Why Is My Cat Always Hungry? Dealing With The Food Obsessed Cat.

Posted: January 1, 2021 by Anita

Is your cat always hungry? And you know that he can’t possibly be hungry because you just fed him.

You’ve noticed that it’s no longer cute the way your cat is begging for food all the time. And to make things worse, it appears your cat is slowly putting on the pounds. What is goin on?

You could be dealing with a food-obsessed cat.

This article will be addressing the food-obsessed cat who is driving you crazy with its constant begging and meowing for more and more to eat.

food obsessed cat
Gigi, my daughter’s food obsessed cat

Why does my cat always want to eat?

Overeating disorder in cats is a serious matter. Some cats will eat and eat and eat some more. Whatever you put in front of them is going to disappear…hunger be damn.

Some cats feel the need to compete with the other cats in the household. So they will eat their food and will eat the other cats’ food as well.

Your cat could be suffering from an overeating disorder.

Let’s be clear. Overeating disorder in cats is a serious matter.

Overeating will lead to obesity if it goes unchecked. It can lead to heart problems, diabetes, and arthritis.

Is my cat overweight?

Is your cat always hungry and gaining weight?

A cat is considered overweight when he is 10% heavier than the average cat’s normal weight; your cat is obese if he is 20% heavier than normal cat weight. 

Obesity can shorten the life of your cat and we don’t want that! A cat’s weight determines longevity, quality of life, and prevention of chronic diseases.  In order to keep your cat at a healthy weight, it’s very important that you keep an eye on it.

A cat is considered overweight when he is 10% heavier than the average cat’s normal weight; your cat is obese if he is 20% heavier than normal cat weight. 

Not sure how much your cat should weigh? Check out this weight calculator for the answer.
food obsessed cat

The cat that is always hungry

A cat that is always hungry might not be hungry. Most of the time overeating in cats is not the cat’s fault. Sometimes, we cat owners can be guilty of feeding our cats too much and far too frequently.

Cats are opportunistic feeders. In the wild, cats will hunt for their food and eat what is available. When they come upon food the cat in nature will eat until very satiated because who knows when it will eat again.

But indoor cats, our little fluffballs, don’t have to hunt. And since cats are opportunistic feeders there are plenty of opportunities to eat in a human’s house.

We will fill their little bowls up with cat food time and time again (one day), toss snacks at them, and sometimes feeding food from our own table.

Then one day we (might) notice that our cat is overweight and always begging for more to eat.

My cat is always begging for food

The urge to eat in cats is relatively simple. Appetite, along with a proper diet and exercise, keeps eating and the extra pounds in check.

There’s a physiological and psychological component to appetite. The hypothalamus in the brain sends signals to the central nervous system which eventually regulates the mechanical aspects of eating.

The hypothalamus also signals the limbic system which regulates the senses, emotions, and behavior that go along with eating.

I call it the pleasure principle of eating.

A cat’s natural attraction to easy food sources, paired with a past history of being a feral (homeless) and you might have a cat that becomes food-obsessed.

Just like in humans, sometimes food is the go-to comfort for cats when life has been tough.

Food obsession in cats might look something like the list below:

  • cat begging for food all the time (very loudly)
  • stealing food off your table
  • stealing food from other pets
  • excessive behavior (like playing with your blinds, scratching at your door)
  • rushing to the dish when you go in that direction
why is my cat always hungry

Why is my cat always hungry? Is something wrong with my cat?

If you have noticed an increase in your cat’s appetite it could be due to medical reasons. In this section, I discuss possible medical reasons for your cat overeating.

Take your cat to the Vet for a proper diagnosis, should your cat exhibit any of the symptoms listed below.

Diabetes

Diabetes in cats is due from a lack of insulin. The lack of insulin prevents their little bodies from using glucose for energy. The decrease in energy causes an increase in appetite. You should also look for :

  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • weight loss

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism in cats is due to an increased in thyroid hormones. The increase in thyroid hormones is from an enlarged thyroid, usually caused by a thyroid non-cancerous tumor. Look for:

  • increase in appetite
  • weight loss
  • increased thirst and urination

Get your cat some health insurance by clicking here

My cat is always begging for food – how do I get him to stop?

The first thing you must do is get your cat assessed by a Vet to rule out a medical issue. If you cat has been deemed healthy, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work on your cat’s obsession with food.

So in a way, we humans kind of set up our cats for failure by providing easy and plentiful access to food. Here are tips on helping your cat have a healthy relationship with food.

Figure out much you should be feeding your cat

So you might be wondering, “how much wet food should I feed my cat?” So in a way, we humans kind of set up our cats for failure by providing easy and plentiful access to food. Cats will free-feed (constantly feeding themselves out of a full bowl of cat food) out of boredom. 

I found this great Calorie Calculator (click here) to help you figure out how much you should be feeding your cat.  Please be sure to consult your cat’s veterinarian to make sure you’re feeding your cat enough calories.

Make sure your cat is eating a high protein diet

Feed your cat a high protein, low carb diet.  Also, make sure you provide your cat with plenty of water for hydration purposes.

Feed your cat only twice a day

Instead, feed your cat twice a day by cutting the total amount recommended food into halves.  Once the bowl is empty, that’s it until the next feeding time.

Feed your cat a high protein, low carb diet.  Also, make sure you provide your cat with plenty of water for hydration purposes.

Make your cat work for its food

Cats are meant to be very active creatures.  Cats in their natural habitat are hunters who expend a lot of energy in pursuit of food.  When cats become inside pets that pursuit of food is taken away because the cat owner readily provides the food. 

I recommend purchasing a food puzzle or the Catit 2.0 Food Tree (I just got one for Theo)

Your cat could be bored

Sometimes the only time we pay attention to our cats is when we feed them. This can lead to your cat begging for food

Conclusion

Overeating disorder in cats is a serious matter. Some cats will eat and eat and eat some more. Overeating will lead to obesity if it goes unchecked. It can lead to heart problems, diabetes, and arthritis.

A cat is considered overweight when he is 10% heavier than the average cat’s normal weight; your cat is obese if he is 20% heavier than normal cat weight. 

Most of the time overeating in cats is not the cat’s fault. Sometimes, we cat owners can be guilty of feeding our cats too much and far too frequently.

A cat’s natural attraction to easy food sources, paired with a past history of being a feral (homeless) and you might have a cat that becomes food-obsessed.

If you have noticed an increase in your cat’s appetite it could be due to medical reasons. In this section, I discuss possible medical reasons for your cat overeating.

Take your cat to the Vet for a proper diagnosis, should your cat exhibit any of the symptoms listed below.

Help your cat with its obsession by making sure that you are:

  • not overfeeding
  • eating a good diet that contain a good source of protein
  • awarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior
  • providing playtime and plenty of exercise for your cat

 

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