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Sun Nov 3, 2019, 06:36 PM

Finicky cat? I wish!

My 4 year old female cat, Ember, has rarely met a food she does not like. The kitchen counter is off limits but she is all feline when it comes to fast and sneaky.

While I focus on what I am doing, she sneaks unseen into a dark corner of the counter to make a quick grab and getaway. She has snatched walnuts, sunflower seeds, pecans, toast, a muffin, etc. She once plunged her whole face into a mixing bowl of flour. I have caught her licking the outside of a canola oil bottle.

I have raised several cats over the years. They learned to stay off the counter (at least while I was home) and not to snatch food. But Ember is incorrigible despite my resorting to spray bottles. She has broken 2 spray bottles by tossing them to the floor when she saw them on the counter without me.

She knocks margarine to the floor so the lid pops off, then helps herself. Of course then I have to throw it out so she has taught me to put it away immediately after using.

Ember has perfected the skill of knowing when I am distracted and vulnerable to a sneak food grab. So I am on the laptop and absent-mindedly put a potato chip to my mouth.. Poof! Faster than lightning she grsbs it and runs. I chase her down to grab it back so she does not benefit from her theft, but that does not deter her from the next time.

I have also seen her walk across my desk and stick her tongue into my bottled water as she passes, without missing a beat. Now I use snap lids to close after I sip. (But how many times did she do that before I caught her?)

She is not underfed. She has cat snacks besides her regular cat food, snd kitty grass to nibble on. But now when I cook or prepare food, Ember gets put into a room with the door closed until I finish.

I think she enjoys the challenge as an outlet for an indoor cat's hunting instinct. Is that possible?

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:03 PM

1. One of mine is like that, too, although he doesn't care for vegetables.

However, any meat, fish or dairy products are fair game; I've considered going vegan just so I could eat a meal in peace. Once he stole a whole pork chop right off my plate and ran off with it. He steals the cheese off crackers, demands to lick ice cream cones, drinks milk out of my glass and picks the ham out of ham sandwiches and the bacon out of BLTs if they are left unattended. He loves ham the best but it makes him fart, which is terrible.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:40 PM

4. I also had a bacon and ham lover cat that has passed on . I was able to find pork based cat food

You guessed it - he loved that brand of food. He would go crazy if there was a pork roast made too I always wondered if the ham , pork and bacon he got would hurt him but he lived 18 healthy years

All the other cats in my life never gave even a look to such things as a ham sandwich on a plate but another one , who also lived a long life , did sip beer if it was left out in a glass .
Not water, but if it was beer, she would be found trying to get a nip

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 06:26 AM

11. LOL. I have a mentsl image of that pork

chop disappearing from the plate. I had a kitten years ago that snatched a pork chop from me. He was 3 months old and I had just brought him home.

I snatched the chop back and threw it away. Then closed him in another room until I finished eating. When I was done I put a couple pieces in his dish. After a few times of shutting him out and putting desired food in his dish he learned that he would get it if he was patient but not if he grabbed it.

Not so with Ember. She feels entitled to get it herself in her own way.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:08 PM

2. Smart cat.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 06:13 AM

10. Yup, her cleverness keeps me on my toes.

Not just with food but with everything. She is not as hyperactive now as she was as a kitten, but still loves to play hide and seek ambush games, chase her toys around, fetch and carry crumpled up aluminum balls, watch movies, stash jewelry and coins under throw rugs or in my shoes and boots, and play with my phone and laptop.

She has learned from watching me that touching the phone or the laptop keyboard makes things happen. So she touches them with her paw with some interesting results sometimes.

She's a real live wire.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:09 PM

3. Lol

I have to stop laughing first, sorry.

What she wants is attention. And she gets it when you respond to a theft or slight. And it's also a game of chase, which cats need, that predator aspect is probably what you notice but it could be a hunt thing. Cats like to play chase, though.

She sure has you trained! Nothing against you but she has learned to push your buttons. Animals are smart and when they find something meets their needs, they will use it until it doesn't work anymore. She wants you to spend more time paying attention, playing. Nobody else does what she does and that sets her apart for individual attention and it works for her. I think it's rather resourceful of her, and I am still laughing with tears rolling down my face that she walks by your water and casually licks it while passing by. That's hilarious!

Maybe she thinks you have too many other cats.

Maybe if you find a way to engage her in a fun time she might let go of that tool to get your attention with the food grabbing.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 07:02 AM

12. Yes I freely admit that she has me trained.

It is embarrassing to be outwitted and ruled by her sometimes. Especially because I have been much more successful with other cats in the past. This one is the liveliest and cleverest one I have ever had so she catches me off guard.

I have to admit that sometimes her antics are so clever that I laugh and have a hard time enforcing the rules which I know is a mistake. It's like with a child. Being firm and consistent is important but when she blindsides me with a new antic I feel outwitted. I am no genius but I have a respectable human IQ. It is my feline IQ that is deficient in dealing wirh Ember.

She is the only cat in my home. I live in an apartment and the rules allow only one 4 footed creature. I wish I could get her some feline company but I can't.

She definitely does demand attention when she feels ignored but this food grabbing is separate from her attention getting behavior, which is a whole other story with her.

BTW, she did not just lick the water bottle as she passed by. She stuck her tongue down inside the neck of the bottle. Besides being yucky to me, it was also awesome how quick and agile she was in doing it as she passed by.

It is the canola oil bottle that she licks on the outside because I cap it immediately around her.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:44 PM

5. Good Kitty - LOL

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 07:52 PM

6. Some cats are just food hogs and it sounds like you've got one of them. nt

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Response to UniteFightBack (Reply #6)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 07:06 AM

13. Oh for sure. She is definitely a food hog.

A very clever and dedicated food hog.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 08:53 PM

7. my current kitty eats no human food except baby food chicken on occasion

Also, NO fish. Nothing but poultry cat food, preferably crunchy treats. She MIGHT lick a bit of melted cheese from my sandwich if offered to her. But nothing else. They are so weird. But I can leave the butter dish out. No lick marks.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 09:22 PM

8. One of mine, who died suddenly last year, was a food thief.

I got him from a rescue, he'd been returned because he stole food at whoever's house he was at before mine. At first I didn't get it, he never ate anything here - until my son moved back home. Then we discovered that that fat cat would rip open the bag and eat bread, hamburger buns, english muffins, cake, anything baked that wasn't put away.

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Response to kas125 (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 07:25 AM

14. LOL. I can relate to that. I once had a

cat who loved bran muffins and bread.

With Ember I can never lesve anything I bake on the counter to cool off. She will snatch a cookie or muffin or nibble a pie crust or cake. Or if she doesn't like seeing it on the counter she will toss it to the floor. No use putting it in a cupboard because she can open the doors.

All baked items go into the fridge ASAP. Or into the microwave for safe keeping.

I especially guard chocolate items because it is very toxic to cats.

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Response to wnylib (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2019, 09:31 PM

9. All my cat wants to do is take a sniff.

He never tries to eat people food.
I think he is amazed that we eat this stuff.

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Response to patphil (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 4, 2019, 07:31 AM

15. You are so lucky. (Sigh.) I envy you.

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