Anne writes from McDonald, PA: “I recently adopted a kitten, Benjamin, who is now seven months old. Ben is a wonderful cat. He is very playful, very loving and very curious. The funny thing is, Ben will eat anything I put in front of him or anything we happen to leave out on the counter. Anything! He has chewed through the bag to eat two whole slices of bread. Here’s a list of things he has eaten: cookies, almonds, shrimp, lettuce, cheese, noodles, corn, potatoes, cereal, paper towels, beef, French fries, spiders and most deliciously of all, candle wax. The wax was the only thing that made him throw up. I know it’s not unusual for dogs to eat people food, but cats? Is this normal?”
Anne, I’ve seen kittens like this before, and they invariably come from backgrounds in which they had to scrounge for food, never knowing where their next meal would come from. I’ve seen it in adopted kittens who were found on the street as well as strays found in similar circumstances. Occasionally we will see a puppy who behaves in this manner.
There’s not much you’re going to do about it, other than keep your food under lock and key! One would reasonably assume that once Ben found out that food was plentiful and available on a meal schedule he would become satisfied about the availability of food, but that almost never happens. These kittens grow up to become greedy cats, too.
See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.