I snapped at my cat.

my_money_pit

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I have previously posted about my cat's behavior issues concerning food.
He is giving me a very hard time to eat and it's been going on for the past 3 years. I can't take it anymore, it's affecting my mental health.
I am close to rehoming him because I am losing my mind. I spend 2 hours on every meal trying to feed him.
Here is a list of what I tried:
- Starving him. He wakes me up, follows me to the kitchen and keeps meowing for food. Once the food is on a plate he doesn't want to eat it and keeps following me. I pet him for hours and hours a day. We play for at least an hour every day.
- Trying different food. I thought he liked chicken because one day I topped his food with chicken and he devoured it. The next day he doesn't want to eat chicken.
- Does he want beef? no! Sardine? no! tuna? no!
- Different food brands. Each brand worked once and he doesn't eat it the next time.
- Adding fortiflora. It works once in every 10 times.
- Different type of plates.
- Should I hand feed you? no! do you want food on the floor? no!
- I place a thin cutting board on the floor and put the food next to it and he doesn't eat.
- Music for cats
- Cat TV on next to his plate. It worked once.
- He is not allergic as this been happening for 3 years and I haven't seen any signs.
- Kibbles. He eats it okay but sometimes he doesn't eat if I don't give him the appropriate amount of pets.

I am posting again about this matter because I am out of ideas. I tried new things this week and still nothing is working.
He will be starving but won't eat. I am not doing well anymore because of him and I can't keep enduring this thing anymore for a sake of a cat.

Venting:
Shelters should be honest about cats that have issues. Not everyone is able to handle picky cats specially that it's draining financially. I have no clue what this cat has been through before I adopted him 3 years ago at age 9mo. But the shelter said he is a happy cat and he was purring during his vet visit. When I went to adopt him, he smelled bad, he was scared and he haven't eaten in 4 days.

What could be wrong with him? I am having someone stay with him next weekend, I will see if this behavior continues.
 

Cf24248

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Has he been vetted? Checked for sensitivities? Even if he doesn't have an allergy, if he has a sensitivity to something that might make him feel icky he could be wary of eating. a hydrolyzed protein diet may help. He should be checked for any potential issues as well.

Have you tried free feeding, and just leaving kibble out at all times for him?

He sounds anxious, if him eating centers around you petting him, and if he feels the need to follow you around even with food. You could trial an anti-anxiety medication, or Feliway collars and diffusers.

Is he actually starving? Is he actually underweight? Kitties need less food than some people think they do! Does his vet say he's at an unhealthy body score?
 

Kris107

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My first thought is that the cat needs a vet exam. Make sure you note info about his pee/poop. Energy level? I'll be curious if he eats fine while you're gone. Does he look like skin and bones? Does he ever have any trouble breathing? Would he eat next to you if you're sitting and watching TV or something? What about his drinking habits? All things can be potential clues for the vet.
 
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my_money_pit

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My first thought is that the cat needs a vet exam. Make sure you note info about his pee/poop. Energy level? I'll be curious if he eats fine while you're gone. Does he look like skin and bones? Does he ever have any trouble breathing? Would he eat next to you if you're sitting and watching TV or something? What about his drinking habits? All things can be potential clues for the vet.
He has been to the vet too many times in the past 3 years. He is very healthy. He has good energy, pee and poops perfectly. Doesn't drink water because he is on a homemade diet but he pees 4-5 times a day. He has on pain relief because he had UTI and that did not help the situation. He was still giving me hard time to eat even with pain relief and being relaxed.

He has a mix of food with bones and others that are boneless. I have tried all the combination of food and only new food works. It should be something he either didn't have in 2-3 weeks or something very new to him.

His eating habits are so random that's what is driving me crazy. Sometimes if I add chicken shreds he will eat but the next time he won't eat. Same with any other type of toppings or protein. Sometimes he eats when I leave food out during the night but other times he doesn't even if I leave treats he won't eat them.

