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Cat Demanding Second Dinner

22 replies

catsofa · 02/05/2014 21:38

My cat is about 15 years old, I've had her since she was ten.

Every morning she gets a bowl of cat biscuits. Every day either at 4pm or at 5pm when I get back from work she has a pouch of wet cat food. This has happened for the last five years. She is very bloody shouty conversational and shouts at me to get her food, but then shuts up when she gets it and does lovely chirruping and cooing :).

Sometimes, and recently every day which is why I'm posting, she starts up the shouting for food and leading me into the kitchen etc all over again at about 6 or 7pm. It's getting to be a real pain and she's under my feet and really harassing me while I'm cooking my own food and every time I get up for anything all evening.

She was overweight when I got her so I've never been in the habit of giving her any extra food or treats, ever. There are always biscuits left over which I throw away each morning to replace with fresh ones, so I know she's getting enough to eat overall or she would eat more of the biscuits - sometimes she does eat more late at night.

Would a normal, sane cat not realise that no more food will be happening after her evening meal, and either quietly eat more biscuits if still hungry, or quietly snore next to the radiator all evening if not hungry? Why is she expecting more food, and how can I stop her being this crazy all evening? She won't even come for snuggles sometimes because she's so obsessed with persuading me to get her dinner if she gets my attention!

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 02/05/2014 21:41

How is her weight?

GeraldineFangedVagine · 02/05/2014 21:46

My cat is 11 and has recently become a bit like this. He wakes us at 5.30 begging for food now, but I ignore him till 7.00 he then demands another pouch at 11ish, more at 5.00 and again later at night. He has a full bowl of biscuits available all day, its wet food hes after. Its driving me a bit mad as if I dont give in hes agressive and has really hurt me. Hes not thin, is in fact really healthy looking. Hope more experienced people can help you (and me) out!

Wolfiefan · 02/05/2014 21:49

Are they keeping biscuits down? Tried changing to all wet?

cozietoesie · 02/05/2014 21:58

She may prefer wet. As an older girl - how are her teeth? Has she been vetted lately?

BIWI · 02/05/2014 22:00

She's an old cat. Biscuits aren't actually great for her health - not good for their kidneys.

Is she drinking lots of water?

Personally (and I have a 16 yo!) I would start feeding her on demand, albeit with small amounts of fresh, wet food. And make sure there's plenty of water down for her.

catsofa · 02/05/2014 22:31

Thanks for replies!

Her weight is now where it should be, she lost the excess slowly over the first year I had her, and now has a slightly bigger portion of biscuits in the morning than she ever finishes.

She gets "senior" biscuits which are supposed to be ok for older cats, vet says she has good teeth for her age (and they look quite impressive when she yawns!).

She gets a bit fur-bally when moulting but otherwise keeps everything down ok most of the time, maybe once every 3 months or so has a bit of a one-off vomit and then eats it again but I think that's not unusual for cats?

She always has water available, occasionally drinks it, more often drinks my water from beside my bed so I have to remember not to touch it myself in the morning, yuck. But not excessively drinking water which I know is something to keep an eye out for.

If I feed on demand I worry that she'll just scream for food absolutely all the time even when she's not hungry, just because she knows she'll get more. When she has had a packet of treats given her for xmas she turns into a grabby little monster who can't talk or think about anything other than the next treat, whereas when I don't ever give her treats she wants cuddles and games and to catch and torture and stray receipts or hairbands that might be lying around, i.e. happy and active interesting cat things as well as food. So I'm quite keen to stick to set meal times rather than give in whenever she shouts loud enough.

Obviously meal time is the highlight of her day, and I don't mind that she goes nuts for it, looks forward to it etc - so she should. But I don't want her obsessed like this all the time.

If I replaced the morning feed with a pouch, I expect she would eat it all at once and then have nothing to snack on the rest of the day and evening. Or if she saved some then it would go all dried out and manky. Should I try this?

