Why Does Your Cat Want to Be Hand Fed? Is it bad!

Why Does Your Cat Want to Be Hand Fed? Is it bad!

Hand-feeding cats is not a bad thing.  Feeding your cat by hand is a wonderful method to strengthen your attachment and improve your relationship, but if you do it too often you can make them the problem. 

Your cat will refuse to eat from their bowl until your hand feeds them. That’s where the problem begins. If your cat has come to this point. You may be asking why they are not to eat on their own. 

The following reasons, why your cat probably wants to be hand-fed? 

5 Reasons Why Does Your Cat Want to Be Hand Fed?


Sickness can be from toothaches to swellings. The problems are particularly common in senior cats. Their teeth start to decay. Their food may be tasty, but their teeth are in excruciating pain.

This causes pain, making it uncomfortable for cats to eat everything in the bowl, but they will if you hand feed them. It makes it easier to eat food from your finger. 


 It’s a habit you created by trying it when she was sick or when you switched her food. Hand-feeding while she was sick, it can be the case teaches them more serious negative habits.

Your Cat Is a Picky Eater

It is possible that your cat is a picky eater. The current menu is making them disinterested in their food.

So when you come and feed them with your hands, you make the meal more interesting. They eat the food because you are there to encourage them, not because they like it. 

Your Cat Is Scared

If there are other animals in your house, the cat may feel uncomfortable eating, as she tries to compete for food.

In situations like this, a cat may stop eating from their bowls because she knows her bowl is not a safe place. 

They prefer to eat from your hands because they know if they come too close, you’ll shoot those aggressive pets away.

Your Cat Is Stress

Cats who are stressed usually don’t eat much. They will eat to stay alive, but they will not enjoy consuming their meal. Their environment can cause feline stress.

It’s also possible that the place of your cat’s food is a problem. It will refuse to eat if it is too close to the litter tray, especially if the litter is filthy. This is why your cat’s not eat their food in the bowl unless you feed them.

How Make Them Eat On Their Own?

How to make them independent around their food? Well, first you need to stop hand-feeding them. Even if she solely wants to be hand-fed.

However, we recommend you to see your veterinarian to rule out any medical issues. If you’ve got a clean bill of health, then we have a few tips and tricks that will help your cats to eat on their own.

Change the Location

This usually works for cats that are very scared or stressed with their environment. The location is important to get your cat to eat.

Cats prefer clear and quiet places to eat. Check your location of the food bowl and move it, make sure it is not loud noise, bad smell and other animals.

By changing their location to a safe place, away from aggressive pets or loud machines they start to feel safe and will begin eating.

Add Delicious Food

This works for picky eaters. If you add something delicious to their meal, they will not care about you. They will eat up. It is a great way, but we suggest not to overuse toppings.

You also can use different food on different days because they will not get bored of their food.

Let Your Cat Get a Little Bit Hungry

While you often tend to leave food out all the time and let your cats graze, this can make them never go hungry.

Picking up their food around 12 hours. They will be hungry enough to eat anything.

It’s preferable to feed them 2 to 3 meals each day, so you know when they have been fed, and they’ll be hungry and want to eat.

Clean the Food Bowl

It is not only for humans to dislike eating out of dirty bowls. Cat also. Any left food can emit odors that make your cat less eager to eat their food.

So if your cat’s bowl has not been cleaned in a while, you might wash it in a short time to make it more appealing to your cat.

Is It Bad to Hand Feed?

Is it bad to hand-feed? It is OK to hand-feed your cat. It is one best way to encourage a strong bond between the cat and yourself. It also teaches focus since your cat is getting fed when she pays attention to you.

A little hand-feeding can be helpful if your cat has been sick or is getting medical treatment and you need to encourage her to eat. But keep in mind that you may have to quit the hand-feeding habit later on, after they’re well.

Final Thoughts:

Every cat is different and they may have their own reasons. If you are sure 100% that your cat is healthy, the only way their behavior changes.

Cats become conditioned in a sense to doing things a certain way and feel safer with their owners there for them. They might be stressed or scared of aggressive pets while they are eating.

That’s Why Your Cat Wants to Be Your Hand-Feed because they feel safe and they trust in you. However, if you want them to eat on their own. You need to stop hand-feeding them by following our tips above.

Daney Hak

I’m a passionate cat mom and pet lover. Apart from being a cat owner, I’ve spent many years of my childhood around them. In my experience, I’ve learned the importance of understanding your cat to be able to cater to them adequately. Thank you so much for your time.

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