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Oct 19, 2012 05:26 AM

Our Cat Likes People Food

Is this weird? We adopted the cat a few months ago and while he eats hs pet food, he hangs out in the kitchen whenever I am in there and sits at my feet when he sees me eating. The cat LOVES gravy; he smells it cooking and meows piteously until I give him a little. He also loves ham and meows for that. I found him eating out of my son's discarded bowl of honey nut cheerios ( but he doesn't like milk alone!). I know this isn't a pet health board, but should I not let him eat these things? Do any of you let your cat eat people food?

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  1. Of course! They are my little buddies. I give them cat food on a regular basis, but they will fight me for so many things we are dining on, including vegetables. Should I let them, maybe not in a perfect world. This is a dirty secret of mine, since I used to sell high end dog and cat food for a living. I only give them a spoonful of whatever it is, which usually satisfies their desires.

    My little one demands a saucer of half and half every morning when I put the coffee pot on (I keep it on hand just for her, I use almond milk) they claim it will cause diarrhea but she is fine despite drinking it for 10 years now. My 19 year old, plus the Siamese we used to have, actually remember for days if something they like is in the fridge (turkey, steak, ham, bacon etc) and sit in front of the door and cry for it constantly until they realize it's all gone. They were all males, funny the girls never do that.

    Anyway, I try to eat healthy but don't always succeed, same goes for my little friends. Just last night, my older boy ripped the Saran Wrap off a slice of banana bread I had just baked, and took a few big bites, right in front of us. At his age, what the heck.

    BTW it was just recently decided we can post about our furry loved ones, but to do so on Not About Food. Altough General Topics was a good guess!

    3 Replies
    1. re: coll

      I have a 19 (almost 20) year old Siamese male that used to eat/demand a wide range of human food but his all time favorite was raw mushrooms, he could eat at least a half cup of sliced mushrooms in one sitting, which for an 8 pound cat was a lot.

      He absolutely positively had to investigate whatever it was we were putting in our mouths. He once jumped on to the table and licked the top of an open beer can.

      We gave him bits of meat all the time but were careful about seasons. I think it is onion powder that can cause trouble in cats.

      I think his sense of taste and smell has greatly diminished because now it is very rare that he comes looking for treats when I cook. He did come screaming for ground beef the other night.

      The female (no longer with us) would occasionally demand a few licks of ice cream but didn't have the same people food cravings as her brother. They were "raised" together but for whatever reason, she wasn't a begger.

      1. re: cleobeach

        I had a male who actually grabbed a piece of chicken out of my mouth/hand and loved to lick clean the tops of Ben and Jerry's containers. he also loved raw mushrooms and would rip into the package if i didn't get it into the fridge quickly enough! his sister was not as interested and my current male, although he's a porker, does not pursue people food whatsoever.

      2. re: coll

        My Lilly (RIP sweet girl) and I shared a love for things salty, and crunchy. The other day Toboe (my daughter's male) stuck his nose onto my dish of sardines in hot sauce!

      3. My previous cat, adopted from folks who let her have her way, preferred human food over all else. Nothing on the counter or table was ever safe from inspection. On her first day at home, she nabbed two skewers of chicken, dragged them to the end of the hallway, and picked them clean. One time she found the gumption to get up on the stove and nosh on some stir fried green beans in the wok. She had a strong preference for chicken (all preps), corn on the cob, dairy, peas, and Chinese barbecued meats. Whenever the refrigerator was open, she was always there to inspect, and if necessary, to climb in and get a better view. Whenever something was in the oven, the assistant chef always showed up. A regular gourmand she was. In her later years, she developed a sort of patience, as she knew she would always get something to sample. She was 18 years old when she went to the great litterbox in the sky.

        My current cats are the opposite. I can't even bribe them with milk or ice cream. Go figure.

        4 Replies
        1. re: farrago

          My two Siamese twins used to cram themselves together on top of the stove between the burners whenever I was cooking turkey. Guess they didn't trust me to remember to give them any. It was so hot up there I don't know how they stood it. They laid there for hours, with their eyes closed, purring. The one of them also always climbed into the refrigerator to scout around, whenever there was a roast inside; I am so glad I have a bottom freezer now to keep them all out!

