Hungry Hungry Tuxie again!

Lisannez

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I have posted about our 12 year old Tuxie before, and her ravenous appetite. For the last few months we seemed to have it under control. We feed an even combo of wet food and dry food, grain free both from Earthborn. She is overweight, 17 pounds and has been for most of her life. We got a feeder and set it for 4:30 am on the weekdays and then for 4:30 and 8:30 am on weekends so we can sleep a bit longer. Prior to this she would constantly ask for food, but this cut down on that substantially. But in the past two weeks, it’s started up again and this time it’s worse. It started with her beginning to beg for food an hour before feeding time, then two hours, now three hours, so basically she is constantly begging. We stick to the feeding schedule so her begging does not get her fed sooner, and we ignore her when she begs, but it does not stop. She cries like she is in pain, she comes up to myself or my fiance and taps us relentlessly with her paw. Anytime someone gets up or moves she runs after them at their feet almost tripping them trying to get food. When we finally put it down she gobbles it down like it’s running away and is finished in under a minute. She then starts again asking for food almost immediately. She is not sick, her thyroid has been tested many times, she’s been put on diet prescription food, she is not diabetic, there is nothing physically wrong with her. She just always wants to eat. The only time she is not asking to eat is when she is sleeping. She is getting high quality, high protein food, and the recommended daily calories. She constantly tries to trick the automatic feeder, she will spend hours sticking her paw up trying to get more food out of it. If you leave a plate out with anything on it she will eat it, so we have to be very careful. Why does this keep happening? I mean this cat would eat all day everyday if we allowed her to. Is this a psychological issue? Do we need to get her on some sort of medication? She has plenty of stimulation, it’s not boredom.
 
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Lisannez

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Is she indoor-only?
Mostly indoor. She goes out on our fenced in back porch, there's a cat door, but she never leaves the yard. She enjoys it. We walk her on a leash on occasion too, she's leash trained. Very smart and trainable cat, just seems to be food obsessed.
 

lisahe

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Did she come to you as a stray? Or very hungry? Some cats who were underfed never quite outgrow their obsessions with food. We have to cats, littermates, and one of them would also eat all day, every day, but we only (only!) feed her five meals a day. (Plus an early-morning snack: she'll barf stomach acid in the early morning, probably because she's nervous about her next meal...) She also has a history of "scarf and barf" because she gets excited, eats too fast, and then regurgitates.

I don't really have many suggestions for you other than to say that feeding lots of small meals has helped keep Edwina (relatively) calm about her food. She was really small for her frame and age when we adopted her at ten months and she's now seven so I'm afraid her food insecurity will always be with her.

Good luck!
 

MissClouseau

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Mostly indoor. She goes out on our fenced in back porch, there's a cat door, but she never leaves the yard. She enjoys it. We walk her on a leash on occasion too, she's leash trained. Very smart and trainable cat, just seems to be food obsessed.
Then I would check if this is more about her wanting attention or boredom out of not getting the attention she likes. My cat has never been an overeater but even she goes to the food bowl sometimes after sitting down for a while, clearly out of boredom. But instantly changes her mind if I give her attention and we start to play or she starts to get pets.

And if you haven't already tried, maybe more meals with lower calorie food. My cat usually eats 40 grams wet food at once, at most. With one brand for example that would mean 8 meals a day as it's quite low-calorie and the box says 3-4 cans a day.
 

lisahe

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maybe more meals with lower calorie food
I'm glad you mentioned the calories: this is basically our formula! Most of the foods we feed (other than a couple of the canned foods we feed as bedtime snacks) are low or moderate in calories.
 

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I agree, I think this isn't anywhere nearly enough, in regards to the frequency of feeding. As is suggested, try shifting to several small meals throughout the day, and see how things go with that, --as to whether you need to include overnight.

I also wonder if earthborn changed their recipe. Either way, I'd strongly suggest utilizing a couple of additional different brands and rotating them so that she's getting different ingredients and therefore different nutrients from a variety of sources.
 
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Lisannez

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Did she come to you as a stray? Or very hungry? Some cats who were underfed never quite outgrow their obsessions with food. We have to cats, littermates, and one of them would also eat all day, every day, but we only (only!) feed her five meals a day. (Plus an early-morning snack: she'll barf stomach acid in the early morning, probably because she's nervous about her next meal...) She also has a history of "scarf and barf" because she gets excited, eats too fast, and then regurgitates.

I don't really have many suggestions for you other than to say that feeding lots of small meals has helped keep Edwina (relatively) calm about her food. She was really small for her frame and age when we adopted her at ten months and she's now seven so I'm afraid her food insecurity will always be with her.

Good luck!
Thanks. She did not come to us a stray, we have had her since she was 6 months old she was never underfed. We do think that she came from big litter and may have not gotten much to eat.. We are feeding 6 small meals a day to her, plus one late night snack. She did used to do the barfing thing too, but I think more so for attention to get fed than due to the stomach acid. We thought it may be insecurity about food, so we tried free feeding. She ate an entire days worth of food in one sitting, and she kept doing it for a freaking week, so that clearly did not work. She has done crazy things to get food. At one point she was opening a cabinet in the kitchen, scratched a hole in the bag and was having herself a buffet. She even knew enough to shut the cabinet door so we did not notice. I would say that she was always like this too, but over the years we have found solutions that will work for sometime but then stop. Glad to hear we are not alone though.
 
