How does your cat tell you that she is hungry?

How does your cat tell you that she is hungry? Or how does your cat confirm that she would like some food? For a while I wasn’t sure with my cat whether he was hungry or not which led to some wastage. The problem may have arisen partly because he’s a very good hunter and having at that time access to the outside he would find his own food. This reduced his appetite even though I felt that it was a time for him to eat.

He never asked in a meow, which would be the usual way for a cat to request food.

Cat asks for food
Cat asks for food. Image: Shutterstock (adjusted).
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Nowadays, knowing his routines a lot better, I might sense that he would like to eat, in which case I get some food out and hold it up over an empty bowl. If he approaches my hand and head-butts it, it is the signal, and it is a very clear one, that he would like to eat the contents of the sachet of cat food in my hand.

It’s about as simple and as direct as that. I’d like visitors to tell me how you communicate with your cat to confirm that when you put food down it will be eaten immediately. I suspect, that a lot of people simply let their cats free-graze on dry cat food which precludes the need to do what I describe above.

A person writing on the website says that her cat leads her to the food bowl and she follows. Another lady, Kristine, says that her cat fetches her.

Interfere while feeding

There is an interesting discussion on the website about whether you should interfere with your cat while he or she is eating. The general consensus is that you shouldn’t interfere. However, I have found that if my cat is reluctant to eat the food that I have given him, when I gently stroke him it encourages him to eat. There is a definite response between petting and eating. This is counter to what I read on the website, incidentally.

I can’t explain it. It may be that in petting him I am reassuring him and in doing so he is reassured that the food is good. He inspects, through his sense of smell, every bowl of food I put down. He takes a constantly cautious approach to the palatability of his food. In fact sometimes he approaches his food bowl as if it is a strange object which may harm him. This may be rooted in his early feral life.

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1 thought on “How does your cat tell you that she is hungry?”

  1. Mine will sit in a circle around my desk,one will jump on my lap and then 2 of them will sit on my desk and give me the stare down,cheeky moggies.


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