If you’ve ever wondered why your cat always seems to be starving, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to dive into the fascinating world of cats to explore the possible reasons behind their insatiable appetite. This article was born out of curiosity. As soon as my cats felt comfortable at home, they began developing an insatiable hunger and a special addiction to food and mealtimes.
- 1 The Natural Eating Habits of Cats
- 2 Factors Behind Your Cats Always Being Hungry
- 3 How You Can Control Your Cat’s Hunger
The Natural Eating Habits of Cats
Cats are natural carnivores. Unlike humans or other omnivorous animals, their bodies are designed to get the necessary nutrients from a diet primarily based on meat. This characteristic dates back to their wild ancestors, who exclusively fed on prey caught in nature.
Due to their unique metabolism, cats need to eat frequently to get the required energy. While domestic felines are far from their wild cousins, their bodies still retain that need to consume small portions of food regularly. Therefore, it’s common for cats to show a constant appetite and seek food several times a day.
Factors Behind Your Cats Always Being Hungry
Size and Breed of the Cat
The size and breed of the feline can influence their appetite. Larger cats and some specific breeds, such as Maine Coons, have a higher caloric requirement. This means they need to consume more food to meet their energy needs. If your cat belongs to a larger breed or simply has a larger size, they are likely to display a more voracious appetite.
Quality and Composition of the Diet
The quality and composition of the diet also play a crucial role in your cat’s sense of satiety. If the food you provide is not nutritious or doesn’t meet their specific needs, your cat may always be hungry. Make sure to choose a balanced and high-quality diet that contains all the essential nutrients for optimal development and well-being.
A study published in 2011 in The Journal of Experimental Biology revealed that when cats are offered different food options with varying protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels, they tend to choose a diet that provides approximately 52% of their calories from protein, 36% from fats, and 12% from carbohydrates autonomously.
A similar phenomenon occurs with hydration. According to Dr. Debra Zoran:
Many indoor cats are prone to health problems, such as urinary tract blockages and constipation, due to dehydration. […] Increasing water intake by feeding canned food is an important way to reduce the risk of these problems appearing or reappearing.
Changes in the Cat’s Environment or Lifestyle
In addition to diet, the cat’s environment and lifestyle can play a significant role in their constant appetite. Changes in their environment, such as a new home, the arrival of another animal, or even a lack of stimulation, can generate stress and anxiety in your cat. As a result, some cats turn to food as a way to cope with these emotions. Boredom can also be a triggering factor. If your cat doesn’t get enough physical activity or mental stimulation, they might seek food as a form of entertainment.
Underlying Health Issues
We must not forget that underlying health problems can also cause an increase in a cat’s appetite. Endocrine diseases, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism, can disrupt the metabolism and make the cat constantly hungry. If you suspect that your cat has a health problem, it’s essential to take them to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and receive the necessary recommendations and treatment.
How You Can Control Your Cat’s Hunger
1. Establish a Regular Feeding Routine
To control your cat’s appetite, it’s recommended to establish a regular feeding routine. Provide your cat with small and frequent meals throughout the day, rather than leaving food available all the time. This helps regulate their appetite and prevents overeating. You can divide the daily amount of food into several portions and set fixed feeding times.
In my case, I got an automatic feeder. It works fantastically, but the meal scheduling has made them develop a sort of addiction that keeps them glued to the feeder for most of the day. A few days ago, I changed the routine to try to wean them off it, and so far, it seems to be working.
2. Choose a Balanced and High-Quality Diet
The choice of a balanced and high-quality diet is essential to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. Kitten cat food has a different composition than adult neutered cat food. Remember that each cat is unique and may have specific dietary needs. Make sure to provide them with high-quality protein-rich foods containing the essential nutrients your cat needs for good health.
During my time surrounded by kitties, I’ve learned the special importance of reading labels and reviews of the products I buy. I’ve discovered that advertising can sometimes conceal low-quality ingredients used by some brands (animal by-products and leftovers). And that investing in quality nutrition means investing in a better life for our cats and fewer trips to the vet.
3. Increase Their Physical Activity and Enrich Their Environment
Promoting physical activity and environmental enrichment is essential to keep your furry friend active and stimulated. Provide interactive toys, scratching posts, and play areas to keep your cat entertained. It’s not about making big expenditures or buying state-of-the-art toys on Amazon. I haven’t seen Flea and Noa (my kittens) enjoy themselves as much as with a simple rope or stick picked up in the park.
This not only helps control their hunger but also improves their overall well-being. Additionally, reserve a few minutes each day to play regularly with your cat, use toys that simulate hunting, and provide elevated spaces for them to climb and explore.
4. Consult a Veterinarian
If you suspect that there’s an underlying health problem causing your cat’s constant appetite, it’s important to consult a veterinarian. A feline medicine professional can conduct a thorough examination, perform tests if necessary, and provide the
In conclusion, the fact that cats are always hungry can be due to a combination of factors, including their natural dietary nature, size and breed, diet quality, environment, and potential health issues. By understanding these causes and taking practical steps to control their hunger, you can ensure that your cat is well-fed and enjoys a healthy and balanced life. Remember that every cat is unique, so pay attention to your furry companion’s individual needs and give them the love and care they deserve. Happy coexistence with your hungry kitty!