Why Does My Cat Eat So Much?
If you are reading this then your cat seems to be hungry all the time and you are wondering why does my cat eat so much? By now, you understand the difference between your cat having a healthy appetite and it being a glutton – eating whatever it comes across.
Two years after my cat was born, I noticed it wanted to eat all the time, regardless of how many times I fed it during the day or night. I realized it was abnormal and sought advice from my vet. Of course everything was explained to me and I better understood how to handle my cat.
Why is my cat everything in sight?
This condition is known as polyphagia. I should point out that in itself this is not a disease. Rather, it is a symptom of a medical or behavioural problem. To deal with this symptom, you will need to get to the root cause. Treat the cause and the symptoms will disappear. Below is how to get to the bottom of this symptom.
Rule out health conditions
Has your vet examined your cat? There are certain medical reasons which may cause your cat to be hungry at all times and eat everything in its sight. One of the most common conditions includes diabetes mellitus, tumour, insulin shock and worms. It can be even worrying when your ca seems to eat a lot but keeps losing weight.
Most vet handbooks contain a list of about 20 health conditions that result in polyphagia. When your cat is diagnosed with a disease by your vet, treatment of the said disease can commence immediately. Treating the disease is all you need to get rid of this symptom.
You should note that lactating felines and kittens have an increased appetite.
Ignore your cats begging
If you are like me, the most annoying thing that your cat does is begging for food. It can be quite embarrassing if it does the same to the guests you have over. Cats tend to beg food by purring, meowing and following you around all day long.
While it may take you a lot of courage to achieve this, you need to ignore this behaviour. When your cat begs you for food, it knows that you will give in or provide it with the attention it is seeking.
So you should as such not even shoo it away. Pretend you heard nothing and do not even look at it. Looking at it or chasing it away means that you heard it and it tells itself, ‘if I insist a little more I will get what I want’.
Bear in mind that the most important thing for you is to ensure that your cat remains healthy at all times. If you know you have fed it right and with enough food, you should have nothing to worry about.
If your feline getting enough food?
Once you have determined that nothing is wrong with your cat (there isn’t any underlying condition), two concerns that you should proceed to address include:
- Is your cat getting sufficient amounts of food?
- Are the food times evenly spaced out throughout the day?
Answering these questions will help you answer the question ‘why does my cat eat so much?’
Before you feed your cat on any food, the first thing you should do is check the labelling for instructions on the right amount you should feed your cat. The amount varies depending on your cat’s size and weight. It also matters if your cat is male or female. Male cats tend to eat a lot more than female cats, unless the female cats are lactating.
Divide the recommended daily intake into four or three meals and follow a strict schedule. If need be, set an alarm to remind you of the feeding times. While following this schedule, you should not feed your cat any treats. With time, your cat will get used to the feeding times and even predict the feeding times. Eventually, if your feeding time is at 11am, your cat will not come begging for food at 8am.
How Much and How Often should I feed My cat?
As pointed out above, most foods, both dry and wet cat foods come with instructions on the right amount of food to feed your cat. Follow this recommendation strictly as several factors have been considered to arrive at the recommendation.
In addition to the daily amount you are required to feed your cat, you also need to pay attention to the number of times you feed your cat in a day. Feeding your cat its entire daily food intake in one sitting may save you time, but your cat, it is unhealthy and almost impossible. Cats naturally have about 10 meals in a day. Feeding it once in a day is the same as starving it.
You should at the very least feed your cat 3 times in a day.
Before you find the perfect amount of food and frequency of feeding, you might have to readjust the schedule after every two weeks. Yes, it is important to find the best feeding schedule as this will ensure that your cat maintains its ideal body weight.
Remember, whatever times you choose to feed your cat, you should stick to them for consistency purposes.
Why is my cat so skinny and she eats a lot?
There are times when cats tend to eat a lot and they have nothing to show for it, with regards to weight gain. As a matter of time, your cat may be eating a lot and only seems to lose weight instead of gaining weight.
The only time this might be the case is when your cat is suffering from a disease which manifests itself in form of excessive hunger. In such a situation, you should always seek advice from your vet. A professional vet will help you get to the bottom of your cat’s situation. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the sooner your cat gets better.
Is wet food or dry food better for cats?
The internet is filled with all kinds of conflicting stories and ideas about wet and dry foods. In fact, most vets are usually against dry foods. But the question is which is better - dry food or wet food?
Now, it is no secret that dry cat food is cheaper, and easier to store in comparison to wet food. You can leave the dry food out for your cat to nibble on all day long. Automatic cat feeders work great with dry cat foods. In addition to this, dry cat food helps to strengthen and keep cat teeth healthy. Of course this depends on the type of dry food your feed your cat on.
Canned wet food on the other hand is also great for developing strong muscles and bones. Wet cat food is expensive.
Rather than feeding your cat on one and leaving the other, you need to feed it on both. Your cat will love the variation. It will benefit from both.
Always remember to give your cat lots of fresh water, especially when feeding it on dry cat food.
So why does my cat eat so much? Simple, because there of either an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed or it is not getting enough food. Addressing these two issues will see your cat return it’s to its normal feeding habits and appetite.