The Fat ManMy fat cat cries in the middle of the night and it drives me crazy and all he wants is food. I’m not home during the day so feel bad like he is starving or something so leave him food, come home and he cries so give him food, then go to sleep and he starts to cry again and the only way to stop him is the feed him. It’s terrible.

Growing up my parents had a hard time saying no to my sisters and I, and food was never sparse in the house. If I wanted something I’d cry and, most of the time, my Mom would give in and give me whatever I wanted. Whether it was healthy or something “bad” rarely was I denied foods that I kept crying for. I wasn’t a fat kid, but I did go through a heavy phase around adolescence. My family said that’s what happens when you go through a growth spurt, but it didn’t change the fact that it was a hard period of my life. Weight has been, and always will be, an issue in my life for multiple reasons. I am haunted by my fat phase and never being told no when it came to food only exasperated the situation. Never being told no in general has bad repercussions but all that crying for certain foods resulted in a victory for me. Now, when my cat cries, I revert to giving him whatever he wants.

Some parents have a hard time saying no to their children, and when it comes to food, it can be particularly difficult. Managing a child’s weight and diet can be hard when you find that saying no to your child when they cry for something is a challenge. There are multiple factors that play into people with weight troubles, however, one factor is when parents find it hard to say no when it comes to feeding their children food that they want. And it’s not just when it comes to food. If a child wants a specific toy, or cries when he or she wants to stay up past their bedtime, some parents simply have a hard time saying no and might not think about how that behavior will affect their behavior in adulthood.

Now, as an adult, when it comes to feeding my cat, I see how parenting rolled over into raising my tabby, who happens to be called The Fat Man. I have tried all kinds of diet cat food but nothing works. When he cries I cave in and feed him which now has become a series problem. Somehow, despite his obesity, I find it impossible to say no and wonder if that learned behavior stems from my upbringing. The cry becomes a trigger and I become my Mom and give him whatever he wants. I’ve learned though that as long as I can pin point this behavior, and in turn find a way to amend it, then maybe I will find a way to manage my behavior. That’s step one.



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    Last reviewed: 31 Jul 2014

APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2014). My Cat Has Fat Cheeks: How Learned Behavior Effected My Adulthood. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 2, 2015, from


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