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My Bengal Is Addicted To Wet Food, Help!

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by nic33ou, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    Oscar, my Bengal, is 3 going on 4. We started feeding him wet food in the evenings as a treat about a year ago. It quickly became an every night treat. Last fall, he needed to take medication in the morning which required a meal along with it, so we began giving him a wet food breakfast due to his meds. Of course, that became expected every morning.

    It's gotten to a point now where he wakes us up every morning starting around 3:30am for his breakfast and it's causing serious sleep issues for my husband and I. I tried an automatic feeder and he waged war on it, so that didn't work. We went out of town for two nights over this past weekend and decided maybe we'd try and stop him from eating wet food 'cold turkey'. It's been 5 days now with no wet food and while he's been begging and crying, he hadn't acted out yet.

    However, I just woke up in a puddle of cat pee. He peed on me in bed while I was asleep! How can I change his behavior towards wet food and also prevent him from retaliating? I love this guy so much but I also feel we've created a monster.
     

  2. basschick

    basschick TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    why don't you want him to have wet food as a treat each evening? is he overweight?

    cats don't retaliate. he may be responding to your time out of town - things like that can stress cats a lot, but if you haven't changed to a new cat litter or new box and if his box is clean, perhaps he has a UTI or other issue.
     
    danteshuman purraised this.

  3. Claudia01

    Claudia01 TCS Member Young Cat

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    There's nothing wrong with wet food, it's actually better for them than dry as long as it's a good quality food.
     
    Royalty purraised this.

  4. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    He's a free dry food feeder and I generally don't mind him having wet food as a treat. However, when he sits and scratches our open bedroom door at 3:30am because he wants another 'fix', it becomes a bit much (he knows what to do to get us to feed him) :)
     

  5. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    100% agree.
     

  6. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    It sounds more like a behavior/training problem. He's learned that you will feed him if he does x, so he keeps doing x. You can either ignore him flat out for several weeks (not even say his name, full on ignore) or get an auto feeder with an ice pack. The auto feeder option would switch his focus from you to the feeder. I know other people have had luck with auto feeders becoming the cats focus in the early hours.
     
    LAL purraised this.

  7. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    YES! I am very confident it's a training issue. He's trained us to feed him when he scratches the door and drives us nuts while we are trying to sleep :) So right now I have cut out the wet food (since Friday) but have not been ignoring him exactly. So last night he peed on me. I do have an auto feeder that I just ordered last week but I am on the fence about what to do at this point. Do I feed him via auto-feeder during the night or continue with weaning him off of the wet food by ignoring him. We just don't want him to start peeing outside of the box all the time because he's mad.
     

  8. Pjg8r

    Pjg8r TCS Member Adult Cat

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    If you have decreased his wet food by quite a bit he may have a UTI and that is why he peed on your bed. From my experience male cats especially do better with more wet food. I would really try a timed feeder for the morning and gradually make it a little later each day.
     
    PushPurrCatPaws, maggiedemi and danteshuman purraised this.

  9. mikameek

    mikameek TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Could I get some clarification? Is he eating the dry food or is he not eating at all while you're cutting him off cold turkey from wet?
    Also, why do you want him off wet all together? Solely because of the behavior? @Kieka did mention this, but there are auto feeders that will do wet food.
     

  10. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Super Cat

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    What time do you feed him his evening meal? We feed Olive three times a day. Once after we get up (usually around 7 am, I take a shower first so she doesn't associate waking up with immediate food, although I'm not sure how successful I am), her second meal is at 6:30 pm, roughly when I get home for work, and then right before I go to bed, which varies too much lol.

    I wonder if you added a third meal right before bed, and after a nice big play session if he will still be hungry for 3:30 am. And then by all meant, ignore him or shut him out of the bedroom until your intended kitty breakfast time.
     

  11. Moonlight_wolf

    Moonlight_wolf TCS Member Young Cat

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    Aug 23, 2017
    I also don’t think it’s good to cut the wet food out of his diet, even if he’s annoying you right now, there are certainly things you can do to stop the behavior that don’t include cutting wet food out of his diet.

    Ignoring cats in the morning when they meow to wake you up really works. Invest in some ear plugs if you can and eventually he will stop once he learns that meowing doesn’t get a reaction from you.

    I would continue with feeding the wet food in the morning but only when YOU want to. Because in the long run, being on an exclusively dry diet can cause all sorts of problems. Kidney disease, bladder issues, urinary tract infections ect.
     
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  12. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

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    I have dry food junkies I try to get to eat their wet food dinner! So yes I think you feeding him wet food twice a day is great!

    That said I would put him in a seperate bedroom every night for a couple of weeks or a month. Letting him out when you wake up .... and ignoring him for 15 minutes while you start getting ready. Then after I start making coffee I would open up his wet food and feed him. That way he learns to let you sleep and wet food comes after coffee. If after the month when you let him sleep with you again, he wakes you up, calmly pick him up and stick him in his room for the night. Then ignore him.

    It will take weeks or a couple of months to retrain him but you can do it.

    :hangin:
     

  13. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    Thank you!
     

  14. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    Thank you! This is why I love this site, so many different perspectives :)
     

  15. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    Thank you, this is very helpful :)
     

  16. nic33ou

    nic33ou Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Jul 11, 2018
    This is what my husband had suggested as well. Food for thought :)
     
    danteshuman and KarenKat purraised this.

  17. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Super Cat

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    Burlingame, CA
    Lol, food for Oscar!
     

  18. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    I would think that a young, active cat with a fast metabolism like a Bengal may not be getting enough energy and nutrition from a high carb, dry food diet. Many canned wet foods (usually grain-free) have a lot more protein and less carbohydrates and fillers than a dry food, and hence make a cat feel fuller longer and have more energy. It may not be an accurate analogy, but I liken it to the idea of eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes versus eating a pork chop. Which meal will get you farther into your long day without feeling hungry once again -- hungry too soon? Carbs just spike the blood glucose and make a cat feel even hungrier. It's a vicious cycle!

    I agree with others, that if you are able to feed a wet diet versus free-feeding dry food, he could do better on a daily basis. Keep the morning feedings according to your wake-up schedule so you can switch him over to letting you sleep in past 3:30 AM!
     
    danteshuman purraised this.

  19. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

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    Or you can give him wet food before you go to bed or around 10 or 11pm & in the morning when you make coffee .... plus a small amount of dry food to tide him over while you are gone. (I recommend a late feeding to help him let you sleep.)

    My punk freaks out if he can see the bottom of one their dry food bowls, and starts guarding the remaining food! So if your cat is neurotic about having a full bowl of dry food, you can always still feed him wet food in addition (even remove his dry food an hour before dinner if you really want to push it.) You can buy smaller food bowls to, to make it appear more full.

    If I was raising a kitten I would be feeding them wet twice a day plus dry food. I know wet food only is ideal but for most people committing to feeding your cat 3-4 times a day is to much to ask (work, family, other commitments get in the way of the noon feeding.)

    Just make the best decision for you. You can always slowly change their diet later if you want. :goodluck:I hope you are sleeping through the night soon!:vibes::sleepycat:
     

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