Among all the domestic animals, cats always have a separate fan base and are too cute to ignore. They are experts in bonding that; a cat owner will feel more like parenting than petting.
Cats are often mysterious. It is tough to perceive their actions unless you have a proper connection with them, which can be attained only on being a good parent and satisfying his needs. One such thing that concerns most of the pet owners is how the cats always stay hungry. Food is their basic need. Hence, you must be keen on providing your cat with appropriate food. Though he requires an insight that could be acquired only by practicing pet parenting for a course of time, you can at least develop your conscience for better by knowing certain things.
It is sometimes very depressing to see your furry pal looking at you all the time until you fill the bowl. Well! Almost all of them would be familiar with this behavior. Until one day, you started thinking about why they are starving, even though you are feeding enough. What you should know is that you are not alone in this. Because by considering various facts that the vets and cat behavior analysts suggest, they are not just hungry. These are signs and indications of their physical and psychological conditions. In this article, we are going to see in-depth why this condition occurs in pet cats.
During the scheduled mealtime
Having practiced your cats for the mealtime is an excellent thought. Congratulations. But once you start slipping out a bit, they are not going to take it easy. Cats are smarter, especially when it comes to feeding. Once they have understood that it’s their mealtime, they start to cry or meow in a shorter pitch for a longer time.
Your cat might not even be hungry or staving. But the cat’s brain receives signals from the stomach to go and eat. You may think that your cat had some snacks in between mealtime. So, he will not feel hungry. But this is not true; your cat will never forget it. Until you serve your cat during his meal hour, he is not going to ignore it.
Cat treat spot
When you keep the cat’s treat in the regular place, we are sure that the cats have noticed it. When the owners go and stand in this certain spot, the cat starts to meow. They think that you are going to serve them some treats. Hence, they begin to cry. Now, if you don’t serve them anything, they are going to be disappointed. Especially when they hear the sounds of the packet or shaking the container, they are most likely to make these crying noises. They will come running happily and stand near your legs. They are going to make noises, but you think they are hungry.
The favorite smell from cooking
Cats are known for their smelling sense. When you cook fish or meat, they are going to be around the kitchen and dining area. But if you have not served them from what you cooked, they are going to start behaving strangely. Here are two things to notice – one is psychological. They start thinking that you are avoiding them, hence not offering them food. Secondly, they begin to steal food from the place. The owners will have a tough time breaking this habit of cats.
Many owners even complain that out of curiosity, the cats jump on the dining table or all over the food. Although they are not voluntarily pushing them, they tend to mess up the place in no time. You need to take some immediate action to change this behavior of your pet friend because they are not hungry.
Just like humans, even cats have an uncontrollable appetite when they have diabetes or Hyperthyroidism. Since the cats are extremely active sometimes, their calories are burnt very quickly. Hence, they can’t convert their sugar as energy. Therefore, they start getting hungry quite often than usual. Also, in hyperthyroidism cases, cats don’t get enough nutrition from their intake. They not only eat food during this time. Even if you serve them to water, the cats tend to drink adequately in no time.
It could be commonly identified with the cats. When you ask why your cats are eating, first identify the pattern. Are they lonely or feel bored all time? If yes, then the answer is right there. Do you know that even humans tend to eat a lot when they are feeling bored or stressed? Similarly, cats start to eat when they don’t have anything to keep them engaged. It stimulates their mind, which will help them to release their stress in the long run. However, it is highly dangerous, which may further lead to obesity. You need to set your pet free immediately. You can also engage your cat by offering nibbles, puzzle toys, etc.
These are some of the common reasons why it appears to be like cats are always hungry. But in certain conditions, you may need some professional help.
Find those reasons in the following table.
Cat eating Pattern
|Eating or chewing anything that the cats find||Your cat is not meeting his nutritional needs. Poor-quality of food or lack of any nutrition may want him to grab anything and eat.|
|Storing the food from their meal and having it later or little by little||Your cat friend is grieving. You need to interact with them or offer them new toys. Leaving uncared will put them in a depression.|
|Eating food continuously, but not gaining any weight||Never think this is common because cat stomachs are extremely small. They will easily gain weight. If they do not gain weight or becoming leaner even after continuous eating, then take them to the vet.|
|Cats eating in small quantities and excreting, immediately||It means that your cats have worms in their stomach. Roundworms are the reason for the cats to be hungry. As you know, they take all the nutrition from the food and grow long enough in the body. Take them to the vet or give the worm tonic to get rid of them. You can use Excel Liquid Roundworm De-wormer that is easily available online. They are safe and efficient in killing the roundworms.|
Why do you think the cat’s food habit is strange?
