Hi everybody! Molly with Cat Behavior Solutions, here with your Bonding Tip of the Week. And this week’s tip: warm up your cat’s leftover food.
Last week, I explained that bonding isn’t all about cuddling your cat, or playing with them on your lap, or smooching them every minute of the day. A lot of the time, it’s just making them comfortable. Ultimately, “comfort” means providing an environment in your home that your cat would normally encounter in the wild. An example I used was storing leftovers better, in a way that keeps your cat from encountering the bitter taste of an oxidizing food can, which is most certainly a flavor that’s unnatural to them.
Fast forward and it’s time to serve your kitty that second portion of food. You’ve pulled that glass or plastic container out of your refrigerator, and it’s cold. Well, cold food isn’t natural to a cat, because when it eats a bird or a mouse, that bird or mouse is warm, right? Because it’s a fresh kill. If it’s cold, it’s not going to seem fresh to your cat—even if it is.
So how do we make this food appealing? After all, it’s not practical for anyone to only ever use half of a single food can. The answer? We warm it up!
There’s a certain way you need to go about warming up the leftovers. For example, don’t put it in the microwave, because that will cook it and change it molecularly, and cats also aren’t crazy about that. So what I want you to do is run a sink full of hot water and float the food container in there, like you would a baby bottle. You don’t have to do it for long; 15 or 20 minutes is all. But that helps warm up the food and take the chill off of it.
The other thing I want you to do is add some hot water to the food on top of that. That will warm the leftovers further and give your cat some extra hydration—and you cannot have an over-hydrated cat.
Like I said, the more comfortable your cat is in your home, the more it’s going to want to be close to you and bond with you. So, make your cat comfortable, and warm up its leftovers in a way that doesn’t cook them. Have fun bonding this week, and until next time, keep calm and purr on!
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