Cat suddenly wont stop eating and trying to steal food/lick plates.

(73 Posts)

I have no idea what is going on with him, he's always been mad for treats (which we rarely give) but in the past month or 2 he wont stop eating and begging.

He mostly leaves the food that's in his bowl though but will happily eat the other 2 cats food, he opens the cupboard and rips open packets of food , we've caught him licking plates and tins and he is constantly begging.

He's quite thin (not underweight though), he became an outdoor cat about 9 months ago and lost some weight then.

He's driving us nuts but I have no idea what could be going on.

QueenOfCats Fri 12-Apr-13 15:56:24


pansyflimflam Fri 12-Apr-13 15:59:05


He's been wormed regularly and no worms in poo, I would have thought the other 2 would have got it as well if it was that?

Sounds like it could be an overactive thyroid.

Hadn't thought of thyroid actually but he doesn't seem bothered by his own food, just every other item of food.

We've even caught him eating stuff like sour cream and curry. confused Not normal cat foods anyway.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 12-Apr-13 16:01:52

is he quite skittish? how is his fur?doesitlooka bit spikey? i'd get his thyroid checked

Behaviour wise, he's normal. He's a very active cat and is always on the go, very confident. His fur is normal and smooth.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:05:10

I'd have him to the vet, OP. Just for a check up.

I think I will, I really didn't think it would be a vet issue, I thought it was just a behavioural thing.

vitaminC Fri 12-Apr-13 16:09:41

How old is he?
Has he been drinking more than usual, too, or just eating?

I would also take me to the vet, as if he's craving sweet things and losing weight whilst eating more, it could be diabetes (or a thyroid problem as other posters have mentioned)!

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:13:00

Well there's the thing, Schro. Very often, changes in behaviour are a clue as to something not quite right with the cat. You get to know them so well that if they start behaving differently in some significant and unexplained way (pooing, eating, interacting, you name it) then that's something that vets, in my experience, take pretty seriously.

ppeatfruit Fri 12-Apr-13 16:14:44

shrosaw Our cat did just the same when she was eating the normal cat biscuits with wheat|cereal in. We started giving her the felix no cereal pouch food and she calmed right down and is normal now grin try it. No visit to vet needed.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:14:59

PS - of course he could be absolutely fine and just a little imp!


But at least you'll have reassured yourself as to that.

I agree with thyroid, one if our cats had an increased appetite (although lost weight) and urinated more (has that happened?) and also had an increased heart rate. It was hyperthyroidism and we gave him medication from the vet.

Maryz Fri 12-Apr-13 16:23:52

He's gone mad. It comes with age [sigh]

<glares at mad cat who is currently frantically trying to open the kitchen door and yowling, despite having full bowl of catfood>

<glares even harder at fatcat who has eaten his own and madcat's food for the last couple of months and is now round>

They have been to the vet, and apart from fatcat being overweight (no surprise there, he is 17 and takes no exercise) they are apparently both healthy.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:26:52

But at least you know that now, Maryz.


ppeatfruit Fri 12-Apr-13 16:27:23

As I said stop feeding him cereal, we also have a stray who was going bald and arthritic we stopped the cereal and lo and behold he's now fine all his hair has grown back and he's stopped limping (no vet visit) it can't be a coincidence can it?

He's 6, so not too old yet. smile

Not drinking or weeing more, just being a weird food gannit.

I will take him to the vet though, am just checking insurance policy just in case! (and got a lovely surprise that I have £70 cashback from taking out said insurance policy) grin

Maryz My actual fat cat barely eats, he just walks away from his bowl unless it's dry food and even when it is he hardly eats much, he's just massive though and always has been. hmm

Ppeat They all get both mixed and dry and they get to just pick and choose. <spoilt>

Cozie Admittedly I hadn't really thought of this being a medical issue but I will take him to the vets as soon as I can to see about this.

He doesn't really eat much of the dry stuff as it is, mostly just his and the others soft stuff but will nick the dry stuff from the cupboard. hmm

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:34:27

6 is just a stripling!

