Food aggression is a common behavior in many pets. However, cats become more excited during feeding time. Cat’s diet aggression refers to obsessed behavior towards other people and pets during meal time. To stop food aggression in cats, you need to learn proper techniques.
Food aggression in cats should not be considered a normal behavior because due to this possessive nature of the feline for the diet, your kitty and other pets in the house may be uncomfortable.
In this article, I have discussed the 9 easy ways to stop meal aggression in felines and other behaviors related to the kitty diet and its possessive nature. After reading this article, I am sure you will learn how to deal with an aggressive cat. You can use the quick navigation from the table of contents.
What is food aggression in cats?
Food aggression in cats refers to aggressive feline behavior during mealtime. A cat suffering from food aggression will be Food Obsessed and can adopt Sudden possessive and aggressive behavior towards other pets, owners, and household members.
What causes Food Aggression in cats?
Before treating or fixing any feline issue, this is essential to know about the cause of the behavior or problem. Many known and unknown reasons can make your feline aggressive and Food Obsessed.
Why is my cat becoming food aggressive?
Your feline may be aggressive for the meal for many reasons. Below, we listed some possible causes of the cat’s aggression toward the food.
Causes of Food Aggression in cats
- Hunger, Stress, Anxiety, and Boredom
- Presence of other pets in the home
- Offering larger meals at once rather than many small meals than the required
- Psychogenic Abnormal feeding behavior
- Health issues such as dental problems, Hyperthyroidism, Osteoarthritis, Neurological issue
How to Stop food aggression in Cats?
Fixing any feline behaviors depends on the cause and severity of the problem. Knowing about the cause of the meal aggression makes it easy for the kitty owner and veterinarian to stop the cat from the aggression for food.
Many pet parents often ask how to stop a cat from freaking out about food? Below we list the 9 easy ways to control your tom or queen from the aggressiveness for the meal.
9 ways to stop Food Aggression in cats
1. Offer Solitary Eating In Multi-pet Household
According to pet experts and food nutritionists, the main reason for aggression in cats for food can occur due to the presence of other pets in the household, especially other felines. Therefore, when you offer the meal to your pet, he will try to prevent the meal from other companions by adopting possessive behavior.
- To avoid this problem, you need to provide separate meals to each kitty in your household.
- You can try the multi- cate crate to separate your feline with the baby gats to separate your pets during mealtime.
- The same behavior can occur for water, so try to provide a separate water bowl.
2. Offer routine small meal instead of one large:
Giving one large meal in a day make your cat anxious for food. If you give one large diet to your feline once or twice a day, you are doing wrong.
The best way is to offer many small meals on a routine basis so that your feline stays calm. Please make sure not to keep your tom hungry or overfeed on the food. You can try an automatic feeder for cats.
3. Provide the meal in a safe Area
You may have noticed as a cat parent after living with your cat for some time that your cat loves a specific place in your house and always try to eat or sits in that place and probably urine mark the spot.
The ideal way to offer your feline the food to avoid any stress, anxiety, or aggression is to provide the food in an area where your kitty can feel safe.
Avoid giving the meal in the places such as the entrances point, such as doors or fences, walking tracks, and areas where people and others pets approaches easily.
4.Make the Mealtime Enjoyable
Offering the food in a stressful and anxious way Compels a cat to behavioral issues. Instead, make some fun during the feline meal time. You can use the Puzzle feeders for cats to provide food with some entertainment. The Puzzle feeders provide mental stimulation and physical activity during mealtime.
These tools help to stop your kitty from overeating or eating too fast. Instead, it spreads small meals with a time gape to keep your feline searching for food without any possessive nature.
5. Keep your cat stress-free
Many experts believe that anxious and stressed pets such as dogs and cats develop uncertain behavior. Stress and nervous cat can be aggressive at any time for any reason. To keep your feline calm, you need to set a routine walk or exercise schedule.
You can use the cat toys to keep your kitty playing and stress-free.
6. Encourage Good behavior and Discourage the Bad
Proper and early training keeps an essential rule in adopting good behaviors and fixing the destructive behaviors in cats and dogs. First, discourage your feline lousy behavior gently.