The only thing I can think of is maybe is he spoiled. Maybe I spoiled him too much when I first got it. We had a period where I would always top his food with different type of exotic pate like rabbit, duck, kangaroo.. So maybe now he is expecting the same thing. He either gets some new flavor every day or he doesn't eat.

I also tried placing his plate high on a shelf so maybe he is not feeling secure to eat but that didn't help.
 
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my_money_pit

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Has he been vetted? Checked for sensitivities? Even if he doesn't have an allergy, if he has a sensitivity to something that might make him feel icky he could be wary of eating. a hydrolyzed protein diet may help. He should be checked for any potential issues as well.

Have you tried free feeding, and just leaving kibble out at all times for him?

He sounds anxious, if him eating centers around you petting him, and if he feels the need to follow you around even with food. You could trial an anti-anxiety medication, or Feliway collars and diffusers.

Is he actually starving? Is he actually underweight? Kitties need less food than some people think they do! Does his vet say he's at an unhealthy body score?
Someone told me that the vet can put a drop of some medicine next to his ears to help with appetite. He has a good appetite so I don't think that is the issue. The problem is something else.
At one point I was suspecting that the space is small for both of us but we have lived in bigger apartments and it's been the same.
He is not underweight, he is at a good weight. Last time we were at the vet they said he has some extra fat he needs to shed. When I switched his diet to homemade with close to no carbs, he dropped the extra weight but he is not underweight.

He follows me around, I pet him and carry him close to his plate and pet him but he walks away. I tried sitting on the floor next to his plate but nothing happened. I tried leaving him alone with food and he still didn't eat. I do have a feliway diffuser I will get a recharge and give it a try. I have some stress relief supplement but he refuses to take them. So it's another stress on both of us just to give him a stress relief.

He was always too scared and anxious. He lets me pet him but when he gets too relaxed and I try to pet him he attacks me. This has been going on since day 1. I always read his body language and leave him alone when he doesn't want to be pet anymore.
 

Kris107

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I feel like sometimes cats can get too spoiled. I had one who had asthma and stopped eating. We tried EVERYTHING. And we were obsessing because she WAS getting underweight. But sometime variety seems to go against you. Some cats I've had - it truly seems like they will starve themselves than eat what I gave them. Stubborn!
 

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Just something else to consider and try. I cannot feed Feeby the same food for at least a week, ideally about 10 days. So, I buy food by the can as there is no way to buy cases of anything for her. Even then, there are occasions where one of those foods just doesn't make her happy, so I also have a multitude of bisques, gravies, and broths that I will add to that food. I have to have as many different ones I can find, as if they are repeated too much, she rejects them the same way she does her food. Most of the time it works, sometimes not. I'd say this approach works 90-95% of the time. And, I am restricted to mostly chicken or beef because she doesn't care for turkey or most novel proteins or fish.

She seems to like baby food meat too, so I now give her that as well - and, I add EZ Complete to make it nutritionally appropriate for a cat. I am also going to try Alnutrin since I think she is tiring of the chicken liver that is part of the EZ Complete formula. I can buy different loivers to change up the Alnutrin too.

You might also try feeding him on a paper plates, or buy some cheap placemats or small dish towels to place the food on instead of using 'regular' dishes/plates.

It can be frustrating for a cat to be picky with their food, and it is hard to refrain from feeling/acting irritated. But, even if you don't lash out a cat can pick up on your emotions, and I do think it matters in how they behave. Just imagine yourself living with someone who you know really doesn't like you too much at times.

Every day that Feeby eats reasonably well is a good day, and I 'let go' of the day before that she didn't. Having a good friend/family member/cat loving neighbor that is willing to get to know your cat so that you can have some hours of respite every week is a good idea too.
 

