How can I train my kitten not to eat my food?

  • My new kitten tries to eat my food. (And quite often succeeds, since I take my time to eat, usually while working)

    She has her own food dispenser with lots of food in it that she eats regularly, but when I have food she wants it.

    With a dog, I could just say "no" and spank it when it won't listen, but this kitten seems to ignore all rebukes, maintaining the singular focus to have the food, no matter how many times I push it away, put it on the ground, or pull the food away.

    What can I do to teach my kitten that it's my food and not hers?

    With dogs, I know a small spanking does the trick - not causing serious pain, but the offensive action seems to send the correct message to a dog. Cats on the other hand, don't seem to have the same mechanic.

    Anecdotally: green curry. Erik didn't come *near* my plate for *weeks*. :-)

    Define "your food". Is this food kept in a cabinet, or food actively on your plate, or food you leave out on a dining room table for serving purposes?

  • Kaworu

    Kaworu Correct answer

    6 years ago

    You're right, cats really don't have the same ideas of discipline as dogs. Dogs are pack animals, and the leader's reaction means a lot to them, and cats are solitary predators, so your disapproval doesn't mean much to them. They might choose to cooperate if you consistently forbid them to do something, or they might not. Most cats I know chose to cooperate in the end, because things get old even for them. But it usually takes a lot of time and patience.

    As for the food, aside from the answers in the question recommended by Ashley Nunn, the best way to keep your cat away from your food is not to leave your food unattended. Also, I used to use a simple trick with my first cats (didn't need it after the first 2, I don't know why) : make sure you have something on your plate that your cat won't eat for sure, like a pickle of a slice of lemon, and when your cat tries to get into your plate, give her that to sniff. After some time the cat associates your plate with yucky staff and doesn't bother with it anymore.

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