Feeding That Finicky Feline: Am I Spoiling Him?Published August 3, 2009
I sometimes wonder if Hush Puppy, one of our cats, actually eavesdrops on the conversations my husband and I have when we decide where to go out for dinner. Our conversation revolves around which restaurant is most appealing to both of us. I think I have actually observed Hush Puppy checking out our discussion. Now you may question my motives for gathering information and support from our readers who are feline fanatics, but trust me, I am about at my wit's end with one of our cat's very strange dining behaviors. Hush Puppy curled up on the couch: Dining in style. This highly adored kitty, our lilac point Oriental Shorthair has been known to be a picky eater but give me a break! Recently he has insisted in my feeding him in different locations around the house, ranging from a private little "grotto" in the living room, to "breakfast in bed" on our sofa. He even finds the top of his cat tree a desirable location for me to serve him up his favorite meal. No longer content with being fed upon a very attractive placemat with a most attractive feline design on the floor in front of the bathroom, while his brother, Hubble is feasting in the bathroom on top of the sink, (Hubble has a special diet so they need to be separated). Puppy has me chasing him around the house to cater to his every wish. Sometimes he will begin eating in one location; only to finish it in a totally different spot. What is even more time consuming is his insistence for me to keep him company while he dines. He is driving me nuts, folks. I am beginning to have fantasies of donning a black dress with a little white lacey apron, and serving up his meals on Spode china dishes, offered up on a sterling silver tray. Of course I am highly motivated to give into his whims because it is so important for cats to eat. Some people have suggested that I am spoiling him, only reinforcing this behavior and suggest that I just wait until he is good and hungry to motivate him to eat where and when I feed him. But many folks don't understand that a cat should not go more than 24 hours without eating, because this puts cats at risk of developing a serious liver condition, hepatic lipidosis. So I thought this would be a good time and place to air my concerns and seek advice about whether I am going overboard in an attempt to keep him healthy and well fed. Would you be willing to become a feline "waiter" or "waitress" under such circumstances? How would you handle this problem? Please leave me a suggestion by commenting.