No two cats have the same traits or will have the same eating habits; as a result, before determining your feline eating disorder, it is best to understand what is considered normal in your cat’s life.
As a cat owner, when you free feed your feline friend (like leaving their food bowl full), it will be challenging to monitor their eating habits. Therefore, it would be best to have regularly scheduled feeding times.
Usually, an eating disorder in a cat can be due to a behavioral problem, a medical issue, or even a nutritional deficiency.
Feline eating disorders are attributed to the history of a cat, as well as an underlying medical condition such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism, or a GIT problem.
There are other factors that can affect their eating as well, including anxiety, stress, boredom, or depression. Some of the common feline disorders include overeating, under-eating, and consuming non-food substances.
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Some cats tend to eat as many foods as you will provide them with; to a particular extent, this can be considered as normal behavior. In the wild, cats are considered opportunistic eaters; this means that most of them will feed on whatever food takes less effort to get.
In addition to that, some cats might feel the need to compete with a different pet in your home for resources; as a result, they feed as much as they can.
When your cat starts begging for food nonstop throughout the day, it is often because they know you will feed them. As a cat owner, this is a behavior you need to change.
By overeating, your cat can become obese and it might result in severe health complications such as liver diseases, breathing problems, GIT problems, diabetes, pain from physical exertion, and other problems.
Some factors, such as aging, tend to cause overeating in cats. In addition to that, some medications can lead to an increase in appetite.
Diabetes, along with insulin-related tumors, can interfere with their blood sugar and lead to most cats’ extreme hunger. Furthermore, the inability to absorb nutrients, as a result of a GIT issue and/or an improper diet, can significantly affect your cat’s appetite.
You might want to consider consulting a professional behaviorist if this issue keeps happening for an extended time.
Commonly known as anorexia, under-eating can be a significant feline eating disorder. The symptoms of anorexia include unresponsiveness, weakness, lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, depression, and vomiting.
There are two types of under-eating disorders in cats: anorexia and pseudo anorexia. The difference between these two is that in pseudo anorexia, your cat will want to eat, but cannot, due to a medical condition or pain. Therefore, it is best to look for the underlying cause and treat it.
Under-eating is often a result of loss of appetite that can come from a medical condition such as kidney disease, diabetes, a GIT problem, pancreatitis, cancer, immune disease, stress, exposure to toxic substances, or as a change in food or environment.
Since the underlying causes of anorexia in felines are several, it is best to seek a diagnosis and get treatment from a veterinarian.
Eating Non-Food Substances
Eating non-food substances is a health problem known as pica; this might range from plastic to cotton, and even rocks. Certain breeds of cats are more prone to developing pica.
This behavior can be dangerous, and can lead to a GIT blockage, poisoning, and even choking. There are numerous reasons as to why cats develop pica, and it includes physical and psychological problems. Diet deficiency is considered as the primary cause of pica in cats.
An anemic cat might end up eating their litter, while others eat grass or plant matter to help in making up for the nutrient deficiency.
This can be somehow problematic when they ingest plastic or consume plants that are treated with toxic substances. To correct pica, you will need to find out the underlying cause for a perfect solution.
A feline eating disorder is something that you need to take seriously; by doing so, you will be able to attain your cat’s longevity. Therefore, you should consider rectifying all the underlying causes to fix your feline eating disorder.