          1. re: coll

            One year my mother came into the kitchen to carve the turkey that had been resting. Found our cat standing on top of the turkey ripping off a leg. We still ate the turkey.

              1. re: escondido123

                A few years ago, it was after we had had Thanksgiving dinner, and were in the kitchen putting up the leftovers. One of our guys made a stealthy grab for a turkey leg, and then dashed off with it in his mouth. He knew perfectly well he was doing something bad, thus the stealth and the quick escape.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. One of our cats, a large orange tiger named Sulla, has got to be on the table with us when we have dinner. He's pretty much a carnivore with a strong preference for ham and chicken. Whenever I bring fried chicken home, I always order an extra wing just to keep him at bay.

              Our five other cats are far less interested in human chow, but they will occasionally surprise us. Clara, a small black cat, will jump up on the table/counter and sneak a nibble if we're not careful. And Freddy, a gray and white tuxedo cat, once leapt upon the table and licked a stick of butter. The little scamp!

              44 Replies
              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                Aiyeee, right after we got our two tiny kitten aged Siamese (weird to keep bringing them up, even though they are gone 15 years now) I put everything out to make my Christmas cookies on the dining room table. Five minutes later I go back to discover the stick of butter entirely gone, including the wax wrap. That was my first warning of what was to come. Gee I miss them, they were so funny.

                1. re: coll

                  I know what you mean, Siamese get under your skin. I can absolutely picture them sitting on the stove.

                  People will think I am totally crazy for saying this but with the two of them, it was like having toddlers, I had to think three steps ahead of them at all times. It got so bad we had to lock the interior doors as knobs were an amuzing puzzle to be solved. They got into everything.

                  My husband keeps a lid on his nighstand water glass because the male prefers Mr. CB's water out of his glass over his own glass water bowl 3 feet away.

                  1. re: cleobeach

                    9 out of 10 cats surveyed agree that forbidden water just tastes best!

                    My youngest cat lurks between the inner & outer shower curtain so he can jump in the tub as soon as the shower has been turned off and begin licking the droplets. I have to use metal screw top bottles for my water glass. If it is plastic he'll knock it over to try to get the water out. He is the quietest stealthiest cat I've ever known so it is next to impossible to catch him before he has achieved his quest.

                    I use clean, well rinsed glass bowls for their water. It is changed frequently. He will drink from it but the allure of the hunt for the stray droplet holds more appeal.

                    1. re: meatn3

                      Two of our cats prefer drinking from the faucet or any other moving water source so we got a pet fountain for them.

                      1. re: rasputina

                        I have a pet fountain, that my old Siamese loves, but my younger tabby will scream in the bathrooms for hours until I get tap water dripping for her. I've found her "punishing" me by laying in the upstairs sink and glaring at me. And she loves to play in the tub.

                      2. re: meatn3

                        Forbidden water! Ha! Sooooo true.....

                        Kleen Kanteens? Thats what we use at our cabin (yes, the cat travels with us, its that bad!) on the bedside tables. Mr. CB couldn't find another "lid" for use there.

                        1. re: cleobeach

                          Yes, the drinking out of the faucet is sooooo cute when they're kittens. But when you have an 18 year old with kidney problems that rejects the fountains and screams in the night pounding at the bathroom door, it just stops being cute. So my latest batch of young ones do not get to use the faucet.

                          1. re: escondido123

                            However, drinking out of the toilet is never cute. The youngest of our three came to us with that bad habit and now they all do it if I leave the seat up, especially right after it gets flushed.

                            1. re: coll

                              I think I can make you squick one better with regards to "not cute" I once caught our current cat drinking out of the toilet......after I had just gone in it and BEFORE I flushed! (I had gone #1, was about to flush, the phone rang, I got up to answer it, came back, and found her lapping up the water.)

