Monday, August 20, 2012

And Now in Ridiculous Cat News

It seems not a week can go by without some ridiculous story about cats being picked up by the media. This week – cats who beg for food may have a mental illness!

A study by veterinary researchers at the University of Padua has concluded that a cat’s gentle ankle stroke at lunchtime is not a sign of affection, but a symptom called ‘excessive solicitation of inter-specific interactions’ which indicates that the cat suffers from a new form of eating disorder.

The condition has been named Psychogenic Abnormal Feeding Behavior (PAFB) and was a result of the Italian study, which was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.

Symptoms include stealing food from other cats and jumping on its owner’s table to eat from plates. Other symptoms of the condition include a bottomless appetite and food-related aggression, such as grabbing the cat food tin with their paws and growling and hissing.

While there is little mention of eating disorders among animals in scientific literature, the vets speculated that it could be associated with stress in early life.

If you think your cat may be suffering from PAFB, the study advices that you introduce strict rules for feeding times, ban begging and ensure that your cat cannot watch you eat. As your pet’s behavior improves they may be slowly re-introduced to watching you have food, but should never be fed from your plate.

Study leader Paolo Mongillo said: ‘If you feed them from the table, just once in a while, the cat will think it is like a slot machine - if they always ask, every so often they will get what they want.’

Sources: and


  1. Seriously... Seriously??? O-M-C!!!

  2. Because a cat that wants food MUST be weird in the head..

    (in all honesty, I always thought cats that don't try to wheedle food out of me were touched in the head)

  3. What scientific boffin dreamed this up! all pets try to wheedle food out of humans and if you look at animals in wild,when they live in groups they have a social pecking order the ones that are lower down in the pecking order have to beg and wheedle from those at the top,so of course those natural instincts would aply to our pets as we supply the food that puts humans at the top of the pecking order when it comes to food, plus cats a very nosey and want to try any thing that edible in case it taste good to them.Some comman sence PLEASE!

  4. That is both my dogs and the cat and my two rabbits. Seriously, though, the cat can eat and five minutes later if someone walks in the kitchen, he is crying to be fed again. If someone is in the kitchen AT ALL, he is in the kitchen, getting his nose into something, swatting at us, meowing as loud and often as he can take a breath and getting on the counters or trying to jump in the frig. He pushes our chihuahua away from her bowl even if he has a full bowl. He is HUGE already and he is only five months old today. He looks like a full grown tomcat. Could be glandular??????

  5. OH, and he eats the Rabbits' oats, pellets, greens and treats and even eats FRUIT. If he hadn't already been tested for parasites, I would wonder if he had a tape worm...

  6. I think the people who wrote the study are mentally ill. What a waste of money.

  7. Reading this is like reading about Sixten the cat who lived here befor me say´s mom.
    They tryed for over 17 years to learn him to behave around food without NO succés *mol*

  8. Food is one of the basic drives of a cat's life along with sleep and sex. We take away the one, they get plenty of the other on their own, and what's left to do?


    1. I saw that yesterday - I was very excited to see good news for a change!