Fats cats might be OK on the funny pages, but real-life cats should maintain a sleek figure. Cats who consistently overeat can become obese, which can lead to serious health issues. Because overeating can be caused by an underlying problem, gluttonous cats should be taken to a veterinarian.
Some cats overeat for no reason at all. For these cats, controlled feedings are the easiest way to keep their weight in check. To control the amount of food that your cat consumes, switch your cat from free feeding to scheduled feedings. Give your cat a single portion of food in the morning and another portion at dinnertime. Portion the food out based on the food manufacturer's recommended serving size. After about a half hour, take the food away.
In some cases, a cat will overeat because it is not getting enough nutrition from its food. This is common with high-fiber dry foods. Because cats cannot digest the fiber, many of the nutrients pass through the cat’s system without being absorbed. Therefore, the cat must eat more to feel satisfied.
Normal Increases in Eating
Cats, just like humans, will eat more when they are pregnant. If your cat is not spayed and has interaction with other cats, a sudden increase in eating could mean pregnancy. Other reasons for increased eating include weather changes for outdoor cats, and growth spurts in younger cats. Consult your veterinarian to help determine whether your cat's change in eating is within the normal ranges or whether it could be a symptom of something more.
Medical Reasons for Overeating
Cats who suffer from intestinal parasites eat more food because the worms are taking away some of their nutrition. Deworming by a veterinarian should correct the problem. Other possible causes include a hyperactive thyroid, which also can be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian.
- white angora cat eating from food bowl image by Stephen Orsillo from Fotolia.com