If you have trained your pet with words such as stop, No, etc., stop your feline by words when adopting any bad behavior. When your pet follows your command and stops the lousy act, reward them with feline treats and parsing.
Note that don’t shout or punish this makes things worse.
7. Give time to your Feline
Our pets love us and often surprise us with cute behaviors such as pawing, licking, or playing with us. Please note that pets love their owner’s attention, so give time to your pet.
Ignoring them may cause anxiety. Instead, play with them when you have free time and use the cats toys, so your tom or queen plays with them when you have a busy schedule.
8. Encourage Hunting Instinct to Avoid Boredom
A bored cat will adopt unusual behaviors. Try to keep your kitty boredom-free by playing or by Encourage Hunting Instinct. Some pet experts believe that pets, especially dogs, and cats can adopt certain behaviors just following their instinct without any reason.
In the wildlife, cats love to hunt for food, so this is a good idea to engage your feline natural hunting nature by hiding or spreading multiple small meals in the house and let them find and hunt the food like prey.
This behavior encourages the cat to effort for the food without any aggression and helps relieve the anxiety.
Please note that don’t hide the food in the garden so that your canine doesn’t eat other cats poo, toxic plants, or other rodents to prevent your cat from the whipworms infection and other health issues.
9. Seek veterinary help for health issues
As I already discussed in the causes of cats’ aggressiveness for food, some health issues such as psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior, Osteoarthritis, Dental disease, Neurological problem, Hyperthyroidism, etc., can cause aggression in cats. If you observe any behavior, make sure to contact your vet for timely treatment.
What are the Symptoms of Food Aggression in Cats?
Aggression for any reason compels a cat to adopt many uncomfortable, irritating, and strange behaviors. However, along with these symptoms of cats, aggressiveness for foods is different and will only be observed during hunger and mealtime.
Below are some of the most common symptoms of cats aggression for food
- Attacking family members or other pets during mealtime
- Rounding the paws around the food or hiding
- Guarding food bowls and food places
- Bulling other pets away from their food.
- Grabbing food from other pets or family members
- Excessively vocalizing and screaming
- Adopting begging gestures for food
- Restlessness or Dramatic behaviors of excessive hunger
- Overeating or eating too quickly
How many times a day should you feed your cat?
The feeding schedule of cats depends on age. A kitty in the baby age requires to be fed more than the adult cat. Kittens from age 5 months to 1 year are required to offer food at least two to three times a day to fulfill their nutritional requirements. Adult cats above one year need to be fed the meal twice a day.
Old and senior cats also require proper dietary requirements, so you can follow the schedule to give the meal twice or thrice a day. However, many small meals with a time gape are much better than one large meal.
Fixing food aggression in cats is a complex problem. It is often accompanied by other underlying health problems such as anxiety, separation anxiety, obsessive behavior, and physical symptoms. So the best treatment for cat aggression is proper food management and training. It is essential to adopt a holistic approach to your cat’s wellbeing.
Make sure to find the actual cause of feline aggression and treat them accordingly. Then, if you are facing a problem, you can take a pet expert help.
Why do my cats act like they’re starving?
Causes of starving in cats are many. However, some of the known reasons for feline starving are hyperthyroidism, parasites, and health issues such as diabetes and other body inflammations. The best idea is to contact your vet to find the actual cause of the behavior instead of finding out by yourself.
Why is my cat growling at his food?
Cats can growl at the food for many reasons; however, this behavior can occur in felines for two main reasons. The first is food aggression, and the second is any dental issue.
Sometimes your kitty can start growling at his food when he doesn’t like it or has any underlying problem that compels them to avoid eating. Your veterinarian can help your kitty in this situation.
Why does my cat beg for food and not eat it?
Feline avoid eating for several reasons. Sometimes you may have observed that your tom or queen beg for food, and when you offer the meal, they show no interest in eating them. This nor means that your pet is not hungry.
Specific health issues compels a cat to avoid eating even they need to fulfill the nutritional requirements. The most common reasons may include gastrointestinal problems, dental issues, or food allergies. However, a veterinarian can better diagnose the actual cause by performing a series of tests.