If the question "Why does my cat want me to watch her eat?" it's ringing in your head right now, you're not alone! Although cats can be very independent little creatures, believe it or not, having you around while they eat can be incredibly comforting.
Have you ever had times where your cat meows around your feet to indicate that it wants food, but when you check the food bowl it's already full to the brimbest cat food? If so, that's a good sign that you have a social kitten on your hands who will enjoy company while they eat.
But his sociability isn't the only reason your feline friend might want you to watch him eat. Below we examine some of the reasons that drive this behavior and share some helpful tips and tricks on what to do when your kitten refuses to eat on its own.
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Why does my cat want me to watch her eat?
While it can sometimes seem like your cat is a bit of a diva, there are actually a variety of legitimate reasons why they might be more comfortable having you with you when eating. Let's look at some of the most common:
1. Your cat is a social eater.
While feral cats are very territorial when it comes to food, this is not true for all house cats, who often become incredibly social due to the amount of petting.
Just as many people enjoy sitting around the table and eating together, some cats prefer this type of social eating to eating alone. Despite common misconceptions, cats can become very attached to their owners and may see mealtimes as an opportunity to spend time with you and bond.
2. Trust and security
One of the most vulnerable times of day for feral cats is feeding time, as they need to remain on high alert to ensure no other animal is attempting to approach and steal their prey. While your little feline friend isn't in the same situation, this desire to feel safe while eating is ingrained in their DNA. This need to protect your food can be especially pronounced when you have other animals in the home.
Another reason your cat might feel vulnerable when eating alone is the position of her bowl. Most of us tend to place our cat's food bowl against a wall or in a corner, which means our cat has to turn his back to the rest of the world while he eats and is unaware of his surroundings while chewing. .
Having them around when you eat can help your cat feel safe and secure, and help her relax and enjoy her food without the added stress of having to be alert in the event another animal approaches and tries to steal his food.
3. You don't want to miss anything
Some cats are very sociable and love to be the center of attention, so just missing out on something to eat is enough to make you seriously consider skipping a meal.
They'll know that's why they want you to eat when you notice that they can't concentrate on the food, frequently raise their heads to scan the room, or constantly jump between you and the food bowl. .
If you usually eat at the same time as your cat and notice that when you stop eating and get up to do something your cat follows, that's a very good sign that you have a social butterfly on your hands that isn't want to miss what is happening.
While it's usually not a concern if your cat wants you around when she's eating, if you find that your cat isn't eating when you're not with her, be on the lookout. When we're sick, it's often comforting to have someone with us, and the same goes for our feline friends.
Loss of appetite or other symptoms such as vomiting are two key signs that your kitten may be unwell. If he takes some food from your palm but won't eat otherwise, contact your veterinarian who can figure out what's going on.
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It could also be that your cat has simply developed a habit of having you around at mealtimes due to its upbringing. If your cat was syringe-fed as a kitten or held a lot while eating, she's likely to associate food with your presence.
Why cats want you to accompany them to their meal
If watching your kitten eat isn't enough, some cats expect you to lead them to their food bowl too! This is usually their way of saying they want you to come and hang out with them while they eat their food, but there could be a few other reasons for this behavior.
You will find it particularly common to feed your feline friendbest wet food for catsSince he tends to come out much quicker than the kibble, following them to their food bowl may alert him that the food isn't as fresh as they would like.
Another reason is that some cats like to be petted while they are eating as it puts them in a very calm and relaxed state which allows them to slow down and enjoy their food. Remember that cats are programmed to be on high alert when they are eating, so being petted or spoken to in a gentle tone can be incredibly reassuring for them.
What should I do if my cat refuses to eat on its own?
While it's cute in a way when your kitty refuses to eat without you, it can lead to long-term health issues as you can't always make it to meals and the last thing you want is for them to lose weight. .
The good news is that there are ways to help your cat become more comfortable eating alone:
1. Move your food bowl
It makes no sense to invest in it.best cat food bowlif your cat refuses to eat from him! If you find that you have a very sociable cat on your hands, it might be worth placing his food bowl in a high-traffic area where he can feel a part of the action while still enjoying his food.
2. Gradually reduce your presence
Another thing you can try is to only accompany your kitty for part of the meal and slowly reduce the amount of time you spend with him until he is comfortable eating alone.
Try putting down your cat's food bowl, then stand there as usual while she starts eating, but move away before she's done. If you find her protesting loudly (and some cats will), join your cat and repeat the exercise for several days until the protesting behavior stops.
