Thursday 3 November 2011

Cat Feeding Order or Rank

Cats adopt a feeding order when in groups. A study¹ of feral cats feeding at garbage sites indicates that:
  • Male cats ate before female cats
  • Older and larger cats tended to eat before younger and smaller cats
  • Between males, older cats ate before younger cats
  • Between females, larger cats ate before smaller cats
  • Kittens were given priority by both females and males.
This social feeding etiquette has several layers of activity where females, males and kittens are all eating together. In the human home, the cat feeding order must be less relevant as several sources of food are placed down at one time in multi-cat households.

Cat feeding order - What place in the order does a chicken take!?
See gray house chicken bottom left
Photo by AlishaV

Note: (1) Factors affecting feeding order and social tolerance to kittens in the group-living feral cat (Felis catus) - Yamane et al. The cats were immigrant males from another group and females who were related and with their kittens.

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