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Why does my cat want me to watch her eat?

Cats are mysterious animals full of secrets and contradictions. Sometimes it seems that no matter how well you know them, they can always have attitudes that surprise us and make us wonder. This time we will explore a question you surely never thought you would ask yourself when you decided to become a cat parent: “Why does my cat want me to watch her eat?

There are several reasons why a cat might ask its human to join them at mealtime, and while they may not be that obvious, they make a lot of sense. If cats are supposed to be super independent, with a wild past, what could they be hiding behind such peculiar behavior? Let’s find out.

Why does my cat want me to watch her eat? 4 essential reasons

Mealtime is unique for our little felines; it is a moment of tranquility in which they relax and delight in their delicious kibbles. Some cats prefer to eat while their favorite human watches them, and I will tell you why.

1. For safety reasons

Domestic cats still act as if they live in the harsh African savannah, hunting for prey to survive, climbing to the top of the tallest tree, and, of course, always being vigilant to avoid being attacked by any mean predator – it’s the feline instinct. Precisely because of this, your pampered cat knows that she cannot let her guard down even when eating, so she needs your bodyguard services.

why does my cat want me to watch her eat - safety

If your cat often guides you to her food bowl, she is looking for you to stay with her to protect her from any danger that may arise while she eats. Your cat trusts you and knows no one is better than you to defend her. This is very common in homes with more pets because maybe that terrifying monster that scares her is your dog who wants to eat her fresh kibble.

Cats are very nervous, and a million things scare them. You have to pay close attention to find out if your cat wants your company for pure survival instinct, another naughty pet, or maybe it’s because traffic is heavy at lunchtime and car horns stress her out. Whatever the reason, your kitty trusts you with her life.

2. Hard-to-break habit

Cats are routine animals, many of their attitudes have no other reason to be than for mere habit, and this may be the case. Many cats are used to eating in company and tend to feel strange when they have to eat alone. They call your attention so that you stop and watch them eat.

If you adopted your cat when she was still a kitten, you probably had to help her eat. I had to feed my Louie formula for almost a month because kittens can’t eat solid food. Many of these cats get used to eating while being carried or while on their caregiver’s lap, and they learn to associate food with the presence of their favorite human, while many others acquire this habit simply by sharing mealtime with their littermates.

3. Social eater

The reality is that although cats are independent, so much coexistence with humans has changed their way of being. Some cats have changed so much that they defy the theory that predators eat alone. That’s right. Many cats don’t eat alone simply because they find it strange to have to do such a fun and pleasurable activity as eating by themselves.

Some cats will approach you so you can watch them eat (if you leave, they will come back to chase you), while others will join you when you sit at the table. Pay attention, and you may notice that your cat goes to eat when you eat and stops eating when you finish your meal. Interesting, isn’t it?

why does my cat want me to watch her eat - social eater

4. It’s love

All cats are tender and affectionate. Even the most mischievous and independent cat enjoys cuddles and treats. Many cats love to be the center of attention and therefore like to be watched and applauded at all times, even when eating. Maybe your cat doesn’t want to miss a minute of her time with you, and that’s why she asks you to be with her while she eats.

Many cats also like to be petted while enjoying their tasty meal. You can try scratching your cat’s back – it’s a perfect bonding moment! And if you have just adopted a cat and she is a little shy, you can try to approach her at mealtime, you will see how little by little she starts to trust you more, and maybe she will even let you touch her while she eats. Start with one or two soft pets; after a few days, she will approach you for more cuddles.

What to do if your cat won’t eat unless your watching

As you can imagine, it isn’t convenient if your cat needs your presence to eat. If you work or have to leave the house, your cat will most likely skip a meal to wait for you, but what if you take a long time and she skips two meals? It’s not healthy for a cat to fast for such a long period because the stomach acidity can eventually cause ulcers, forcing you to stay home whenever your cat is hungry.

Fortunately, there are several things you can try to fix the situation:

  • Place a few food bowls around the house. This way, your cat can choose her favorite spot. The problem could be that something about the old location bothered or frightened her.
  • Feed her and try staying back at least a bit, every day a little more, so that she gets used to not having you near. After a week, you can try to go in and out of the room while she eats, and she will begin to understand that nothing happens if you aren’t there, and with a bit of patience, she will surely get used to eating alone.
  • Place her food bowl in a high and clear space. She will feel safe to eat and observe everything simultaneously, at the heights no predator will reach her.
why does my cat want me to watch her eat - what to do

Why does my cat want me to watch her eat? Final notes

As you can see, there is nothing wrong with your cat. She is a little needy and wants to have you by her side as long as possible. The only reason you might worry is if your cat usually eats alone and suddenly one day she asks for company, this could mean that she feels terrible and prefers to be by your side to avoid choking or to be comforted by your voice and your cuddles.

If this is the case, could you take her to the vet for a good check-up? Otherwise, your cat is a social animal like you; she wants to share a meal with you because she loves you. So try not to scold her too much and enjoy your time together! Does your cat also like to have you around while she eats? Let us know in the comments!

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