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Your cat sounds similar to one of mine. For years now he engages in what I call the circus, where he asks for his food and then expects me to follow him around from place to place, offering the food, sniffing it, and then walking away to a new location. Sometimes he vibrates his tail while doing it and he will look behind him to make sure I am following. If I dont, then he comes back and meows at me. I've tried hand feeding, putting food on the floor, on a plate, on a box, on a shelf, on a table, on a spoon, on the cat tree, etc.

So far, the thing that has created the most success is similar to what Feeby'sOwner said. Rather than mixing Cosmos's homemade food for the week together and portioning it in daily containers, I instead keep all of his meats for the week separate and feed a different one at each meal. That keeps him from knowing what his next meal will be and helps prevent boredom. Sometimes, crushed freeze dried treats are needed on top for bribes if he insists on trying to do a circus. But making sure every meal is different has helped significantly.
 

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This week’s meal calendar as a visual example of what I mean.
IMG_2319.jpeg


Oh and every week I make a new batch of food with different meat combinations as well. If I can't make the new batch w/o using a type of meats from the previous week, I then make sure to feed that one later in the week and in a new form such as ground if previously chunked or vice versa.

Also, XD I have different kinds of freeze dried food to use a bribes too. Sometimes one bribe is rejected so I switch to a different one. I also try to avoid using the same bribe over and over. Turkey, kangaroo, and venison are some of his fav freeze dried bribe options, but I also have rabbit, duck, and salmon as well for times when the favs don't work and to avoid over use. As if too much of a fav is used, then it stops being a favorite.

I too have told every vet Cosmos has seen about this behavior and none of them have had answers. It's just a weird thing that he does and it sounds like for your cat its a similar case. It can be very frustrating at times but once you figure out a system that works, things will be better.
 
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my_money_pit

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Outside of your house? You might want to try that too and see, but nonetheless I agree. From other similar threads I've read, because we care, something like this can become all consuming, and not for the good.
no, someone is coming over to take care of him while I'm away for a couple of day,
 
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my_money_pit

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Just something else to consider and try. I cannot feed Feeby the same food for at least a week, ideally about 10 days. So, I buy food by the can as there is no way to buy cases of anything for her. Even then, there are occasions where one of those foods just doesn't make her happy, so I also have a multitude of bisques, gravies, and broths that I will add to that food. I have to have as many different ones I can find, as if they are repeated too much, she rejects them the same way she does her food. Most of the time it works, sometimes not. I'd say this approach works 90-95% of the time. And, I am restricted to mostly chicken or beef because she doesn't care for turkey or most novel proteins or fish.

She seems to like baby food meat too, so I now give her that as well - and, I add EZ Complete to make it nutritionally appropriate for a cat. I am also going to try Alnutrin since I think she is tiring of the chicken liver that is part of the EZ Complete formula. I can buy different loivers to change up the Alnutrin too.

You might also try feeding him on a paper plates, or buy some cheap placemats or small dish towels to place the food on instead of using 'regular' dishes/plates.

It can be frustrating for a cat to be picky with their food, and it is hard to refrain from feeling/acting irritated. But, even if you don't lash out a cat can pick up on your emotions, and I do think it matters in how they behave. Just imagine yourself living with someone who you know really doesn't like you too much at times.

Every day that Feeby eats reasonably well is a good day, and I 'let go' of the day before that she didn't. Having a good friend/family member/cat loving neighbor that is willing to get to know your cat so that you can have some hours of respite every week is a good idea too.
I'm picking up turkey soon from the store and will prepare a turkey batch so he can have more options. I will do as suggested and have multiple options for him.
I have cut a piece of the plastic cutting board and tried using it as a plate so we don't put food on the floor but he still refused to eat from it. He would sniff the food and start following around.
 
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my_money_pit

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Your cat sounds similar to one of mine. For years now he engages in what I call the circus, where he asks for his food and then expects me to follow him around from place to place, offering the food, sniffing it, and then walking away to a new location. Sometimes he vibrates his tail while doing it and he will look behind him to make sure I am following. If I dont, then he comes back and meows at me. I've tried hand feeding, putting food on the floor, on a plate, on a box, on a shelf, on a table, on a spoon, on the cat tree, etc.

