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My 8 year old adopted cat is great. He's super intelligent but a bit lazy... I've bought every toy and tried to entertain him, but nothing---- only when it comes to food. The thing is, he is so needy- only for food! He begs incessantly for food, then once he is fed he will rush up to me and make himself comfortable and practically burp in my face! I got him at 4 years old, and all this time I've kept him on a reasonable diet. He is super affectionate, loving and great- except for his begging for food. I was worried it was worms, but it isn't. I make sure he is entertained in between feedings, but is he still bored? Anyone have some advice?

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    Could you please make your question clearer? Are you simply asking if what you're doing right now is enough to meet the cat's needs?
    – D. Tunus
    Commented Nov 10, 2016 at 12:44

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If your cat is motivated by food so strongly, this gives you a powerful tool to both develop his play habits and relieve his boredom. Cat behavior is just like ours; they would prefer to get what they want with the least effort possible but will put effort into anything that they decide will benefit them.

Buy some kitty 'kibble' that your cat likes. You are looking for dry cat-food that comes in larger than normal cat-food pieces. Often sold as cat treats but some regular dry cat-food brands also come in larger than normal sizes. Ideally the kibble is healthy food for your cat, rather than the equivalent of kitty 'junk food'. Store the kibble in a cat-proof container in a convenient location.

Now for how to use that food to interact with your cat:

  1. your cat comes up to you and begs. Toss one kibble down the hallway so your cat can chase it. When he comes back, toss another kibble down the hallway.

  2. Buy a cat toy. The fishing-rod style with some feathers on a string work well.

Once your cat reliably chases kitty kibble down the hallway, wait until your cat starts begging again and then hold a single kitty kibble in one hand and the cat toy in your other hand. Drag the toy in front of your cat. If he makes any attempt at grabbing the toy, immediately toss the kibble down the hall so he chases it. When he comes back for more, repeat. Eventually you should only toss kibble for him if he makes a really good grab; half-hearted attempts just means the lure escapes the cat. Caught lures result in another food treat tossed down the hall.

What you are doing is training your cat to develop prey catching habits that result in food, just like nature intended. It keeps him exercised and entertained.

Another fun things to do are to seal your cat into a bedroom or other room, and then walk around your house hiding kibbles. Now let your cat out and let him discover the kibbles over time. Just remember that where you place the kibbles is also an invitation for the cat to go to that location, so if you place kibble on your kitchen table, you encourage your cat to jump up to that location forever afterwards.

If your cat has problems finding the kibbles, get a laser pointer, do a hallway kibble toss and at the same time use the laser pointer to circle the location of the kibble you just threw. Do this a few more times. Now use the laser on an undiscovered 'hidden' kibble. You cat will quickly figure out the laser dot seems to knows where all that hidden food is hiding and start chasing it. Just remember to always allow your cat to find a kibble when you get him to chase the laser dot. After all, chasing that dot is just pointless exercise to your cat unless there is some food in it as a reward.

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