See your cat always hungry? As a loving owner, you might think that your feline merely enjoys the food you’ve chosen for her. However, a cat begging for food too often isn’t typical; it could be a signal for you to visit a vet and pay closer attention to a cat’s health.
If your cat wants to eat all the time, meowing and wandering over the place where you keep her food, there may be more than overeating and weight gain for you to worry. The reasons may be both psychological and physical (diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or even cancer, to name a few), so do your best to discover the cause behind your cat constantly hungry.
Your Cat Has Parasites
For a cat constantly hungry, eating all the time but still losing weight, she might have intestinal parasites, aka worms inside. They steal all the nutrition from her food, and that is why your cat eats but still feels hungry. But despite this, your cat may look like she’s gaining weight because the parasites cause her body to swell.
Spotting symptoms of worms in your cat is a bit challenging:
If she has a small number of parasites inside, you won’t see any signs at all. But as a rule, a cat with worms experiences vomiting, weight loss, lethargy, dull coat, abdominal swelling, and diarrhea.
Roundworms are the most common kind of parasite for a cat to have, and they are contagious to humans! So, if your cat is always hungry, with most of the symptoms, go to vets and check her health.
Your Cat Has Hyperthyroidism
A cat won’t stop eating by herself if she has hyperthyroidism: This disease causes an appetite increase because a cat’s body burns too many calories trying to normalize her hormones production and deal with the problem.
Hyperthyroidism is about an overactive thyroid gland, so symptoms here are too vague to notice. Ring the alarm if your cat has excessive thirst, weakness, or nervousness. Usually, it’s a disease of middle-aged and older cats, and it’s easy to treat with medication if diagnosed at early stages. Otherwise, surgery or radioactive therapy will become necessary.
Your Cat Has Diabetes
With diabetes, your cat’s begging for food because her body lacks the energy: Trying to compensate for the lack of sugar, a feline overeats to increase her energy level.
Symptoms to consider: your cat constantly hungry, eats all the time but still loses weight, drinks a lot of water, urinates frequently, and has weak muscles. Don’t leave diabetes untreated, as it can develop neuropathy and other dangerous illnesses.
Go to a vet for your cat’s health screening. In the case of diabetes, she may need insulin injections.
Your Cat is Depressed
Just like humans, some cats overeat because of psychological issues like loneliness, grief, or even depression.
It’s a myth that cats are aloof: for the last 50 years, they’ve morphed into social animals who form strong bonds with humans. I know some cases when a cat passed away because of her separation from the owner: she got depressed and just refused to live, despite the absence of physical health problems.
People used to think that dogs are more social, but it isn’t so: they are merely more extroverted than cats. In their turn, cats are more delicate with demonstrating their affection for a human. Changes put cats under stress, and, in general, they are more stressed than dogs.
So, your cat’s overeating might be a symptom of her depression. Other signs include aggressive behavior, hiding, excessive meowing, or inappropriate litter box behavior. In other words, your cat tries saying something to you, using signals she has.
“Depressed cats, especially cats who are grieving, will need extra compassion and care from their humans”, says Ingrid King, a cat consultant. “Spend extra time with your cat, provide her with new toys or interactive playtime, and she’ll feel better. But, your vet may prescribe medication in extreme cases.”
Should I Worry That My Cat is Always Hungry?
Your cat can’t beg for food without reason. Whether it’s a psychological or physical reason, you need to find out why your cat wants to eat all the time. The best decision would be to consult a professional veterinarian, because constant overeating may be a sign of severe health problems:
- Intestinal parasites
But if you went to a vet and heard that you shouldn’t worry about a cat’s health, the answer to “Why my cat is always hungry?” may be very simple:
Some cats won’t stop eating because they are bored. So, maybe your cat merely wants to play more and needs more stimulation to stay active? Provide her with new toys, interactive games, or more interaction with you, her human. It will help your feline burn calories and keep her mind engaged.
Also, consider automatic feeders to control a cat’s diet.
Another reason for your cat always hungry could be that she’s merely getting old. Older cats may undergo behavioral changes as well as physical problems I’ve already discussed here, leading to increased appetite.
What to do? Remember about annual periodic screening at a vet hospital. If your cat is 6+ years old, visit a doctor twice a year, to make sure she’s healthy.
What to Do When My Cat is Always Hungry Because of Health?
