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Obsessive feeding behaviour?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by BritishBilbo, Mar 14, 2019.


  1. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    Sorry this is a long one ..

    Hello PF I was looking to see if someone could give share any tips or advice they may think I have missed on a "problem" I have with my youngest. Vinnie is a 1yr old Oriental, hes typical to the breed loves people, vocal and very very clever. In the past month his behavior towards food is getting quite .. extreme. Hes a very muscular and heavy boy weighs around 5kg. Abit of background info regarding his food..

    He was free fed wet and I also left him dry down as a kitten incase he was hungry when I was not around.
    He stopped eating dry food of his own accord about 6/7 months old? (Dream cat right?!).
    He was neutered at 7/8 months old.
    At 10 months old after he was well and truly into neutered lifestyle his waist started to expand, and FAST, he was loosing his grace, elegance and muscley tone and was becoming rather portly.
    I stopped free feeding him at 10 months old and he went onto the same as all my adults 3 set meals a day that work around my working hours at the cattery. It was absolutely fine for a month but its all started to derail since then.
    He is currently on wet, at this moment in time Animonda Carny adult to be exact as I have stacks of it, I have been feeding him the recommended amount for a 5kg cat, according to Animondas charts (i dont have a can in front of me so just going on zooplus's chart please correct me if wrong) he would need about 200grams of wet a day? Whatever it says on the tin for his weight is what he gets. Plus at night for overnight he does get some dry no more than 20grams maybe I've never weighed it its a very small scoop and he gets half of one, it was basically just to stop him from pestering me over night.

    The behaviors he is displaying since being on a controlled amount of food is as follows:

    It started with shredding packets of wet food or treats if I foolishly left them out, which fair enough my other oriental would do that. It progressed onto shredding packs of wet, treats or dry no matter where they were kept. He can now open any drawer that food is kept in, baring in mind these drawers are HEAVY they are full of 400g tins of food plus everything else. My other cats don't eat animonda so they have pouch stuff hence where hes getting pouches from. It doesn't stop there though he will grab a tin of animonda out and scratch straight through the label and will have a jolly good go at the tin itself until he gives up.

    Human food is now in his mind also his, if I eat there is a paw constantly trying to get on my plate or fork, he seems to believe anything I eat is also his. He will lick baking trays if I leave them on the side by accident, yesterday he was running away with my FAB lolly sticks, foil if its had food on it, that's his too in his mind. He will now knock the bin over, pull the binbag out with precise accuracy, and proceed to eat anything in it.

    I didn't think anything could beat the raiding of bins after finding the contents of my bin all over my floor constantly but no now its gone further than that.

    Because the kitchen is now locked to keep the little monster out I have to leave my BSH chip feeders in the living room whilst I'm out because they are grazers, Vinnie being Vinnie knows there is food is those feeders and this is the best till last. He will pick those chip feeders up, yes literally pick them up with his mouth (they are not light for a cat either) and will persistently DRAG and THROW them around my living room in an attempt to get the food in them. I know this because I find said feeders in peculiar places plus I have a cat cam in my living room...

    Yesterday he displayed something else I'd never seen him do, bold as brass as Bilbo and Django (the BSH, Bilbo is the top cat in my house) were eating he went straight upto their feeders stuck his head in their bowls and ate their food, the brits moved and the chip feeders lid closed... on Vinnies head, this didnt seem to bother vinnie who continued to eat whilst having a chip feeder lid slamming against his head until the lid actually stopped working.

    As I type this I'm laughing because it does sound comical but the truth is its really getting to me.
    I'm also worried he is hurtling towards developing PICA (where they eat inedible objects), at the moment what he tries to eat has has food on it but I really want to get it under wraps before it spirals.

    His weight is constant now, and he looks good infact he looks beautiful, his weight is in my eyes is perfect and this shows at the shows he attends by the compliments on his size and muscle tone he gets in his reports. I don't believe its because hes 24/7 hungry I do believe alot of this behaviour started as him spitting his dummy out to no longer being free fed and has turned into quite an obsessive and destructive behaviour.

    I have been reading up on cases of Psychogenic abnormal feeding behaviour and whilst he is not quite at that level yet if I don't curb this behavior I do believe it could end up that way. He believes everything is his his his human or cat, if its edible, its his.

