Greedy Sampson

I'd like this one, please!
I’d like this one, please!

Sampson is a cat that likes food. He likes food a lot. If he can chew it, he’ll eat it. And if it smells edible he’ll try to get it.

His obsession with food has clearly affected his weight. At his heaviest he weighed nearly 7kg!

Currently Sampson is on a diet. He does not appreciate being on a diet. He doesn’t think he gets enough food. He likes to tell everyone that we’re starving him – I promise, we’re not!

There's enough for me to have some, right?
There’s enough for me to have some, right?

This cheeky cat will try anything to get food. He’ll reach under anything we use to cover food, hook his paw into the other cats bowls to try and steal them from under their noses, and even attempt to push or pull food pots onto the floor to knock the lid off and steal whatever food is inside!

We’re trying to teach Sampson boundaries. We want to help him realise that food doesn’t have to be eaten just because he can smell it. It’s slow progress – he’s like a food magnet, and because he’s a big boy it’s difficult to pull him away from his chosen treat once he’s decided he wants it!

And I admit it doesn’t help when Lola and Elvis leave food in their bowls. We feed them all separately so that thieving won’t happen, but as soon as he is released from his own eating place Sampson will race to the nearest bowl to see if they left even an atom of food for him to wolf down.

Improving Sampson’s food habits mean some big changes in where we leave our food, for cats and humans alike!


Lady Joyful

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47 thoughts on “Greedy Sampson

  1. franhunne4u says:

    I have only had rescue cats that were all not interested in human food. But when one was a little too eager for food, I overfed her – one time – by giving more and more till she had two and a half pouches of food – the half she left over – she was soo full, she found it hard to jump onto the bed and did not move there … never again did she eat that much. Cats are no wolves. They usually do not eat till their stomach bursts – so, why not try to feed Samson – once – so much till he is unable to move gracefully and cannot and will not eat any more? Why not see if there is too much of a good thing for him.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. He did used to eat himself full when he was still living with my mum and it didn’t stop him. He used to knock food down from counters and share it with the dog! But I’ll try and implement your idea and see if it helps 🙂

      • franhunne4u says:

        Only try once – you do not want to fatten him.
        My cats have access to kibbles all day long – but do not polish the bowls there …
        Cats are no wolves (or dogs) – for them it is not the one big feed and then days without – for them it would be 10 mice daily – and 20 tries …

        • Lady Joyful says:

          Definitely don’t want to fatten him any more than he is 🙂 Yes, we try to give him little and often, but he insists that it’s too little and not often enough!

  2. susieshy45 says:

    Thank you for sharing ! I have often wondered what to do about cats overeating. I have about 8 stray cats I feed and for one of them, food is an obsession, something like human addiction to chocolate or sugar. I am going to try this on him- and he is big.

  3. charityknitsforanimals says:

    I think I have been lucky and I have never had a cat that overate. My cat Molly will not eat human food at all. My late cat Bella would enjoy a little bit of ham, or a tiny lick of ice-cream. But they have never begged. Molly will not even beg for tuna when we have it

    • Lady Joyful says:

      That is lucky, indeed. I’ve never had it be such an issue before, not with any of our cats. They’d either be like your Molly or more often like your Bella. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. carolynswriting says:

    I just caught our big boy Hermie (7.5kg) stealing dry food from the dog’s bowl! He isn’t quite as bad as Sampson (I love that photo with his claws hooking in!) but he does try to swipe food from our plates, and he’s often up on the kitchen benches. We feed him & Izzie twice a day, but try to feed only a portion of dry food at a time, usually over an hour if possible. This is meant to help them feel the food sink in but it doesn’t work as well as we’d hoped 🙁 Hermie also yells loudly for his food, so we’try to ignore that when he pesters us for more than his share. But it’s a battle!

    • Lady Joyful says:

      We have a yeller too – Lola – so I completely understand what a battle that is! I must admit we give into her yelling much more often than we should… Luckily she’s a skinny girl anyway so it doesn’t matter as much if she gets a bit extra food.
      Glad you like the photo. When Sampson lived with my mum he would steal the dog’s dry food too. Actually she would share it with him… Silly dog. It is difficult to try and deal with the food stealing – hopefully we’ll find solutions that work for your Hermie and for our Sampson 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  5. sledpress says:

    We’ve got one like that — Mystery the former runt kitten. We never really give him his own bowl of food because he just polices up everyone else’s dish, until you could use it for a shaving mirror!

