Please help! Cat over eating and I can't stop him.

Spotid

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Hello I'm new here and I'm frantic for help with my cat, Stinky.

He's about 3 years old. He's a very active cat, indoor/outdoor, who has always been rather thin and lanky. He's a short hair tabby cat.

Recently, about a week and a half ago, he suddenly started eating like he's starving. He constantly meows for food and when I give him some he eats so fast he literally has to stop and breath. I've taken several different tactics to stop him from over eating. I thought I was overfeeding him at first so I gave him a bit less, but he still continued to cry for more food like he's dying- I'm talking full out screams as is he's hurt. I then spaced out his feedings and gave him smaller portions multiple times a day rather than eating once in the morning and once in the evening- but that didn't work. He will force his brother out of his bowl (they have separate bowls and eat on opposite sides of the room) to eat his food and will scream when I try to take him away. He's also forced his way into their food container so i had to get a new container to prevent him from over eating.

When he eats dry food he doesn't chew it at all and will later on throw it all up. So I since switched him to wet food which he seemed to eat slower given he stopped to chew it due to the moister, but he has since started swallowing it frantically. He's still on wet food because it seems to be the only thing that doesn't make him throw up and I added a ball to his bowl so he's forced to eat around the ball, that seems to have helped a bit but he's already learning how to just push the ball out of his food.

I have a vet appointment scheduled for Friday because they wouldn't give me an earlier date. When I called they said I was just over feeding him but there's no way that's possible because he's always had the same amount of food and has always ate the same food until now when I switched him to wet food.

He doesn't seem ill at all, if anything he's been more active due to meowing for food all the time (he's normally a very quiet kitty). However yesterday he suddenly started sneezing, but it's only occasionally. His brother isn't exhibiting any of this behavior and I feel had it been something like worms he would have been showing symptoms by now but both of them are still acting normal aside from his need for food. And I feel if he ate something bad from outside it would have passed through his system by now or he would have been exhibiting more signs of sickness, but he seems fine aside from just being hungry.

I don't know why he's suddenly being this way. Nothing drastic has changed in our household lately so I don't think it would be a stress issue. He still seems happy and healthy.

Has anyone had this issue before? If so, what was it? Does my cat have some illness or is he just really hungry?
 

StanAndAlf

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A lot of the time, worms such as tapeworm give no other obvious signs besides immense hunger without weight gain. If an adult cat is suddenly eating copious amounts, and does not put on weight, I would say its a sign something is going on.

Either way I don't believe it would hurt to treat for worms, just to rule it out. A stool sample might be a good idea too.

My cat, who had similar symptoms among other things, was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. He was a rescue though, and came with it, so I can't say if it was rapid onset. Good luck at the vets, hope you find out what's going on!
 

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I would follow up on the tapeworms (and a stool sample to the vet for diagnostics), but also have him checked for hyperthyroidism - although he is pretty young compared to most cats who acquire this condition. Tapeworms are not necessarily what you would consider 'contagious', so one cat can have them without the other cats contracting them. How is his stool (loose, hard, diarrhea), although you may not know that since he is indoor/outdoor.

You also need to look into various nutritional deficiencies than can cause excess hunger/lack of weight gain. One that comes to mind is a Vitamin B12 deficiency, but you should ask your vet about others as well.
 

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Diabetes and hyperthyroid will also make a cat ravenous.

Your vet certainly will be able to assess what the issue is.

FYI - cats don't really chew food. They use their teeth to pull the food into their mouth and swallow it whole, which is why kibble and chunky cat food is in smaller pieces than a dog version. Their teeth can shred, but their molars (what little there is of them) are pointy, not flat. The sound you here, therefore, isn't a chewing noise at all - it's the teeth cracking pieces apart.
 

sivyaleah

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After thinking about this something came to mind.

There may now be a big difference in calories consumed by switching over to wet food from the kibble. Some dry foods have upwards of 500 calories a cup. Most wet food falls into the 65-80 calories per 3 ounce cans - depending on source of protein and the amount of it vs other fillers. If his total calories has fallen off dramatically I can see how he may actually feel hungry.

What brand kibble and how much were you feeding and what brand and how much wet do you feed a day now?
 
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Spotid

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After thinking about this something came to mind.

There may now be a big difference in calories consumed by switching over to wet food from the kibble. Some dry foods have upwards of 500 calories a cup. Most wet food falls into the 65-80 calories per 3 ounce cans - depending on source of protein and the amount of it vs other fillers. If his total calories has fallen off dramatically I can see how he may actually feel hungry.

What brand kibble and how much were you feeding and what brand and how much wet do you feed a day now?

Thank you for all the feedback everyone's been giving.

On hard food he's been eating Purina One. He would get 1/3 of a cup (7am) in the morning and 1/3 of a cup at night (8pm) normally before all this. (His brother is still on this same feeding schedule).