Cats are very active, funny, fluffy creatures, and of course, foodies. But they don’t eat in large quantities; at least not as much as dogs do. They like food and will show joy while you reward them with a treat, but their tummy is little to accommodate plenty of food. Felines are usually conventionalists and thus would expect their owner to feed them on time. Don’t confuse this as desperation or overeating.
When you know that you have served the cat with the right amount of food, then don’t worry. If the cats are again asking for the food, you have to talk to them. Don’t fill the bowl immediately. Distract them or offer them something to play so that they are carried away and not want food. Because whatever be the reason for craving for food is, if they develop unhealthy food habits, they will end up harming their health.
The quantity of food consumption of a cat will vary according to the following factors:
Breed: If your cat belongs to a breed like Maine Coon, which will weigh about 20 pounds, as an adult, he would obviously require more food. While if your cat belongs to a breed like Singapura, he will neither be too hungry nor require more food.
Age: The little kittens who are too active will require more food than the adult ones.
Weight: If your feline is generally a fluffy one right from his younger age, he would definitely require more food than a cat of his same breed and same age. There is nothing to worry about.
Physical activity: We knew that cats are great dozers. But apart from the times they sleep, they will be active & few will be lazy too. Evidently, active ones tend to eat more than those lazy ones.
Wish: Like humans, there are foodie cats too. Just because they love food, they might eat a scoop extra. That need not be a big concern. But do keep a check on the quantity and prevent them from overeating.
Health: Obesity and cholesterol are not so easy to control in the cats. You need to be very careful. Empty the cartons before them to show that the food is out of stock. While there are so many ways to expand their energy, but eating is not one of them. It is the point where you need to focus more because an unhealthy cat will overeat as a sign of its disease. It can either be mental or psychological trouble. Do pay keen attention.
The symptoms of most of the diseases might appear to be similar, and that is how it is. You cannot come up with a clear decision by just observing your cat. Only investigatory procedures can figure out the root of the sufferings your feline is up to. So better make a trip to your vet once you start to notice these unusual symptoms.
The following table will help you understand it better.
|Cause of over-eating||How did this happen?||How will your cat react?||What to do?|
|Parasites in the intestine||There might be little insects like roundworms in your cat’s tummy. The signs of infestation will mostly remain dormant. It might be because they ate flea, or the parasites would have developed on their own, which is common.||He will eat in greed. As the parasite is taking all the nutrients, it will leave him hungry all the time. His belly will swell because parasites will cause inflammation. He will be constantly cranky.||Take your pet to your vet. He would examine his feces and prescribe some medications & regulations. Don’t worry, once your kitty chases away those parasites, he will be normal all over again.|
|Hyperthyroidism||Just like humans do, cats too have a thyroid gland at their neck. It will produce thyroxin hormone. Excessive thyroxin will amplify the food breaking metabolism, thus demanding him to eat more food.||His non-satiation for food will remain high. He will lose weight in a great deal. He will also be subjected to unquenched thirst and frequent peeing.||Indeed, a trip to your vet will straighten the things. A blood test will be done, and medicines will be provided to decrease the thyroxin production.|
|Diabetes||It is the condition when the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas becomes insufficient in the blood. It will minimize the digestion of food; thereby, alleviating the nutrient absorption and leaving your cat hungry all the time.||Too much of eating, but too skinny, especially in the face area.|
|Visit your vet & he would investigate with a blood test. Insulin injections of certain doses would be prescribed. It should be injected twice a day. Don’t worry; it is easy & you will be taught since it is an intradermal injection only.|
|Pancreatic diseases||Your cat might be suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). It will occur as a result of the decline in the pancreatic enzymes.||Though puking is common in cats, in this case, it will be terribly recurrent, severe diarrhea, sticky stool, an untidy hair, abnormal thinning.||Don’t panic & take your cat to your vet. He will examine by a blood test. Usually, in such cases, a medicine called, TLI (trypsin-like immunoreactivity), will be prescribed but might differ.|
|Bowel trouble||There might be any trouble in your cat’s intestine, which may include decreased absorption of nutrients by the small intestine, low vitamin B12, or a hairball stuck in the intestine.||He will appear to be tired all the time, vomiting, and diarrhea will also be accompanied. Weight loss will be significant.||You should consult your vet to diagnose what he is suffering in the first place. The necessary treatment would be suggested. An intestinal endoscopy might be done to arrive at a decision.|
|Acromegaly||Like humans, cats too have a pituitary gland, which is responsible for the production of growth hormones; especially if it is produced in excess, it will increase the energy and food needs of the cat||Your cat would appear stout and fluffy than the other cats of its same breed and age. You may seem your cat signaling and demanding food, quite often.||Keep a tab on his weight and consult your vet for further treatment.|