                              1. re: coll

                                A friend of mine went on vacation and booked a cat sitter who forgot to come by to care for friend's two cats. She was gone 2 weeks. The only reason her cats survived was because they knew to drink from the toilet and thankfully seats were left up. My dogs wouldn't have made it.

                                1. re: tcamp

                                  OK, 1. that's terrifying and 2. gotta love those smart kitties, good thing the seat was up

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I used to pet sit too, can't imagine missing even one visit. And I had people that booked for four visits per day, for their dogs! I couldn't imagine skipping even one, although I was a little late occasionally.

                                    When I go away and hire someone, I always call at least once or twice, just to make sure they remember! The biggest reason I don't travel more, sad to say.

                                  2. re: tcamp

                                    I can't even imagine how livid I would be. Thankfully they survived. Someone would have to hold me back from beating the sitter.

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      Seriously, I'm about to go find that person myself. A good friend often has me check his mail when he's gone and uh, set a reminder people! I never miss a day.

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I pet sit now and then and i put off a trip to the freaking ER to swing by to feed a clients birds and take them out to play for an hour. I brought my bf to help but I still went. By the way, have you seen my kitties pics on this thread? Just wondering from one pet parent to another. Your not the only one with a cutie.

                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                          Oh no, why can't I see it? It's not your avatar?

                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            Woohoo, I found them! My oh my, you have some very cuddly kitties running around :) I just love them. They remind me of our family cat who was a Ragdoll which people often confuse with Siamese but generally have more fur and are a bit stockier. Thanks for pointing them out to me, Take now has cousins!

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              Chow is kind of limited from my tablet so I have no avatar but they would be it. They are Siamese/ silver Bengal mix mutts. They are wonderful cats. Let Take know his kitty cousins are named Cashmere and Romo (I named her and James named Romo for Tony Romo from the Cowboys. Yes he is FANatic.)

                              2. re: meatn3

                                9 out of 10 cats surveyed agree that forbidden water just tastes best!
                                especially if it belongs to a non-cat owning guest who will be horrified, no matter how fast they are given a replacement or how many apologies are supplied.

                                1. re: splatgirl

                                  Re weird water drinking. Our dog insists on going into the bathroom after DH has just stepped out of the shower and licking "dry" his calves. We call him "Squeegee Boy" when he does this, and sing it to the tune of "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" by Morrissey.

                                  1. re: pinehurst

                                    Funny ... my dogs have been known to do this.

                                    I am so glad that dogs cannot get up and walk on the kitchen counters and stove! Shelties are especially sensitive to fat. I cook for them, so real food is what they eat, but I am very careful with saturated fat. If I found a stick of butter had been stolen, I'd freak out!

                                    1. re: foiegras

                                      My siamese/Bengals love the tub. I had a Bengal that I lost in a divorce that took showers with me.not fully wet but a big shower and she hung out in the corner.

                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                        I had a Burmese like that - he loved water and would play with it.

                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                          Take , too. He gets angry when I shower I think mostly that he can't find me but also because he likes to play in there but without the water. Now that he's ginormous, it's comical to watch him play the balance game trying to run on the ledge and repeatedly slipping in the tub and trying again.

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Wait until he discovers the view from the top of a shower door or rod.

                                            1. re: mcf


                                              Sophie nearly gave me a heart attack the first time I turned around mid-shower and caught her perched above my head! She started pacing back & forth along the top of the shower doors, and I could see the wheels turning in her head as she tried to figure out how to jump *over* the spray of running water to get to the window ledge on the other side. Now Sasha loves to get up there as well, and I often have "company" while I'm showering. Yeah, it's a little weird :)

                                  2. re: meatn3

                                    One of my cats prefers drinking out of the faucet (and I was warned about this). He'll drink out of the bowl, but prefers the bathroom faucet. I bought one of the pet fountains that you plug in and it continually moves the water, but it broke a few weeks ago. Need to get a new one.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I had a Drinkwell, but it took constant cleaning of cat hair out of the mechanism in the motor to keep it working. Big pain.

