poo (tmi sorry) and I have been reading about "mega colon", and maybe because she gutses her food down that it's affected her digestive system and she eats for pain relief?
Did your vet suggest the medicine, or did you research first?

#20 Coffeegirl

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:23 PM

View PostRiotproof, on 20 September 2019 - 06:29 PM, said:

I would try and have a strict time for feeding.

Our cat was similar, but not as bad. We ignored him when we were eating, and never fed him from the table. If he’s having a bit of meat that we are, it goes in his bowl. He has learned that he only gets food in his bowl, at a particular time of day.

Our Russian Blue is a guts.  He would gobble down a whole days worth of food then vomit it right back up.  It made it hard to know if we were over feeding him.

We bought an auto feeder and set it to feed him specific amounts of dry food three times a day.   After two plus years, he knows when it is getting close to going off and will sit and stare at it for the half hour before.    If he does happen to be in another room when it goes off, don’t get in his way!  He’ll run you over to get to it.

But it keeps his weight stable and while he still eats the entire feed at once, he no longer begs or takes food from my kitchen.



#21 lozoodle

Posted 21 September 2019 - 09:25 PM

My cat is currently sitting by the fridge waiting for an opportunity. haha.

#22 born.a.girl

Posted 22 September 2019 - 06:52 AM

View PostCoffeegirl, on 21 September 2019 - 09:23 PM, said:

Our Russian Blue is a guts.  He would gobble down a whole days worth of food then vomit it right back up.  It made it hard to know if we were over feeding him.

We bought an auto feeder and set it to feed him specific amounts of dry food three times a day.   After two plus years, he knows when it is getting close to going off and will sit and stare at it for the half hour before. If he does happen to be in another room when it goes off, don’t get in his way!  He’ll run you over to get to it.

But it keeps his weight stable and while he still eats the entire feed at once, he no longer begs or takes food from my kitchen.


That's pretty funny.

The poor food obsessed Schnauzer we're minding is used to being the only animal at home.  Here, he has to contend with four other animals being fed.  Drives him insane.  I have to strew a small handful of dried food across the family room floor to keep him occupied while I get through doors with food sometimes.

#23 Chicken Pie

Posted 03 October 2019 - 05:01 AM

My rescue burmilla is the same and now obese and being lazy af doesn’t help lol

Vet said try putting food in different places if they like grazing and try reduce amount by 10-20% over time




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