5 Reasons Your Cat is Extremely Hungry

PetMD Editorial
Jun 6, 2014
Image: Stefano Garau / via Shutterstock
Image: Hasloo Group Production Studio / via Shutterstock
Image: zizar / via Shutterstock
Image: Valerie Potapova / via Shutterstock
Image: Petr Malyshev / via Shutterstock
Image: Tom Wang / via Shutterstock
1 of 6
View All
2 of 6

1. Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a disease that causes your cat to either have an absolute shortage of insulin (Type I), or an incorrect response from the cells to the insulin that is being produced (Type II). Both of these conditions will prevent your cat’s muscles and organs from converting glucose to energy, and will result in excessive amounts of glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). Increased appetite and thirst are among the most common signs associated with diabetes in cats.

2. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a disease caused by overproduction of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone. Normally thyroid hormones increase chemical processes occurring within the cells of your pet’s body. However, in hyperthyroidism, the excessive hormone levels push the cells and body into overdrive, resulting in increased metabolism and often increased appetite.

3. Inflammatory Bowel Problems

Hungry cat? It may be possible that your cat is not properly absorbing the nutrients of his food due to a gastrointestinal problem such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This in turn often leads to weight loss and increased appetite, among other things. IBD can affect cats at any age but is more common in middle-aged and older cats.

4. Intestinal Cancer

There are several types of gastrointestinal cancers that can afflict your cat’s stomach and intestines with tumors, including adenocarcinoma and leiomyosarcoma. Many of these types of cancer will cause increased appetite in your cat due to the malabsoption of food.

5. Old Age

As your cat gets older she may undergo behavioral or physical problems — such as the diseases already discussed here — which in turn can cause issues such as increased appetite.

What to Do for Your Hungry Cat?

It’s important to visit a veterinarian if your cat ever undergoes an unexpected change in behavior. They can help identify the underlying cause and hopefully treat it. In the case of a sudden increase in appetite, you will want to ask your veterinarian if a change in diet is also required. There may be a therapeutic diet that may help your pet’s condition as well as caloric intake to consider.

View All Slides

Additional Slideshows

Cat Hissing: 7 Things That Might Be to Blame

Cat Hissing: 7 Things That Might Be to Blame

Megan Sullivan
Mar 04, 2020
Top 9 Tips for Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

Top 9 Tips for Keeping Your Cat’s Teeth Clean

Yahaira Cespedes
Dec 04, 2019
How to Tell Your Cat’s Age

How to Tell Your Cat’s Age

Megan Sullivan
Nov 18, 2019