When I spaced out his feedings I'd give him 1/4 cup once in the morning, around 7am, then another 1/4 cup before i left for work at 2, and then he'd get a 1/3 cup at night around 8/9 at night. But he's usually throw up some time whenever I left for work and I'd find the vomit when I was home.

(specifically this dry food because his brother is a picky eater and will not eat any other hard food: Here)

And now he's eating 3 cups of the meow mix wet food, same feeding schedule as his spaced feedings (7am, 2pm, 8pm) and he doesn't vomit when he has his wet food. I know the wet food isn't as filling so I dry to give him a bit extra, hence why I'm feeding him three times a day. He's an active cat so he normally eats more than his brother anyway, but he's still skinny.

While I'm monitoring his food intake, I'm more concerned at how fast he's eating. He seriously acts like he's never seen food in his life and he'll bully his brother to get his food. His brother is overweight due to a poor diet as a kitten, so his brother is on a restricted diet by his vet, but Stinky (the cat in question) has always been skinny.

I'm going to try and get a video of him eating tonight for my vet can see and as everyone's recommendations I've already bagged a stool sample (which took some effort because he shares a cat box).

Thank you for everyone's help so far.
 
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Spotid

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Diabetes and hyperthyroid will also make a cat ravenous.

Your vet certainly will be able to assess what the issue is.

FYI - cats don't really chew food. They use their teeth to pull the food into their mouth and swallow it whole, which is why kibble and chunky cat food is in smaller pieces than a dog version. Their teeth can shred, but their molars (what little there is of them) are pointy, not flat. The sound you here, therefore, isn't a chewing noise at all - it's the teeth cracking pieces apart.
Oh and also when I mean "chew" I mean just taking the moment to swallow it. He stuffs his face so fast that he basically chokes himself :(
 
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Spotid

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Oh and also when I mean "chew" I mean just taking the moment to swallow it. He stuffs his face so fast that he basically chokes himself :(
Also to answer the other question I missed, his stool is normal. I've watched him use the cat box to check because I was trying to see if he has worms or not (i couldn't see any visibly but I kept the sample for the vet). But it still seems normal.
 

FeebysOwner

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Also to answer the other question I missed, his stool is normal. I've watched him use the cat box to check because I was trying to see if he has worms or not (i couldn't see any visibly but I kept the sample for the vet). But it still seems normal.
Saving stool is good, as long as it kept refrigerated until it can be taken to the vet for testing. And, even then I think the time line is about 24 hours. You can check with your vet to make sure. When Feeby had tapeworms, I don't recall her stool being any different in consistency - it just had very, very small pieces of the tapeworm in it - hardly visible, tbh. I don't think that is your cat's issue, IMO, but nonetheless a good thing to check.
 

sivyaleah

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Oh and also when I mean "chew" I mean just taking the moment to swallow it. He stuffs his face so fast that he basically chokes himself :(
Maybe try giving less at a time, but more frequently? See if his behavior changes? I had a cat that would sometimes scarf and barf and that's what we started doing with him. Seemed to help.
 

tarasgirl06

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Thank you for all the feedback everyone's been giving.

On hard food he's been eating Purina One. He would get 1/3 of a cup (7am) in the morning and 1/3 of a cup at night (8pm) normally before all this. (His brother is still on this same feeding schedule).

When I spaced out his feedings I'd give him 1/4 cup once in the morning, around 7am, then another 1/4 cup before i left for work at 2, and then he'd get a 1/3 cup at night around 8/9 at night. But he's usually throw up some time whenever I left for work and I'd find the vomit when I was home.

(specifically this dry food because his brother is a picky eater and will not eat any other hard food: Here)

And now he's eating 3 cups of the meow mix wet food, same feeding schedule as his spaced feedings (7am, 2pm, 8pm) and he doesn't vomit when he has his wet food. I know the wet food isn't as filling so I dry to give him a bit extra, hence why I'm feeding him three times a day. He's an active cat so he normally eats more than his brother anyway, but he's still skinny.

While I'm monitoring his food intake, I'm more concerned at how fast he's eating. He seriously acts like he's never seen food in his life and he'll bully his brother to get his food. His brother is overweight due to a poor diet as a kitten, so his brother is on a restricted diet by his vet, but Stinky (the cat in question) has always been skinny.

I'm going to try and get a video of him eating tonight for my vet can see and as everyone's recommendations I've already bagged a stool sample (which took some effort because he shares a cat box).

Thank you for everyone's help so far.
Hello and welcome to TCS! There are little "food puzzles" you can buy that make pawing out the dry food slower and more interesting (and maybe less apt to be regurgitated, if he eats more slowly). There are also raised bowls, because some cats seem to do better eating in this position. I'm not a big proponent of dry food as a main diet, but these are just suggestions. And yes, dry food is more calorically dense than wet food, so he may want more wet food. My roomie mixed wet and dry together to feed her big guy, who was always ravenous.
Hoping the sample will turn up negative and that his vet visit will give you good information on how he is health-wise. Please keep us informed, won't you? And we love pix here at TCS.
 

bear

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Just asking for clarification:

"And now he's eating 3 cups of the meow mix wet food, same feeding schedule as his spaced feedings (7am, 2pm, 8pm) and he doesn't vomit when he has his wet food. I know the wet food isn't as filling so I dry to give him a bit extra, hence why I'm feeding him three times a day. He's an active cat so he normally eats more than his brother anyway, but he's still skinny."

