When cats are aggressive at mealtime or picky about where they eat we call this food insecurity.
Our Maggie Mae came to us when we lived in Illinois. We lived in the country and our neighbors down the road from us had a cat colony on their property. Maggie lived there until she was nursing a litter of kittens and couldn’t find enough food. She showed up at our house obviously nursing and starving. I gave her several cans of cat food and I had never seen a cat eat so fast and open her mouth so wide to get as much food in every bite as she possibly could. Fast forward and she has been living with us for over 5 years now. She no longer gobbles her food but she is extremely picky as to where she eats. She never eats in the same location for very long. We have dogs and if they bark at something outside while she is eating she stops eating. She’s very insecure when she eats but it makes total sense given her past.
Feeding Cats With Insecurities
Cats are both predators and prey. Cats in the wild are solitary hunters and prefer to eat alone and away from potential predators. Our domesticated kitties are not much different. When she lived outside, Maggie not only had to hunt her food with many other cats around but she also had to be very careful while eating her meal not to get eaten herself by a coyote. Living this life gave her food insecurity.
Food insecurity can come in different forms from frequently wanting to change where they eat to getting aggressive when you put the food down. So what can we do for our food insecure kitties?
To help your cat, try to feed them in a safe, secluded space. Remember to feed them separately from other pets. By doing this you will let them know it’s safe to eat and they don’t have to worry.