Meet Beamer, my food-obsessed cat
Guest Post from Linday Stordahl of ThatMutt.com
My cat Beamer is a complete psycho around food.
When there’s food around, his heart rate goes up and he becomes fixated the way my Lab mix gets around a tennis ball. Beamer will do really stupid and risky things for food like charging right up to big dogs while they’re eating (luckily our dog has learned it’s better to just back off). We quickly learned to separate Beamer from the other pets during meal times.
We joke about all the things Beamer has eaten, because some of the things are just unreal. The list goes on and on. Besides the obvious like steak, bacon, chicken and “normal” things you might imagine a crazy cat stealing, Beamer’s interests also include fruits, veggies, plants and garbage. You know how normal people can leave some food out on the counters?
Beamer has eaten raw potatoes, bananas, avocados, nectarines and oh so many other fruits and veggies. Not to mention sandwiches, rolls, butter and chips.
One time when we brought him to my parents’ house over Christmas, he ran off with an entire loaf of pumpkin bread in a bag. He sprinted towards their bedroom and tried to hide under the bed with his “kill.”
Beamer really is a hunter at heart.
Years ago, we were able to safely allow Beamer outside, and he would kill oh so many small animals. One time while my husband was grilling on the deck with some friends, Beamer showed up dragging a freshly killed bunny. He then proceeded to eat the entire bunny right there on the deck. I have no idea if this was healthy for Beamer or not, but it didn’t faze him.
Beamer has an iron stomach.
One time he ate an unknown amount of Ibuprofen. I was the guilty one because I had spilled a whole bottle. I thought I’d cleaned it all up, but apparently Beamer found a few pills under the couch. He was a very sick cat for a few days, but even that didn’t stop him. This cat has also made a mad dash across the room to grab a birth control pill that I had dropped.
There was the time when we had sweetcorn for dinner and later noticed one of the cobs was missing. Like, the whole cob. “Ace, you ate a whole corn cob?” we asked our 70-pound dog. “Silly boy.”
Then an hour later our cat literally puked up the entire cob. The whole thing.
That was the night we learned he will eat just about anything. Or at least try. You can read more about Beamer’s shenanigans here.
So how do we live with such a food-obsessed cat?
It’s frustrating, but we manage it.
You know how some people have to keep their dogs confined when home alone? That’s what we do with Beamer. At night and when we’re not home, he has to stay in our spare bedroom (my home office).
If we head out of town for the weekend, we have to separate Beamer from our other cat, Scout, so that Scout can get some food. Beamer is fed on a timed, automatic feeder even while we are home so that he sits and waits at his feeder rather than harass us. The first time we left Beamer home for a night, we put out a big bowl of food for him like you would do for a normal cat. Well, he ate it all before we left the house.
These days, we know it’s just easier and safer if we keep all food put away and trash picked up. We also can’t leave dishes in the sink or on the counter or Beamer will be licking them for hours. He still tries to lick the counters and sink, so we strictly enforce the rule of “no pets allowed in the kitchen.”
Scout and Ace follow the rule. Beamer follows the rule if we enforce it with a squirt bottle and confine him when we can’t supervise. Our trash goes in a sturdy, metal bin that is Beamer proof. We use childlocks on cabinets when necessary and currently have a 15-pound dumbbell sitting in front of the closet door where we keep the dog and cat treats.
When we are making food or eating, Beamer has to go in the other room.
Both our cats get ¼ C. of dry food twice a day (in separate rooms). We absolutely can’t “free feed” our cats or Beamer would easily become severely overweight. He’s a big cat anyway, but at 11 pounds he looks fit and trim these days.
If he had his way, he would eat everything in sight, but because we love him, we carefully manage what he eats. We know this is the best way to keep him healthy and to keep our trouble-maker around for as long as possible.
Lindsay Stordahl maintains the dog blog ThatMutt.com where she writes about dog training, dog exercise, dog adoption and more. She also owns the dog running and pet sitting business Run That Mutt. She has a Lab mix named Ace and two naughty cats, Beamer and Scout.
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