My cat Watson has a very weird but fascinating habit: he always wants us to watch him eat. He will follow us around in the middle of eating until we sit beside him and watch him down his meal. So why does my cat want me to watch her eat? Like humans, some cats don’t like eating alone. In my case, it became Watson’s habit because we used to stare at him eat when he’s a little kitten. We’re helping him outgrow the behavior through training so he can eat on his own soon.
Reasons why cats want us to watch them eat
Cats develop weird habits so begging to be watched while eating isn’t really that surprising. But if you’re wondering why your feline likes doing this, the following might explain it:
1. It’s a matter of habit
Felines are beings of habit so they will keep doing things that they are used to. This includes their mealtime, visit the litterbox, playtime, and more. Your kitty also knows your schedule and will become stressed if a sudden change occurs.
Most of us, cat owners, will stay by our kitten’s side to watch and supervise them while eating. Some cats may not outgrow this habit right away that’s why it will meow incessantly until you sit down and watch them eat.
2. Your cat trusts you
Domesticated felines stay close to their owners for security. The kitty trusts you to be their protector in case they choke on food or if a predator is around.
Some cats will refuse to eat in the absence of their owners. This is observed when the owner passed away or is out of town for long periods.
Eating is a vulnerable period for your cat. They have their backs in the open and they can’t see if a predator is lurking nearby. So to be at peace, they will seek your company until they finished eating.
In this case, it’s best to place the food bowl on a corner where your cat can put its back on the wall. This will give a sense of security for the feline.
3. Your cat is afraid
Scared cats will always seek the company of their owners for comfort. There might be a loud sound or another cat that they find threatening. This behavior can linger if something traumatic happened while your cat was eating.
Also, your cat probably has a bad case of feline separation anxiety. The moment your cat loses sight of you, it will feel insecure and lonely. They will follow you around, even if they are in the middle of a meal and very hungry.
4. Your cat is sick
When our cats are sick, we tend to spoon-feed or syringe-feed them. So the next time your grown feline feels ill, it will demand that you watch him eat.
Your cat has associated your presence with feeling better during sickness. It also means that your cat feels secure when you’re around. All of it helps boost their appetite when they are not feeling well.
5. Your cat likes the attention
Some cats are demanding when it comes to attention. This is why they will use eating to get their owners’ time.
You wouldn’t want to tolerate this behavior as it can develop into a demanding attitude. Weaning the cat off the habit is necessary so it can eat peacefully even if you’re not around.
Why does my cat want me to pet her while she eats?
Cats are known to be affectionate eaters. It means that they love being pampered while enjoying their delicious meals. This is the total opposite of dogs who usually want to be left alone while chomping their food.
Petting is your cat’s way of knowing that you are around. It comforts the kitty and makes it feel safer while its back is vulnerable to predators. Your cats want you to guard them. And for them to know that you’re actually present, you need to pet them until they are done eating.
Aside from that, cats who like being petted while eating may also like being coaxed to eat. This includes bringing the food closer or feeding each piece by hand. These can be annoying habits so you should correct them as soon as possible.
Why does my cat want me to hand feed him?
This behavior is usually a result of getting your cat used to being hand-fed. Your cat thinks that it’s only safe to eat if you’re the one handing the food. This is part of a feline’s instincts, but it should not be encouraged.
Nevertheless, other cats are best hand-fed if they are sick or immobile. This will ensure that the kitty is receiving ample nutrition despite the health problem.
Another possible reason here is that your cat knows that hand-feeding will keep your attention glued to him. I suggest stopping this behavior slowly so your cat will eat from the bowl again.
Why do cats want you to walk them to their food?
Cats walk you to their food because they want you to watch them eat. This happens when you give your cat’s food and diverted your attention into something else. Your needy cat will try to get it back by following you and walking you back to its food.
This means that your cat wants to feel safe while eating. Even if you try to hide, the kitty will not eat until you go back to the eating area.
Some experts suggest that cats do this behavior as assurance that their food is safe to eat. You may also need to stir the food several times to encourage the cat to finish it up.
Why does my cat want me to watch him poop?
Aside from eating, some cats want their owners to watch them poop. We used to experience this on Watson when we first brought him home.
Like eating, pooping is a vulnerable period. This is rooted in the feline’s behavior in the wild. A cat will be caught off guard when a predator appears while the kitty is eliminating. In this situation, the cat is likely to be overpowered by the attacker.
This behavior will also manifest in domesticated felines. Your kitty wants you to be their lookout while they do their business in the litterbox.
Why does my cat want me to watch her eat? It’s a matter of security, habit, and trust. However, you should correct the behavior as early as possible so it won’t progress into something annoying. Go slow and offer alternative behavior. If your efforts are not working, you can consult a pet trainer to fix the problem.