It might well be purely behavioural - or as ppeat said - but if you have insurance, why not use it to reassure yourself.


Well done on the £70.

I think I will. smile Glad I have the insurance now!

Thanks for the advice.

Maryz Fri 12-Apr-13 16:39:47

Oh, yes cozie, I agree with younger cats it is always worth checking odd behaviour. Madcat is only 8, and I almost wish there was something wrong with him because I seriously think he is losing his mind.

But I have decided that I'm not taking fatcat to the vet any more though, as visits to the vet really distress him. Last time she did a few blood tests, admired his size and glossy coat and marvelled at his age.

She then wanted to do all sorts of extra things - put him on a special diet, encourage him to go out more, investigate the wart-like things he's got in his ears (that he has had for years), investigate his hearing, clean his teeth, etc etc.

I said no. He has had a happy, healthy, long life full of freedom and chasing mice. He can die of old age now, if necessary. I'm not ever going to let her admit him for serious treatment, as he hates cages and vet smells so much.

Mine are both on a special non-allergenic food now, as madcat is allergic to commercial catfood, which might contribute to his weird behaviour.

If opyou have insurance, then yes, go check it out. Better safe than sorry! Normally it's older cats with thyroid problems (ours, for example, was nineteen!) and if it's younger it might well just be behavioural.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:48:11

My vet just admires Seniorboy (which is OK by me) and we're both of a mind that while some things are needed (he had a full dental at 16 because his teeth were just 'orrible) there's not going to be any heroic treatment now. At 18, he can luxuriate on his electric blanket all day and enjoy life.


SqueakyCleanNameChange Fri 12-Apr-13 16:49:15

I'd guess that the little old lady in the next road who'd been feeding him tinned salmon has moved house. Or the owner of the twin Siamese round the corner has finally got fed up with him breaking in and stealing their Iams and has fitted an electronic cat flap.

But check with vet anyway.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:51:20

Ah. You're thinking a 'Six-Dinner Sid' Squeaky? There could be some truth in that.


ppeatfruit Fri 12-Apr-13 16:53:17

Try giving them all cereal free and watch them slim down and save you money! My DM says she gives her fat cats biscuits for their teeth but they've got bad teeth!!Weird or what.

Maryz I think you were right to refuse all that un-necessary treatment, if he's happy and older then it's best to leave him like that.

I am honestly scared to take my fat cat to the vets, I know they will try and put him on a diet but he hardly eats as it is and spends every minute of the day almost, outside roaming and playing.

Cozie Are cats allowed electric blankets? I didn't know this or my 3 would have had one a long time ago!

Squeaky I guess you could be right there...

Ppeat Fat cat would never eat the dry stuff before about a year ago and he was fatter then than he is now! He wouldn't eat if I switched to soft food only but amazingly has great teeth.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:57:33

He's an elderly boy, Schro, and I've got one of those blankets that you can sleep on. I think there would be a revolt if I tried to remove it (he has a bit of arthritis, loves his warmth and he chooses to sleep on it) and luckily he has no incontinence problem. I'll have to reassess if ever that raises its head.


He sounds a happy chap. smile They really rule your life don't they, I never imagined cats would be like that! I always thought (before getting them) that they just done their own thing and didn't like anyone to be in their way.

I was so wrong.

I think I may get the fat cat an electric blanket, I think his leg hurts him (he broke it falling from a window when he was a kitten) maybe it would help him.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 17:11:01

You can get heated pads/beds for them schro - may be more practical for you in terms of space. Other posters may have a recommendation.

It would probably be a big hit if my experience is anything to go by.


dobby2001 Fri 12-Apr-13 17:13:06

You can get wheatbags that you heat up in the microwave as alternative to electric blankets -cheaper to buy and run. safer with incontinent and long clawed kittys too grin

We had one of the 'heated' pads for him but it didn't seem to generate much heat! We had to to double it over and put it on top of a bed.