                                      1. re: mcf

                                        Mine was a cheapo Petco version, and never had a problem with the cat hair. A friend had an interesting looking one from a local pet store near her. I'll have to ask her the brand, as I can't find a picture of it.

                                        1. re: mcf

                                          my girls shed like crazy and the stainless Pioneer Pet Raindrop Fountain has been great for us - i just rinse it frequently. BTW, it's MUCH cheaper on Amazon than it is at Petco in case you're interested.

                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                            ghg, thanks for the info. Looks like 3-pack of 3 filters (total of 9) are less on Amazon as well. Maybe I'll try this one instead of going back to Petco to see what else they have.

                                            I *am* still waiting on the brand name of the one I saw at my friend's house this weekend. Want to price that one out as well.

                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                              The Drinkwell had a cylinder that moved in the motor at floor level, so even with clean floors and non heavy shedders, it would stop working right... I'm sure there are better designs out there, and maybe even the DW is improved now.

                                              1. re: mcf

                                                Here's the one my friend just told me about - problem is, according to one of the reviews, it says "replaceable carbon filters" and yet you can't FIND the filters anywhere (and she called the company directly). She ended up taking apart the "coal filter" and refilling it with aquarium-grade activated charcoal:


                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                  that looks like plastic, which i don't like (i only use stainless or ceramic/porcelain for my girls when it comes to food & water). and the more "moving parts" you have, the more likely you'll have problems with it! i'm happy with the one we have.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                    Yup, it is. Hard plastic like the Petco one I had where the motor stopped running (I wonder if that is recyclable?). Their food goes in ceramic dishes, so the water going in stainless steel makes sense. I'm probably going to order the one you linked, along with the order of three 3-pack filters.

                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                      yeah, i'd stay away from plastic. but regardless of which material you choose, rinse/clean the entire thing at least once a week - they all get slimy from that biofilm buildup.

                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                        I know that for a fact with the plastic one. I need to make it a "Sunday morning while my coffee is brewing" Honey Do list item so I remember to do it on a regular basis.

                                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                                          happens with the stainless too - the first time i noticed it i was completely squicked out. now i just wash it every week, and it's fine.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            My picky kitteh never liked to use the water fountain when the bowl got slightly slimy, whereas the chunka-munka (Alfie) didn't mind. Then again, he doesn't drink out of the faucet as picky Buster does.

                                                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                      Moi aussi, goodhealth. My old friend Renzo only eats out of stainless, porcelain or Duralex tempered glass. He'll be 17 next month... (Black tomcat, half Siamese).

                                                      As for food, he becomes increasingly fussy in his dotage and won't eat some very expensive food I bought for him at the vet's... He loves poached chicken though.

                                                  2. re: mcf

                                                    Ours died because the motor got so hot. We had to keep adding ice cubes to the water to make it palatable to the cats. Having radiant heat in the kitchen floor didn't help either, so now we're back to having them either drink from the tap, or frequent refills of ice water in their bowls.

                                            2. re: meatn3

                                              My cat's favorite time of the year is almost here, as she loves drinking the Christmas tree's water. This means I have to toss the packet that keeps the tree perky. She also loves sleeping under the tree. She looks so sweet and angelic under the lights, but I swear she's still giving me the stink eye at all times.

                                              1. re: KrumTx

                                                You're lucky not to have a cat who scales the tree just to knock off all the decorations--fragile glass ones first. If the tree doesn't fall over.

                                        2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                          PK....Ben our hound LOVES butter so much that one of his nicknames is Mr. McButterpants. Once in a while, we'll bring home a little restaurant pat of good butter (like the Kerrygold pats you can get at Starbucks) and well, he's just in bliss.

                                          Freddy sounds like a handsome little rogue.

                                        3. Probably the most human like cat food is Petite Cuisine. My cats love it. It's available at most Petco stores. Aside from that, I give them some occasional chicken and they really like Gerber chicken #2 baby food as a treat.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ebchower

                                            Gerber baby food is a lifesaver, literally, as they get into the last geriatric stages and start refusing food.