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My Cat Has an Insatiable Appetite

October 15, 2014

Your sweet cat Beauty has turned into a ravenous beast. Petite little Beauty has always been a prim and proper eater, picking at her food all day, and sometimes even walking away from the high-end cat food you placed in her bowl. Lately, though, Beauty has been downing the contents of her bowl in one sitting, and then sitting there and meowing for more. Yesterday, you even caught Beauty eyeing your dog Max’s food. Clearly, Beauty’s eating habits have drastically changed, and you’re afraid she’ll begin to get pudgy. You’ve made an appointment with your Ashburn veterinarian, who will diagnose Beauty’s problem and get her eating habits back on track.

Your Cat’s Eating Disorder Symptoms

Believe it or not, Beauty has a medical condition called polyphagia, causing her to drastically ramp up her food intake. If Beauty’s been stuffing herself silly for awhile, you might notice that she’s gotten a little rounder around the belly. Along with her increased food intake, Beauty might have also increased her water consumption and urination output. On the other hand, you might see that she’s lost weight even though she’s eating more.

Why Your Cat Is Gorging Herself

Beauty’s departure from her normal eating habits might result from an undiscovered disease process, such as diabetes. It’s also possible that Beauty might have developed food absorption problems due to a malfunctioning gastrointestinal system. Even though Beauty’s eating like crazy, she might be noticeably dropping weight she can’t afford to lose. Beauty’s appetite might have spiked due to a medication side effect; or she might be eating more because she’s becoming a dignified senior lady with a hearty appetite.

Solving the Polyphagia Puzzle

Your veterinarian wants to solve Beauty’s food consumption problem as much as you do. He’ll begin his diagnostic work by giving Beauty a complete physical exam; and he’ll likely follow that with urine and blood tests and X-rays. If he suspects a liver- or kidney-related issue, he might test Beauty’s organ functions. Finally, your vet can also conduct a stomach endoscopy, retrieving tissue samples that will help him diagnose Beauty’s condition.

Once your Ashburn vet discovers the cause of Beauty’s oversized appetite, he’ll have a clear path forward. A gastrointestinal system glitch might resolve itself with oral medications or dietary changes. If Beauty seems otherwise healthy but just can’t stop eating, your vet will likely change her diet and ask you to monitor her food intake. Perhaps serving her more-frequent smaller portions will do the trick; or maybe Beauty will require a special high-fiber diet. While Beauty might give you the cold shoulder while you’re revamping her eating habits, she’ll likely be a happier cat once her ravenous appetite returns to normal.