Stealing Food

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


That's PRINCE- Grymmothy to- you!
Purred: Fri Jan 24, '14 10:40pm PST 
Hello, all. I've had Grymmothy since the day he was born, and I've never had issues with this until recently. A few months ago, I kitty-sat for a friend of mine, whose kitty had quite a few bad habits, from pooping outside the litter box to stealing food. Fortunately, Grymm didn't pick up on her bathroom habits, but he's become utterly obsessed with human food. He hasn't been around the other cat in nearly two months, but it seems that during the week we had her around, that was something he fixated on. He's not nearly as much of a nuisance as she was- she would jump up onto counters, DEMAND food off of plates and scratch if she didn't get her way, she even got into the sink to lick the dirty dishes. But we can't eat peacefully with Grymm around anymore. He could have a full bowl of food, but if he smells human food, he'll be right up in our faces trying to steal off our plates. No matter how many times we tell him no, he comes right back. If we put him in another room, he'll scream(like someone's trying to kill him!) and claw at the door, and try to tear up the carpet underneath the door. I can't even give my ten month old daughter Cheerios without him trying to take them from her. I'm at a loss; I don't know what to do. I've found a spray bottle was an effective way to train him for most other things, but with this, he fixates on the food, and is just too stubborn to back off.
Does anyone have any tips? Thanks so much!


Go Gently Into- the Night

Purred: Sat Jan 25, '14 9:42am PST 
Does he like hot food? (temperature-wise, not spicy-hot). I have found, at least with my cats, they do not like food that is just-out-of-the-oven hot. I don't mean hot enough to burn your or his mouth. Have something that warm (enough that you would have to blow on it a few seconds before you would pop it in your mouth) on the table or counter and let him eat it.

When I brought my four kits home from the shelter, they acted as if they were starving. They wanted to eat all the time and would jump on the table, counters, or wherever the food was. So one day I sat down to supper and purposely allowed them (one at a time) to "steal" a bite. They started with a lick first and didn't like it. After that, they didn't bother with stealing food.

I'm not sure if this will help your case. Someone else may post other solutions.
cat on moon

Athena- (Forever- Loved)

Dainty Princess
Purred: Wed Jan 29, '14 4:51pm PST 
This comes from my aunt Maria, about cousin Molly:

Molly continues to pee on any type of door mat at the front door. She does not go out of the litter box anywhere else. I stopped putting a door mat down but bought something to put your wet boots on. She must think its a door mat and peed on it.

I have no idea what to do. It's not a medical issue. The vet had said she probably saw a cat at our door in the summer and now she just keeps marking her territory.

I know it's not a big deal but the house is a mess with snow and footprints since I can't have anyone wipe their feet at the door.

Any suggestions?


mon petit chat- noir
Purred: Fri Jan 31, '14 2:05pm PST 
You could try distracting Grymm with a toy when you have food. It is hard, my Maizy is a beggar too & can be relentless, so I understand. I pretty much keep putting her down, or ignore her so she is not getting attention when she begs. The problem is that if you use food or treats to distract him, he will then think "oh if I beg, I will get something" Something else I have done, is have an orange peel, when he comes to beg, put that where he sniffs. Cats DO NOT like citrus & it may make him give up on his own, thinking your stuff is icky.