Around mealtimes, your cat will behave predictably when it is hungry, and many cats can be quite demanding when it comes to food.
Even though cats don’t have the same appetite as dogs do, acting constantly peckish, pleading, or whimpering for food between meals may be a sign of a medical issue.
Understanding how and when cats behave when they are hungry will help you decide when to visit your veterinarian and what to report.
Crying for food during scheduled mealtimes
Cats are smarter than you may think, and if you feed them around the same time every day, they’ll eventually figure out when it’s time for a meal. Typically, a ravenous cat will meow, whine, and stare at you until you restock its food bowl. Your cat is not starving, but it is likely hungry. Similar to humans, cats’ empty stomachs alert their brains to the need to eat, and if you are the one who usually provides them with food, they will remind you to do so.
Whining to Receive Benefits
If your cat sees you standing where you keep the treats and decides it wants a reward, it may come racing over to you. This is a lot more likely to occur if you lift the bag or container and shake it. Cats have acute hearing, so if they hear a familiar or happy sound, they will usually run away, especially if they are hungry.
Theft of Food from the Table
Cats can easily nab food off of a counter or table, such as a piece of chicken or a stick of butter. If kids receive a taste of something tasty that isn’t in their food dish, it will be difficult to break a bad habit. Cats, like many people and other pets, find it challenging to resist a tempting treat, so be cautious to cover your food if you want to leave it unattended.
Particularly active cats and cats who don’t eat enough during meals may be more inclined to steal food from the table. If this is the case, sizing up meals or feeding your cat a food with higher calories may stop them from surfing the counter.
Eat right away
If they have to compete or fight for their food, cats are more inclined to eat it quickly or ravenously. Some felines grumble or growl as they gulp down their meal, appearing not to chew it. This behavior is typical of cats who have a history of straying, being wild, or who were raised in a large litter of kittens where mealtimes occasionally turned into competitive eating if there was not enough food.
Cats who are older or who have gotten into the habit of eating quickly might learn to relax and realize they don’t have to worry about their food being available. Most cats won’t feel driven to eat as soon as they can after obtaining regular meals, unless they genuinely have a medical condition that makes them feel permanently insatiable.
Eating and Vomiting
Vomiting frequently happens to indoor cats. Due to their regular overgrooming, they typically have a lot of fur in their digestive systems, which could cause a hairball. If a cat cannot pass a hairball in its stool, the fur will either come out when it vomits or become caught in its stomach or intestines. If your cat gets a hairball, it won’t be able to digest its food, which will cause it to vomit. If you suspect your cat may have a hairball or other material caught in their digestive system, take them to the veterinarian right once. If your cat has ingested anything else or has a hairball, X-rays will show whether it needs to be removed. Although surgery is typically employed for this removal, objects from the stomach or esophagus can occasionally be removed using endoscopy.
After meals, some cats will frequently throw up while the food is still whole or undamaged. Regurgitation, which refers to the act of throwing up all of one’s food at once after eating, frequently occurs when a cat eats too quickly. Fortunately, you can easily eliminate regurgitation by having your cat eat more slowly. Fill your cat’s bowl with objects that are too large for it to eat, or try spreading out its food on a cookie sheet. You can buy specialist food bowls that have finger-like protrusions or nubs on them so that your cat can navigate them and eat more carefully.
Eating and Gaining Weight
Regardless of what it may be trying to say, if your cat is begging for food and getting bigger, this is a sign for you to stop feeding it. Similar to some people, some cats simply have a voracious appetite, and the more you feed them, the faster they’ll gain weight and experience a number of health issues. Pets who are overweight are more likely to acquire diabetes, joint issues, cancer, and other illnesses. The typical cat only requires about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dry kibble each day, but this might vary based on your cat’s activity level and the amount of calories in the cat food.
If your female cat hasn’t been spayed and has maybe been introduced to a male cat who hasn’t been fixed, she may be eating more and gaining weight as a result of being pregnant. If this is the case, be sure to feed your cat kitten formula so that the developing kittens inside it get the best nourishment possible.
Eating and Losing Weight
Cats that seem to be continuously hungry but never gain weight frequently have a diagnosis. These include:
- Intestinal parasites, also referred to as worms, are living things that consume the nutrients from the food that cats ingest. A cat may eat and still feel hungry because it is feeding the parasites while getting very little nutrition for itself. Flea bites and being outside are two ways that cats can develop worms, but your cat can get rid of them with treatment. To identify the type of parasites present in your cat’s feces, your veterinarian must do a microscopic examination. Even though they partially shield your cat against worms, many monthly flea and heartworm treatments also include medication to treat intestinal parasites.
- Cats with an overactive thyroid gland also have hyperthyroidism, which causes them to feel hungry all the time. With just a few straightforward blood tests, your veterinarian can diagnose this illness in cats. One option for treatment is medication.
- Diabetes: The cat is unable to use the sugars generated during meal digestion as fuel because the pancreas wrongly generates insulin. Your cat will continue feel hungry even after eating because it lacks the vital energy. Insulin shots may be necessary for diabetic cats. Its appetite will resume regular behavior after the illness is under control.
- If other illnesses have been ruled out but a cat is still always hungry and not gaining any weight, cancer will be taken into consideration. Your veterinarian will make suggestions for additional test options.
The majority of cats, fortunately, only like to eat, thus meals and sleeps take up most of their day. If your cat’s weight is constant, it is not acting strangely, and it is not throwing up or having diarrhea, it is most likely just a food-motivated feline.