Monday, August 20, 2012
And Now in Ridiculous Cat News
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: http://bit.ly/Pypy0k and http://bit.ly/TPvW69