Have been thinking of trying one of those radiator beds but I don't know that it would hold his weight!

Dobby That's a great idea, I'm sure I have seen them.

Maryz Fri 12-Apr-13 17:16:52

Mine just sleeps under our gas stove. There is a cat sized space with a concrete base. It is really hot when the fire is on, but he seems to be made of asbestos and loves it there.

Otherwise he sleeps on my slanket and gets quite cross if I'm rude enough to be using it at the time grin

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 17:30:31

Good idea, dobby. smile

I think the reason Seniorboy likes the blanket is that he can stretch out long which helps with his arthritis. We actually have blanket, then sheet, then duvet then fleece throw - and he sleeps between the duvet and the throw. A glorious warm fug builds up for him because it's left on all the time.

Bloody eck, it must be roasting under there! Blankets/Slankets don't get left out in this house as they always get claimed too. hmm

We found out our girl cat sleeps on top of the actual boiler. Nutter.

Cozie He sounds adorable. <cooey face>

dobby2001 Fri 12-Apr-13 18:28:15

Florrie has a cardboard fruit box with an old towel inside. It sits on a shelf near a radiator. The cardboard overhangs ,but does not touch the radiator. Couldnt work out why she preferred that to the lovely padded bed we had for her - until I put my hand in and realised the heat transferred to most of the box due to the corrgated cardboard "sandwich" making it a secondary radiator - or completley heated bed!- clever kitty smile

ppeatfruit Fri 12-Apr-13 21:14:03

schro You have to check the ingredients in the tins and pouches because it used to all have wheat in it. Now the manuf. seem to be wising up to the fact that they've been making the animals ill so there are more foods without cereals. Its not so cheap though so i sometimes buy butchers ends and chop it small and just throw it to them raw they LOVE it.!

If you think about it no cats would pick some wheat and grind it up to make biscuits in the wild grin after all they're carnivores.

cozietoesie Fri 12-Apr-13 21:27:11

It's a useful point, ppeat. There are several regular posters who have cats with grain intolerances.


I'd love to feed my cats a raw diet but they wont touch raw meat! confused The only raw meat they will go near is smoked salmon hmm

I'll start checking labels more often. Thank you for that!

ppeatfruit Sat 13-Apr-13 16:04:11

It's funny ours won't touch raw UNLESS it's cut up in 'mouselike' littlish pieces then they fall on it! turkey is the favourite!

QueenStromba Sat 13-Apr-13 18:40:36

Butcher's Classic is gluten free (and therefore free of at least wheat and barley) and actually cheaper than Sainsbury's own brand. We're weaning our girl onto it from Whiskas pouches and she seems to like it. We leave biscuits down for her because she's underweight and won't eat wet food if it's been sitting out for more than about three hours. I'm quite happy that she only eats the biscuits if there's no wet food or the wet food that is there is too old because cats don't have the same thirst drive as other animals so if they just eat dry food they don't tend to drink enough water which is bad for their kidneys.

I'd happily feed her raw but I trust the pet food manufacturers to get her nutrition right more than I trust myself. If she died of x deficiency when I wasn't feeding her cat food I'd never forgive myself and cat food is pretty good these days which is why cats are living well into their 20s. We give her some roast meat as a treat when we have a roast because we haven't had her long enough to remember to cut a bit off before we put it in the oven.

ppeatfruit Sun 14-Apr-13 10:17:26

Sorry QueenStromba You trust the pet food manufacturers???? Really after the horsemeat scandal with the HUMAN food manufacturers? hmm

IMO they're in it to make a profit not to be kind to animals; who do you think first put gluten\ cereals in cat food? (which as you saw from my posts makes them ill) It wasn't animals that's for sure.

Interestingly I studied the dried cat food ingredients in the supermarket yesterday they were all (even the kind to old cats ones) stuffed with cereals. Our cat was drinking manically from the tap when she eating dried stuff. It's terrible for their kidneys as you said.

You can get timed covered bowls to keep the wet food fresh all day. I think.