    The cats are all locked out the kitchen now whenever I am not there to supervise, so he no longer has access to the bin or cat food stash but the behaviour towards the BSH feeders is what is really getting to me. I don't want to have to shut the BSH downstairs and Orientals upstairs but its the only way I have peace of mind the BSH get their portion of food.

    I have started to shut him out when I prepare or eat my own food as this was recommended for cats with food behavior problems. They also recommended set feeding times (which he has) and plenty of stimulation which again I give him plus he has his cat wheel so uses this aswell.

    I don't know maybe someone on here has anymore advice tips or maybe I am just missing something. If I increase his food he will just eat the extra food and pile on the weight again. Maybe there is a food that would satisfy him longer?I haven't taken him to a vets yet but this will be the next port of call for a blood test to check his thyroid, etc is in check.
    I have wondered about getting a timed feeder and setting it to go off during the day, so he would get little and often throughout the day when I'm at work, I know he would be the one eating it theres no worry about that the others wouldn't get a look in ..

    He is such a darling in every other way my perfect cat, but just like me he loves his food a little too much. If you met him you would never believe it as he is the perfect gentlemen.
     
  2. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    94A49E2A-3CAD-4ADC-A864-42ACDBC48301.jpeg
    Vinnies artwork
    A42C5F46-8532-4245-B967-3CD60F2D58E5.jpeg
    Showing off his bod
    267B1FD5-68C5-46EB-B138-3EE03F5CC0FF.png
    Vinnies pasta ..
    1EE2F2D3-D091-4B9D-A14A-90F8EA2A5AF3.png
    Bit of aloe Plant for dessert
    3CFDC4AD-BE5E-4DBF-9EFC-5134D6938025.png
    This is definitely mine

    7DFC8622-73E9-443B-81A2-6F8F1BECA3B7.jpeg
    Vinnies take on the situation !!
     
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  3. Pepperpots

    Pepperpots PetForums Senior

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    My 3kg cat gets 200g wet food a day, so this doesn’t sound a lot for a 5kg cat. I’d up his food a bit, I think. Perhaps some raw meat, which takes longer to eat in chunks.

    My cats are the same with stealing food. Little and often seems to help - and not leaving anything out!
     
  4. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    Yeah it may not be 200g I don’t have the food on me so I can’t say for sure zooplus’s charts may not be the same as what the tins say. I’ve got 285g in my head but lord knows until I get home. Whatever that tin recommends on the side is what he gets plus the small amount of extra dry at night.

    I don’t think I could fill him I could feed him a kg of food and he would eat it all up he has become obsessed with eating and needing food.
     
  5. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

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    I think Vinnie may be going to grow some more. He has very long legs and my Bear was a very large Oriental who weighed 5.5kgs all his adult life until his last illness. All his show reports say he was very stylish etc so he was not overweight. My only suggestion is to feed him more fat because that may make him more satisfied. I have noticed that manufactured foods seems to be very low in fat. (My cats eat meat. They probably only eat about 120gms a day but they are satisfied because their food is high in protein and fat.))
     
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  6. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    Yes he could grow some more for definite but when he gets more food the belly grows and the rest of him stays the same I’m hoping for a last growth spurt sometime soon. He has one report saying he was getting fat but I ignored it for a couple of reasons as he wouldn’t be getting bov if he was truly fat. It may be a case of upping his food gradually and seeing if it helps whilst also keeping an eye on his weight. He gets very bloated at times another reason I wanted his food to be set times and amounts etc.

    As we speak I’m defrosting some raw food to see if he will eat that, I have a raw cat food freezer which isn’t being used so if he will eat raw and he is more satisfied on it I’m more than happy to go down that route.
     
  7. Pepperpots

    Pepperpots PetForums Senior

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    My cats are the same. You could never fill Philip up. He’d eat till he was sick, then eat some more, same with plastic, food wrappers etc. Feeding him wet only, four times a day in a slow feeder bowl really works. As long as it takes him longer to eat it, he doesn’t twig that he hasn’t had much (he really is on a diet!). Cutting out dry helps weight loss.

    This is the bowl I use:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B014FE2HGQ/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I sometimes add some water to the food t bulk it out a bit.

    I have fed him on raw, but he puts on weight so easily he gets fat on it. My other cat has raw and is lovely and slim and muscular.
     
