You have just finished preparing your meal, and your mouth is watering. You make your plate, and you go to sit down to eat. All the sudden, your cat comes meowing and begging for your food, and you are wondering how to get your cat to stop begging for food so you can eat in peace.
You may think that it is hopeless to put a stop to your cat begging for human food. Perhaps you have tried many things, and your cat persists with begging. If you want to know how to stop your cat from begging for table food for good, there are 12 easy tricks you can implement.
Switch to a High-Quality Wet Food and Stick to Nutritional Guidelines for Feeding Your Cat
One of the reasons cats beg is because they may be suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies are especially prevalent in cats who are eating a low-quality food.
If your cat is eating a cheaper brand of dry cat food, you must switch to high-quality wet food and follow the recommended nutritional guidelines for feeding your cat according to weight and size.
When feeding wet food, it is generally recommended that you feed your cat an ounce of food per pound of body weight. For example, if your cat weighs nine pounds, then you will need to feed three three-ounce cans of wet food per day.
If you can only feed your cat twice a day due to your work schedule, then you will need to split up the recommended amount of food between two feedings.
Mix Water or Cat Broth into the wet Food
To make your cat feel fuller, you can add a teaspoon of water or broth to the food. When you add water or broth to your cat’s wet food, this will curve hunger which will, in turn, cause your cat to be less motivated to beg.
If you add broth, make sure it is bone broth that you have made yourself without any salt added; or, you can feed your cat a broth that is commercially available for cats. Too much sodium can be toxic to cats which is why you want to avoid having any salt in the broth.
Trick Your cat with Tuna Flakes or chicken Stock
If you want to trick your cat into thinking he or she is getting special treatment, you can purchase tuna flakes for cats from Amazon or your local pet store and mix them with water. Once you have mixed the tuna flakes and water, you can set the mixture out for your cat to nibble on occasionally when he or she feels hungry.
Another thing you can do to curve your cat’s appetite is to leave a bowl of chicken stock for your cat to sip on when feeling hungry. You can give your cat low-sodium, organic chicken stock or make it yourself at home by boiling drumsticks in a large pot of water.
Set up An Automatic feeder to Feed Small Meals Throughout the Day
While you are feeding your cat the daily recommended amount of wet food, you can set up an automatic feeder to feed small portions of dry food throughout the day.
Think of these small meals of dry food as being small snacks that will quench your cat’s appetite. Just as we need snacks in between wholesome and nutritious meals to hold us over, cats do also.
Feed Your Cat Fiber Rich Food
While cats are carnivores and do not need to subsist on vegetables and grains, adding a bit of fiber to their diets will help them feel fuller. When cats eat fiber, they will feel satiated. Find foods that contain anywhere from four to 10% fiber, and this will enable them to feel satisfied longer.
Fill Interactive Food Toys with Treats
If you want to distract your cat while you eat, put some treats inside of interactive toys. An example of a good interactive toy is the food dispenser ball.
Filling interactive food toys with treats will keep your cat busy for a while so he or she will be less inclined to bother you while you eat.
Offer Fresh, Running Water
While offering fresh, running water is not a cure all for stopping the begging, this will certainly help. You can offer fresh, running water by purchasing a drinking fountain for cats or allowing a faucet to drip. Many cats are enticed to drink when they see running water.
As soon as your cat starts begging for your food, direct him or her to the source of running water. Your cat may start drinking the water and forget he or she was begging for food; or your cat will fill up on the water and no longer want the food.
Place Your Cat’s Feeding Station Away from Where You Eat
Many people set up their cat’s feeding stations in the kitchen. This is a bad idea because when you go to the kitchen to eat, your cat may assume he or she is going to eat also.
Set up your cat’s feeding station in another part of the house far away from where you eat. This way, your cat will not assume he or she will be getting food when you go to prepare meals and snacks for yourself.
Condition Your Cat to Believe Begging Equals Physical Affection
Every time your cat begs for your food, offer loads of physical affection. Cuddle your cat in your arms and give many hugs and kisses. Your cat may be confused at first but will eventually get the idea if you do this enough.
Distract Your Cat by Playing
As soon as the begging starts, set your food aside and distract your cat with playtime. You will need your cat’s favorite toy. If your cat does not have a favorite toy, try using a laser pointer or a dangling toy.
After you wear your cat out enough, he or she will likely feel too tired to beg for your food.
Use Treats to Play Fetch with Your Cat
An excellent way to curve your cat’s begging is to use treats to play fetch. When you sit down to eat, make sure to keep a small handful of treats at your side.
As soon as your cat starts begging for your food, intermittently throw treats around the room and make your cat work for them. After your cat has been working for treats for some time, you will notice he or she will eventually get tired, plop down and no longer have a desire to beg from your plate.
Implement a Timeout
Timeouts are for the most extreme cases as timeouts are only necessary after you have tried everything else, and nothing works. As soon as the begging begins, put your cat into another room and close the door. If you do this, make sure the room contains a litter box, toys and other items of enrichment.
When you institute timeouts enough, your cat will eventually get the hint that begging does not result in food from your plate. In time, your cat will be conditioned and no longer beg for your food.
Sure, you may feel annoyed with your cat right now because he or she begs for food incessantly. But if you implement some or all the tricks outlined above, begging for your food will be a thing of the past. Soon, you will enjoy your meals in peace.