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Cats that beg for food have a psychological disorder

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Compared to dogs, cats are almost saintly in their response to human dinnertime.

While dogs will typically cry and beg until all of their dignity is in shreds, cats will usually choose to sit it out, spending the time planning their vengeance.

But for the cats who pester during your meal, it seems as if they might need to spend some serious time with a cat shrink. We haven't checked but that's probably an actual thing.

Researchers writing in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, believe that some cats suffer from an eating obsession that causes them to continue begging for food even when they're not hungry. Symptoms include "food related aggression" like grabbing tins of cat food and growling.

Paolo Mongillo, the leader of the study, stated: "If you feed them from the table, just once in a while, the cat will think it is like a slot machine - if they always ask, every so often they will get what they want."

They studied an eight-month-old cat called Otto who would eat his own food, the food of other cats, food from the dinner table and even plastic toys. The Rik Waller of cats, if you will.

After a course of behavioural therapy where his owners were banned from eating in front of him and calm behaviour was rewarded, the problem was gradually cured.

Sadly there's still no known cure for dogs.

[via Daily Mail]

(Image: Flickr Creative Commons: Craft*ology)

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