How many times have you felt your cat’s furry touch on your legs, only to look down and see sad eyes begging to have a bite of your pepperoni? This sweet conviction may be an innate cat habit that stems from their long-standing history of winning the sales and marketing awards of animals over the years. Did you know that our innocent, playful home cats domesticated themselves? Or have you had an encounter of a stray cat hanging around your property or scratching your front door begging to have an entrance? Cats know all the buttons that give them rich rewards or a well-deserved repercussion for their cheeky behavior.
An adult pet will jump from the floor and onto your lap as you dine at the table. Has it ever struck you that your cat may have a fetish for fine dining? Or perhaps your regular MacDonald’s treat. Scientists are equally perturbed with this habit, prompting them to set up various studies to isolate the specific root of the issues. Some compiled this food human food craze into a behavioral term known as psychogenic abnormal behavior. They could, however, not nail the single underlying medical condition; hence, they shifted the blame to psychological complications.
I would assume that not all of us want to escalate all cute cat habits into possible mental illness. It is safe to leave the conclusion at stating that cats prefer to cosplay as slot machines. They assume that every time they ask, they will get a favorable reply. The bad news is that these small feeding portions may build up a tone of health complications for your furry friend. Let us humanly rationalize the cats’ urges of Mac and Cheese. They need fewer calories and could not possibly have a massive appetite to accommodate enough healthy foods.
Why does your cat love human food?
• Curiosity killed the cat!
It is a relief to know that not all cats prefer to sample and taste from your plate. The ones that brand themselves connoisseurs of human dining may also not always wish to ingest any food. Cats love to pass judgment on almost every single of our life decisions. They may walk up to you, and jump on your lap to criticize your cooking or choice of food order. Does your cat know something that you don’t? Does she or he think that you need a culinary school?
The phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’ is a legit declaration of all cats’ love for mystery. They are continually trying to read between the lines, tear up their favorite doll, or find out if you will get mad when they push your phone off the table. Some cats grow out of purring your legs at the dinner to deciding that maybe they ought to have a seat at the head of the dinner table. Luckily, a select few grow into their primal senses and decide that chasing mice and eating real cat food feeds their authenticity.
• It is your fault
A good majority of cat lovers prefer to name their pets and spontaneously refer to them as babies. They grow to like their accustomed treats and will occasionally imitate you and your children. They will continue to stick out their paw for food if you do not teach them otherwise. These breed of cats will be glad to jump on the kitchen counter as you cook and will scrap off leftovers after you leave the table.
• The love for luxury
We now understand that cats can see themselves as humans when they look in the mirror. Perhaps your dining room has a hanging quote that reminds everyone that ‘A family that eats together stays together.’ Your cat will attempt to steal your food if you place its bowl of food adjacent to the potato bowl that gets passed around. The same thing will occur when you find it cute to share a piece of your fries and chicken as regular treats.
• Blame the streets
It is a sad scenario when cats have to scavenge the streets as kittens. They grow up learning that it is reasonable to pry for leftover human food in trashcans. Additionally, they have to compete with bigger animals like dogs and possible stray wild animals that have a dependence on urban living quarters. The behavior does not instantly rectify itself when they land in a rescue home or a willing adoption home. These aggressive cats will steal from the trash bin inside your house and help themselves to your plate. A little tough love will train them to adopt some decent house mannerisms and eat cat food. Although it may be difficult to wean them off the habit, it is a comfort to understand that cats are highly intelligent and intuitive. They will eventually flow to the direction of your teachings.
How can you stop your cat from stealing your food?
• Do not reward the begging
You will have to harden your feelings so as not to give your cat one single bite. Pick up any portions that drop on the floor and do not be quick to dismiss it as something your cat would not eat. They will otherwise develop taste buds and nasal triggers that draw them to your food.
• Good storage
Have you seen the eerie videos of cats knocking on doors and awaiting a response? There are also videos of cats hanging on fridge doors to swing them open with their weight. Can you imagine the incidents following when you choose to loosely close the tin of canned fish? It is imperative that one invests in some baby locks or padlocks for specific rooms. Ensure that any containers outside cupboards have a secure closure.
• Deter the cat
There are cat-training kits that spray harmless particles into the air whenever cats approach a restricted space. These motion sensors will ensure that your cat stays away from the dining table and kitchen counters. Alternatively, you can attach a sticky tape along the table’s edges.