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Lisannez

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Then I would check if this is more about her wanting attention or boredom out of not getting the attention she likes. My cat has never been an overeater but even she goes to the food bowl sometimes after sitting down for a while, clearly out of boredom. But instantly changes her mind if I give her attention and we start to play or she starts to get pets.

And if you haven't already tried, maybe more meals with lower calorie food. My cat usually eats 40 grams wet food at once, at most. With one brand for example that would mean 8 meals a day as it's quite low-calorie and the box says 3-4 cans a day.
It's not. She goes outside and enjoys herself as much as she wants. But she makes sure to come in every five to ten minutes, run to her bowl and make sure there's no food there. She will meow for a bit for food, then go back outside, and it repeats itself again five to ten minutes later. If she sees anyone get up to walk inside the house she will run inside immediately to her bowl and ask for food. We do 6 small meals a day plus one snack. Trust me we have tried it all. I have calculated out the calories, she is getting enough. It is high protein high quality food. You cannot distract her with play.
 
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Lisannez

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I agree, I think this isn't anywhere nearly enough, in regards to the frequency of feeding. As is suggested, try shifting to several small meals throughout the day, and see how things go with that, --as to whether you need to include overnight.

I also wonder if earthborn changed their recipe. Either way, I'd strongly suggest utilizing a couple of additional different brands and rotating them so that she's getting different ingredients and therefore different nutrients from a variety of sources.
Thanks. We do six small meals a day, plus one snack at night. We have tried feeding more frequently, makes no difference. She has done this on other foods too. It's almost like her body gets used to one schedule and then all of the sudden wants more again. They could have changed their formula, that's a great idea. I will look into that. But alas I really think this is a lifelong behavior issue for her. T
 

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I am going to chime in and say perhaps the diet food is the problem. Is it prescription? Even if not, if it is full of fillers (corn, grains, rice, soy, vegetables) and other junk cats don't need, she is just not feeling full as that isn't appropriate diet for a strict carnivore. She needs proteins and yes, even fats. Fat isn't necessarily bad for cats, carbs are. Just like people (unless you are a veg or vegan, but we are not strict carnivores either). Carbs fill you up quickly but then you are hungry again soon. Proteins and fats make you feel satisfied longer.

She needs a high protein, moderate fat, and little to no carbs.

If she is eating dry food at all just stop that now and get her on a high protein, good quality canned diet.
 
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Lisannez

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I am going to chime in and say perhaps the diet food is the problem. Is it prescription? Even if not, if it is full of fillers (corn, grains, rice, soy, vegetables) and other junk cats don't need, she is just not feeling full as that isn't appropriate diet for a strict carnivore. She needs proteins and yes, even fats. Fat isn't necessarily bad for cats, carbs are. Just like people (unless you are a veg or vegan, but we are not strict carnivores either). Carbs fill you up quickly but then you are hungry again soon. Proteins and fats make you feel satisfied longer.

She needs a high protein, moderate fat, and little to no carbs.

If she is eating dry food at all just stop that now and get her on a high protein, good quality canned diet.
The food is not diet food, it is Earthborn wet canned food, there is no grain in it, no soy, no veggies. We only feed grain free food. But we have tried prescription food before, the Earthborn is actually the best so far comparatively. We do feed one of the six meals a day as dry food and this purely because we do not have a wet food feeder. High protein is exactly the food we feed her, the dry food too.
 

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Ahhh good good, and as I scroll back up I do see the sentence I missed the first time where you stated this, sorry about that.
 

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Have you ever tried one of those plastic balls/puzzle toys that you put dry food inside of so they have to work to get it out? Like this Trixie Activity Strategy Game Tunnel Feeder Cat Toy - Chewy.com or this Catit Treat Ball Cat Toy, Blue - Chewy.com

Obviously doesn’t work for wet food, but it might help the eating super fast issue and keep her occupied for longer. My cat also seems to stay full for longer if he eats the same amount of food more slowly rather than inhaling it all in 20 seconds.
 

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I think all Earthborn wet food has either potatoes or tapioca, personally I'd experiment with other, fillers free canned just to see if it makes any difference. And I'd consider getting rid of dry at all? So that she cannot smell it at home at all. There are some feeders for wet food as well, I believe there's recent thread about this now. Or at least switching to better dry, like dr Elsey chicken, Earthborn has lots of peas. I'd hope more animal protein would be more filling to her. Also, I'm a big fan of rotation of different brands of canned food to mitigate any potential problems with one brand, that's also something to consider, starting with adding just one brand and then maybe another?

Then, I'd also consider experimenting with more calorie dense food.. I'm not sure about this one since she's overweight, but maybe she simply doesn't get full on less caloric food (Earthborn has around 60kcal/100 grams, you can try eg. Rawz Turkey, that gives 120kcal/100gr). Hopefully if she eats more protein&calories, she would require smaller portions.

Good luck!!!
 
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