With a cat always hungry, you shouldn’t pander to this problem and let it run its course. So, here’s the best thing you can do:
Visit a professional veterinarian.
Yes, there are tons of authority articles online, giving you tips on how to deal with your cat’s health-related issues. But your feline is an individual: she has a unique body and character specifics, so don’t take online information for granted. Go to an expert vet – and make sure of your cat’s well-being.
What to Do When My Cat is Always Hungry but Healthy?
“My cat is always begging for food but healthy,” you are left scratching your head.
Here go our recommendations:
1. Give more food.
The chances are that you merely don’t give enough food, so your cat is actually hungry. Check the calories of the cat food you give to your feline, and make sure the portions are enough for her to get all the nutrition and be well-fed. Read our guide on how much a cat should be fed.
2. Try switching to another cat food type or brand.
Maybe your cat is always hungry because she doesn’t get all the necessary components from her current diet. So, check the nutritional elements of her food and compare them with her daily needs. Also, try switching to another menu or add wet food to your cat’s ration. It’s more filling than a dry one so that it could provide your four-legged friend with missing vitamins. Also you can try several high-quality brands like 4health, Pure Balance or Soulistic. Check our collection of top20 food suggestions this year.
3. Try free feeding.
Free feeding is about your cat having access to her food at all times. It can help a feline to control food intake on her own and eat as many portions as she needs to stay full-bellied. However, this feeding method has its disadvantages:
- Your cat may overeat, which leads to obesity.
- You can’t see if her appetite changes for worse or better.
- If you have several cats, you can’t understand how much each one eats (best solution is a feeder for several cats)
- This method works with dry food only because you can’t leave out wet food throughout the day.
4. Try combination feeding.
It’s a method of mixed feeding when you serve dry food freely available but give wet / semi-moist food as a twice-daily meal to your cat. It helps to monitor the appetite, provide a cat with the nutritional benefits of both wet and dry diet, and allow your feline to eat small meals on her schedule.
5. Try low calorie food.
Systematic overeating can cause your cat’s stomach to get stretched. As result your cat will have higher appetite. You can quit this never-ending circle giving low-calorie or low-carb cat food.
6. Try automatic feeder
Automatic feeder is a perfect way to give the exact amount of nutrients to your cat in a timely manner. Also it resolves a popular problem of feeding multiple cats: your cat may be hungry because other cat steals her food. Read more about auto-feeders for multiple cats – this could become a game changer for you.
7. Don’t let other cats steal your cat’s food
Got a multi-cat household? Other cats may eat your cat’s food and leave it constantly hungry. This problem is very common when you have two cats or more. Here’s what you can do in this case:
- Use an automatic in-house cat door to separate the cats.
- Use a feeding box to isolate the cats.
- Read our guide on this topic.
Any questions left unanswered? Check below:
Why is my cat always hungry but skinny?
As I’ve already mentioned here, it can be a symptom of health issues such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, intestinal parasites, or even cancer. Or, it may be because your cat is getting older, and her health and behavioral conditions change, so she eats like crazy but still remains thin. Visit your vet to get a diagnosis and make sure you treat the cat right.
What to do if my cat is obsessed with food?
If you went to vets, and they didn’t see any problems with your cat’s health, the recommendations could be as follows:
Avoid free feeding so your obsessed cat wouldn’t overeat. Remove all the temptation: don’t leave food unattended in the kitchen, lock a trash can so your cat couldn’t get any table scraps from there, and don’t encourage your cat begging for food.
Will a cat overeat?
Since most cats won’t stop eating until they are full, some can’t control it and therefore overeat. Just like humans, huh? Overeating may lead to obesity, which is a common problem in pets today, and overweight cats have many added health problems: joint pain, diabetes, liver problems, stresses, and more.
Yes, fat cats look adorable. But don’t allow overeating if you care about your feline’s health and well-being — pick the best food for weight loss instead.
And please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments if you have some questions about your cat always hungry but you can’t find a solution to this problem.
When your cat’s always hungry and often meows for you to fill up her bowl, don’t let this situation run its course. Visit a vet to find out the reason and exclude health problems, and, if everything is okay, try to understand your cat’s psychological condition. Our four-legged friends suffer from stress, fatigue, and depression, too, so do your best to provide them with everything they need for a happy life.