• Plan extra activities
We have established that our cat ‘babies’ tend to have child-like tendencies. Our preschool children will often crash on the bed after an eventful and playful day. The same principle to cats. You can plan an excavation plan in your compound of the park. This move will train the cat to enjoy more strenuous sports in the outdoors, hence steer them away from hiding behind your legs like a shy child. They will have a full belly and tired legs to enjoy jumping on your lap for a piece of the pie.
• Rearrange the feeding plan
Most people assume that their pets’ little tummies only require replenishing twice a day. It is possible that the cat will enjoy a snack in between their meals. Serve your cat with a full meal before you go for work and leave a snack to cater to the day while you are away. Alternatively, refill the feeding bowl immediately after work. A dinner treat will keep the cat from trying to break into the fridge in the middle of the night. No, seriously!
You can leave your cat with a good friend or family if you do not find it reasonable to carry your pet with you to the Bahamas. Remember to leave them with the cat’s feeding schedule and diet.
• Excite the feeding plans
Does your cat love staring into the cooking pot as you cook? They are a perfect candidate for puzzled food dispensers and other food hunting games. The hide and seek games will keep your cat busy and interested until you finish the last bite off your plate.
• Be stern
Punishments are not the most effective remedy for a cheeky cat. They will, however, serve as temporary blocks. Your cat may wait for you to walk away before they do the dirty deed. You can make a little noise to keep the fear of disobeying you alive and well in your absence.
• Find a hangout spot
Find a better place for your cat instead of entertaining their cues at the dinner table during meals. Find a stool or other space that will cozy your cat as you eat. You can train the cat by tapping the seat to invite them onto it before giving a sweet reward.
• A balanced diet
Our cats cannot grab a protein bar after a whole day of chasing mice and running from triggered dogs. They translate their urge of needing extra minerals into licking your fresh orange juice. Pay attention to the ingredients of your cat’s food and seek advice from a qualified feline nutritionist.
• See a veterinarian
Lastly, we will refer to medical science to solve a stubborn case of love for human food. The poor cat may be a victim of hyperthyroidism or diabetes. A worm-infested gut may also trigger a wild hunger craving. In this case, the cat may not be aware of their level of naughtiness in stealing your food. The only sure way to treat non-stop stealing would be to get professional consultancy and treatment.
Which human foods are safe for your cat?
Once you ensure that your cat has a healthy feline eating program, you may occasionally dip back into your tendencies of cat parenting. Vets have a list of foods allowable for a healthy cat diet. It is prudent that you integrate any fathomable human feeds into the cat’s eating plan. Social leisures like alcohol, candy, caffeine, marijuana, and chocolate, among others are not dangerous. Save the following list to make a healthy human meal plan for your cat.
Domesticated cats are still predatory. This fact means that we should be careful about dragging our cats with us into the ongoing vegan revolution. You can feed your cat healthy cooked meat to avoid possible salmonella infection. Avoid the raw version of all the listed foods and talk to the cat’s nutritionist before making the switch. The list below is also a viable protein source:
- Canned fish
- Lean beef
- Cooked chicken
- Cooked eggs
Veggies are highly potent sources of minerals. They will also repair any digestive issues and improve metabolism. Avoid garlic and onions because they damage a cat’s red blood cells, leading to the development of anemia and possible death. The following are safe when served in controlled portions:
- Green beans
Fruits are an excellent alternative to unhealthy sugars. You can blend various types to make a tasty treat. While nuts have a wide range of viable, healthy candidates, some can cause adverse effects. Grapes and raisins will cause kidney failure.
The following are a good list of fruits for cats:
- Peeled apples
Cats have tolerable ingestion of soft grains like millets. The raw dough will cause an alcohol influx in the cat’s tummy, while some seeds and nuts will have high salt and fat content. The following have favorable digestion and metabolism:
- Mashed sweet potatoes
- Cooked corn
- Mashed brown rice
It is possible to associate cats with milk unconsciously. The truth is that cats have different tolerance for cats. Some cats have a wild lactose intolerance while others will lick the last drip of the milk bowl; hence, not all cats will comfortably eat milk products. Consult a nutritionist before serving soft cheese and cow’s milk. You can sparingly serve the following milk products:
- Hard cheese like Gouda
- Low lactose cheese like cottage cheese
While food fights may be fun mischief in the school’s dining room, they will tear your family apart. Aggressive cats will trigger your impatience and scare away gentle visitors. Cats that steal foods tend to attack other pets and cause ultimate chaos within the home. It is advisable that you take drastic measures to ensure your furry friend has adequate mental and physical exercise, alongside a healthy eating habit. A quick resolution will keep peace within your home and the optimum health of all your pets.