10 Oct, 2012 @ 11:11
1 min read

Who’s in charge – you or your cat?

cat refusing to eat

By Celia Haddon

VERY few people realise their cat is training them.

Yet if you dutifully buy the kind of cat food your cat prefers, probably the more expensive kind, it has trained you do this.

When you think of it, this is pretty amazing as the cat cannot accompany you to the supermarket to choose which food to buy.

So it has to train you at a distance from the point of purchase, which means training you at home.

Most cats do this by rewarding you if you get the right food. They will purr loudly and eat with evident enjoyment. And, because you love your cat, this makes you feel good too.

If you don’t buy the right food, they show their displeasure by perhaps approaching the food, taking a nibble, and then looking up at you as if to say: “How could you?”

Then they stalk off.

They also sometimes eat a bit and then start clawing around the bowl. It looks to us as if they are burying the food, just as they bury the solids in their litter tray.

They are probably instinctively hiding their food, just as leopards hide half eaten carcases, so that they can eat them later.

But the message we receive is: “This is ****.” And it works. We buy the more expensive food.

Eloise Horsfield

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1 Comment

  1. Oh, Celia – I recognise this scenario SO well! However, it does ultimately make economic sense to buy the more expensive food. Cheaper ain’t cheaper if it stays in the bowl and you then have to endure the little furry ingrates perstering you for alternatives for the rest of the day.

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