|Cancer||Your pet might be suffering from intestinal cancer (lymphoma). The hyperplasia of cells in the abdomen will nudge your cat to eat more.||Unusual fatigue and thinning. Constantly keeps his face straight.||Take him to your vet. He will carry out the necessary investigations and might prescribe steroids or chemotherapy (oral or injectable).|
|Getting old||As your feline ages, his digestion capacity will decrease, and energy needs will elevate. It will obviously increase the food need for him than a middle-aged cat.||Just eats quite extra and be as healthy and cool as ever.||If your cat is around the age of 13 and he eats extra without showing any unusual symptoms, better don’t mind other than his periodical vet visits.|
|Psychological problem||He may be bored, capitulated to solitude, subjected to depression, or simply in a bad mood. In order to get him diverted, he relies on overeating as a matter of self-soothing.||Appears to be cranky, exhibit behavioral problems like unusual self-grooming, or peeing in inappropriate manner and places. Will become obese and lazy.||Better pay attention to your cat and spend time with him playing or a cuddle will do. If you don’t find the time, at least introduce him to more pet friends so that he won’t feel left out.|
|Insufficient food||You might have fed your cat less than the quantity he required, which would lead to malnutrition and thereby making him desperate for food.||His hair coat will be unhealthy and less shiny. He will remain dormant mostly and will doze a little extra than usual.||Consult your vet and get a formulated food plan for your cat and feed accordingly.|
|Foodie||Yes. He might just be a food lover & you may be providing tasty food as a treat to his tongue.||Eats some extra kibbles and be active and naughty.||Try feeding him in puzzle toys so that he has to work and eat. It might reduce the quantity and prevent him from obesity.|
Even though the about table gives you a fair idea about the health problems, you can differentiate with the cat’s behavior for food when they are normally adamant.
Odd behaviors of cats associated with eating:
- Loud cries during meal time – cats are too smart and will learn their regular meal time quickly. As a result of this, they tend to gesture the one who provides meals, with loud meows and cries during that particular time, and express their desperation for the meal.
- Whining on a motto to get treats – once you reward your cat with some special food and he likes it, he will jump in excitement, whenever you are in the place that particular food is or holding it.
- Counter surfing on seeking different dishes that you don’t feed him or he is not slaked with his meal
- Hasty eating – while among many other pets as a result of competitive eating or medical concerns that elevated their appetite. It might lead to regurgitation of feed, leading to vomiting.
- Overeating accompanied by obesity – obsessed with food or pregnant.
- Overeating accompanied by thinning – medical concerns, as mentioned formerly. Better be aware.
Fortunately, kittens are usually fond of food & their routine is all about napping, playing, and eating. So, don’t fret until your cat is active, fit, and devoid of any unusual symptoms despite over-eating as your feline is not in any trouble but just being a foodie.
How can you know that your cat needs food?
Vocals: Cats are usually quiet. They won’t let out loud cries, unless and until they need something. It might mostly be for food otherwise when it is in danger or a bad mood. After ruling out the other two causes, if he is still letting out high pitched meows, then it is time for you to feed him.
Behavior: There is no wonder if a cat is clingy, especially when you share a strong bond. It is a way they express their love for you. But don’t fail to notice when he is being clingy and also where. If you find him running between your legs restlessly, seeking your attention whenever you are near his food bowl, or he himself directs you to his bowl, it is an evident indication that he needs food. Sometimes they are cranky and show their rage towards you for not feeding.
Behavioral problems of cats associated with eating:
- High pitched cries on their scheduled meal time – felines are smarter and can memorize their regular meal time quickly. Because of this, they tend to nudge you to provide the meal at that exact time in case you forget to do so.
- If your cat is hungry or not slaked with his meal, he will first try to get you in his will, and after failing in that attempt, he will do counter surfing to get food for himself.
- Whining to get rewards – cats are indeed kids and will show a special interest in new foods. So whenever you feed your kitty with something new, and he likes it, he will demand that often by exhibiting odd notes.
Abnormal hunger of cats:
- Physiological reasons: Your cat might be suffering from health issues like intestinal parasites, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bowel troubles, acromegaly, malignancy, and age-oriented issues. So, make sure you pay a visit to your veterinarian if you notice unusual symptoms like fatigue, frequent puking, diarrhea, etc. keep track of his health and provide the prescribed medications properly to take the edge off the ailments and comfort your kitty.
- Psychological reasons: Pay keen attention to your hungry cat, who also seems to be cranky as he might have been subjected to solitude and depression. Because when cats are in a bad mood, they become desperate for food to get themselves diverted from that. It is a sign that you should invest more time with your pet and make him happy.
- Mere fond: Just like few humans are, there are foodaholic cats too. Just because they eat an extra scoop, don’t judge them as overeating. There is no harm in feeding him some more kibbles until your kitten is active, healthy, and in an ideal weight.
Tips for feeding your cat:
- Combine both dry food and wet food.
