The Journey to the Food Bowl: Location, Location, Location
Photo provided by Friskies Explorer kortiz.
Last week I talked a little about your cat’s journey to the food. This week let’s talk about another contributing factor in the path your cat takes to her meals: where she eats.
Mealtime should be a time of security and peace. Place the food bowl in an area with low traffic. Your cat shouldn’t have to worry about looking over her shoulder in the middle of dinner.
The food bowl should be never be placed anywhere near the litter box. Nobody wants to eat in the bathroom! Sometimes cat parents try to create a convenient “kitty area” by putting the food, the cat’s bed and the litter box all in one spot. That can be a litter box aversion problem waiting to happen.
Another thing to look at is to literally evaluate your cat’s path to the bowl. When dinner is served does she have to walk through an area where she doesn’t feel comfortable? Perhaps you have more than one cat and there’s a little tension in the air. One kitty may not feel secure enough to walk through the room where another cat tends to hang out. If that’s the case, set up an additional feeding area in the room where the more timid cat feels comfortable.
To increase peace and security during mealtime in a multicat home, don’t feed out of one “community” bowl. Give each cat her own bowl. In some cases you may need to set up additional feeding areas so one cat doesn’t nose another out of the bowl.
Look at your cat’s body language as she eats. Is she relaxed? Or is she always looking over her shoulder? Sometimes all it takes is sliding the food bowl out from against the wall so kitty can stand facing the entrance to the room instead of having her back to the entrance. In other cases it may mean making sure the kids, the dog and others in the house aren’t all using viewing the cat’s feeding area as Grand Central Station.
If your cat knows that whenever the food bowl is presented to her she will be secure and comfortable, she’ll approach her bowl in a more relaxed frame of mind.
Where do you feed your cat?
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