Cat meowing excessively- wanting food

by Ryan and Tamara
(Atlanta, GA USA)

Hi there. We feed our cat, Ophelia, twice / day. Once around 7:30, when we get up in the morning, (a half can of wet food) and once around 8:00 in the evening. Ophelia seems a little food-crazed to me. She starts crying the second we walk in the door from work (usually around 6:30) and pretty much cries steady until 8:00-8:15 when we feed her (she's fed a 1/4 can of wet food and a couple table spoons of dry food). Then about 5:30 or 6 am every morning she starts it back up-along with scratching the bedpost behind our head-in an attempt to wake us so that she can eat. It is truly annoying to say the least. Do you have any suggestions? I think that she is addicted to food.

For years, the cat got fed whenever she cried (sometimes multiple meals b/c my gf's roommates would unwittingly feed her again to shut her up) and I think that she has developed a pattern of meowing and crying and those cries being answered w/ food.

Frankly the morning is the worst b/c it robs me of an hour of sleep every morning. Should we feed her later at night to stave off the hunger pains in the morning? Should we feed her a more fiber-rich diet to fill her up? Should we feed her 3 meals of less quantity food? Should we squirt her w/ the water

I've tried waiting until she stops meowing to feed her-hoping she will acknowledge that there is no cause and effect associated w/ her pleas- but that hasn't seemed to work.

We truly love this cat. Other than the begging for food thing, she is a super cat, but I can't take sacrificing an hour of sleep for the rest of my life to her bratty crying every morning. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and take care,

Ryan and Tamara

Answer by Kate
well there are two things here. the first is that she has got used to being fed whenever she wanted in the past, this can be a very difficult habit to break, our own cat still hasn't quite got the hang of it herself.
the other is that it may be better to feed you cat three meals a day. A usual size breakfast with perhaps a hand full of dry kibble and water left in a separate bowl for her to nibble on during the day as you are out most of the day. then a lighter evening meals around 6.30 or 7pm then a small meal last thing at night. This should help to fill her up.

The morning thing is a problem as cats do seem to keep different hours to ourselves, i'm afraid the only answer to this sometimes is to make sure the cat cannot get into your room in the morning.

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