- The ideal energy requirement of cats 240 calories. Approximately dry food contains 300 calories per cup & wet food contains 250 calories per 6 ounces.
- Formulate, according to your cat’s affinity, nutrition requirements, and health.
- Cats digest meats better than plants. Also, meat is good for cats than plant foods, as it contains more proteins.
Types of cat food:
Cats have a specific nutrient requirement depending on their physiology. They generally require more vitamins and amino acids like taurine and arginine. Their metabolism cannot synthesize these nutrients for themselves, and thus they are under a compulsion to acquire it from the food. There are different types of diets available for the cat, including:
- Natural diet
- Commercial cat food diets
- Dry food diet
- Wet food diet
- Renal diet
- Gastrointestinal health diets
- High energy diet
- Raw food diet
- Weight control diet
- Grain-free diet
- A vegetarian and vegan diet
- Homemade cat food diets
Felines are authentic carnivores. Hence, the most compatible food for them is fresh meat. Wild cats would usually hunt down their prey. But for domestic cats, you can passively feed them with fresh meat. It will meet all their nutrient requirements.
Commercial cat food diets
These are processed and preserved foods that are formulated especially for cats in different proportions according to their physiological requirements. They are usually stored in cans and tins or foil pouches. The main object of this kind of food is to make the job of the pet parents easy also without compromising the health of their beloved pet.
There are about 9-varieties of processed food available in the market, each differing in their contents and of specific use.
|Dry food diet||They are food pellets with around just 9% moisture and necessary nutrients.||Oral health will be improved.|
|Wet food diet||These contain around 76% moisture and are formulated with different contents.||Cats relish wet foods compared to dry ones.|
|Renal diet||Contain low protein and phosphorous but excessive fats like omega-3.||To treat kidney disorders.|
|Gastrointestinal diet||A higher ratio of fibers, fats, probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants.||To maintain good gut health and to treat gut disorders.|
|High energy diet||Since fats deliver more energy of about 8 kcal/g, it will be at a higher level than carbs and protein.||Keeps your kitty more active. Much needed for older ones.|
|Raw food diet||Preserved raw meat, which will satisfy the basic nutrient needs.||Can improve overall health, including coat, teeth, and gut. Also, provide better immunity.|
|Weight control diet||The highlighted content is fermented fibers and prebiotic fibers.||Will help to maintain the ideal weight of your cat and will prevent or treat obesity.|
|Grain-free diet||The key content here is substitutes for carbohydrate-rich substances.||To meet the energy needs as in carb food.|
|Vegan diet||Processed veggies either in dry or wet form without compromising the nutrient needs.||Preferred for vegan pet parents.|
Why should you not overfeed your cat?
- It will lead to obesity
- He will become a lazy kitty
- Your cat will no more look cute as they become lazy and quit self-grooming because of overfeeding. It will also turn your surroundings untidy with cat hairs all over.
- May exhibit aggression in case you don’t feed him much at a point.
- His internal systems may get spoilt.
- Your cat might not receive a balanced diet and thus failing to meet his nutritional needs. It will alleviate his immunity and make him more vulnerable to diseases.
- Overfeeding will eventually put him into health issues like heart problems and liver problems
- Excessive feeding will also pave the way for elderly issues as they grow, which includes arthritis, struggled breathing, diabetes, and oral troubles.
How to prevent overfeeding?
- Take the advice of your vet in formulating a balanced and sufficient food for your pet.
- Always have a constant measure of food.
- Though you chose to divide the food into multiple servings, make sure you don’t skip the prescribed quantity.
- Keep the food scraps out of your cat’s reach, so that he doesn’t sneak in and feed himself.
- Study your pet’s health thoroughly.
How to respond?
Try letting them have access to their daily meal multiple times a day. You can do this by measuring their daily limit all at once and split them into several servings. This way, you neither overfeed. Make sure you keep their food and water in a tidy place devoid of flies and pests. It will prevent those conventionalists from pestering you whenever they want food.
- Make sure your cat does not adopt the habit of grazing at food throughout the day, whenever he feels like. Because cat experts say, it is a very unhealthy habit.
- Feeding your feline at least twice a day in a 12-hour interval. But it is preferred if you feed them 3 or 4 times instead of dumping all the meal in two servings. It will render them ample nutrients and energy.
- Don’t always respond to their cries and pesters with food, as they would induce a thought in them that they can rule you over and win what they want on disturbing you.
We hope that this article has given you some insights into how the cats stay hungry all time. Its time you understand that it is not only them who are responsible. Even the owners play a vital role in putting them for healthy, hygienic food habits. But if you find any symptoms or something unusual, it’s better to take the help of your vets. In order to be par excellence in pet parenting, one should master the art of feeding their pet appropriately and make sure he is healthy and happy in also aspects. Along this process, make sure you also treat them as your beloved to change any routine.