3. Increase the number of links outside the meal
You may find that your cat is more than happy to eat alone, as long as she spends enough time with you throughout the day. Try investing in some of theBest toy for catsand spend 15 to 20 minutes playing with your cat twice a day.
Adding one ofbest brushes for catsto your grooming kit and attending regular grooming sessions can also be a really nice way for the two of you to bond. You can also try to pet your kitty regularly when you come over, and if you have a lap cat, invite her to pet you while you read or watch TV.
Get the best tips, advice and technology for your beloved pets
According to Dr Koski, because cats are both predator and prey in the wild, a cat consuming a meal might not see a potential threat lurking in the distance — so she's basically relying on you to stick close by and make sure nothing is coming to attack her.Why does my cat insist on me watching him eat? ›
Cats who seem to eat better when they have human company are called “affection eaters.” Sometimes they just want someone to sit with them while they eat, while others enjoy being pet or need even further encouragement to eat such as having food brought close to them, hearing their kibble dish rattle, or even being ...Why won t my cat eat unless I watch? ›
The most likely is that your cat feels safe around you and trusts you to make sure nothing sneaks up on him while he is eating. So he can concentrate on eating and not be on guard.Why does my cat want me to follow him to his food? ›
Ever wondered: “Why does my cat want me to watch her eat” or “Why does my cat like to be pet while eating?” Welcome to affection eating — also known as attention eating— which can help you bond with your cat. It can even save her life.Do cats Think About eating You? ›
Cats specifically may exhibit “predatory behavior” toward small, skittish creatures, including small-breed dogs, rats, birds, deer, and “unfortunately, human babies and toddlers,” Spano says. But it's far more likely that a cat would chow down on wild prey rather than its human companions, Spano says.Should I let my cat watch me eat? ›
Cats find their humans fascinating, and may simply want to watch you the way you might watch television. As long as their behavior isn't disrupting your meal, it's not a big deal to let them observe you.How long will a cat wait to eat you? ›
Without their owners around to fill their bowls, the pets often go unfed. In cases where these people owned dogs, their pets would usually go several days without resorting to eating the owner's body. However, a cat would only wait a day or two. The phenomenon is called "postmortem predation."Why do my cats think they are starving? ›
If your cat is hungry all the time, it could be a sign of a serious health issue like hyperthyroidism, diabetes or cancer. This handy guide looks at possible causes of overeating, symptoms to look out for and what to do if you're concerned about your cat's feeding habits.Should I pet my cat while eating? ›
Avoid petting or disturbing your cat while eating. This can be a stressful experience for her and may cause stop eating altogether. Let her eat in peace. Once you've put her food down, walk away and give her some space.Why is my cat clingy and not eating? ›
Your cat may become clingy as a result of stress, insecurity, or generalized anxiety. This could be caused by a significant change in routine, the addition or loss of a household member, an unfamiliar visitor, or loud noises, to name a few.
Rather, cats view us as social companions and a “valuable resource” — i.e. as a provider of food. Your own cat might love you, but an “unsocialized or feral cat would be more likely to see unfamiliar humans as a potential predator or another form of significant threat, rather than as another cat,” Grigg says.Why does my cat follow me when I eat? ›
One of the most common reasons why you cat is following you around is because they think dinner time may be coming up. They'll usually keep their owners in sight, waiting for them to head for the kitchen where they know all that delicious food lives. The moment that cat food is served is an exciting one for any feline.Do cats know when their owner dies? ›
When a cat loses a companion, whether animal or human, she most certainly grieves and reacts to the changes in her life. Cats alter their behavior when they mourn much like people do: They may become depressed and listless. They may have a decreased appetite and decline to play.How soon after eating do cats poop? ›
Healthy cats poop about one to two times a day following a meal's approximate 12- to 20-hour journey through the digestive tract. But the amount of time it takes for a cat's meal to go from bowl to litter box, and how many times she goes, depends on several factors.Do cats eat until they're full? ›
Some dogs and cats only eat when they are hungry. Others will eat whenever there is food. But just as I can be full and still find room for ice cream, a pet always has room for table scraps.Is it OK for cats to eat applesauce? ›
Applesauce may seem harmless, but prepackaged applesauce may be filled with chemicals and preservatives that a whole apple wouldn't have. On the other hand, if you're fixing homemade applesauce and your cat takes a lick or two, it won't have any harmful effects, as pureed foods are easier to digest for cats.How do you tell if a cat is starved? ›
no fat can be felt - where present the skin pouch underneath the belly is empty that is skin on skin. tummy looks empty due to lack of fat. spine and hip bones can be seen - your cat looks like a size zero model.How do you tell if a cat is being starved? ›
A meowing cat in the kitchen is not necessary an automatic sign of a hungry pet. A cat that is truly hungry may have a certain type of insistent meow, or may hang around pawing at its food bowl or where its food may be stored. When food is offered, a hungry cat will eat quickly.Do cats eat because they are bored? ›
Overeating. Eating out of boredom is a hugely common behavior in humans—and it's also hugely common in cats. If you notice a dramatic increase in your cat's food intake, it could be because they're eating to fend off boredom.Where not to touch a cat? ›
Cats typically don't like being petted on their tummy, legs/feet, or tail. Of course, there are always outliers—some cats will love every bit of affection, no matter where they're touched or who's doing it. But generally, you shouldn't pet a cat you don't know on their stomach or extremities.
