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Possible Food Aggression

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Astrid4564, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Astrid4564

    Astrid4564 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Mar 7, 2019
    Hey everyone!

    I have 2 cats. One is about a year and a half and her name is Kit. She was adopted from a shelter when she was about a year old. Someone had brought her in as a stray. She has adapted remarkably well. My other cat (kitten) is around 8 or 9 weeks old. His name is Jonesy. He was also adopted from the shelter when he was 4 weeks old. Someone had left him and his siblings in a hotel room.
    They get along extremely well. I would say that they are bonded. You very rarely see one without the other. They play well together and often sleep curled up with each other.
    I free feed them dry food and then they also get 2 meals of wet food a day. I had noticed that, even though there's 3 bowls of food, Jonesy seemed to want the bowl that Kit was eating out of. I thought it was cute and Kit didn't seem to mind, she just moves to another bowl when he does that.
    I refill their dry food around 2a (I'm on a 2nd/3rd shift schedule). Kit was the first to the bowl tonight. I watched Jonesy bat at her face and hiss to make her move away so he could eat first. I picked him up until Kit was done eating. This is the first time I've seen it, although I can't guarantee it's never happened since the dry food is free fed.
    I'm not entirely sure what to do. It seems like Jonesy's food aggression (If that's what it is) is possibly getting worse. I dont want their relationship to be ruined when Kit starts to resent being pushed out of her bowl. Feeding separately is a difficult option. Kit seems to have some PTSD from her shelter days and does not like being in a room with the door closed. She gets anxious if Jonesy is in a closed room as well and meows at the door until he is let out. And there are nights where I work 16 hours and my roommate feeds them before he leaves for his 3rd shift job.
    Anyone have any suggestions?
     

  2. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Nov 25, 2013
    Canada
    Hello and welcome to TCS. So Jonesy is only 8 or 9 weeks old, right. I wonder if he considers Kit his Mom, and that's why he wants the food she eats.

    How does Kit react when Jonesy tries to eat her food? Does she hiss back at him? Since Jonesy is so young, Kit now has the job to teach him kitty etiquette, so some hissing, growling, swatting is to be expected.
     
    calico man, ArchyCat and danteshuman purraised this.

  3. ramscici

    ramscici TCS Member Young Cat

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    Sep 4, 2018
    Hi there and welcome to TCS!

    I'm not an expert as my cats also have their little food aggression spats. They don't fight by any means, but my female Celeste always tries to get at my male, Ramses's, bowl. The two are both very peaceful cats and I've never seen any physical fighting -- they are also bonded but there is growling at meal times. I deal with the same struggle as I am in a small apartment and Ramses hates being in a closed room. I usually just hang out with them until they are done eating and move Celeste away when she goes for his bowl.

    I don't have any suggestions to stop the behavior other than separating them, however I will say that even though this happens between my cats regularly, it hasn't seemed to ever damage their relationship, and they are still great buds afterwards.
     
    calico man purraised this.

  4. She's a witch

    She's a witch TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Feb 21, 2018
    Europe/WA, USA
    I would actually leave it for them to sort out between themselves. If Kit will mind it at some point, she’ll react. Since she has alternative (simply going to the second bowl) she might simply not bother to react. I think “aggression” is too strong of a word to call it that at this point. Jonesy is very young and their relationship may fluctuate a lot still, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Of course you could still let him know that you don’t want that behavior (by moving him back to his bowl) but since Kit is so much older, she will take care of it herself if she decides to.

    My cat is constantly getting to another’s cat bowl and he doesn’t mind it at all, he simply starts eating from her bowl. Unless he eats raw meat, then he would hiss at her and even pat her with his paw: she has no choice then to back off.
     
    Kflowers purraised this.

  5. maggie101

    maggie101 3 cats Top Cat

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    Houston,TX
    My cat Maggie eats twice the amount of food that Peaches eats. There would be a huge problem if Peaches ate more because she will growl if her bowl is touched. Can you avoid free feeding them? Even though Maggie eats so much she is at a healthy weight. Some cats need more food
     

  6. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Hi. The dry food you are feeding them around 2am - is that one bowl or multiple bowls? If only one, make it at least two. Then, Kit should theoretically do as she does other meal times and move to the another bowl when Jonesy cuts in.

    My only other thought is about how long Jonesy is having to wait between the meal that he gets before you feed them again at 2am? Is it too long and he is getting hungry, making him more aggressive about wanting to get Kit out of the way? He is going to need more food than Kit and probably more frequently.
     
    Kflowers purraised this.

  7. Astrid4564

    Astrid4564 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Mar 7, 2019
    Thank you so much everyone! I think I'm going to try the suggestions of adding a second dry food bowl and letting them sort it out. I'm just anxious in general and this is the first time I've had two cats together. We always had cats growing up, but we had them one at a time.
    To answer some of the questions. They get a wet meal around 4p and then another wet meal and their dry food refilled around 2a. On the nights when no one is home for 16 hours (Which happens 2 or 3 times every other week), they miss their second wet meal but the dry food is doubled.
    It's not really an option to stop free feeding all together because of the nights when no one is home for 16 hours.
    Kit does not hiss back at him. She just either goes to another food bowl or leaves completely and waits until he's done.
    I think I answered everyone's questions? If not, I apologize. I'm on my phone on a work break!
    I appreciate the reassurance that their relationship should remain intact and that it's probably nothing to worry about. :)
     

  8. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    4,853
    5,824
    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Thanks for the extra information. Try the second bowl and let us know how that goes!! Keeping my paws crossed that is the answer/solution! :crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers::crossfingers:
     
    rubysmama purraised this.

  9. SadieRiley

    SadieRiley TCS Member Kitten

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    Mar 13, 2019
    I second everything She's a Witch said. Cats have a hierarchy to sort out. One of my cats always waits at the end of the line. She eats when everyone else is done. It's her established order. But she does eat so it's okay.
     
    rubysmama purraised this.

  10. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 29, 2015
    Could be worse. All it takes here is a chicken leg to clear out a house full of company.
    Which really isn't a bad thing if my house full of company is relatives.:flail:
     
    rubysmama purraised this.

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