she put it, it is time for all of us with
piggies who purr to stop making
excuses and start taking action to
curb their chowhound tendencies.
Dogs don’t have a monopoly on
food begging; cats are simply more
coy and mobile. They charm you
with their soft winks, soothing purrs,
and soft paw taps on your shin to
score a food morsel from your plate.
Cats “train” you into becoming
their personal food servers. But it
is no laughing matter when begging
gets out of control. Some feline
moochers evolve into bold food
thieves who jump up on tables and
swipe food off plates, or claw up
your pant legs to snare your
final piece of shrimp. Ouch!
Before you can curb this
habit, you need to answer the
big WHY. The cause may be
medical, pointed out Joseph
Wakshlag, D.V.M., a board-cer-tified veterinary nutritionist at
the Cornell University College
of Veterinary Medicine in
Ithaca, New York. “Typically,
behavior can be due to
endocrine or brain-related
problems,” said Wakshlag, the
president-elect of the American
College of Veterinary Nutrition.
“Hyperthyroidism and diabetes are
conditions of ‘pseudo starvation’
where, metabolically, the cat will
need more calories to meet the
alterations in metabolic demand.”
Or it could be simply failing to
address bad table manners right from
the onset, as in the case with Casey.
(Check out the four-photo sequence
of him going from eyeing my baked
chips on my desk from his cat tree
perch to boldly snatching a chip right
in front of me on Page 35.)
Wakshlag reminded me of the
health and monetary consequences
of failing to address a feline foodie.
You are more apt to create a chubby
cat at greater risk for diabetes, skin
conditions, and even anemia because
he isn’t consuming a balanced diet
made for felines. “Certain nutrients
are very important to cats as unique
carnivores,” he warned. “A cat eating
the wrong things in excess can easily
cats are obligate carnivores (translation: they need and crave meat). But check out some unexpected feline
food favorites identified in an informal poll among my Facebook followers:
Corn on the cob
Curious about your cat’s eating habits? Dash your feline food-related
question to Catster magazine feline
nutrition columnist Arden Moore, who
promises to give you advice about
healthy eating habits in your feline.
Don’t delay! Email your question
today to firstname.lastname@example.org.