morning cat

msserena

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So I have an over eater. Every morning before I get up & have a chance to feed, she will go along the floor & grab fur balls. She does this on the carpet & on the laminate. I know she's hungry but it's so crazy to me that she wants to eat the chunks of fur. She also does this side grinding thing.

If anyone knows about cat behavior I'd really like to learn why she does this & if there's anything I can do besides getting up at 3am & opening a can of food.

Thanks
 

ArtNJ

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Some cats randomly eat stuff, or do it when bored, and fur is definitely on the menu for some cats, but if its only at 3 am its probably not that. Some cats do eat stuff when hungry or having food anxiety. Given that you mentioned over eating, I assume its food anxiety, but thats the first question to think about.

I'm not an expert at addressing food anxiety so I'll leave that to others, if that is what it is. But tell us about what is fed and when, and the cat's weight situation as well.
 
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msserena

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Some cats randomly eat stuff, or do it when bored, and fur is definitely on the menu for some cats, but if its only at 3 am its probably not that. Some cats do eat stuff when hungry or having food anxiety. Given that you mentioned over eating, I assume its food anxiety, but thats the first question to think about.

I'm not an expert at addressing food anxiety so I'll leave that to others, if that is what it is. But tell us about what is fed and when, and the cat's weight situation as well.

huh never even heard of food anxiety, I'll have to research that. I feed wet food so when I get up, anywhere from 6-630, that's when I open the first can of food. I work from home so when the plate is empty I'll open another can. My over eater goes back to the food more than my other cats do. Yes she is overweight.
 

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Yep, thats probably food anxiety, although as noted, some cats do eat stuff, including hair, randomly or when bored. Do you get meowed at when your slow to put food in the dish during the day?

As far as food anxiety, some cats get a little crazy about an empty dish. Hopefully some experts on that will chime in. More regularly scheduled feedings might help -- being flexible actually works for my cats, but for some I believe it can contribute to the belief that the dish should never be empty.
 

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When is your over eater's last meal of the day/night? You could move it to a bit later time, or purchase timed feeders to open at whatever time you choose that is around that magical 3AM hour. There are feeders that have a compartment underneath for ice, if you would be worried about that aspect, but it is really OK to leave canned food out for up to 8 hours or so - and, since this food would be covered until the feeder would be timed to open it would be protected from the air so less chance for bacteria collection.

The eating fur could be a combination of some level of hunger and boredom. There are cats, just like people, who tend to want to eat when they are bored. So, if she likes to play at all, you might give her a good play session right before a night meal and bedtime, just to see if she might sleep a bit longer in the morning.
 

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If by side grinding you mean laying on her side and dragging herself along, I suspect that that is night time zoomies. I suppose the eating fur could be playing with it as well. In that case I would save some toys to only set out at night and that are fun to bat and chase like mice, fuzzy balls and cat springs. And also do an end of day vacuuming so there aren’t fur clumps for her to eat.
 
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msserena

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When is your over eater's last meal of the day/night? You could move it to a bit later time, or purchase timed feeders to open at whatever time you choose that is around that magical 3AM hour. There are feeders that have a compartment underneath for ice, if you would be worried about that aspect, but it is really OK to leave canned food out for up to 8 hours or so - and, since this food would be covered until the feeder would be timed to open it would be protected from the air so less chance for bacteria collection.

The eating fur could be a combination of some level of hunger and boredom. There are cats, just like people, who tend to want to eat when they are bored. So, if she likes to play at all, you might give her a good play session right before a night meal and bedtime, just to see if she might sleep a bit longer in the morning.
I typically go to bed between 930-945 so if there's food on the plate I leave it. If there is no food then I'll open another can. I have 3 cats but my over eater usually grabs the majority of it before anyone else gets a chance. I suppose she's bored. We moved from a house into a tiny little apartment & there's not much to do other than lay in the sun, sleep & eat. We'll be moving again in a few months. I didn't notice her doing this before we came into the apartment so hopefully it might be boredom.
Yes, I think I will get the laser out tonight before bed & see how that works.
 
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msserena

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If by side grinding you mean laying on her side and dragging herself along, I suspect that that is night time zoomies. I suppose the eating fur could be playing with it as well. In that case I would save some toys to only set out at night and that are fun to bat and chase like mice, fuzzy balls and cat springs. And also do an end of day vacuuming so there aren’t fur clumps for her to eat.
No I mean her mouth is grinding but only on one side. Like she's chewing, but there's nothing in her mouth.
 

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No I mean her mouth is grinding but only on one side. Like she's chewing, but there's nothing in her mouth.
That typically is a sign of dental issues, but I am thinking it might also be related to why she is eating the hair - perhaps, she is trying to cough up a hairball (but eating hair instead of grass to try to induce vomiting).

Or, she could be having a bit of a sour stomach from acids building up in her tummy. If her digestive system is over producing acid, it could also explain her wanting to eat more than the other cats, and more often.

Just wild guesses...
 
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msserena

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That typically is a sign of dental issues, but I am thinking it might also be related to why she is eating the hair - perhaps, she is trying to cough up a hairball (but eating hair instead of grass to try to induce vomiting).

Or, she could be having a bit of a sour stomach from acids building up in her tummy. If her digestive system is over producing acid, it could also explain her wanting to eat more than the other cats, and more often.

Just wild guesses...
hmmmm interesting. I have heard before about the stomach acid & the teeth thing. She went in for a dental in Aug so I don't think anything is going on there. I have also heard it's a sign of pain. She had a small tumor taken off her food in Aug as well & they took off one of her digits. I have touched/grabbed her feet a lot since thing & she never cries. I was hoping her foot wasn't hurting her but if she doesn't cry & it hurts, how would I ever know.

About 15 min ago I heard something, I see her in a round cat scratcher & she was using her claws to pull at the fur embedded around the perimeter. I said no, you don't eat that. She just looked at me. I just gave her some chicken & tuna so for now, I think her belly is full.
 

FeebysOwner

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I have also heard it's a sign of pain. She had a small tumor taken off her food in Aug as well & they took off one of her digits. I have touched/grabbed her feet a lot since thing & she never cries. I was hoping her foot wasn't hurting her but if she doesn't cry & it hurts, how would I ever know.
If she still lets you touch her foot and it doesn't seem to bother her, I wouldn't worry about any kind of pain coming from that. But that mouth motion could also be from reflux (acid coming up into her throat/mouth).

You could consider asking the vet about giving her something for reflux to see if that might be the issue.
 
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msserena

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If she still lets you touch her foot and it doesn't seem to bother her, I wouldn't worry about any kind of pain coming from that. But that mouth motion could also be from reflux (acid coming up into her throat/mouth).

You could consider asking the vet about giving her something for reflux to see if that might be the issue.
Yes thank you, I think I will. If it stops, then I guess that was it
 
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