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Old 09-27-2007, 12:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why is my cat always hungry?

I have a 12 year old cat that is thankfully in good health, but she's always hungry and wakes me up at 3:00 AM for food!!! She weighs almost 14 pounds, and is not very active...obviously So I feed her 1 12.5 oz can of Wellness wet food split into four equal portions four times a day, and sometimes a small handful of Wellness dry food.

She's been eating Wellness food for about a year now, and was previously eating Friskies Special Diet. I always understood that high quality foods were supposed to be more filling, but it seems like she's hungrier now that she's eating Wellness food.

Does this make sense to anyone? Does anyone have any ideas as to why she's always hungry and what I can do about this?

I would appreciate any help!
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That is a LOT of food for one cat. I have no idea why she would still be hungry.

My 2 cats split 1 5.5oz can of Wellness twice a day. Therefore each cat gets 5.5oz of Wellness per day. They also get 1/8 cup of dry food each per day.


She's probably just got you trained to do her bidding.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's way too much wellness for a sedentary cat. My two chub buckets split one of those cans in about 1.5 days.

I think it's partially the cat training you to reward it and partially the cat just being full of energy and zest for life and wanting you to entertain it.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It wouldn't hurt to have her checked for hyperthyroidism. Although the majority of hyperthyroid cats show some weight loss, it isn't always the case. If a cat becomes more vocal and develops a voracious appetite, it's one of the first things to check.
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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And while rare, it could be Hypothyroid as well. Would recommend a vet check.

Also, 12.5 ounces a day is about double what an average adult cat should be eating. That should gradually be cut back, you will have to be strong and refuse to give it to her no matter how much she screams (assuming there are no medical conditions).
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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definitely have her checked for hyperthyroidism. all it takes is a simple blood test (a full blood panel including T4 would be the best idea because it won't cost much more and it'll tell you a lot more about her health).

A cat her size and age should probably be eating about half that. She would have to have an really high metabolism to be able to eat that much and not gain a lot of weight, and a very high metabolism is the first sign of hyperthyroid in older cats. The disorder is usually very easily managed with inexpensive daily medication as long as its caught early, but will result in organ failure and death if not treated.
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Old 09-29-2007, 05:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Her and Mizzit should meet!
I agree with everyone else here.
At her age you should DEFINATELY get her thyroid tested. My Bella passed because she got treatment too late. Hyperthyroidism is very easily treated, usually with just a pill a day. And the meds don't cost that much at all.
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Might also be a good idea to have a quick fecal run to rule out parasites (they can come from the darndest places). Agreed on the full panel and T4...a 12 year old cat should be having a set of labs and physical exam once a year anyhow. Ask your vet if they have a "senior package," which can provide a decent discount on services bundled together (full bloods, fecal, urinalysis, x-rays, blood pressure check, and exam).

12.5 oz of food is an enormous amount of food for one cat in one day. I think any drastic change in appetite like that warrants a vet check.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your responses!

I am very embarrassed to say that I made a HUGE mistake - my cat does not eat 12.5 oz a day (like I originally said), she eats 5.5 oz a day with a handful of dry food maybe once or twice a week. After reading these responses, I'm relieved to see that she's eating about the right amount. I also agree that she's got me well-trained to feed her at 3 in the morning

So now after posting the CORRECT information, does anyone have any ideas as to why she is always hungry and what I should do about this (so I can sleep primarily!)

Thank you!
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Whew! That's better. She gets you up at 3am because she can. Once you gave in, she now knows that if she bugs you enough she'll get what she wants. She may not even be really hungry, it's just habit.

I'd try giving her a small snack right before bed. My cats get wet for breakfast and dinner and a bedtime snack of dry. If she's been maintaining her weight on the what you're feeding, then I would just split it up differently ra therthan feeding more.

Then when 3am comes you'll have to be strong and totally ignore her. Don't talk to her, don't yell, don't get up and feed her. Roll over, bury your head in the pillow and play dead. She'll give up eventually, but it may take a week or two.
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