  8. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    My
    i have a couple of slow feeder bowls I have access to nearly everything I could ever need as I work with cats. I’d never really thought of putting wet in them, always used them for treats. I will defo give it a shot. :)
     
  9. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    My current view hahaha Maybe I could start a tv Show like springwatch it autumnwatch. Vinniewatch.
    3DFEA6BE-C1A4-4231-BD7C-CBBE2A4508EE.jpeg

    I shouldn’t laugh but it was comical last night set the bowls down go up get into bed turn the cam on and within two minutes of me putting them down they had disappeared off camera and vinster was stood over one acting like he was innocent.
     
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  10. Quartermass

    Quartermass PetForums Senior

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    My 4.8kg cat gets 150 to 170 g of wet food a day and maintains his weight. On dry he was getting 60g per day and maintaining.
     
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  11. oliviarussian

    oliviarussian Meeoow!

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    I would definitely watch!!!!
     
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  12. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    I
    I even had it on whilst serving people today at the Cattery, they defo think I’m losing the plot lol.
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @BritishBilbo - I agree with the others, Vinnie is hungry. His obsessive behaviour around food is very typical of a cat who is hungry. You mentioned his excessive interest in food only started when you cut back on his food, so that is the thing to address first.

    I would cut out all dry food (as it is high in carbs) and give him a small snack of wet food overnight in an autofeeder. Feed him at least 3 meals a day (in addition to the night time snack).

    With my food-obsessed 9 yr old cat I feed him 4 meals a day plus a night snack. He is much better with this regime, and the problems he was getting with excess gastric acid have more or less gone. He has no dry food at all (but has a couple of the pure freeze dried protein treats a day).

    One thing I've had to learn to accept over the years with my cat is that he's always heavier in winter than summer. This is because he goes out in the cold and wants to eat just as much food in winter as in summer, even though he is less active in the winter, so it piles on as excess weight. If I try to reduce his food intake in winter to correspond with his lower activity levels he becomes frantic and miserable with food anxiety, and starts to try and scavenge. I can't do it to him. It may not be healthy for him to be overweight in the winter, but at least come the summer he has always slimmed down to an attractive shape. He is very active in the summer, spending all his days on the go.

    I would try feeding Vinnie raw, as you plan to, or do as QOTN does with her cats and feed a home cooked diet with supplements, making sure the fat content is sufficient.

    EDITED to add: when I want to slow down the rate my cat eats I use a small flat dinner plate (aka salad plate) and spread the food all over the plate. These are rather good as they don't cause whisker fatigue like small bowls do. x
     
    #13 chillminx, Mar 14, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  14. Pepperpots

    Pepperpots PetForums Senior

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    You can really squish it down so it takes them even longer. I’m a mean mum!
     
  15. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Agree with chillminx however, please take the aloe plant out of reach. Aloe plant is toxic to cats.

    Also, when I went to raw feeding my cat with food anxiety lost a lot of that behavior.

    And I agree a flat plate not one of those slow bowls, they aren't nice for cats, many cats don't like their whiskers being mashed when they eat.
     
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  16. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    Yes I’m defo going to see how he reacts to raw, I’m a massive raw advocate I just struggle with my BSH and raw so I gave up on it.

    I get where you are coming from with the winter bit it’s unfortunate that most the local shows I go to with him land in winter months. In himself he’s his usual happy self cuddling and purring away it’s just at any time just before or just after a feeding slot he will display these behaviours. Because of my odd working days I can’t alwaysbe there to give him extra food in the day which is why I thought a timed feeder may help with him. I used to have one but it broke or I gave it away.
     
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  17. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    It is out of reach or so I thought how he managed to get it off the top of the bookcase I’ll never know lol. Where there is a will there is a way I suppose.
     
  18. bluecordelia

    bluecordelia Footy

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    I would suggest 4 wet meals at the moment. He may be having a bit of a spurt.

    You could add a bit of water do he feels full . My cats are wet and raw fed. We do get changes infeedinf as on occasion they both aren’t fussed and then I can’t fill them.

    Maybe feed him on his own too. I know you know about good wet but a good food like Macs might help. Not a bad price too
     
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  19. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    So it needs to be moved out of reach and out of sight. Aloe plant is toxic to cats. It's the latex in the plant that is toxic.
     
  20. BritishBilbo

    BritishBilbo I work with cats + I live with cats. I like cats.

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    He’s currently fed away from all the others I’ve had to too give them a chance to eat before he goes on the prowl for scraps lol.
     
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