It is so endearing to watch a kitten with a healthy appetite gulping down its food. Even trying to steal the food of the other cats in the household. But when your kitten wants to eat ALL the time then this might get worrisome. It may be a sign that the kitten has some physical or behavioural problem that needs to be identified and addressed immediately
My Kitten Wants To Eat All The Time?
Your kitten is a growing little creature so it is normal for her to eat a lot to meet her daily nutritional requirements. It is these nutrients in the food that provide the kitten the energy and the raw materials she needs to build tissues and grow. A kitten that is a ball of energy and is very active will need more food and will have the tendency to eat more.
When a kitten will not stop eating, first check the food you are currently giving her. Check for quality of ingredients and appropriateness for the life stage (kitten-friendly). Food that is mostly grain fillers and made of low quality protein will satisfy a kitten’s hunger for a short time only. Inevitably she will become hungry again in only a short while after eating. A kitten’s life stage requires more energy. Therefore giving it food that does not suit this age and stage may not meet their nutritional and energy needs making them always hungry.
If you have good quality and age appropriate food and kitten is still always hungry and eating all the time, this may be a sign of an underlying health problem. Take kitten to the veterinarian for a check-up and have her medications for worms updated. Worms get the nutrients from the food that is supposed to be for the cat leaving her hungry. Although not common in kittens, have her checked too for conditions like diabetes and hyperthyroid which causes a tendency to overeat.
If there is nothing wrong with kitten’s health then the overeating issue may be a behavioral one. Boredom and depression may make a kitten overeat and this may lead to the problem of pica later on. Adopted kittens who grew up living the hard life on the streets with no guarantee where or when the next meal will be grow up insecure around food and will eat everything offered at one time. This kind of overeating could result in digestive upset episodes in the short term and obesity issues in the long term which contribute to diabetes, thyroid, heart and kidney problems later on in life.
How To Prevent Kitten From Overeating
A feeding routine is important and a balance must be achieved such that the kitten must be given enough food to maintain healthy growth but is not allowed to overeat. Kittens have smaller stomachs than adult cats so they should be eating smaller amounts more frequently. This allows for the kitten to digest the food properly and prevent stomach upset.
Feed kitten with small amounts of wet food about four to five times a day. Gradually reduce the frequency to two to three times a day by 6 months old. Leave some dry food in a dish available for kitten to snack on throughout the day. This allows for kitten not to get hungry in between regular wet food feedings. This practice can help prevent the so-called “binge and purge” habit wherein a hungry cat will gorge on food at mealtime and then throw the food up.
However, leaving a dish of dry food all day for a kitten that wants to eat all the time and has a tendency to be overweight may not be such a good idea. In this case getting a toy that dispenses dry food would be a better plan. Food dispenser toys come in different fancy designs you can get from the pet supply stores, but it need not be the expensive ones. You can even make a “do-it-yourself” toy food dispenser from recycled plastic bottles. Just make sure to smoothen and round off the edges of the holes so kitten will not injure herself. These will keep kitten entertained and give her the needed exercise as she “hunts” for her food.
It is also worth considering the holistic nutritional health of your feline if your kitten wants to eat all the time. If you notice that your cat doesn’t drink water then there is a possibility that they can be over eating wet food to compensate for their thirst. Cats are known to obtain their water through their food. In this case it might be worth investing in a cat water fountain if you’re kitten wants to eat all the time and doesn’t go near a still water bowl.