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Why does my cat want food ALL the time?

(16 Posts)
stonecircle Wed 17-May-17 08:58:54

He's about 14. For the last few months he's become increasingly food obsessed. Been to the vets a couple of times during that period. Just had full bloods - all fine - and heavy duty wormer in case his regular stuff hadn't worked.

He will eat a sachet of food and then shout at me for more. He sits in front of his food bowl looking at me unless he's asleep. In the last month or two he's taken to prowling the kitchen to see what he can find - even in the day time when the dogs are about.

Yesterday he probably had 3 sachets of food (it's quite good food and only meant to use 2-3 a day) plus dried food, plus a bowl of chicken. Came down this morning to find he'd chewed his way into a packet of scones left on the worktop and eaten most of one (then thrown up on the landing).

I always feed him before his brother - he'll eat a sachet then start to go outside. I put food down for his patient brother but hungry cat then turns back and pushes him out of the way to get to the second bowl.

He's not losing weight but he's eating more food then ever to maintain his weight. Any thoughts? He's also becoming quite aggressive over food.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Wed 17-May-17 09:10:17

My previous elderly cat went through a stage of this (permanently starving and loudly asking for food, stealing human food he'd never been interested in before, and also throwing up a lot). It turned out he had an inflamed gut so wasn't absorbing food properly, and was always hungry. However, if this was the problem with your boy I would have expected the vet to pick it up when you got him checked over. I know he's only 14 (which isn't that elderly these days for cats) but could it be the start of dementia? He's basically forgotten he's been fed and the switch in his brain that tells him he is full isn't working properly?

stonecircle Wed 17-May-17 09:46:27

I did wonder about dementia. He's recently had a couple of teeth out so the vet will have given him a good examination whilst he was under the anaesthetic (not so easy when he's awake wink).

He's getting more and more desperate for food and aggressive. If I approach him with a bowl of chicken or tuna for example, he runs at me and practically mugs me before I can put it down.

ifonly4 Wed 17-May-17 10:07:12

Did the tests include T4 hyperthyroidism and diabetes? Hyperthyroidism is a separate test as not in the usual blood chemistry. If you're not sure, do check. Hyperthyroidism is more common in older cats and increases hunger and they can become totally food focussed, symptoms can be different for cats, but some may lose weight (as their using up more energy), be more restless or full of energy and become more vocal. I found out my girl needs her hyperthyroid medication increasing on Monday - she's been eating something like four sachets, chicken thigh as well as a little dry or cat treats.

I was looking into this recently, and I came across diabetes as well.

stonecircle Wed 17-May-17 10:15:34

I'm not sure about that ifonly. He's back at the vet tomorrow to make sure his gum has healed properly following his extraction so I'll double check.

ifonly4 Wed 17-May-17 14:11:37

Let us know how you get on. I don't know if the vet weighs him, but ask them to do so, so you know exactly what he weighs at this point.

stonecircle Wed 17-May-17 14:27:21

Yes, she does weigh him. He has 6 monthly check ups and apparently his weight has been the same for ages. But the amount he eats now it ought to have doubled!

Bluebell9 Wed 17-May-17 14:46:08

My DMs cat does this and after ruling out illness, its been put down to dementia. Before we twigged on, he was fed by DM and DF for each meal, both thought the other wasn't doing it.
He was so convincing that he was starving that he used to get me and my siblings feeding him too!

stonecircle Wed 17-May-17 16:45:58

How old was your DM's cat Bluebell? Mine is about 14 (rescue so not precise) which I guess is getting on a bit. His brother only eats when he's hungry and will turn his nose up at quite a lot of cat food so the contrast is quite marked.

I'm having to keep putting him out when we're eating or I'm cooking. Left a banana loaf to cool on the worktop the other week and came back to find he'd eaten most of the top of it confused.

stonecircle Thu 18-May-17 11:06:14

Vet says he's put on a little bit of weight (I'm not surprised!) and that if there was an issue with his thyroid he would be displaying other signs (such as seeking out colder places to sit confused) and his overall condition wouldn't be so good. Maybe it is dementia then sad

Stormtreader Thu 18-May-17 11:11:53

Surely though if hes eating twice what he did, and hardly putting any weight on at all, then something must have changed?
Hes either exercising it all off, or isnt getting the calories from it he should be.

stonecircle Thu 18-May-17 11:23:55

My thoughts exactly! But he had full blood tests done before his recent extraction and she doesn't think he needs a thyroid test so I'm not sure what else I can do.

I'll give it another week or two and take him back if things don't improve.

SirVixofVixHall Thu 18-May-17 11:46:31

Thyroid problems are very common in older cats though, and so I do think the vet should run proper thyroid function bloods. I would ask for them if it was my cat.

ifonly4 Thu 18-May-17 14:14:13

I agree give him another week or so and see how it goes. If you do return, is there another vet you could see in the practice who may have another idea.

My girl's hyperthyroidism treatment needs increasing (symptoms this time eating more and being more vocal) but funnily enough she hasn't lost any weight yet. I would say if he hasn't had a hyperthyroidism test, I'd ask for one whatever the vet says. That is something that would need to be ruled out before looking at other options. He may not, but keep an eye on if he starts drinking more, that can be a further sign of this and also CKD.

dailydance Thu 18-May-17 14:53:41

We had this before... but it was our hamster. Ate everything in site, chewing curtains, the lot.. absolutely starving. Vet said he was just greedy & fat and we were told to put him on a diet. We did for a couple of weeks and then decided to get a second opinion. Poor hamster had a v large tumour in its tummy and was not absorbing any food so was literally starving to death. They removed the tumour and put him on a little drip but the poor mite didn't last much longer than a few days.

See the vet again and get a second opinion

dailydance Thu 18-May-17 14:55:00

*sight

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