Cat stealing food

by Tony

Our cat Hobbs is a hungry guy. He was diagnosed as a hypoglycemic by our vet. We switched him (and everyone) to wet food. He gets Purina DM to help with his sugar level. The problem is that as soon as he finishes his food, he goes right for one of his brothers' or sister's bowl. It's almost like he doesn't know when to stop eating. A friend came by to feed them while we were out for a couple of days. He stuffed himself with an entire ration of hard food and promptly got sick (showing us that there is a bottom to the bottomless pit). After a day or two of recovering from an upset belly, he's back at it. It's very trying. His food is a different brand than the other three, but he was doing this even back when all four of them ate the same thing.

We feed them, but can't simply leave them alone. We have to constantly guard the food of the other three cats so he doesn't steal it. The other three aren't speedy eaters (like Hobbs) so it can take up to five minutes or so of constant deflecting. I'm not sure what to do. He's a good weight and his metabolism is slowing down (a good sign for a hypoglycemic cat), but he insists that he needs ALL THE FOOD. What can we do? How can we keep him busy and give the others a chance? Feeding him in a separate room isn't very practical for our situation.

Answer by Kate
I'm sorry but the only answer will be to feed your cat first then to remove him from the room while the other cats have their food. If a cat is like this there is not much you can do a part from restricting food access.

Comments for Cat stealing food

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MeowSpace solution
by: susan

This is the greatest invention since sliced catnip. You must go to and see what there is to control separating pets from each other during eating. We have two of them in use, and my life has changed drastically for the better!

Fat and thin
by: Kat

I'm relieved to hear we are not the only people who must feed one of our cats locked in the bathroom otherwise she would grow fatter and the other thinner! Plus they are eating slower and not vomiting undigested food on the floor!

Hungry Cat Feeding Plan
by: BLM

Hey Tanya! Feeding is such an individual thing, isn't it? Besides what's best for the cats especially when you've got a senior and a youngster whose appetites and nutritional needs may vary, its got to fit your own schedule. We have 5 in ages ranging from 13 years to 3 years. For us, this is what works: we feed twice a day, breakfast and supper. Each kittie gets 1/4 can with a generous sprinkling (about 1/4 cup) of dry on top at each meal. A few treats are given before bedtime. Of course its always best to consult with your vet if problems persist. Our vet actually did a BMI measurement on our youngest cat before we started this regimen and she was borderline overweight. Now, all our kitties are in the perfect weight range and are very content. Best of luck to you!

hungry cat
by: Tanya

I have read your tow posts about bottomless eating cats. We have a 1 1/2 yr old cat(kitten) and a 12 year old cat. Our "kitten" seems to think she needs all the food and is getting rather large. I was searching for answers as to what to do. I will try the separate room eating. My question is how many times a day do we feed and how much do we put in the bowl?

Bottomless Pit
by: Anonymous

One of our 5 felines behaves just the way yours does, but his health problem is FUS, so he too is on a separate diet. He was neglected as a kitten and almost died of starvation, so now at age 3 he is still eating all his food then going for his 4 companions' bowls, and even the dog food! He will steal any human food he gets a chance to. I used to guard the other cats' bowls, but finally came up with a solution that works for us. We feed our "hungry boy" in the bathroom with the door closed, and the other 4 at their regular stations. The rule is that "hungry boy" stays in the bathroom until everyone else is finished eating. We set a timer for 15 minutes. At first he was not happy about this and ate only a little bit, preferring to wait until he was let out of the bathroom and then go for the other bowls. All 5 of them soon got the hang of it though. Now, 15 minutes is plenty of time for everyone to finish their meal. The 4 regular dishes are whisked away and rinsed so when when "HB" is let out of the bathroom all temptation is already gone. His bowl, too, is immediately cleaned. It took about 2 weeks of vigilance for them to get used to it, but now it works like a dream for our cats and their humans alike. Good luck with yours!

comment from kate
I think you have hit the nail on the head. Vigilance and patience. Yes something like this may take a while but in the long run will prove worth while. Thank you for your post.

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