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Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
08-12-2017, 07:09 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2017 07:21 PM by Puffy.)
Post: #1
Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
This isn't an emergency situation, but I wanted to see if anyone has ideas... I've had kitties who need company or encouragement to eat when they are sick, but my girl genuinely does not eat or drink unless I'm in the room. I have had her just under a year & have weighed her food and water bowls on a kitchen scale over time. Per the kittycam, she mostly snoozes, watches the fish tank or looks out the windows when I'm out).

My job shifted this summer to being long office hours instead of mostly work from home. In two months she lost nearly a pound. We just left the vet & had a normal exam, good BP, normal senior blood & urine panel. Vet feels it's behavioral. (She was initially rehomed to me after being bullied by other cats-- she would look around before eating & gobble her food/vomit, which she fortunately no longer does).

More details -- I used to sit with some work beside her bowl a few times a day & she'd eat for about 5 minute stretches. She's 9, nearly toothless & has IBD, so she does better with small wet meals. She prefers room temp food with water added to make a "pate soup", so drying out or cold food isn't generally a problem.

I stop by at lunchtime to give her fresh food, but I am not able to sit for long while she eats (she follows me to the door when I get up & then naps by the door till I return Sad ).

My job will eventually return to being more home-based when my coworkers return from maternity leave, but I want to encourage her to eat w/o supervision if possible. I can't change the actual food or add taste enhancers due to her various GI allergies, but I've tried different food textures, different bowls & puzzle-based food reward toys (when she was able to eat dry food).

Her food is in a well lighted area & without any potential "ambush" locations to give anxiety (no other pets besides a fish tank, anyway). She did not have cat friends in her previous home & ignores the friendly, calm resident cats she meets at the vet's office. She *seems* to enjoy being an only, but it may be that she's still adjusting from her previous crowded home.

Have tried appettite stimulants. She's allergic to something in the high calorie paste Nutrical & becomes anxious and hides on cyproheptidine. She's sounds terribly high maintenance, but she is extremely sweet & loving, and I want to spoil her for years to come Smile

Lady-in-waiting to Odie (75% Raggie, 25% chicken)
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08-12-2017, 10:11 AM
Post: #2
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
Absent the history of bullying, she sounds extremely stressed about being alone and I would recommend another pet companion. But, based on her history ... .

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JanH
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08-12-2017, 12:54 PM
Post: #3
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
I don't think you will be able to change this behavior...she is in the habit of having a dining companion. I would try to feed her slightly larger meals when you are there to sit with her even it if means getting up 15 minutes earlier for her breakfast, perhaps, having your dinners together and then sit with her for another nice size portion before you go to bed. Also, would it be possible to have a feeding dish in the bedroom...she may eat at night while you sleep.

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The FurBrats Three
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08-12-2017, 02:22 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2017 07:24 PM by Puffy.)
Post: #4
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
(08-12-2017 10:11 AM)JanH Wrote:  Absent the history of bullying, she sounds extremely stressed about being alone and I would recommend another pet companion. But, based on her history ... .

Thank you, this is what I'm thinking. Even if she was bullied before, she is not used to being alone for so long. For the short term I'll have my mum visit her during the day in addition to my lunch visits. For a longer term solution, I am thinking maybe an older, docile kitty might be a better option than a young companion? But I am also reading kittens may be easier to accept...? We occasionally get senior moggies at my shelter, so I could arrange for a trial when I can supervise slow introductions.

(08-12-2017 12:54 PM)Smudges Mom Wrote:  I don't think you will be able to change this behavior...she is in the habit of having a dining companion. I would try to feed her slightly larger meals when you are there to sit with her even it if means getting up 15 minutes earlier for her breakfast, perhaps, having your dinners together and then sit with her for another nice size portion before you go to bed. Also, would it be possible to have a feeding dish in the bedroom...she may eat at night while you sleep.

This is a great idea. She spends most of her time in "our" bedroom, so I will keep her primary food station here. I will plan for 4 meals this week (an extended breakfast, lunch visit, dinner & bedtime meal) plus a mid-afternoon pep-me-up visit from my retired mum. Poor girl needs more action in her life (Odie, not my ma Wink )

Lady-in-waiting to Odie (75% Raggie, 25% chicken)
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08-12-2017, 05:28 PM
Post: #5
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
Not sure how old you ma is, but if she is in my age group, do not underestimate our need for a bit of action, thank you very muchTongue

"CAT HAIR...Both a condiment and a fashion accessory."
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The FurBrats Three
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08-12-2017, 07:27 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2017 09:09 PM by Puffy.)
Post: #6
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
(08-12-2017 05:28 PM)Smudges Mom Wrote:  Not sure how old you ma is, but if she is in my age group, do not underestimate our need for a bit of action, thank you very muchTongue

Bwaaaaa! Big Grin

My Ma's been getting in to all sorts of mischief since retiring! She took it very hard when Puffy died a couple of years ago, so I hope it will be good for her to hang out with Odie.

Lady-in-waiting to Odie (75% Raggie, 25% chicken)
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08-13-2017, 03:00 AM
Post: #7
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
My gang also prefer company when eating and I often have to give them a reassuring pat and touch their food before they will eat, but I guess it's just because they're so spoiled, so it's my fault.

I do have some eating bowls in our bedroom at night and I will hear them munching contentedly during the night so I'm thinking that sounds like a great suggestion. Hope it works for your girl.

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CODY (lilac point) D.O.B. 12th Dec 2010
FOSCO & KATY (bluepoint bi-colours) D.O.B. 26th Feb 2014
Mittens (DMH) D.O.B. 26th Sep 2009
Bailey (Mini Doxie) D.O.B. 3rd May 2016
Colleen, South Africa
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08-13-2017, 04:36 AM (This post was last modified: 08-13-2017 04:37 AM by Puffy.)
Post: #8
RE: Cats who hate to "eat alone"?
(08-13-2017 03:00 AM)Codysmom Wrote:  My gang also prefer company when eating and I often have to give them a reassuring pat and touch their food before they will eat, but I guess it's just because they're so spoiled, so it's my fault.

I do have some eating bowls in our bedroom at night and I will hear them munching contentedly during the night so I'm thinking that sounds like a great suggestion. Hope it works for your girl.

Thank you Colleen! Your post gave me the biggest smile b/c I pat Odie's back before she starts eating. It's almost like the signal she waits for to eat. I must remember to tell my mum that a back pat is part of the routine. Our silly, spoiled babies Big Grin

Lady-in-waiting to Odie (75% Raggie, 25% chicken)
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