Is your cat constantly demanding and meowing for food? If yes, there could be several possible reasons for this behavior. However, irrespective of the cause, it’s a bad habit that you need to deal with to ensure your pet’s well-being and your own peace of mind. The sounds that cats make when they want food can be really annoying.
Your cat should be able to stay put until it’s time to eat, most especially when the food is before them. In this article, we will be discussing how to train a cat to wait for food.
1. Teach Your Cat To Sit
If your pet is to wait for food, he must learn how to sit. Not only should he know how to sit, but he must also understand the command and sit when you tell him to. Sitting is one of the techniques you can use for correcting an unwanted behavior at the point when your cat is doing the unwanted action.
Teaching your pet to sit isn’t so difficult. In fact, teaching a cat to sit and wait is easier than with a puppy or a dog, as cats like to sit a lot. You will need to have some food handy, whether a part of its meal or a treat.
The first thing to do here when starting the first round of training is to make sure your cat hasn’t eaten for a while and is hungry.
Once your cat sits down, reward with a piece of food or a portion of treats. After they have enjoyed a few bites, move the rest of the food away or move away if you are the one holding the food so they can’t have more food.
Once they sit again or they remain sitting for a little while, reward them again. You can also add in verbal commands using the words sit and stay during this process.
After the first time, you don’t have to wait until it’s time to feed to get your cat to sit. Teach your cat whenever you get the chance; 5 minutes of training sessions about five times a day is ideal.
Teaching a cat to do things is not so difficult to achieve as people think. See our post on how to train a cat to do tricks for more information.
2. How To Train A Cat To Wait For Food With A Clicker
A clicker is a small device used in pet training. You can press a button on the device to make a sound when you want to tell your cat that they have performed an action you are pleased with.
Once the button is pressed, you should give a treat immediately so your pet can associate the action with the reward. A clicker can effectively eliminate bad behavior in cats and pets in general when used correctly. See this blog post on clicker training a cat for more tips.
3. Feed Your Cat A Balanced Diet
You can’t be successful on how to train a cat to wait for food if the reason your pet is constantly meowing is because he is lacking some key nutrients. Even though you might be feeding your pet enough, if your cat isn’t getting vital nutrients, your pet will still feel hungry all the time.
You can fix this by ensuring he eats a balanced diet. The key nutrients your pet needs to stay healthy include proteins, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. See this list of the best quality affordable dry cat food with a list of some good cat foods if you are planning to shop soon.
It’s one thing to feed him meals that contain these nutrients, and it’s another to feed them in their correct proportions. Ensure you follow the guidelines on the pack of any cat food you buy unless your cat has specific dietary needs. Your best bet is to consult your vet or a nutritionist for a more specific plan.
4. Schedule Your Cat’s Meals
A mistake most cat owners make is leaving food out in the open, i.e., keeping food so your pet can eat anytime they like. In such a situation, the cat will only eat when he feels like, not when he should eat.
Anytime the food is finished, he’s likely to cry and demand that his bowl be refilled. To stop this behavior, schedule your pets’ meals. Whether you feed him once, twice, or thrice a day, always feed him at the same time. That way, he’ll know when he’s supposed to eat and wait patiently for the time.
5. Give Your Pet Attention
Are you the type of pet owner that is constantly busy and only around your pet when it’s time to feed your pet? If yes, your pet is likely to cry for food frequently to get your attention and get you to spend time with him. It doesn’t matter if he’s hungry or not. See our post on eight surprising signs a cat likes you for more funny things cats can do cause they like you and want to be with you.
Create time, even if you are very busy, to be with your cat. Just 10 minutes of playtime with your cat a day can go a long way in relaxing his craving for attention.
6. Check For Underlying Medical Issues
There are medical reasons why your pet will constantly demand food. For example, if your pet has hyperthyroidism, it could increase your cat’s hunger and thirst.
Hyperthyroidism increases metabolism and occurs when the body produces too much thyroxine hormone. It’s most common with older cats, and other symptoms include restlessness, irritability, and rough fur coat.
If your cat suddenly starts crying for food more frequently than before, it could be your cat is getting hungry more frequently. Increased hunger could be a symptom of cat diabetes which would need attention quite quickly. See our post on what are the causes and symptoms of cat diabetes for more information.
Therefore, ensure that you take your cat to the vet to check for underlying medical causes. If properly treated, problems like hyperthyroidism can be completely erased, and diabetes can be better managed to keep your cat safe from complications if detected on time.
Cat Waiting For Food Demonstration
See this short video with a trained cat waiting for food. The video uses hand gestures instead of verbal commands but the principles are the same.
How Often Should A Cat Eat
Feeding your pet at the right times is important to prevent your feline friend from going hungry, so he doesn’t act up. Nevertheless, how often your cat should eat would depend on your cat’s age and breed.
Kittens should eat more often than adult cats. According to Vet Cornell, you should feed kittens from zero to six months three times a day, six months to a year should be fed two times a day, while you should feed matured cats above one year once or twice a day.
Generally, it’s best to consult your vet on the best type of food to give your pet based on his health status.
If you’re interested in how to train a cat to wait for food, the most important thing to do is to feed your pet properly.
A hungry pet will always cry for food, and an obese cat who loves food too much will want it all the time. Obesity comes with problems, too; if you have an overweight cat, see this article on how to help a cat lose weight.
Aside from your cat’s behavior, not properly feeding your pet also affects his physical health. If your pet is underfed, he will lack the physical energy to go about day-to-day activities. If he’s overfed, he’s at risk of being obese. Therefore be sure to feed appropriately and in the right quantity.
As with all forms of cat training, you may need to be a bit patient to see results, but if you are, it will be worth it. I hope you liked this article on teaching a cat to be patient for food, be sure to share this with your friends.