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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Overly into eating raw

Has anyone else experienced this? Your cat being *too* into it's raw food, so into it in fact that they became aggressive towards you and other cats in the house?

My danes are raw fed, and besides getting super excited about dinner time .. I've never seen a cross reaction (well maybe a little if they get too close (in their kennels) while eating, but no one has ever gone after anyone.

The cats on the other hand, holy bejesus. I wanted to feed them raw like the danes (easier & cheaper honestly) but I had to stop after about 6 months. Things got dangerous.

They took about 2 months to get adjusted to eating it, but once they discovered that they actually *liked* it .. things took a turn for the worse. They started out just trying to climb my legs to get to their bowls as I walked across the kitchen, but it progressed into full on assaults.

The last few times it happened it went like this:

I got the food out and divvied it up into their bowls,

I put the bowls on the feeding tray (had to take it all at once or they would just perform a free for all on the counter when I walked away),

then go about putting bowls down in various locations & heights (they steal from each other if they can see each others bowls)

but before I could even set one bowl down I had cats launching at me from the cat tree, climbing my legs, growling and hissing at each other ..

it's hard to imagine (or maybe it isn't lol) but they were like wild animals at food time. They would attack each other growling & hissing and spitting .. grab food and run with it .. it was a circus sideshow.

The last couple of times I had one of the cats actually jump on me, knocked the tray out of my hands, and subsequently food went everywhere.

My cats aren't small cats, the smallest weighs 10lbs, and they have all their claws (big ones I might add lol) so it was a little unnerving, to say the least, for them to act like that.

Now that they are back on kibble everything is back to normal, everyone's ready to eat but not so murderously insane about it lol. After this bag of kibble runs out were going to try switching to canned food .. but I'll be honest .. I'm a little apprehensive about it lol.

Anyone else experience similar in a multiple cat household & raw?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 12:21 PM
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That's pretty intense, and I'm surprised it lasted that long! When I first started on raw, my cat would growl and run away with his food, but he eventually calmed down. The only thing I would suggest is separate them at feeding times


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 02:04 PM
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I have a couple little carnivores on my hands as well. I'm feeding 4 cats raw / frankenprey (plus two foster cats that aren't on frankenprey). Of the 4, 2 of them LOVED it and will eat anything I put in front of them. The other 2 are eating it well but not quite as nutty.

The one cat, Orion, is not necessarily aggressive but he does growl and will run around stealing the other cats food. He is the problem child becuase he isn't giving the other cats time to finish eating and he'd happily eat several times the amount he should. I've started putting the slower eaters in the bathroom and letting them eat in peace!

I've heard that aggression goes away once they get used to the fact that it isn't just a special treat and that it will be served again.

Are you switching back to kibble / canned because of the aggression?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 02:16 PM
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Munch was a bit of a wild child when he got raw, but has settled a bit. Never went after me tho, he getsbup on his cat tree where I feed him, screams like a panther until he gets it, grabs a chunk, jumps onto the floor then growls and snarls at the dogs who are busy eating their own and have no interest in his lol. Never got out of control tho. He's calmer now.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 02:44 PM
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My own cats don't like raw, but my foster does; she's been getting raw chicken and bison as part of her rotation. Choco-cat definitely acts different with the raw food than she does with canned. I fed her bison last night, and, while she's not at all aggressive with me around raw, she does behave as if the food is fresh prey. She won't eat it on the plate, instead she drags it onto the floor and crouches over it, and she shakes her head while she's eating it, like she would if she were killing and eating a mouse. I've also noticed that Choco-cat seems to enjoy crunching up the bits of bone; it's like she gets more excited about the food she's eating when the texture mimics that of a fresh kill. Choco-cat is actually especially affectionate with me when I bring her raw--like I've presented her with a gift, and she's saying "Oh boy, thanks mommy!", but I've never tried to feed it to her around other cats. She eats by herself, since she's not been fully integrated with my own cats yet.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 04:14 PM
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When you're starting out it's not uncommon at all.

I'm fairly lucky that out of my four only Jitzu has any sort of aggression...and it's mostly directed at Torri who (because of Jitzu) refuses to eat near the other cats. The solution, in our case, is to feed Torri in her room at night. She has her own safe space due to her and Jitzu not getting along long term...helps a TON and Torri has a safe place to eat at her own pace.

TBH I wouldn't give up feeding raw just because of this, but I would switch up how you're doing it. Rather than feeding them in free spots around the house put each cat in a room or kennel so they don't feel the need to protect their dinner. If they can't behave long enough for you to prepare it start by putting the cats in their own spaces, then get the food and give it to them in their eating space.

Food aggression in dogs is typically (read: almost always) caused by insecurity. They went hungry in the past, someone prevented them for eating or took food from them. Ditto for cats! In your specific case they just love their raw food SO DARN MUCH they don't want to risk it being taken. So preventing them from feeling that anxiety (aka giving them a safe and interruption free space) during meal times will probably reduce their reactions over time.

There's no reason to be stressed because no one is allowed to steal their food or be nearby...so there's no point in being upset.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 05:21 PM
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I wish. Talk about getting in touch with their wild side, huh? Mine like it alright, Lacey will even snub the favorite canned food until I get a scoop of raw out for her on occasion, but nothing intense like that. I'd give anything if they were more ecstatic about it! Maybe you need to feed them a bit more, or a bit more often (??)!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiliqua View Post
Are you switching back to kibble / canned because of the aggression?
I switched from raw back to a grain free kibble because of it, yes. After being late for work 2 times because I had to steam clean my house (and wash my clothes lol) I had to make a choice.

I want to switch to canned and see how it goes, then maybe work back towards raw.

Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
There's no reason to be stressed because no one is allowed to steal their food or be nearby...so there's no point in being upset.
with 6 cats and at the time 3 dogs, you run out of rooms (and I don't own an crates, except 1 large pet carrier) lol.

My main thing was the aggression towards me at feeding time .. they were so into the food they were jumping on me as I brought the food in to them.

We actually do feed separately now. The kittens 3 eat in the cat room, Momma has her own bedroom, and Nilla and Digger eat in the Kitchen (because they're not bullies or extra greedy lol).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia View Post
Maybe you need to feed them a bit more, or a bit more often (??)!
I was giving them an entire bowl full of food (one of the stainless steel with the black rubber ring around the bottom), it probably holds at least cup if not more.

Little butterballs are just greedy is what I gather lol.

*edit*

Here is a semi-tolerating each other photo of them eating canned food. It didn't stay that way long .. some eat super fast so they can push others out. We were having our windows replaced though, so everyone had to eat in the cat room.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 08:38 AM
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I read that cats should be fed at least 18" away from each other. - I know if mine get too close they will hiss. I'm assuming your floor tiles are 12", so try moving them a bit further away from each other. See if that helps.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 08:56 AM
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It mostly depends on your cats, but there's no rule about how close or far apart to feed them. My two boys usually share their plate and have never had any issues with that.

OP, if kennels aren't an option (though personally I think having enough kennels to hold all my pets in an emergency is the bedt plan) you could always do feeding rotations. Feed the cats first, then the dogs, or w/e. That way you'd have enouh room.

Ig you're fostering regularly I woukd also suggest always feeding fosters seperately. Their lives have typically had more upset so they're much more likely to show stress at meal time. Also, for your own cats, having the guest kitties eating nearby will boost their stress about food. Kitties don't understand sharing and its just easier if everyone feels safer when they're eating.

I'd bet if you did confine them during meals the jumping st you would calm down pretty quick.
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