General Question

TheSpiderWeb's avatar

Is it normal for cats to steal people's food?

Asked by TheSpiderWeb (181points) 1 month ago

My cat keeps staring at me and attempts to eat either mine or or others food. Is this normal for a cat?

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10 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Cats do not steal food. It is theirs by default.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Mine tried to guide my fork into his mouth before.

TheSpiderWeb's avatar

I am only asking because according to this person, it is taught behavior since in her words it is not normal because her own cat never did anything like that.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Some will, some won’t. Cats, like people, are individuals and each have their own personality and behaviors.

LadyMarissa's avatar

It’s normal for them to attempt to steal your food. Good news is that you can teach them to STOP it!!! I adopted 2 cellmates from my local shelter. I NEVER fed them any of my food. After a while, one would jump up on the back of my chair & tap me on the shoulder. When I looked around to see what was going on, the other one would reach up & try to grab the meat off my plate. They got away with it the very first time. After that, I didn’t fall for it & the 2nd one didn’t realize it. I grabbed his foot while yelling NO. It scared the hell out of him!!! In time, just as soon as the 1st one jumped up on the back of my chair, I’d bump him with my shoulder sternly saying “down”. He’d tumble off the chair & I’d look him in the eyes telling him he was a “bad boy”. They didn’t stop immediately; but once they realized that I was on to them, they stopped gradually. Eventually I no longer had to say a word to them…just cut them my evil eye & they’d take off running!!! I had them both for 12–13 years & once they learned that I wasn’t going to share, they stopped even trying to steal my food. Just do NOT reward them for their good behavior by giving them a treat!!! IF you want to feed them some human food, do NOT feed it to them off your plate…put it in their food bowl.

zenvelo's avatar

@TheSpiderWeb Your friend’s cat probably doesn’t like your friend’s cooking. Cats are very particular in what they will eat.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I had a cat take a steak off a plate while I was eating. He ran across the room, flew over the table, snagged my steak in his mouth and scampered out of the room. I recovered my steak, washed it off, and continued with my meal.

Zaku's avatar

As a lifetime student of cats, I am sure that attempting to eat food despite human notions of ownership definitely does not require training.

My model of cat thinking would say something like this:
* only some food is worth eating
* some food is guarded by others. assess risk of taking guarded food
* guards can be tested by gradual approach / encroachment
* some guards can be charmed by sympathetic behavior
* some humans refuse food but don’t actually punish, or may get lazy or unwatchful
* some cats can be intimidated into letting you eat first

Someone else’s cat once stole a steak off an outdoor grill and dragged it away into the neighbor’s yard.

RabidWolf's avatar

Here I thought my cat was unique. Some of the posts I read made me laugh my ass off. My cat tries to steal food out of my hand. Years ago when I was a teen, I’d be eating something and one of our cats would up into my lap, pat my mouth and use her paw to try and open my mouth. I’d get tickled my mouth would open and she’d steal the food out of my mouth. She had been a stray, that ended up in our home.

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