Why is my cat always hungry?

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Cats have a reputation for being adept at feeding. They are human beings so it is important that you learn what is familiar to each of them. If they are found to be more hungry than usual, there may be a simple reason, but it may be a sign of illness and should be addressed.

What is normal?

The norm will be slightly different for each cat but it is common for cats to make din time to feed. Cats tend to be rude and want to remind their owners when it is time to eat. If your cat regularly does this it is not a cause for concern.

Cats often eat small amounts of food (in the form of animals). Cats can spend 12 hours every 24 hours looking for food so that our feeding programs may seem unusual to them. While some cats may be happy with these meal times, others may be more prone to natural instincts to take advantage of food requests, even if they are not Hungry Cat. If you offer these guarantees that can further ask, there is a chance they can succeed. However, if your cat usually does not bother you outside the diet and all of a sudden this could be a cause for concern. If you find another cat (or dog stealing food) then competition can drive a cats desire for food and increase the speed of feeding.

If your cat is fat, but still cries for food, then it should be fed fewer calories, not more. Obese cats are more prone to diseases such as diabetes, joint pain, bladder issues and other cancers. Cats can get bored with eating freely, so maybe try a puzzle feeder. This satisfies the urge to hunt, kills time, reduces their diet and burns calories.

When do I need to worry?

The change of hunger should not be ignored even with a simple explanation. Making sure the type and quantity of food they are getting is a good first step, especially if there is a change in diet recently. If your pet has started taking medicine recently, ask your vet if this could be the result. If your cat is female and full, consider pregnancy as a factor that may increase the need for food. Feeding kittens requires even more important calories.

Loads of worms can increase hunger. Spaghetti-like roundworms and ribbon-like tapeworms are more common in UK cats. Tapeworms are made up of rice-like particles that are usually seen around the surface of your cat. The worms can cause diarrhea and weight loss as well as starvation and spread in the area or hunt or eat fleas. Worms and fleas are easy to treat but there are many products so it is best to use an animal product to ensure safety and effectiveness. Young cats and hunters are especially at risk, but all cats should be present.

Many medical conditions can cause increased hunger even more often along with other symptoms:

Hyperthyroidism

This disease is rarely seen in cats under seven years of age. Overeating is often seen, but often along with weight loss. Cats can be very active and vocal, needing more food. Vomiting, diarrhea and increased thirst are rare.

It is caused by an overdose of thyroid hormone, usually due to excessive tissue proliferation. The test is performed by measuring hormone levels. Too many hormones speed up metabolism, increase heart rate, and ultimately lead to heart disease.

Diabetes

Increased hunger is a well-known symptom of diabetes because the diet can not be used as energy. Often there are other early symptoms such as increased urination, thirst and weight loss. Cats can vomit and become weak, and very sick, if left untreated.

Diabetes is caused by a lack of the hormone insulin, or a lack of response to it (doubt). Insulin is produced by the pancreas and released into the bloodstream after meals allowing blood glucose to be absorbed by the body’s cells and used for energy. Lack of insulin, or lack of response to it, causes high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) so cells cannot use glucose properly for energy. Internally, insulin resistance is usually caused by obesity with 60% of obese cats becoming diabetic over time.

Diabetes is diagnosed by urine/blood tests and treatment with insulin injections. Stabbing your cat may seem scary but it is easy with patience and practice. Essential high protein, low carbohydrate diet alongside weight control is essential. If diabetes is first treated properly, some cats may not need insulin for a long time, although this is not the case.

Digestive tract issues

Not taking food out of the diet due to a stomach problem such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can cause hunger. This complex group of barriers causes the inner wall to rupture, causing diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and often an increase in appetite, trying to repair lost energy. Cats with IBD may counteract the loss of appetite.

Stomach upset can cause similar symptoms. There are different types of gastrointestinal tumors, the most common being lymphoma and adenocarcinoma, which are more common in older cats. Also, symptoms due to lack of appetite or bloating can include vomiting, diarrhea and weight loss as well as increased appetite or weight loss depending on the stage.

These conditions can be difficult to diagnose and treat. As with any other condition there are often symptoms other than an increase in hunger to inform you of the need for veterinary intervention.

Time to call the therapist

It is important to talk to your vet about changes in your cat’s diet. There may be some ridiculous explanations, but it can also be an early indication of a medical issue and early diagnosis and treatment is always best.

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