A pet parent was concerned after their cat stopped eating, only to discover that the sneaky kitty had been stealing food from the neighbors.
To post to the r/cats subreddit on July 4th, reddit user u/Mysticstorms shared a photo of their pet with a shaved belly. After three days of no meals, the ginger-white cat had been to the vet for an ultrasound. Fortunately, no health problems were found, but they did find lunch.
“Cat hasn’t eaten for 3 days, went to the vet where they did an ultrasound, only to find a tummy full of neighbour’s cat food,” wrote Mysticstorms accompanying the photo, which had more than 45,000 votes at the time of publication .
A study published in 2020 suggested that how cats are fed can determine their behavior. Described as “generalistic predators,” feral cats can survive in multiple environments because they can adapt to different food sources.
When not fed by humans, cats have been shown to eat everything from birds and rodents to fish, reptiles and amphibians.
However, domestic cats do not lose this desire to hunt just because they are domesticated. This means that food sources that mimic the hunting experience can improve a domestic cat’s mental and physical well-being.
Researchers recommend food puzzles and other “foraging” toys, as well as several small meals a day for cats. However, the difficulty of the puzzle must match the cat’s ability.
Reddit users called the cat a “sneaky little monkey”.
“They can be such scammers!” wrote shelbygeorge29.
“What a jerk,” Ghosttember said. “That looks like a ‘no regrets’ face.”
“Meanwhile, the neighbors’ cats are starving,” Old_Ladies_Die_Hard noted.
In the comments, Mysticstorms explained that they checked with the neighbors and that their pet was definitely stealing. “He’s not being fed on purpose,” they added.
“I talked to the neighbor and they have a cat door that is always open for their own cat, so he probably just slipped in at night to steal their food.”
Everyone thought it was hilarious that the cat tricked his owner into an expensive vet trip because of illegal snacks.
“‘I may look like an idiot, but at least I’m full!'” Runzas_In_Wonderland joked.
‘But that shaved belly…! Sneaky little monkey,’ said the star forest.
“Little jerk is right, he just made OP spend a few hundred bucks at the vet because the neighbor has better food lol,” wrote A***lBees2.
Mysticstorms isn’t the only pet owners looking for an unnecessary trip to the animal hospital. A cat mom recently paid $410 after she believed her “dramatic” older cat was on the brink of death, only to find out he had a toothache.
news week contacted mysticstorms for comment.