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Old 05-29-2009, 12:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

My cat Toby is 8 months old. He's was neutered in March and now I have a problem with his eating habits. I have a 1 year old spayed female named Momma Cat and a 5 month old Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix name Jack. Jack and Momma Cat have normal eating habits and all the animals get along famously.

But the problem I have is that Toby thinks he is starving and will never get another meal as long as he lives. He inhales his food (wet or dry) then pushes Momma Cat and Jack from their bowls and tries to finish their meals. I have started to lock him in the bathroom after his meal so the other 2 can finish theirs in peace.

He also jumps on my counters (this is a major issue as I cannot stand animals on my kitchen counters. Momma has never done this) looking for scraps and digs through the trash. He has also mastered opening my pantry door (which now has a baby lock on it) and will tear apart the cat food bags to eat. He will also try to steal our food straight from the plates on our dining room table while our backs are turned.

His stomach is very swollen. He is getting FAT! What's going on with my cat? Momma has been a dream kitty so I am not used to this. I am at my wits end! Halp!
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

Is he on a regular worming prevention? Some worms will make them constantly hungry, and also make their tummies very round..

*I remember once hearing that if a cat has been a stray & didn't know when/where it's next meal was coming from, it was more likely to "scoff" all food at once than cats that had always been fed regular meals... This is NOT hard evidence, it was just the person's opinion from the cats she'd had experience with..*

Also, some cats/dogs are just grazers while others will scoff all the food in their sight at once.. I'm very grateful to have 2 grazers, they often don't even eat all their raw meat at once, they'll pick & come back later (works that they're both like that, wouldn't work if one was a grazer & the other wasn't!)
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

I have the same problem with boof, i feed the other 2 cats but boof will come sprinting up and push them out of the way and eat there food, everytime i open the Food cabinent or fridge he comes running in sticks his head in.
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

Gracie is food obsessed, but she also loves to play and loves certain toys - so we are able to redirect the "begging for food" impulse sometimes.

Maybe it is just part of the spectrum of involved versus detached personalities? Meaning some cats are pretty independent and are off doing their own thing, and others must come check out every noise, whether it is food-related or not? Just pondering...

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Old 06-02-2009, 01:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

Chica's brother 3 months old, is just like that, and so is my mom's cat Lil'Fella. Fella has gotten so fat because my mom free-feeds. She refuses to stop, completely filling the bowl any time that a cat gives her "the look". My little sister is on constant patrol, always emptying the bowl and preventing Fella from gorging himself. When she catched him doing it, she takes him out to the back of the yard, drops him in the bunny cage, and he'll leap out and sprint all the way back to the house. Exercise!

He's actually stopped gorging himself when Lizzy is around, because he knows she'll make him stop and go running.

Keanu, meawhile, being just a kid, is allowed to eat his fill and it shows. Chica weighs 2.5 lbs while Keanu is nearly 4.5 lbs! They were born on the same day, and are about the same size/height. Chica is lanky and limber, very agile, while Keanu is a pot-bellied hunk! Very sturdy.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

If the vet rules out any problems, I think it's just a thing that some cats do.

My ladies are always trying to tell me that they're POOR, STARVING kitties! Practically wasting away! I'm so cute and hungry! Don't you just want to feed me and feed me and... why yes, I did eat dinner 10 minutes ago. What does that have to do with anything?

I think the petsitter I had over Thanksgiving and Christmas may have bought the act, which is why Stormy weighs 2 lbs more than she did before the holidays... I'm going to drop them a note to remind them that the cats get 1/4 cup dry food each a day, NO MORE... not matter how pathetic they act!
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does Toby act like he's always starving?

A vet visit would be in order to rule out something like diabetes or a thyroid problem.
At nine months, my cats were pretty much their adult size and cut back on their food on their own. It could be that your Toby is still in a growth spurt, though.

What are you feeding your cat? Wet tends to be higher in protein than dry (there are a few higher protein drys though), higher protein is actually better for cats and decreases the appetite by taking longer to digest. Check out the protein and carb counts for Toby's food.
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