Cats love to eat, and there are multiple ways that they can satisfy their hunger. Cats are great hunters, which is why you can find them preying on pests, mice, and little birds present in your house. If a cat is not on a supplementary diet, it can hunt around 10-20 small animals every day. If your cat is on a supplementary diet, it will hurt less and will eat what you provide. However, many cats suffer from different eating disorders that cause many abnormalities in their eating habits and can cause several diseases. We will be discussing some major cat eating disorder and will tell you how to help your cat recover.
Cats love to eat, and you should give your cat enough food to keep it healthy and active. However, cat overeats and like to eat off their schedule. They will eat whatever they find. They might even hunt and eat small animals even after having a normal diet. There are many overeating cat symptoms. When you have two pets in your house, cats will consider eating as a competition and will eat whatever they find to win the eating battle with their sibling. Overeating can also happen due to the presence of bacteria and parasites that increase appetite. This habit of excessive eating is not good for cats as this leads to obesity and many diseases like liver disease, diabetes, breathing disorders, pain from physical exertion, and gastrointestinal issues.
This problem can be cured by following a fixed diet schedule for your cat and feeding it wet food. Wet food is high in water content and low in categories. This helps in weight management and keeps your cat full for long. You can also consult a professional behaviorist or vet who can help adjust your cat’s eating habits.
Sometimes, cats start stress eating and try to consume a lot of food in a limited amount of time. They tend to eat a lot faster in this condition, which makes them consume a lot more calories, leading to obesity. This habit also causes a lot of digestive problems in cats as their body is not getting enough time to digest. After eating quickly, your cat might even vomit or choke on the food. This habit also causes gastritis, which is the inflammation of the stomach lining. Eating fast can also make your cat aggressive, frustrated and can cause other behavioral problems as well.
The best way to cure this problem is by taking your cat to a professional behaviorist as this is a psychological problem that forces cats to eat quickly. A professional behaviorist can help your cat adjust its eating speed. This behavior can also be curbed by giving your cat small amounts of food frequently. You can give your cat food one bite at a time so that your cat’s eating speed can be normalized.
Anorexia is a condition in which cats eat less, and this is a huge problem. This condition can be caused by pre-existing diseases. Other symptoms include weakness, unresponsiveness, weight loss, lethargy, depression, diarrhea, and vomiting. This loss of appetite normally happens when your cat cannot eat due to pain or any other medical illness. Some of the diseases and medical conditions that cause Anorexia include diabetes, kidney disease, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal issues, immune disease, and cancer. This can also happen due to a negative side effect of a medication or an unsuitable diet.
If your cat is suffering from loss of appetite, you should immediately take it to a vet as this eating disorder happens normally due to a pre-existing medical illness. If your cat is under-eating due to psychological reasons, make it feel safe during meals and provide it physical and mental stimulations so that it can release the unwanted nervousness that is making your cat cranky.
Pica is a condition where cats tend to eat inedible items like cotton, plastic, rock, or other items. In this condition, it is difficult to feed your cat as it acts repulsive and will try eating things that it shouldn’t eat and can even turn out to be poisonous for it. Kittens commonly suffer from Pica as they have a habit of sucking off things. Moreover, Pica is a common issue faced by certain cat breeds. This condition can cause many health problems such as gastrointestinal blockages, choking, poisoning, etc. Pica can happen due to both physical and psychological reasons. Cats suffering from leukemia, diabetes, FIV, or brain tumor also suffer from Pica. Psychological reasons include boredom, stress, anxiety, and attention-seeking.
Pica can be a symptom of a dangerous medical condition, therefore, it is recommended to take your cat to your vet and get it checked for potential diseases. Pica can also be cured through medication or dietary adjustment. For psychological reasons, you can remove stressors and other items from your cat’s surroundings that it likes to chew or eat.
In this condition, cats start to eat their feces. Even though this medical condition is comparatively more common in dogs, many cats suffer from Coprophagia as well. Cat feces contain many harmful bacteria that can cause many dangerous diseases. However, this condition is a normal occurrence in mother cats as they eat the feces of their kittens as a part of their grooming routine. Cats also eat their feces to keep their surroundings clean. This grooming habbit can cause a lot of health problems in cats. This eating habit is also caused by parasites and bacteria that increase the cat’s appetite and make it eat whatever is in front of it.
While this eating disorder is normal for mothers, it is important to visit a vet for treatments and tests anyways. As this habit happens due to anxiety as well, cutting down on your cat’s anxiety can curb this eating disorder.
If you want your cat to stay healthy, playful, and live longer, you have to strictly monitor its eating habits and if you sense any abnormality, it is better to take your cat to a vet or a professional behaviorist.