A cup is 8 oz. So he is eating 24 oz. (2 12 oz. cans) per day of wet food?
That would be close to 8 Fancy Feast 3 oz size cans per day.
 
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corvidae

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Just asking for clarification:

"And now he's eating 3 cups of the meow mix wet food, same feeding schedule as his spaced feedings (7am, 2pm, 8pm) and he doesn't vomit when he has his wet food. I know the wet food isn't as filling so I dry to give him a bit extra, hence why I'm feeding him three times a day. He's an active cat so he normally eats more than his brother anyway, but he's still skinny."

A cup is 8 oz. So he is eating 24 oz. (2 12 oz. cans) per day of wet food?
That would be close to 8 Fancy Feast 3 oz size cans per day.
I'm not sure I have anything original to add here, but I think OP is talking about the meow mix cups, because the wet food comes in little plastic tubs instead of cans. So around 9 oz of food probably, and calories would depend on formulation but still likely be on the lower end compared to dry food.
 

bear

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Thank you

3 trays of the prepackaged trays at 2.75 oz per tray is about 8 oz. cup per day.
If this is what S Spotid is feeding, corvidae corvidae may very well be correct that it is fewer daily calories than Stinky had been eating before.
Dry food roughly contains 12 to 20% water. Wet food roughly contains 80 to 85% water. So volume of food goes up normally when switching to wet food.
 
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amethyst

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Just doing a quick look at the food, it looks like the meow mix wet food is only about 45 calories per cup, meaning if you are only feeding him 3 of the 2.75 oz cups of it a day that is only about 135 calories a day. The purina one dry food says it's about 360 calories per cup so at 2/3 of a cup a day that is 240 calories, meaning you are giving him over 100 calories less per day feeding the meow mix. Most adult cats need about 200-250 calories a day (or about 20 calories per pound of body weight, more if active and goes outdoors) meaning he likely needs about 5-6 of those 2.75oz cups per day.
 
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Spotid

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Just doing a quick look at the food, it looks like the meow mix wet food is only about 45 calories per cup, meaning if you are only feeding him 3 of the 2.75 oz cups of it a day that is only about 135 calories a day. The purina one dry food says it's about 360 calories per cup so at 2/3 of a cup a day that is 240 calories, meaning you are giving him over 100 calories less per day feeding the meow mix. Most adult cats need about 200-250 calories a day (or about 20 calories per pound of body weight, more if active and goes outdoors) meaning he likely needs about 5-6 of those 2.75oz cups per day.
I tried giving him some dry food along with his wet food last night but he just threw it all up again overnight :( I went out and got a pate food today to give him more calories. I understand the calories intake is different I didn’t even think of that when I switched him to wet food.

But even when he was still on dry food eating the same amount as before was still acting as if he were statving, even when I gave him extra dry food before.

He has a vet appointment tomorrow at 11 so I will let you all know what comes of that. Thank you guys for all the feedback.
 
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Spotid

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Hello and welcome to TCS! There are little "food puzzles" you can buy that make pawing out the dry food slower and more interesting (and maybe less apt to be regurgitated, if he eats more slowly). There are also raised bowls, because some cats seem to do better eating in this position. I'm not a big proponent of dry food as a main diet, but these are just suggestions. And yes, dry food is more calorically dense than wet food, so he may want more wet food. My roomie mixed wet and dry together to feed her big guy, who was always ravenous.
Hoping the sample will turn up negative and that his vet visit will give you good information on how he is health-wise. Please keep us informed, won't you? And we love pix here at TCS.
My other cat actually has a slow feed bowl because he’s overweight and on a diet :) It’s like a puzzle bowl that makes him paw at it to get the food out. It’s actually helped him a lot! At first he didn’t even try with it and would flat out refuse, but eventually he seemed to enjoy it and now uses it daily.

I’ve actually already put a small ball into Stinky’s bowl to slow him down (I think I mentioned it prior). I had to change it for a heavier one (which is a large marble I found- too big for him to eat obviously) because he found out how to push it out, but now that he can’t it’s seemed to help a bit.
 

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Meow mix canned is on the low end of quality so I would try a higher quality food even fancy feast classics if price is an issue. Pate foods have more kcal than chunks.

I have a fast eater myself they do sell bowls with obstacles or posts in them to slow down fast eaters. I have had mixed results with them.

Puzzle feeders are a no go. Kabby can't figure it out and just gives me that "were you dropped on your head?!" Look. I tried it with Indy too who is a grazzer and she just flipped the whole thing over and kept meowing for food.
 
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