So far, the thing that has created the most success is similar to what Feeby'sOwner said. Rather than mixing Cosmos's homemade food for the week together and portioning it in daily containers, I instead keep all of his meats for the week separate and feed a different one at each meal. That keeps him from knowing what his next meal will be and helps prevent boredom. Sometimes, crushed freeze dried treats are needed on top for bribes if he insists on trying to do a circus. But making sure every meal is different has helped significantly.
i give him only 2 proteins meat and chicken but it's always a different combination sometimes it has eggs, some other times i include sardine or salmon...
As I mentioned earlier, I will be adding turkey and maybe in a week or so will get him rabbit and duck so he can get more variety.

This is his schedule (turkey is replaced by chicken)
Screenshot 2024-01-26 at 2.24.22 PM.png


I think once I introduced him to more meat type he started being picky since he discovered there are more options out there.

Will update in few weeks. Hope I don't lose my mind..
 

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I gather that this is a shelter cat or a rescued cat. Yes?

Our cat, Casper, has food issues and our vet explained it to us, why. She said that, when a cat lives by its own devices, and doesn't know where its next meal is coming from then finds a stable food supply, it'll tend to stick to that food. Once the cat decides that "this food" is good and safe to eat, it's very hard to get them to eat anything different.

Casper was an abandoned cat that lived outdoors for over a year. When the rescue people brought him in, they used Meow Mix to lure him in. Yes, we know that Meow Mix is basically junk food for cats but they like it so it makes a good lure...but...once an abandoned cat gets used to eating it, getting them to change is a battle. That's exactly what happened with Casper.

It took us at least half a year, trying different foods and mixing them together in different amounts until he was eating only the food we wanted him to eat.

My recommendation is that, if you have a shelter/rescue cat, find out what food they were feeding and go back to that. Then, when you have the cat eating regularly, wean it off that food and onto the food you want.
 
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Furballsmom

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I have cut a piece of the plastic cutting board and tried using it as a plate so we don't put food on the floor
I may have missed it along the line, but if your cat will eat from the floor, why not utilize an area of the floor that gets cleaned when he's done (unless it is carpet, but even that can be cleaned without leaving cleaning solution residue behind and causing him harm)?

I had gotten the impression your cat won't eat at all, but this reminded me that in fact he will eat, when the food is on the floor.

Here again, some people have had that exact same issue.

He is very healthy.
Doesn't drink water because he is on a homemade diet but he pees 4-5 times a day. He has on pain relief because he had UTI
But, he had a UTI which isn't healthy. Peeing frequently, such as he is, is a symptom of the UTI. He needs to get more moisture, whether the homemade diet is working for him or not.
 
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I have a cat that was impossible to get to eat. He absolutely refused to eat canned food, tuna, etc., and would eat his kibble for a few days, sometimes up to a week, before going on a hunger strike until I found him a new food he would eat. For a variety of reasons the vet suggested we try him on prozac. I agreed to give it a try and it totally changed him for the better. He spent six months at the shelter before I got him and is in his teens. But he now eats any canned food I put in front of him, Loves his kibble, treats, really anything. It might be something to chat with your vet about.
 

Cf24248

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If he is not underweight, he is not starving, he just doesn't need as much food as you might be thinking. Leave kibble out for him to graze on and offer regular food at mealtimes. If there's no health reason for him not to be eating, he will NOT starve himself if you don't bend over backwards. He might complain a bit, but if you give him time he will eat rather than actually starve.
 

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Most of my cats will take their food, pick some of it up, drop it on the floor, and then eat it. They'll accept a bowl or a plate, but their preference is a flat large surface. I've taken care of other cats (and dogs) who won't eat from a bowl but want to eat their food off the floor. I have no idea why. But if it lets them eat, I let them eat then sanitize the area.
 
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