OP posts:
BIWI · 02/05/2014 22:39

But if she's hungry, surely you'd want to feed her?

cozietoesie · 02/05/2014 22:45

Hmmm. I'd be guessing that she's a bit bored. (I feed my own old chap on demand but he's of an age where I'm pleased to keep the weight on him rather than regulate it.) What games does she get? And have you thought about foraging toys?

BIWI · 02/05/2014 22:47

Our cat asks for food much more now. He's 16, has a tumour behind one of his eyes and his kidneys are failing Sad

I sort of think that he probably doesn't have much time left, or much pleasure in his life, so if he wants food, then he gets it.

cozietoesie · 02/05/2014 22:49

\link{\Here's} some APBC advice.

catsofa · 02/05/2014 23:09

If she's hungry I'd've thought she'd eat all the biscuits that are left from her breakfast? It's this that makes me think she's not actually hungry but there's something else going on, which perhaps I shouldn't try to solve with more food. I think she came to me overweight because she ate for comfort in her previous home where she was ignored a lot.

But yes maybe in her old age I can relax about regulating her weight like I used to do and just feed her as much as she'll eat, since she's definitely not overweight any more.

I guess when she was fat I worried that she'd lose more pleasure from dodgy joints etc related to weight issues than she ever got from eating the food. She's still quite active for an old, indoor cat. But maybe she just won't put on weight any more so it doesn't matter if she eats more.

I think I'll try giving two pouches instead of one in the evening, and see how that goes.

Games: she stalks and violently attacks and shreds any little bits of paper lying around and my house is messy so there are loads and particularly likes important documents like bills, I think because they're on nice good quality paper. She plays "football" with hairbands, throwing them impressive distances across the room and then chasing after them. She lies on the floor so she can use all four sets of claws at once to attack big cardboard boxes and make a big noise and then pretend it scared her and run away. Actually a lot of the mess in my living room is only there because it's things the cat likes playing with!

She will chase string and we have a home made toy which is a hairband tied to a stick which we both enjoy a lot. But mostly she plays on her own and is put off if I try to join in, however sensitively.

She's just climbed up on my desk and plonked herself on my lap as I type. We both love random cuddles and wander up to each other maybe once ever hour or two just for a bit of a head rub or something. I luffs her very very much.

OP posts:
catsofa · 02/05/2014 23:13

Ooh can you get cat foraging toys? I bet she'd love that!

OP posts:
catsofa · 02/05/2014 23:20

Ha ha thanks for the APBC link, some nice new play ideas!

I've just put a few Dreamies in a paper envelope and sealed it with sellotape and scrunched it up. All I expect to hear from her for a while is the gleeful shredding of paper Grin

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 02/05/2014 23:26

You can get kibble balls at your local pet store/large supermarket/online as a quickie substitute for making your own foraging toys.

RubbishMantra · 03/05/2014 00:52

gleeful shredding of paper Haha! Mine also loves to sit on my essays good quality paper and shred it.

He also has the same attitude to food as your's - When I first began to give him Dreamies, he became REALLY obsessed. Every time I went to the kitchen, he would accompany me and throw himself under my feet. If I picked up anything that resembled a packet of Dreamies, he would become very shouty, then launch himself at my legs in a tantrum if no treats were forthcoming. Obviously I can't give him the things every time he demands them, so I've boundaried his treat time to between 7 & 8pm. Sticking to this seems to have worked for him. I was worried he would become addicted and wish his life away, ever hopeful for his next fix.

I recently added wet food to his diet (for variety), so the shoutiness and tantrums have started up again. Have you tried offering different kinds of biscuits for a bit of variety?

The foraging toys mentioned sound perfect. I just bought mine a laser pointer, once exhausted from chasing it, he miaows and prrps and flirts with it! Grin

BIWI · 03/05/2014 10:41


One of my cats used to have an obsession about the toilet roll. Or, more accurately, shredding the toilet roll! If I didn't keep the bathroom door shut, I would come home to find my entire flat coated in shredded loo roll. It looked like it had snowed inside!

catsofa · 03/05/2014 18:48

OK she's had two pouches of wet food this evening instead of one, but all at her normal dinner time so she doesn't learn that it's worth begging for food at other random times. She hasn't managed to finish it all so there's some she can quietly go and get without screaming at me if she wants a snack later. I bet she won't eat any biscuits at all now, but at least they are there so I know she won't ever starve. She is lying upside down snoring now - so far, so good.

