Is it "more natural" (or behaviorally preferable) for two domestic cats to eat together… or to feed them separately?
I have two cats, and one of them is what I would call an… aggressive eater. He's always been that way. I took him in as a young stray born of a feral parents, but I managed to domesticate him to be one of the sweetest cats you will ever know.
But feeding times brings out his posturing, and meals are consumed with a constant growling under his breath and guarded glances towards his happily-feeding companion like someone is going to take away his last meal for awhile. Of course that never happens; there is plenty for all.
My thinking was that teaching them to eat together would be a useful part of his social domestication… but a year later without success, I'm wondering if the potential sense of well-being is worth the stress of something he may never overcome. It has never escalated into anything physical — the other cat basically ignores him — and they get along famously in every other way.
Is there a better way to help assure him that the posturing is completely unnecessary? Is it even considered "better adjusted" if they can eat together? Or am I going against some basic instinct where they would be better off feeding separately?