QueenStromba Sun 14-Apr-13 12:30:22

The fact is that cats are living years longer than they used to and that is partly down to cat food getting better. If it was just a case of feeding them raw meat then I'd do it but you have to mix in liver, for example, at pretty precise quantities - not enough and she'll be deficient in important vitamins and minerals but if she eats too much then she'll get hypervitaminosis A. What if she eats the raw beef but doesn't like liver and then refuses cat food because she knows that if she holds out she'll get the nice stuff? Short of sending her out to catch her own food I'm not going to be able to replicate her natural diet. Pet food companies have people who are paid to know about cat nutrition so I'm going to trust a company who realises that you shouldn't feed a carnivore plant protein over my own ability as a cat nutritionist.

I have a choice of what I eat which means that when I'm low on potassium, for example, I crave bananas or guacamole and that's what I eat. If my cat particularly wants kidneys or liver I have no way of knowing because she has no choice other than to eat what's put in front of her.

I think I will speak to the vet about raw and see what they say. Mines are unlikely to touch it though!

Good point about their kidneys though, apart from the cat we are talking about, I think I have only ever seen the other 2 take a drink maybe twice ever.

cozietoesie Sun 14-Apr-13 12:45:13

They get most of their liquid from the food if they're eating wet. They will use a water bowl but you don't actually see them lapping that often.

Mines don't seem to like the water bowl, I've seen one cat drink from it once.

Any other time it's the tap! hmm The one that we're talking about, he eats the most soft food and drinks the most as well. He's very energetic though and doesn't really stop moving.

Could I simply just not be feeding him enough? The other 2 leave a lot of food or don't bother too much about it.

cozietoesie Sun 14-Apr-13 12:56:19

Oh yes- they'll go for other water sources such as dripping taps as well. Ornery blighters.

I know you said they're wormed regularly but in light of the fact that this behaviour is only in the last month or two - and he's an outside cat which means his risk of worms is higher - cast your mind back. When was he actually last dosed?

January, so due again this month. I've even checked poo and there isn't anything there. blush

He pretty much leaves his own bowl of food. No idea why.

cozietoesie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:04:03

And they all have the same type/brand of food?

Yes, I always make sure I even give the same flavours to each at the same time.

I also lift the bowls up and put the food in and put them down at the same time so I'm not feeding one before another.

ppeatfruit Sun 14-Apr-13 13:12:43

Or rain water in a puddle there's probably something they need in it or really fresh water from the tap.

I and my family have had many cats over many years some fed on biscs. and some not and no specifically prepared foods (DM used to give ours cooked melts) they lived very healthily to 20 or so BUT any fed on the cat biscs. even mixed with wet food get fat and were NOT healthy I'm not making it up it's true.

cozietoesie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:18:39

Forgive me if you've alluded to this before, Schro, but what are the relationships between the cats like?

Mines are probably doing loads of puddle drinking and I just don't see it!

Only one of mines is fat but he doesn't over eat and only recently started eating more dry food than wet, he's actually lost a fair bit of weight from running about outside, he still looks 'fat' though, the little one doesn't really eat the dry stuff much and he's getting pretty skinny and the other one can't eat dry food as she is missing a tooth or 2 and she is a little fat but only since we had her spayed (she had this and gum disease when we took her).

I guess it just depends on the cat. :/

My little one (the one we're talking about, his name is squeak) gets on really really well with the massive one, Skrinkle. They will lie together and groom each other and generally follow each other around quite a lot, I got Squeak when Skrinkle was a year old so they have pretty much always been together, if you were to take one away the other would look for the other one.

None of them get on with the girl and she tends to stay well away from them or it ends up in a bit of a fight, she has a temper and I believe this comes from her previous home. When we got her she was very very hostile and almost feral in the way she acted, she would attack anyone or anything that came within a couple of metres of her. She's now a sookie lapcat who wants cuddles and to be petted constantly but I don't think the other 2 have gotten over how she was initially.