You've Hit the Spot
Although elevator butt may seem rather insulting to us, it's actually the cat's very positive response to the fact that you've hit just the right spot when petting her. Typically, that spot is at the base of her tail.
Reduces stress – Petting a sleeping cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. Strengthens the bond – Cats who sleep with their humans are closer to them.What is the most clingy cat breed? ›
Burmese are often considered to be the most affectionate cat breed. They love being with people at all times and crave close physical contact, making them the ultimate companion cat for a devoted family. They will follow their owner from room to room and prefer to cuddle up on the sofa or sleep in bed with them.Can you give your cat too much attention? ›
Besides food, your cat also needs love and attention, but is it possible to give too much love? The answer is, of course, no, but lavishing attention has been known to cause behavior problems. Like dogs, cats have a hierarchy.Why does my cat follow me everywhere but won't cuddle? ›
My Cat Follows Me Everywhere But Won't Cuddle
Some reasons a cat may not enjoy physical contact include individual personality variations, a lack of adequate socialization during kittenhood, a history of being feral, or a previous negative experience associated with human physical touch.
They want attention
This may be expressed when your cat follows you around while meowing at the same time. If this behavior is something that you don't want to enforce, you can redirect this behavior through ways such as engaging them in play or providing them with games such as an interactive puzzle or a mouse toy.
However, a new study carried out by scientists from Oregon State University has determined that felines actually prefer human social interaction to food, making them no less loving than their canine counterparts.Should you pet your cat while sleeping? ›
Reduces stress – Petting a sleeping cat has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. Strengthens the bond – Cats who sleep with their humans are closer to them.Do cats like it when you meow back? ›
Sorry to break it to you, but human meows mean nothing to cats. At most, you can get your cat's attention and they may even appreciate your attempts to communicate by purring or even meowing back. But to most cats, human meows sound like human language.Why do cats lift their bum when you pet them? ›
Cats usually raise their bottoms when you pet them because they're enjoying it. However, it could also be because their skin is itchy due to fleas, an allergy, or another cause. It might also mean that they're experiencing pain or discomfort in their back or tail.
When cats don't feel threatened by other cats, they will show affection by rubbing on them, sleeping near them, and being in their presence. If your cat replicates those behaviors with you, Delgado says it has officially imprinted on you. They rub against you.Do cats remember you when you feed them? ›
Cats possess excellent long-term memories. They can recall their animal companions and the people who feed them as well as those who irritate them.Do cats actually care about you? ›
Cats form attachments to their owners that are similar to those that dogs and babies form with their caregivers. You really are more than just a source of food to your cat: A study published Monday finds that cats see their owners as a source of comfort and security, too.Do cats know their owners love them? ›
Cats See Us as Parents
They actually see us as parents. A 2019 study revealed that cats have the same attachment to their owners that babies show to their parents. Kittens in the study acted distressed when their caregivers left and happy and secure when they returned. They still acted this way one year later.
In addition to being petted, do cats like to be held? Sometimes. Most cats love to snuggle, and they're typically responsive to being held if you introduce them to it gradually. The best way to approach your cat for a hug is to start with a few soft pets, then carefully pick them up.Where do cats like being stroked the most? ›
In general, cats prefer to be stroked along their back or scratched under the chin or around the ears. Paws, tails, their underbellies and their whiskers (which are super sensitive) are best avoided.