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5 Quirks My Kitties Have About Eating Cat Food

Wouldn't it be great if I could just put out dishes of food and everyone would be happy? AS IF!

 |  Mar 13th 2014  |   37 Contributions

My cats love their food, especially Cosmo and Saffy. I swear they think about it nonstop and probably wish I'd get onboard with Taco's Bell's "fourth meal" ideology. Because Taco Bell is all about catering to our healthy habits, right? I will, however, admit to driving out of my way to get my paws on a Taco Bell chalupa. It was probably more of a second or third meal, though. (Probably.)

Saffy: "Something is seriously wrong with this dish. Please correct."

Cosmo, Saffy and Phoebe are not without their behavior quirks when it comes to mealtimes. We don't have one of those fabulous cat-care situations where we can just place three dishes of food on the floor and everybody is satisfied with what's on their plates. I'm sure my cats aren't the only ones with food-related quirks. Here are five of them.

1. "Fluffing"

Saffy watches Phoebe enjoy her newly-fluffed food.

This is mostly a Phoebe quirk. I'll place the plate on the floor, and she'll eat some and then stop and look at me. She obviously has plenty of food in the middle of her plate, but she looks like she wants something more -- or different. I've learned if I move the food around a little bit, she'll happily start eating again. I call that "fluffing." The pile of food can look exactly the same as it did pre-fluff, but she somehow sees it differently.

2. The mystery behind the door

Why Saffy the food poacher eats mysterious food behind a closed door.

Just this week, Saffy started eating food that different from what we feed the other two. Because she normally eats her own food and then goes after everyone else's, we feed her in a separate room with a closed door. Cosmo's and Phoebe's interest is piqued by this mysterious arrangement and sniff around the door, assuming Saffy must be getting something special that they can't have. The mystery drives them a little bit crazy.

3. "Empty" dishes

Not a bit of food on this plate.

You know how a cat's plate sometimes has food around the edge, but not square in the middle of it? Did you know that in a cat's mind, that's known as "empty." No question about it, that cat's going to starve unless some food appears on that plate, and fast. After I move the food to the center of the plate and "fluff" it a bit, they're good to go. Because now they have food in their dish. 

4. Jealousy

Cosmo: "That looks way better than mine."

Like I mentioned, until recently all three of my cats ate the same food, and Cosmo and Phoebe still do. Even though they've lived together for nearly 10 years, and not much has changed in the food department, they are still convinced there's something better in the other cats' dishes. Cosmo will sometimes smell his food, take a few bites and then hover over Phoebe. Phoebe leaves and goes to his dish and they continue eating. I guess they're like humans -- food sometimes tastes better when it's off of someone else's plate. 

5. Floor food

Phoebe: "There. That one tastes much better."

Phoebe has the habit of batting pieces of food off her plate -- sometimes one piece of kibble at a time -- and then eating it off the floor. She doesn't do this every day, but fairly regularly. It's so funny to watch her do this. It's like a game, and she usually honors the five-second rule that goes with the eating of floor food.  

Do your cats have funny eating-related quirks? Tell us about them in the comments! 

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Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.  


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