Garfield the cat is an unapologetic lasagna-addicted grump — and science knows why.

We see his behavior mimicked in the IRL cats around us — the aloof stares, the petulant demands for belly rubs. But what if it is their domesticity and easy living that make cats such divas?

That’s the argument put forth in a new paper published in Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found that while indoor life may protect your cat from predators (and make your life at least 50 percent more cuddly), the same sheltered world might also exacerbate various health and behavioral issues. No one wants to be living with an asshole cat, so the researchers decided to figure out what aspect of a cat’s life could be modified for the better. Their answer: Make cats work for their food.

While incessant meowing may indicate that your cat wants Fancy Feast now, the researchers determined that food puzzles take advantage of a cat’s instinct to hunt and forage, which in turn reduces stress. Food puzzle design can vary from anything between fancy plastic ball with holes in it to food stuck in a brown bag on the floor. When the researchers had 30 cats eat their meals via food puzzles they saw a significant decrease in cat aggression and anxiety, as well as notable weight lost.

When feeding time is over, your tiger on the hunt reverts back to a docile little kitten. Now, how to stuff a lasagna in a water bottle

Photos via Gisela Giardino/Flickr, Deviant Art