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Cat is ALWAYS hungry!
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butterflygarden posted:
I read that we were going to have vets joining this board. Welcome! I have an 8-year-old male cat (neutered), and he seems to want to eat ALL the time. He's indoor/outdoor, and we have him on Purina One weight control formula food. I feed him about 1/4 cup of food twice a day, but in between meals he is constantly running to his bowl and meowing if we come anywhere near it. He acts as if he's starving all the time. I can't remember his exact weight from his last vet appt., but I'd say he's around 10 lbs and medium-sized. I suspect that others in the house are taking pity on him and giving him extra food, because he has a bit of a flabby gut. There was no sign of worms at his last vet visit a couple of months ago. What should I be exploring with my own vet? Is this normal for his age? Kitty depression? Just want to be sure I'm giving him the care he needs. He's such a sweetie pie. Butterfly
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kitvond responded:
Hi Butterfly, I just wanted to say that I have a similar situation with my cat. He is almost 4 years old (also neutered) and I feed him about the same amount that you feed your 8 yr old. He's really lazy in general (indoor only) and had been steadily gaining weight since he reached maturity so I decreased his diet from 1/2 cup per day (1/4 cup twice a day) to just under 1/2 cup of food daily - really it's not much less than I was feeding him before - and I break it down into 4 servings a day. I was giving him two
 
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RIyaNyghte responded:
I have 2 cats, one who is very active and the other is just a kitten. The active one only eats maybe 1/2 cup twice a day, the kitten eats ALL THE TIME. Every time I go near the empty food bowl he cries and when I start filling it he sticks his head in and I spill food everywhere. I try to keep the food bowl full, but it doesn't always go as planned. They both eat Kitten Chow because honestly until I received the kitten as a gift the older one only ate dog food. I've tried supplementing the dry food with wet. It seems to keep the kitten fuller a little longer.
 
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Lifes responded:
In my experience, 10 pounds is not unreasonable for a full grown male of medium to large sized bone structure. Actually males can go 12 pounds and be healthy, unless the cat has an underlying health problem. Also it is fairly normal for neutered males to get a low belly pouch. In addition to worms, extra hunger, food-crying, and being a bowl-hanger can be caused by diabetes and hyperthyroidism. Both can be checked with simple blood tests. I'd certainly talk to the vet about your cat's demands for more food. Lifes
 
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Lifes responded:
Foods for cats and dogs have different formulas. Each needs their own sets of nutrients. Also, there are differences, I believe, in products for how digestible they are. Dog food is more easily digested by dogs; cat food is more digestible for cats. Kittens have special nutritional needs, higher protein etc. That's why they make the kitten formulation in dry food. Kittens, like their older counterparts, shouldn't have dog food, and older cats shouldn';t eat kitten food. Not only can their digestive systems work harder, older cats may develop problems from the high protein in kitten foods. Kittens, especially, are very prone to fleas and worms. Mom has fleas, gives them to the babies. But with biting, moms and babies get worms, which continue to grow even after the fleas are treated/gone. The biggest 2 reasons, in my experience, for an insatiable kitten is worms (a cute round belly can actually mean they are full of worms and gassy belly), or underfeeding. If kitten brought fleas or worms into the house, both the kitten and older cat probably now have both. I'd visit the vet. Take stool samples with you so they can look for worm-casts under the microscope. Ask about their diets. And, I'd feed the 2 in separate rooms with the dry foods right for their ages, and don't let either one just "browse" food bowls until both are eating their own dry food. Get the older one off dog food. Lifes
 
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RIyaNyghte responded:
My adult cat is kinda off dog food now and I'm trying to stick to adult wet food for him. He seems to like it but he's an indoor/outdoor cat that keeps odd hours. If I can't catch him during the day to feed him he'll eat whatever he can find at night. Our dog food is made with real chicken and he really loves it so I get him the chicken flavored wet food. We just dewormed him 2 months ago, right before we got the kitten and they don't share a litter box. Should I deworm him again?
 
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inocuo responded:
I would have a vet do a fecal test to check for worms next time you are in (and look around his rear end to see if there are tapeworm segments that would look like rice). Most dewormers only treat specific species of worms. Most vet prescribed annual dewormers will treat roundworm, hookworm, whipworm-but not tapeworm. Usually tapeworm pills are only given if the cat has the "rice on the butt" or other tapeworm symptoms. They can get tapeworm by ingesting a flea, eating a rodent that has them or somehow ingests the larvae. It may not be worms, it may be just that the cat wants more food or attention- or as stated in other posts- maybe the food isnt giving the cat what he needs. I have 2 obese cats but have to leave food out constantly because the skinnier one (he is only fat because he had prednisone shots for allergies- he was scrawny prior to the shots) will eat all the food before the other cat gets any. Maybe try breaking the feedings up as stated above into 3 feedings rather than 2.
 
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Drew_Weigner_DVM_ABVP responded:
Hmmm... I don't think you guys need me - all these suggestions are great. Here's my thoughts: Some cats do eat a lot always, especially outside cats and kittens. But you're really talking about a cat who i suddenly starts to eat more. That's different. Hyperthyroidism is a distinct possibility, especially in an older cat. It's an unusual disease in that these cats are typically active and eat very well. Doesn't sound like a sick cat, does it? Yet these cats will eventually die from this disease if left untreated. The good news is that it's very treatable. I'd also have your vet check for parasites (not just worms) and run a complete set of lab tests to check for other diseases, including diabetes. Everyone's comments were right on. I think WebMD should award a prize to the one who guessed correctly. Please let us know what you find out.


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