She will meow directly at me only (2 people in the house) and will have me follow her to her food bowl.

She does this even if the bowl is completely full. She stops meowing once she starts eating and if I leave while she’s eating she doesn’t start meowing again.

She seems to always do it right after a nap, if I’ve been petting her for a while, or completely random times.

Does this mean anything?

Some cats are just "social eaters," that is, they for whatever reason want company while eating. It could be also that they aren't as food motivated as they are attention or play motivated. In this case, the cat might not eat if their owner isn't in the room because they want to know what the owner is doing more than they want to eat.

  • Interesting. But why does she only do it with me? There’s two of us in the house and my gf is the one that’s been feeding her since we got her (8 months old) yet she only wants me to follow her to her food bowl – ohmmy Sep 7 at 17:32

The other answer is valid, some cats just having you nearby.

There is another reason: forgetting there was already food. I've seen my youngest cat do this often.

He's so eager for a treat that whenever I even vaguely move in the direction of the kitchen, he will try to guide me to the cat treat cupboard.

When he enters the kitchen, he passes the bowls. If there is still food in there, he turns towards the food instead and no longer tries to guide me, nor does he prevent me from leaving. I suspect he simply forgot that there was still food, or assumed it was eaten (we have 3 cats so the others may have eaten it).

Since you say it happens right after a nap, it might simply be that your cat has forgotten about any leftovers, and has gotten in the habit of asking for food before checking is there if any available.

The solution to that? Teach the cat to look for food before asking. I can think of two ways to do so. It depends on your cat:

  • Ignore the request for food. When it's adequately hungry, the cat will go looking for food anyway.
  • Put the food next to where the cat naps. Gradually move the bowl back to its starting position. Move the bowl a few inches/feet every few days, so that it's always in sight when your cat visits the previous position of the bowl.
  • But what’s odd is my gf is the one who fills the food bowl and the cat sees her do it all the time, yet she only behaves that way towards me. We could both be together in the same room and the cat will single me out to have her follow her – ohmmy Sep 10 at 16:03
  • @ohmmy: Does she particularly like you? Does she behave the same way where there is no food in the bowl? What does she do if you ignore her, does she switch tactics to your gf? Or maybe tries again with you at a later time? – Flater Sep 10 at 16:05
  • I’m not sure if she favors me or not. She’s always wanting to play and since I’m usually home more than my gf maybe she’s exposed to me more? If I ignore her she literally waits and as soon as I stand she meows and directs me to her bowl. If I ignore her long enough she eventually goes and eats solo. She doesn’t switch tactics to my gf just waits for me or gives up and either goes solo or tries later – ohmmy Sep 10 at 16:10
  • @ohmmy: Then it seems you've just got a social cat that likes you. – Flater Sep 10 at 16:11
  • Interesting. I never thought she favored me because if I’m petting her she moves. Only lets me pet her for about 10 seconds lol and never comes lay next to me or my gf – ohmmy Sep 10 at 16:13

Since it sounds like she's not a cuddling cat I think she's asking for attention rather than food and you may have inadvertently trained her a little. She meowed at you, you ignore, she continues, you finally "reward" her by walking, looking at, paying attention to her, finagling it with a food bowl. Have you tried just answering with play? Cats like to hunt, and work & catch their food too. As all animals, they may eat & play more on their own if it requires some challenge before getting to a food reward. I have trained both domestic and wild animals and cats are interesting creatures!

  • 1
    Thanks for that. Just odd she only does it to me and not my gf. Sometimes my gf will be playing with her and she’ll hear me come down the stairs and starts the meowing and has me follow her to the bowl. I’ve tried just playing and she does for like 5 seconds before stopping and having me follow her lol. I’ve since posting this started playing by throwing her kibble across the room. She loves to run after it and eat it like it’s prey she’s caught. Never seen this with any other cats I’ve owned in the past – ohmmy Oct 9 at 22:44

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