HomeCat AnatomysensesMost cats use visual cues to learn the location of food

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Most cats use visual cues to learn the location of food — 6 Comments

  1. There are too many unknown variables to come to this conclusion.

    In my recent research I read that “free feeding” causes the digestive system to work overtime because the cat continues to smell food. This can create health issues like diabetes and other problems, like weight gain.

    I have stopped free feeding since learning this. And free feeding involves dry food, which I know now is not healthy. As I learn more about cat nutrition, I change the way I’ve done things in the past, even if it takes time to make the transition.

    My last vet pushed a big bag of Royal Canin dry high response food on me, even though I said I didn’t want it. I put a small amount in a plastic container because I figured I might have to wean my cat, since they’d been feeding her this for a week. The bag went into my outdoor shed.

    When I opened the container to sprinkle a little on the wet food I was putting out, my cat went on high alert, running to where the container was. She could smell it! (She was addicted!) This wasn’t a familiar container, so it wasn’t out of habit.

    If a cat’s outside, they will look for movement, rather than smelling for food. If indoors, smell might be their initial clue. Or it could also be
    the “sound” of a can opening.

    I used to feed a few feral cats in my garage. I had to use my keys to get in, and the cats came running to the “sound” of the keys. They had made an association with keys and food. So association is a also factor. I could just jiggle the keys to get them to come.

    • too many unknown variables to come to this conclusion

      I think this is a good statement. The study is too clean and it simplifies something that can’t be simplified like this. I had not heard about cats continuing to smell food and therefore overeat.

      If a cat’s outside, they will look for movement, rather than smelling for food. If indoors, smell might be their initial clue. Or it could also be the “sound” of a can opening

      I agree this too. Once again it proves that there are too many variables such that the study becomes rather pointless at least for me.

  2. I agree with the study that concludes that the sight of food is more prevalent in locating it than smell. At least, that’s true here.

    Most anything in my hands is perceived as food with my brood, and they are relentless until I convince them that they don’t want what I have. I, usually, wind up setting whatever I have on the floor so all can sniff. Sometimes, I really do have food but not the kind they want. But, everyone’s nose goes into my salad, pickled cucumbers (those cause sneezing), etc. I guess it’s a good thing that I don’t mind consuming cat saliva or snot. LOL!

    • Seems that for yours, sight is the first sense and then smell to check it out – close range check. Sound also might play a bigger role than we think. The sound of you as you prepare the food etc..

  3. OOzy sticks his nose straight up in the air and sniffs. He gets really confused when he finds me eating a bowl of cereal and milk or some hot oatmeal. He thinks the world revolves around him and all food consumed should smell like cat food.

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