Feeding Time: How to Control Your Humans and Therefore, Control Feeding Time

One of the most burning Cat questions has always been, “How can I get my humans to feed me when I want to be fed, how much I want to be fed, and what I want to be fed?” (That’s actually three questions, but we can address at least one of them in today’s column.)

Let’s take the easiest one first, how to get fed when YOU want to be fed, and we will consider this the first installment of three: 

This is actually fairly easy, at least for morning feedings. There are many methods; some work better than others and some work better on some humans than on others. You will simply have to experiment until you find the combination of tactics that work best on your personal human(s).

  1. Morning feedings: Depending upon how early you want to be fed, you may choose any or all of the following. Be careful in combining them too early or you may not be able to figure out which one by itself is most effective.
    1. Getting up on the bed next to your human and purring very loudly;
    2. On the bed, sitting on the head of your human;
    3. On the bed, pawing your human’s face (careful about the use of claws as this may result in a sudden flight through the air and an undignified landing);
    4. Meowing piteously and loudly from anywhere in the bedroom;
    5. Meowing from a hall or other nearby room, so that when the human gets up to make you be quiet you can lead the way to your (empty) food bowl;
    6. Scratching something the human finds valuable or important (the fabric-covered headboard; the carpet; the book lying on the floor; the roll of toilet paper; there are many possibilities);
    7. Throwing up a hairball. (This is a last resort but you can always just hack and cough as IF you were going to hawk one up. This almost always results in the human waking up but does not guarantee feeding, since if you DO throw up they will assume you have an upset stomach and may actually DELAY your breakfast);
    8. My personal favorite, given my high level of dignity and my half-Siamese heritage, is to stare relentlessly at my humans from the bedroom door until they feel their faces beginning to sizzle from my blue-green glare. This almost always wakes up my personal humans but is not guaranteed to work for you.

Sitting at your human’s feet and acting adorable whenever you hear a can opener frequently gets you whatever was in the can. Great if it was tuna; not so much if it was tomato sauce.

  1. Evening feedings: A lot of the tactics listed in Item 1 also apply, except for the fact that presumably your humans won’t be in bed asleep. Here are some others.
    1. Lying down on the floor in the kitchen while your humans are making dinner, eating dinner and/or cleaning up is great, particularly if you refuse to move and they have to step over or around you;
    2. Standing up on your hind legs with your front paws on the cabinets and meowing piteously;
    3. Staring at them while they eat;
    4. Scratching something near and dear to them if they have ignored all of the above and are now watching TV or something else unacceptable instead of feeding YOU.
  1. Treats, handouts, table tidbits: This is simply a matter of repetition and consists of doing whatever your humans consider “adorable, cute and precious” until you wear them down; at that point they will be at your mercy forever.

As always, additional tips on how to train your humans are welcome. Until the next time, may you always get the food you want, when you want it.