Cat Depot: “Hungry” Felines May Need More Than Food
A cat that displays aggressive behavior towards food may have experienced stress early on in its life. Cat Depot, a no-kill cat adoption center in Florida, comments on this type of animal behavior.
Sarasota, Florida (I-Newswire) September 7, 2012 - Felines that beg for table scraps or steal food from other household pets may experience stress that extends beyond feelings of hunger. A recent Mail Online article reported that a group of veterinary researchers recently identified what appears to an eating disorder that affects household cats. The study caught the attention of Cat Depot, a no-kill rescue organization that helps place cats in loving, permanent homes.
The article explains the researchers deemed the eating disorder, which appears to be a type of food obsession, psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior. A cat that displays a seemingly limitless appetite or aggressive behavior towards food may experience this condition. Other signs of food obsession include begging or running towards an open refrigerator.
The veterinary researchers observed the behavior displayed by an eight-month-old male Siamese cat. The feline was observed rapidly consuming the food placed in its bowl. Upon finishing, the animal attempted to eat food from the bowls of other cats. The cat also stole food from the plates of its human owners.
The researchers ruled out a medical reason for the cat’s food obsessed behavior before turning to a psychological diagnosis. The article stated the veterinary research team hypothesized a food obsession could be related to stress experienced in the animal’s early life.
"We rarely know the background of the cats and kittens that arrive at our adoption center," said Shelley Thayer, executive director for Cat Depot, a feline only rescue, adoption, education and resource center in Sarasota, Florida. "Cats and kittens often suffer from a lack of food while living on their own, and can develop eating disorders, related to worrying about their next meal.”
The article went on to describe the treatment model the researchers utilized in an effort to help the affected feline. The owners of the cat refrained from eating in the cat’s presence and established a regular schedule of when they would play with their feline. The owners also ignored the cat’s aggressive behavior and rewarded its calm behavior.
The veterinary researchers noted improvement in the cat’s behavior once the owners implemented these changes. Furthermore, the cat no longer displayed signs of a food obsession after five months of intervention.
Felines need to trust the humans in their environment in order to develop a healthy relationship with food. Shelley Thayer of Cat Depot explains, “Cats cannot feed themselves, they rely on humans for food.” The veterinary researchers wrote about their study in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour.
Cat Depot is 501c(3) non-profit, no-kill facility in Sarasota, Florida that aims to improve the lives of homeless cats by providing veterinary care, essential needs and love. The goal for every cat is to place them into a loving forever home. The organizations’ dedication has resulted in the rescue of countless animals that would have otherwise been subjected to less desirable fates. In addition, Cat Depot works diligently to educate the public on the need to rescue animals and provides programs that teach the public about proper care and handling of cats.
To learn more, visit www.catdepot.org.
Charles M. Scott
10 W. Trade St.
New York, NY
Phone : 888-863-3776
Published On:September 7, 2012
Print Release:Print Release
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