Vet said to get "Senior" biscuits, and I don't buy Nestle products because of the boycott so she can't have Go Cat, which only leaves a choice of two types and we only get through a box every month or so. So not much variety, but not too much I can do about it. The pouches are "senior" too but they come in variety packs.

Toilet roll gets batted around and unwound a bit, but not really shredded here. BIWI there's a reason Andrex used dogs instead of cats, isn't there? I'm very tempted to get a lazer pointer as it might mean she runs more than I do - she "practices watching her prey" quite a lot, i.e. I frantically wave something around and she just stares at it with her eyes popping out.

OP posts:
GeraldineFangedVagine · 03/05/2014 18:56

My cats had three pouches today and bitten me savagely twice. Glad you are winning!

catsofa · 03/05/2014 22:16

Ouch! This one luckily not much of a biter, that's a bit of a cheek biting the person who feeds you, isn't it?

She's eaten nearly all of the 2 pouches now, six hours after she got them, some scattered bits left that she couldn't quite manage and she's been asleep almost all evening. So, feeding her into a lazy stupor at dinner time may well be the answer. Just have to give it a while to check if she puts weight on.

Should I still put out biscuits in the morning if she starts completely ignoring them?

OP posts:
RubbishMantra · 04/05/2014 18:24

I would still offer her biscuits. If she ignores them, can you try a different brand? I know you mentioned she can't have certain ones so is limited...but have you had a look on the Zooplus website, or Pets at Home? They have LOADS of varietie. I feed mine the Royal Canin adult cat, but I'm sure they do a senior version. I believe James Wellbeloved to be a good brand, haven't tried it myself though. They both have a higher meat content than the supermarket brands.

Laser pointers are awesome toys, they allow you to play interactively with your cat.

Talking of bitey bastards cats, I just gave mine a delicious tuna, prawn and squid concoction, after eating it he flew at me in a fury and bit me!

catsofa · 05/05/2014 05:52

Hmm, mine used to get all jumpy and hurt me occasionally, but slowly settled into living here and after about a year really only gave "warning" bites that were genuinely not painful but clearly intended to communicate "stop doing that" or whatever she didn't like. She only now very occasionally forgets, e.g. when I've accidentally woken her up, and my injuries are much less severe! I guess lots of cats never lose the biteyness though :(

RM since she's scoffed Tescos happily for years now for breakfast I really don't think she hates them. If she starts ignoring them it'll just be because she prefers the wet food and is still stuffed from dinner the previous night. But maybe I should go for a big bag of (very expensive!!) IAMS and only leave out a little bit, assuming that she won't eat them but at least they're there. As long as I keep the bulk of it airtight I guess it will last ages if I try to only put out a little bit more than she actually eats, and I guess good quality won't be wasted on keeping an elderly cat well for as long as possible.

Will try for a bit and see what happens.

I've ordered a laser pointer, pity it's daylight for so long each evening now so it won't be as visible until late. Difficult to provide novelty for an older cat, I wonder if she's seen one before? Come to think of it she still quite regularly chases her own tail...

OP posts:
RubbishMantra · 05/05/2014 14:46

I suppose we've just accepted the bitey-ness Sad He will sit on your lap, then attack in a fury if you have the audacity to move a muscle. Apart from that, he's really loving and sweet! He's only lived with me for 18 months, when he and my DH moved in. DH was a bit clueless about socialising kittens

If you're going to go for one of the more expensive brands of dry, you could try smaller 400g bags, to see which ones float her boat? The reason why I say this is because my cat was also demanding food when he still had a bowl-full. Had a think, and realised maybe he'd become bored of always eating the same food. I tried him on a few, and the Royal Canin seemed favourite. He gets a small tin of Applaws or Animonda Carny Ocean. Reading this back, I wonder why I'm so nice to him! Confused

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