  6. mvaden1948 says:

    For about six months (since I adopted him) Diavolo has tried to eat me out of house and home. Luckily he doesn’t get on the table or seem to want human food. I keep saying that “you can’t possibly still be hungry” but he gives me his starving kitty look and I cave.
    But he seems to have slowed down a bit. I think he has finally realized the food will be there when he wants it and he doesn’t have to eat quite so much. He’s about 15 lbs but he is a very big cat….mostly muscle. I just got used to little Lili who was less than half his size and such a dainty eater.
    Since I’m retired and at home most of the time I’ve tried feeding him smaller meals more often and that seems to have helped.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      We do try feeding them all little and often but it doesn’t seem to work out that way for us unfortunately. Sampson is quite muscley too so it’s hard to tell what weight he should ideally be. It certainly can be surprising to see the differences between the small dainty eaters and the big voracious ones! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. Kate Crimmins says:

    I have one like that (our of 4 cats). We nicknamed her Hoover (after the vacuum cleaner). She will finish up everyone’s portion. Unfortunately we have a cat that likes to eat a little and come later. We have to put his food on the counter, then he comes to yell when he wants more. The other two cats eat their food up high on bureaus and shelves where the Hoover can’t jump. It’s a never ending battle. However, we did put her on a diet and over 6 months she lost 3-1/2 pounds. She’s not happy about it though.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      That sounds like a very appropriate nickname! Glad to hear the diet has helped her. Sampson is improving on his, but like your cat he’s not very happy about it. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  8. Holly'sMom says:

    Oh, I so feel your your pain when it comes to trying to keep one from eating too much while making sure the others get their proper amounts. There are some cats that will eat and eat and eat and not stop. I had one such cat many years ago. He was a BIG cat anyway, but he loved his food. Only time I ever heard him growl at anyone was when my husband tried to pull him away from food. Haha Even then all he did was growl WHILE he kept on eating! Right now I have three cats. Two older ones, Smokey and Elsa, and a younger one, Teeger. They all want to graze a little bit, but Smokey is the one who grazes the most. At thirteen she doesn’t eat like she used to. It’s an ongoing battle every day trying to keep bowls picked up and put back down so no one gets too much of anyone else’s food. Elsa is overweight. Funny thing the more I try to get her to lose weight the more she seems to put on. She is fine in every other way as far as health goes. Teeger is my moocher. Sometimes I call her Teeg-let because she is such a little pig! She tries to eat everyone else’s food. Loves to be near me when I’m eating and will try to reach her paw into my food because she is just SURE I am offering to share with her. She would eat the dog’s food if I didn’t keep it picked up and away from her when the dog wasn’t eating. Your baby is a cutie. Hope you are able to work through his food obsession.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Yes, Sampson’s exactly like that! A big hulking softie of a cat. He’s taken to hissing at any attempt to move him away from food.
      It is definitely inconvenient when they all have different eating habits. I love that nickname – Teeglet – very clever 🙂
      Thanks, I hope we’ll be able to too!

  9. pilch92 says:

    He is a cutie 🙂 My Sammy is like that with food too, if there is anything around it must be eaten- he weight 20 pounds.

  10. lawjic says:

    Its our job as cat guardians to feed cats the right things for THEIR NEEDS. Having cats is and being sure they are FED the right things is a duty and responsibility. If you cannot feed them properly, you are harming their health. Please keep the people food away; its not in his best interest. All my cats always wanted EVERYTHING I was eating, but they got their OWN food and their own dishes. SAY NO and DO Samson a favor. No judgments; just an observation. Just because the cat wants a DONUT, does not mean he should eat it.

    Good luck with that. You can do it! Please help Sampson live a really long and healthy life. OBESE CATS DIE YOUNG AND ARE SICK ALWAYS.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Whilst I understand your concern I think you’ve misconstrued my post. We do not allow Sampson to eat human food. He only eats diet cat food. Yes he tries to steal food, but we always take it away from him. I know you are commenting out of concern for Sampson, but I am slightly upset that you apparently think I would put my cats’ health at risk by allowing them to eat things that they shouldn’t. Again, I do not allow Sampson or any of my cats to eat anything other than their cat food. Just because he tries to get food doesn’t mean we allow him to have it.

  11. terrepruitt says:

    Our cat died a year ago. We just got TWO cats yesterday. So this thing of feeding cats separately is new to me. UGH! Good luck with your endeavor. It is never easy restricting the diet of a pet.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Feeding separately can definitely be a pain! And yes, diets are a struggle. It does seem to be working though and Sampson’s weight is greatly improving 🙂 I hope your new furbabies settle in well 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  12. Shelly says:

    Wow, almost 7kg? I’d be losing weight if he was my cat, picking him up and him stealing my food, lol! By the way, thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂

  13. Susan Langer says:

    Cute. I also have a cat on a diet and she has even taken to stealing the dog’s kibble at night when no one is up. I will reblog on Susanspetblog. Thanks.

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