In the terminology of veterinarians, there is a concept – polyphagia. It means eating disorders in cats. Always accompanied by increased appetite and gluttony. Various abnormalities can be expressed by this symptom in the cat’s body. Polyphagia can be caused by psychological and physical development problems equally. In the first case, the four-legged friend begins to eat a lot, which leads to obesity and poor health. In the second, diseases that disrupt metabolic processes force the animal to lead a passive lifestyle, which can manifest itself as obesity and sharp weight loss.
Causes of Polyphagia
Among the reasons why the cat began to eat a lot, harmless and dangerous factors stand out. The most common are the following:
- Psychological or behavioral rebuilding. In this case, adult and old animals often have an increased appetite. The owners note the gluttony that grows with age.
- Poor ability to absorb nutrients from the digestive tract. If the cat begins to eat a lot, but at the same time loses weight, then the reason may be poor digestibility of food. In some cases, after examination, inflammatory processes in the intestine, including cancerous growths, are detected. Exocrine insufficiency – insufficient production of enzymes that digest food. Pancreas malfunction – increases appetite.
- Diabetes. As a result of an inadequate supply of sugar in the blood, the animal begins to eat abundantly.
- The introduction of certain drugs. For example, prednisolone or other glucocorticosteroid medications provoke the furry’s body to eat more food.
Increased appetite may be associated with a growing body. If a small kitten eats a lot, it means that it is growing and spending a lot of energy. Too active animals also require a large portion to restore the energy expended during games. In this case, you should not panic. An increased need for nutrition does not lead to health problems. But you should pay attention to the behavior and mood of the animal. The need for food can be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Body weight changes. Rapid obesity, or vice versa, dramatic weight loss;
- Animal behavior changes. It happens that the cat is simply fixated on the constant consumption of food;
- Localization of body fat. In some cases, fat is not deposited over the entire body of the pet, but only in specific parts of the body, for example, on the stomach; muscle activity may decrease. Sometimes the atrophy of specific muscle fibers becomes clearly visible.
- Vomiting while eating. If the pet quickly swallows food, then the stomach simply does not have time to take it. In this case, the body evacuates excess from the organ cavity.
- Poor appearance of the fur. Feline nature requires constant grooming of their fur. If its attractiveness loses its former appearance (bald patches appear), it means that the pet is sick and is not able to put things in order with the coat. Specialist help is required.
- Loose stools. Indicate a digestive disorder. The rapid loss of feces increases the need for a new portion of feed.
- Attempts to scratch the anus indicate the presence of worms. The use of anthelmintic drugs is urgently required. In this state, the cat eats a lot, but does not get fat. Infestations eat up most of the food consumed by animals.
If the cat is always hungry and begging for food, you should pay attention to the age, behavior of the pet and related signs. If there are some doubts about the health of the animal, a veterinarian should be consulted. Additional tests may be prescribed. After the established diagnosis, effective treatment is prescribed.
When the cat suddenly begins to eat a lot, it may be pregnant. Her body requires more food for the babies growing inside. Before treatment, make sure that the individual is not carrying kittens. In the case of serious illnesses, the doctor prescribes a course intake of the necessary medications, droppers, injections. If there are invasions, then it is required to eliminate unwanted inhabitants with the help of medicines. As cats grow old, their appetite can either increase or decrease. To maintain the health of the pet, it is recommended to undergo regular tests of the animal in the veterinary clinic. If necessary, urgently take measures to treat your beloved four-legged friend.