Cat is always hungry
Asked Apr 20, 2009, 11:06 AM
My cat is a 15lb female two-year-old rescued stray that has been vaccinated and spayed. I've owned her for eight months, taking possession of her from the vet who rescued her. She has a large frame, taller than most cats, certainly taller than my previous cat or my neighbor's cats. I keep her indoors and have no other cats in my home. I live alone and work all day, so I imagine she gets bored while I'm gone.
My cat is always hungry and whines constantly for more food, even immediately after her breakfast or dinner. She has gained 2 or 3 lbs since I've owned her, from 12lbs to about 15lbs, though I don't believe I'm overfeeding. She gets 1/4 cup of dry Nutro Complete Care in the morning, 1/4 cup in the evening, and no snacks. She's indoors, so she's not supplementing her diet at all. Fresh water refilled every morning is available all day.
Until I noticed her weight gain four months ago, I was feeding her 1/3 cup dry Nutro in the morning and 1/3 cup in the evening. She's had this insatiable appetite for food since the first day I've owned her. Apparently she had this same behavior when cared for by the rescuing vet.
She eats all food available to her, so she can't be allowed to self-feed. She would eat until she bursts, it would seem. She eats her food immediately when I give it to her and meows for more.
I feed her dinner when I come home from work. Sometimes I immediately leave home again to get groceries or run an errand, and when I come home an hour later she gives me the same meowing and begging routine thinking she'll fool me into a second dinner. It's annoying as it will take a long time for her to settle down.
I recently switched from regular Nutro Complete Care Indoor to Nutro Complete Care Weight Loss formula, staying with a total of 1/2 cup per day. My cat drinks her water. Litter box behavior is normal. Urination seems normal and she has one bowel movement per day. Switching to the weight loss formula seems to have drastically reduced the odor of her poop, so that's been a good change. She also seems to like the flavor of the weight loss formula better too.
I've cared for cats my whole life and I've typically fed them more food than this, but haven't had such a problem with weight gain and unending appetite.
If it wasn't for her weight gain I'd give her more food based on her size. I've fed smaller cats more food than this (typically 2/3 cup per day) without this weight gain. My previous cat was also a reliable self-feeder so I could leave a day's worth of food and it would last until the next morning.
The whining and begging is annoying and she interrupts my sleep for food starting at 4:30AM (breakfast is at 7AM). I've locked her out of the bedroom sometimes which usually quiets her down.
Maybe this is just obsessive stray cat behavior. I hope she eventually grows out of it.