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Why do cats act like their food bowl is empty?

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Every loving cat owner knows the feeling of the following situation: Your cat is meowing by their bowl because they want food. When you check their bowl, it seems to be almost completely filled. Usually, there is just a little bit of food in the middle missing. Hold on, is there something humans are not able to see with our eyes? Why are cats demanding more food when there is still plenty left?

It is a strange phenomenon and many cat lovers around the world have been theorizing about what the reason could be for this strange behavior. Are cats just picky and do they only want fresh food from the bag? Are cats unable to continue eating when they see the bottom of their bowl? Maybe they are just messing with you to have some fun?

Cat looking My Purry Friends

Some people believe this is linked to their wild ancestors and that it is a survival technique to ensure there is always enough food available. Even if there is still a lot in their bowl, cats want to have as much as possible. Is my cat food hoarding, you may think? No, we can assure you this is probably not the case. Most cat behavior can usually be explained by looking at the past, but the answer this time may be related to the whiskers of a cat.

We have discussed in a previous blog article why many cats like to carry food out of their bowl so they can eat it somewhere else. One of the possible explanations for this behavior, could be found in the sensitivity of the whiskers of a cat. When a cat’s whiskers get in contact with something, they will be alerted to be cautious. This could be why they like to take their food with their cute paws out of the bowl and it could also exactly be the reason why cats want a refill when their bowl is still nearly full.

Imagine you are a cat (must be great, right?) and you start eating your delicious meal. Obviously, you will start eating the food in the middle of the bowl first, which creates the well-known hole. When you have reached this point, it is very likely your whiskers will touch the edges. We can guarantee you: cats don’t like this! There is even a name invented for this: “whisker stress”.

Next time your cat is asking for more food and there is just a little hole in the middle of the bowl, try to shift the food around or make a little mountain of their favorite food. Usually, this does the trick! If this doesn’t work, try to experiment with different types of bowls or even plates. After all, cats will be cats, so you never know what is going on in their little cute head!

Enjoy your dinner together!


My Purry Friends

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  • Thank you. My cat drive bed me crazy begging for food when she still has some in the bowl. I will try this.


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