Cats can be cuddly and affectionate, but there's nothing that compares to the affection they show you when it's feeding time. Generally, the excitement and begging die down once you've fed your cat. However, if your cat is always hungry and begs for food throughout the day, there may be a physical reason behind his behavior.
Hunger from diabetes
If your cat is constantly looking for food, she may have developed diabetes. According to PetMD, diabetic cats can have an absolute shortage of insulin, or their cells may respond incorrectly to the insulin that their bodies produce. In turn, your cat's muscles and organs can't convert glucose to energy, resulting in too much glucose in the blood.
Diabetes in cats is often signified by increased appetite and thirst. Diabetes is manageable with an appropriate diet and medication. Your vet can test your cat and advise you on an appropriate course of treatment.
Hyperthyroidism and appetite
If your cat is hungry all the time, he may have a disease called hyperthyroidism. PetMD explains that this disease is caused by an overproduction of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. When the level of thyroxine gets too high in your cat's body, his cells go into overdrive and increase his metabolism. Because of this higher metabolism, your cat's appetite increases, too.
According to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, hyperthyroidism in cats is treatable. When you treat the disease, you'll be able to resume feeding your cat normally.
When your cat won't stop eating, she may be trying to get the nutrition she needs. However, if your cat has roundworms, they can take up all of the nutrition from her food, so she still feels hungry. According to Catster, roundworms can actually cause your cat's belly to swell, making her look overweight even though she's hungry all the time.
Your vet can test a fecal sample to confirm whether your cat has roundworms. Be careful, though, since roundworms can be spread to humans. If your cat does test positive for worms, deworming her will take care of the problem and should restore her appetite to normal.
Lack of nutrition
Poor-quality foods can lack the nutrition that your cat needs, leaving him still feeling hungry even after just having eaten. Upgrading your cat to higher-quality food and a more nutritious diet can help to solve the problem, according to Catster.
Sadly, there are a few types of cancer that can result in a cat that won't stop eating. Gastrointestinal cancers such as adenocarcinoma and leiomyosarcoma can cause intestinal tumors that impair your cat's ability to absorb food. This can result in an increased appetite, according to PetMD.
Depression and comfort eating
Even though your cat may act like she's hungry, that might not actually be the issue. If your cat is depressed, she may eat as a way to soothe herself, states Germantown Veterinary Clinic. It's similar to how humans turn to pizza or ice cream when they're feeling down. Eating just feels better.
Your cat may be depressed after the loss of another pet or a major life change. If you think your cat is depressed, try to alter your schedule so you can spend more time with her, and encourage her to play. If your cat is mourning, she may just need some time, but if the issue doesn't resolve, schedule an appointment with your vet.
Is your cat always hungry?
If your cat's appetite has increased or he acts like he's always hungry, it's time for a trip to the vet. Your vet can help you determine which of these potential causes is the issue so you can come up with a plan to get your cat's appetite back to normal.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.