|Egon &- Astrid|
Life is made for- loving.
|Purred: Tue Feb 28, '12 4:49am PST |
|Pandora, I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear. Their bowls are in our bedroom, and I prepare the food in the kitchen. I got the bowls from the bedroom, closed the door with the cats in the kitchen, prepared the food (They were a bit calmer without having the option of running back and forth. Astrid kept jumping into the window, but Egon mostly stayed near me and checked my progress from a chair) Then I went to the bedroom door, pushed the cats back, opened it, went inside, closed the door (On Astrid's foot, unfortunately) put the food down, opened the door, stopped the cats, tried to get them to sit still, and then let them eat. If I'd just let them shoot off, well, Astrid has knocked a bowl down before, and I'd rather she doesn't break this one, too.
Her behaviour started without any pre-emptive stress on my part. I'd prepare their food, go to feed them, and she'd be acting crazy. At first it was just lots of running back and forth, so I'd be calling her silly and telling her it wasn't there yet. It was only when Egon started to emulate her that I got stressed out, because he's big, and she's teaching him bad manners. The first day he did that, I stopped putting the food down while they sat there, and started closing the door. I doubt it's stress causing them to escalate, since I was not worried about it until Egon tried it out, and I immediately changed tactics.
Both cats are getting a can of wet food a day (6oz pate, which was recommended for Egon's body weight of just under 8lbs, where Astrid is 5.5-6lb) along with 1/4 cup of dry food split between each meal to slow them down a bit. Astrid will take a chunk of food the size of her face and try to swallow it whole. She's choked on bits of dry, gotten wet up her nose and been unable to breath, and started crying because she hurt herself while swallowing. Even if I squish it, it doesn't help, because parts of the wet food are still connected, so she just picks up a "splat" and tries to eat that whole. Egon puts his face down and munches up his food, I don't have to worry about him choking. He's an ex-food-guarder, so when he starts, he doesn't stop until he's done.
I don't think being calm will help the situation, since being calm was what got me here. I've never stood for dancing from the dog, she got nothing until she was calm. With Astrid, I've just waited until she stopped crying about it/jumping around, and then shoved her food at her before the next bout. She's been rewarded each time she got food. I'm not even sure why she escalated the behaviour, since she was getting what she wanted. She should have learned the opposite- to sit still and quiet on the dresser for food- since she got the food when she was still and quiet, not when she was crying and jumping. Behaviourally speaking, she makes no sense. Egon does, he's seen what works for his sister, and he's trying it out himself. The problem is, I can't train her the way I would a dog, who doesn't get her food until she is calm and quiet, even if that takes a few hours. Astrid will get increasingly hungry and more crazy, and the longer I try to wait her out, the more I increase her chances of getting sick from not eating. Also, the dog didn't try to launch her body into the bowl while I was holding it four feet in the air.
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