How to Tell if Your Cat is Hungry?

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Is Your Cat Hungry?

As cat parents, we all have been confused about whether our cat is hungry or not. Although cats have a reputation for being independent and quiet human friends, they can display an entirely different personality when it comes to a hungry cat during mealtimes.

There is nothing worse than letting your cat stay hungry simply because you fail to understand the signs of your cat asking for food. Therefore, it is essential to learn how a cat may attempt to tell you that it is time for a meal.

Signs of a Hungry Cat


One of the most common signs of a hungry cat is when it suddenly begins to meow or make noises that resemble crying or growling. If you have been a cat parent for some time, you know what I am talking about, but as for the new caretakers, you might want to keep this in mind. If a cat is hungry, it will usually meow with a higher than normal pitch.

Whenever the cat’s human is busy, it will lean closely and meow directly in their face to let them know that it is hungry. And this meowing does not stop until and unless there is food in their bowl. You want to approach your cat and see if it leads to its food bowl to be sure of it.

Striped white and brown kitten meowing

Behavioral Signs

Apart from vocalizing, if your cat is particularly quiet, one of the most common ways to get your attention is by being clingy. The cat may lap around your legs and even rub its cheeks against them. This is a clear sign that your cat is asking for something, and most of the time, they are asking for food.

In addition, some cats tend to bang or scratch their food bowl and hang out near it to indicate that it is empty and that you should refill it.

How Often Do Cats Become Hungry?

In many house cats, it is common for them to have a certain eating routine which means that they like to have their meals at the same times each day. This is because their bodies let them know when it wants food and get a specific feeling in their stomach. A hungry cat is likely to meow or cry, beg for food, and keep bothering you until you feed them.

How often a cat gets hungry generally depends on its activity level and calorie requirements. A half-cup to a quarter cup of kibble each day should suffice your cat’s appetite, depending on the number of calories in the food you give.

However, since each cat is different, their eating habits also differ. Some hungry cats tend to munch small amounts more frequently, while others prefer a quarter cup during the day and a quarter cup at night.

A cat is eating dry food from a bowl

Kittens and Their Appetite

Younger and hungry cats require a formula-based diet, and they must be fed the highest nutrient-containing foods that will allow them to maximize their growth.

Do Cats Eat Even When Not Hungry?

Yes, but this also depends on the personality of the cat. Some hungry cats are wise enough to regulate their eating patterns and tend to stop eating once their belly is full. On the contrary, some cats cannot determine when to stop eating.

If your cat is quick to finish its food regardless of the quantity, you might consider a different meal plan. Small and more frequent meals may be the best option to avoid your hungry cat becoming overweight. However, this can be a bit tricky when feeding a younger cat.

Kittens require more calories to boost their growth, but how do you balance the right amount of food and calories while avoiding weight gain? The simple solution is to opt for cat foods high in calories and especially for kittens, which avoid feeding large amounts of food. Moreover, young cats are also not great at regulating their feed, so it is important not to provide meals in high quantities.

A cat sits in front of food bowls

Why Is My Cat Always Hungry?

If a cat is hungry all the time and yet still does not gain weight or even loses it, some health problems may be involved. To determine whether or not your cat is overweight, experts suggest feeling for their ribs. If you can easily feel the ribs or are prominently visible, your cat is said to be underweight. Similarly, if you can’t feel the ribs, your cat is overweight.

Regardless, if you have a case of an always hungry cat, then some of these conditions may be the reason behind it.


Your cat may be diabetic and always hungry because its energy levels are lower than they should be. Your cat is not producing insulin; hence, it cannot use sugar for energy, which should be produced during food digestion.

Cat eating food from bowl


A consistently hungry cat can be due to the overactivity in the thyroid gland. To diagnose your cat with hyperthyroidism, you should get your cat checked by a vet who will conduct a blood test.

Intestinal parasites

One of the most common reasons for an all-time hungry cat is intestinal parasites that your cat can get outdoors. The only way to be sure of this condition is through microscopic inspection of your cat’s feces conducted by a professional veterinarian. Anti intestinal parasites and deforming medications can easily cure this condition in your cat.


If you are hoping to break your cat’s bad habits related to food, you might want to establish a meal routine. This way, your cat will slowly but surely learn to expect when to eat. You won’t have to rely on unclear signals from your cats that sometimes mean they are hungry, and other times it means entirely something else.

Nevertheless, a hungry cat is not the best thing, and I hope I have helped you find some solutions.

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