As cat owners will tell you, felines are very food-orientated. From the “savage” Bengal who has to be fenced in at mealtimes, to this muffin-stealing moggy, cats will go to extreme lengths for a full belly.
One pet parent was concerned after their cat stopped eating, only to discover that the sneaky puss had been stealing food from the neighbors.
Posting to the subreddit r/cats on July 4, Reddit user u/Mysticstorms shared a snap of their pet with their stomach shaved. After turning down meals for three days straight, the ginger and white cat had been to the vet for an ultrasound. Fortunately, no health problems were detected, but they did find lunch.
“Cat didn’t eat for 3 days, went to the vet where they did an ultra sound only to find a belly full of the neighbor’s cat’s food,” Mysticstorms wrote alongside the photograph, which had more than 45,000 upvotes at the time of publication .
A study published in 2020 suggested that how pet cats are fed can determine their behavior. Described as “generalist predators,” feral cats can survive in multiple environments as they can adapt to various food sources.
When not fed by humans, cats have been shown to eat everything from birds and rodents, to fish, reptiles and amphibians.
However, pet cats don’t lose this desire to hunt just because they’ve been domesticated. This means that food sources that simulate the hunting experience can boost a pet cat’s mental and physical well-being.
Researchers recommend food puzzles and other “foraging” toys, as well as feeding cats several small meals a day. However, the difficulty of the puzzle must match the cat’s ability.
Reddit users dubbed the cat a “sneaky little monkey.
“They can be such scammers!” wrote shelbygeorge29.
“What a little jerk,” said spooktember. “That looks like a ‘no regrets’-face.”
“Meanwhile, the neighbors’ cats are starving,” commented Old_Ladies_Die_Hard.
In the comments, Mysticstorms explained they had checked with the neighbors, and their pet was definitely thieving. “He doesn’t get fed on purpose,” they added.
“I talked with the neighbor and they have a cat door that’s always open for their own cat, so he probably has just been sneaking in at night to steal their food.”
Everyone found it hilarious that the cat had tricked its owner into an expensive vet trip over illicit snacks.
“‘I may look like an idiot, but at least I am full!” joked Runzas_In_Wonderland.
“That shaved little belly though… ! Sneaky little monkey,” said thestarforest.
“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 owner to fork out for an unnecessary trip to the animal hospital. A cat mom recently paid $410 after believing her “dramatic” elderly cat was about to pass away, only to discover he had toothache.
Newsweek reached out to mysticstorms for comment.