Have you ever found your cat up on the kitchen counter trying to steal a piece of food that is unprotected ?, or about to go up on the table to steal food from your plate? Well, if the answers are affirmative do not worry anymore because in we will explain the possible reasons for which your cat steals your food and how to correct that inappropriate behavior.
Educate a cat since he is small is essential to get your pet understand what he can or can not do and how he should behave and live with his human family. But there are times when animals learn unwanted and annoying behaviors for us. Therefore in this article entitled “My cat steals my food, why?“You will discover the factors that may have fostered this behavior and you will know how to reeducate your cat so that it stops stealing food.
Why do cats steal food?
We know that the fact that your pussy catches the slightest carelessness to steal a piece of food that you have left unprotected on the kitchen counter or that directly climbs on the table when you are eating to ask and / or steal food is a very annoying situation but, why do cats steal food?
To know the answer to this question it is necessary review the behavior of our pet and the habits he has acquired for us, his owners. Maybe the problem has started for us or maybe not, but what is certain is that this is a behavior that must be stopped and corrected as soon as possible, because it can become a serious setback if it is overlooked, or if For example, the cat inadvertently ingests a toxic food for its organism.
Next, we will review the possible reasons why cats steal food.
They do not like their cat food
One of the main reasons why cats steal food is that they do not like theirs, that is, that the feed or wet food they have at their disposal they do not like or do not completely satisfy them, and that’s why they steal food from where they can and when they can.
Remember that cats are strict carnivorous animals, so it is recommended to give them a feed that contains mainly meat and that is not mixed with other food products such as refined flours, cereals, etc. If you think that I think you are giving your feline is not the most appropriate and notes that you do not like because you leave it and / or do not eat it well, the ideal is to change brands, buy a I think more quality and go testing until you get the best feed for your cat, or better yet, you can try to make your own homemade cat food.
It is also possible that the food or wet food you like, but your pussycat does not eat it because it is softened for leaving it all day at your disposal in the trough. Cats are very sybaritic animals and they do not eat everything they throw at them if they do not like it. That’s why in these cases, the solution is very easy: simply serve the amount of daily food that you get (depending on your age and body weight) at the time and once you eat, remove it. This way there will be no food left in the open and it will not soften.
Likewise, we could also think that our cat does not eat its food, not because it is softened or because we have not found its perfect feed, but because it likes more what is on our plate on the table. But the truth is that this is not the case. There is nothing that cats like more than food that is specifically designed for them.
He has a bad habit
If you have already found the best wet feed / food for your pet and still your cat steals food, it is possible that the problem goes further and is a bad habit that has acquired over time.
It is possible that at some point in your life, our pussycat was up on the table while we were eating and we gave him a piece of the steak or tuna we were eating. At that moment the reinforcement of the bad habit began, since the cat understood that it was normal to eat the food of our plate and even more if we offer it to us. If this situation has been repeated more than once in the course of time, it is very logical that the cat steals food from the kitchen or from the table even though we are not sitting, because for him it is a learned behavior.
The solution to end a bad habit is to create a new one, so in the next section we will explain how to do it.
How do we solve it?
The truth is that it is not easy teach a new habit to any animal, and less to cats that we all know how special they are, so the ideal is always to educate them since they are small because the sooner they learn better and also have a lot of patience with them. But if your cat is already an adult and steals food, calm because there is still hope.
In the first place, we must become aware and help to eradicate that bad habit by avoiding leaving unprotected food by the table or the kitchen (even if they are leftovers) and also by not offering any kind of food from our hands while we are eating.
Also, if for one day we get distracted and see that the cat is stealthily approaching to steal some food that we have forgotten to keep or that goes up to the table with that intention, what we have to do is scold him saying “NO” in a firm and serene way, and away from that place by holding him in his arms and not letting him in until there is no food available, so the cat will understand little by little that he can not do it.
Another way for the kitten to understand that he can not steal food is reinforcing your behavior when you eat from your feeder. So, once you have finished eating (which does not mean that you have finished all the food but you have finished doing the action) and not before, because it is better not to interrupt them when they are doing something right, we can reward you for that good behavior caressing him, playing with him or giving him some catnip goody. Obviously, the food we give him must be healthy and as appetizing as possible for our pet, so the chances of stealing food will be less and less numerous.
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