Btw, just so it's clear. I got the boys when I lived at home and then got the girl when DP and I moved out together. We had to come back to my family home for a variety of reasons and I brought Salem with me as I didn't trust anyone else with her.

cozietoesie Sun 14-Apr-13 13:45:46

Hmm. I'm changing my mind about this one, I think. Sounds to me as if Squeak might just be acting as point for the Terrible Twosome in a low key battle with Salem.

Maybe try to redress the balance for a couple of days by giving squeak lots of extra TLC (ignoring Salem) and seeing whether that has any effect?

ppeatfruit Sun 14-Apr-13 13:56:08

Our house cat is a spayed female and she's hated other cats since we rescued her (its funny actually she sits by the window and literally wallops the strays that we feed through the glass).

I don't know if its because we had her spayed at a year old when we got her and she has the instinct to 'protect' her kittens. Or what.

We have taken in a stray who lives in our utility room that luckily has a door into the house and a door that we put a catflap in so he can go in and out without meeting her (though they meet in the garden and she sort of tolerates him now,it's taken 2 to 3 years grin) They are all individuals who like humans though!

Cozie He already gets loads of attention, I've tried that. sad I do think it's behavioural but I don't think it's because of the way we act with Salem. confused

I have no idea!

Ppeat Salem hates any other cat, I think it has come from her previous home as she doesn't have any eyebrow whiskers and is missing at least a tooth etc. She fights with cats through the window too.

ppeatfruit Sun 14-Apr-13 15:46:35

Or could it just be some female cats are very bossy and want to be top cat! I remember reading a daft animal behaviour book that said that spayed cats come at the bottom of the pile in the cat hierachy (not our MIllie !!)

She's had the same attitude to other cats spayed or otherwise lol. She's just a bit of a loon. grin She's a wee sweetie to us though and she talks back and sings. smile Maybe it is just girl cats being loony, she's the only one I have had.

She definitely wasn't happy where she was before though, she's a completely different cat to when we got her. Her owners were giving her away as they were "scared she would attack their toddler". She was vicious when we got her but obviously depressed as well, we had her for months before we seen her walk with her head up. sad Now she gives our toddler nose kisses. smile

I think I might have to start reading cat behaviour books as well! Didn't think I really needed them, have done well with them until now.

ppeatfruit Mon 15-Apr-13 09:46:00

It's sweet your cat likes your toddler because a lot of them don't like the unpredictability of L.O.'s (including the tail pulling).DM had 2 cats turn up from a house with a number of DCs in her street and they wouldn't leave despite having the opportunity to grin Much to the displeasure of the father of the DCs!

Haha poor cat must have been over whelmed!

It's only the girl that likes him, she's very tolerant of him and he's very good with her but I do try to watch carefully just in case.

He did manage to shut her in a drawer yesterday though. hmm grin

Cats are awesome, aren't they?

ppeatfruit Mon 15-Apr-13 14:21:41

Yes I like dogs as well though but cats are more dog like than we realised Millie walked round the block which is a field BTW! with us once! (we live 50% of the time in deep rural Fr.! She is now a French cat!)

ppeatfruit Mon 15-Apr-13 14:23:18

We have a cat sitter when we're away together in case you were wondering grin

Aww French cat (I have an image of a cat wearing a beret now).

Is this your cat? grin

ppeatfruit Mon 15-Apr-13 14:32:34

No LOL! she's an exact Felix cat but THAT cat is like a beautiful version of our stray named Norbert! After the french lorry company grin

Arf @ Norbert. grin

I wanted Squeak to be called Toulouse but I was 16 at the time and my family refused to call him it. sad

ppeatfruit Mon 15-Apr-13 15:14:35

He gets called an East End version; Nobby for short grin

DH calls one of our other strays (who we suspect belongs to some neighbours he just prefers the non wheat grub here !!!) Mitterand he's cool, a lovely fluffy version of Millie so I call him Fluffy or the french translation which is peluche !!

ppeatfruit Mon 15-Apr-13 15:15:38

I must get out and carry on tidying up the garden!!x

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