Why Is My Cat Crying at the Food Bowl?

Written by cheryl-anne jenkinson
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Why Is My Cat Crying at the Food Bowl?
Cats sometimes cry at the food bowl. (Cat image by Denis Pyrlik from Fotolia.com)

It's very frustrating for you as a cat owner when your kitty persists in sitting at its food bowl, crying, even though there's plenty of food available or it's already been fed twice that day. Many cats do this and it's not always a sign that there's something wrong with the way you're feeding him.


Some cats persistently sit at their food bowls and seem to ask for more food, or waste no opportunity to accost their owners every time they enter the kitchen, rushing around the owners' legs and mewing. In some cases cats wake their owners at night, crying. If this happens to you, all this demanding behaviour might lead you to believe your cat isn't receiving enough to eat, but there can be other causes.

Why Is My Cat Crying at the Food Bowl?
Some cats are relentless in crying for more food. (cat image by Alan Pickersgill from Fotolia.com)


Causes can be either behavioural or dietary. Many cats that seem to be asking for more food are actually asking for attention, and asking for food is one way to stimulate a clear human response. These cats are often simply bored and not sufficiently stimulated by their environments; indoor cats are more likely to fit this pattern. If the problem is dietary it's possible the cat is not receiving the correct food for his weight, life stage and nutritional needs, or he's simply developing an over-eating pattern. Many owners believe hungry cats have worms. Hunger isn't usually a sign of worms in cats.

Why Is My Cat Crying at the Food Bowl?
A cat who seems always hungry may actually be bored. (cat 3 image by Dragan Saponjic from Fotolia.com)

Dietary Changes

Before making dietary changes take your cat to the vet to eliminate physiological causes, as just occasionally a "persistently hungry" cat may have an underlying physical problem such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism. Otherwise, a diet upgrade can quiet constantly demanding cats. Many diets comprise cheap cereal fillers, but a cat needs a high fat, high protein diet. Add fresh meats to the cat's diet--ideally fresh cooked poultry free of any additives--and look for a diet with over 35 per cent protein content. Discuss appropriate life stage diets with your vet.

Feeding Practices

Cats are predators, But your cat no longer has to work for its feed. By encouraging some cats to work for food, we're often creating happier felines. Cat treat balls are obtainable in petcare stores and can be filled with kibble or dried food. Your cat has to work to get the pieces out. Feed can also be hidden around home and garden so your cat has to seek and find them.

Why Is My Cat Crying at the Food Bowl?
Crying can be a sign of anxiety or boredom. (cat image by Appelez-moi Denyse from Fotolia.com)

Other Behavioral Tips

The constant demanding of some cats has nothing to do with feeding even if the cat keeps visiting its food bowl. Bored cats need more stimulating environments. Create an outdoor safe exercise area for your indoor cats. Introduce new toys, tall cat trees and hiding places into your home. Use behavioural plug-ins from your veterinarian. These spread the scent of "contented cat" via synthetic feline pheromones. They can really settle fractious cats.

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