Thursday, August 27, 2009

Max on... Care and Training of Your Food Human -- "Feed Me" (part 2)

Who has my treat?
Part 1 of my "Feed Me" series was all about how to get food into your bowl at the exact moment that you want it. Did the techniques work?

In Part 2, we're going to address non-bowl food or food commonly known as the elusive snack or treat. Personally, if I had my way, I'd beg for and scarf down all the threats I could eek out of Her Highness. However, I've found gluttonous behavior to be counterproductive.

Essentially, if you make too much of a "pig" (no offense pig pals out there) of yourself, your food human will notice, become concerned and cut you off from treats, snacks and, in extreme cases, a portion of your regular food. So, having all the treats you want might bring momentary satisfaction...but you have to consider the consequences.

Another thing you must consider when overdoing the treats is your health. I know we don't like to think of that in the frenzy of the snack moment, but restraint is required for two reasons:

1. Obesity in cats is very dangerous. It can lead to diabetes, thyroid conditions, lethargy, heart problems... just about all the things that happen to humans when they overindulge can happen to us. So moderation is the key.

2. Obesity can also lead to the vet telling your food human to cut out the snacks altogether. So, a tip on how to train your food human to keep on giving you snacks is to make sure you don't overindulge. I know it takes some powerful restraint, but keep a handle on it yourself so they don't cut off your snacks.

Some of you might have the opposite problem. Maybe your food humans don't remember to give you the occasional treat often enough. Here are a couple of tips on how to keep the treats coming on a regular basis:

1. Tricks..., choose a little routine of tricks and practice the routine so you have your performance perfected. Next time your food human gives you a treat, thank him/her by quickly running through your little performance. My guess is that they'll be so surprised and pleased that they'll give you another. If they do, run through the routine again. This will embed in their brains the connection between the performance and the treats. Next time you feel as if it has been too long since you've had a treat, throw in a free performance when they are looking at you. It might help them remember that you need a treat.

2. Routinely, do something your human wants. When they pat the couch, jump up immediately and snuggle into their side. Do it over and over and over every time they pat the couch. Then one day, don't do it. They'll probably haul out the old bag of treats in order to "re-teach" you the routine they "think" you forgot.

3. If your food human is going away and wants to shut you in one part of the house, make 'em work for it. I know they can pick you up and carry you there, but they can't if you're ready for that maneuver and stay one quick jump ahead of them. Yep.... make 'em haul out the treats to get you into the "going away" room. Don't overuse this. Just use it when you're really hankering for a treat.

Okay, hope I've started some thinking on your part. Leave some suggestions of your own to share with the rest of the readers.

Have a happy, treat-filled day!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Max, You hit the nail on the head (or this week on my afro)! I am addicted to treats. I don't like soft food and my Mom is threatening to cut me off from my treats. I'm a little pudgy (or so my Mom says) and she's concerned this may cause me medical problems. Thank you for your column. (signed): Smokey8 fr Twitter

Max the Quilt Cat said...

You're welcome Smokey8. I'm glad it helped. Moderation, pal.... we all have to practice moderation.

Loves ya,

Max

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artangan Rumblepurr said...

I've got my tricks down pat, it makes the humans laugh every time and give me more... you are very wise Max.

Max the Quilt Cat said...

Thanks for the comment and the praise. I can imagine you have great tricks.

*nosetaps*

Max

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