My Kitten Wants To Eat All The Time?
It’s so endearing to watch a kitten that has a healthy appetite gulping down its food. Or even when it tries to steal food from any other cats in the house. But when your kitten seems to want to eat ALL the time, then this might get worrisome for owners, as it can lead owners to believe that there’s some physical or behavioural problem that must be identified and addressed immediately.
As your kitten is growing, it needs to eat a lot to meet its daily nutritional requirements. All the nutrients in the kitten’s food provides it with the energy and raw materials she needs to build tissues and grow. A kitten that’s energetic and active will need more food and will have a tendency to eat a lot. If your kitten won’t stop eating, you should first check the food you’re currently giving her. Start by checking the quality of ingredients and appropriateness of your kitten’s life stage (kitten-friendly). Kitten food that’s mostly grain fillers and consists of lower-quality protein will satisfy a kitten’s hunger for a short time only. Inevitably, the kitten will become hungry again in a short time after eating. It’s important to know that your kitten’s life stage requires more energy. Therefore, giving them food that doesn’t suit their age and stage may not meet their nutritional and energy needs, making them more hungry.
If you’re providing your kitten with good quality and age-appropriate food but still your kitten wants to eat all the time, then this could be a sign of an underlying health problem. If you’re still concerned, take the kitten to a veterinarian for a check-up and make sure that its medications for worms are up to date. Worms could be a problem as they get the nutrients from the food that is supposed to be for your kitten, leaving your kitten hungrier. While it’s not common in kittens, there are other conditions to look out for, like diabetes and hyperthyroidism, which again causes a tendency to overeat. If there’s nothing wrong with your kitten’s health, then the overeating issue could simply be a behavioural one. Behaviours such as boredom and depression can make a kitten overeat and this may lead to the problem of pica later on. A kitten that has been adopted who grew up living the hard life on the streets with no guarantee where or when the next meal will grow up to be insecure around food and may try to eat everything offered at one time.
Preventing A Kitten From Eating A Lot
It’s important to have a good feeding routine along with a healthy balance that must be achieved such that a kitten must be given enough food to maintain healthy growth but at the same time isn’t allowed to overeat. As kittens have smaller stomachs compared to adult cats, they should be eating smaller amounts more frequently. This allows for a kitten to digest the food properly, preventing stomach upset. Feeding your kitten with a small amount of wet food about 4 to 5 times a day. You should then gradually reduce the frequency to 2 to 3 times a day by the time they reach 6 months old. You can always leave some dry food in a dish available for a kitten to snack on throughout the day. Doing this will prevent a kitten from becoming hungry in between their regular wet food feedings. Doing this helps to prevent the so-called “binge and purge” habit, where a hungry kitten will gorge on food at mealtime and then throw the food up.
Should They Always Have Access To Food?
Is leaving a dish of dry food all day a good idea? If your kitten persists to eat all the time and you can see them becoming overweight, then try getting a toy that dispenses dry food, as this would be a better plan. Using food dispenser toys is very useful and comes in different fancy designs you can get from pet supply stores. You can even make a “do-it-yourself” toy food dispenser that’s made from recycled plastic bottles. Although just make sure to smoothen and round off the edges of the holes so that the kitten won’t injure themselves. These toy food dispensers will keep a kitten entertained and give them the needed exercise as they “hunt” for their food.
Check With Your Veterinarian To Rule Out Medical And Dietary Problems
At a young age, you should be seeing your veterinarian regularly and if you think your kitten is behaving abnormally, then speak to your veterinarian about it at your next appointment.
While being constantly hungry is very normal for a kitten, especially for those under four months, it may also be a sign of health problems such as parasites.
Veterinarians deworm kittens as a standard procedure, which is why it’s so important to bring your kitten in for regular appointments.
Your veterinarian will also confirm how much your kitten should be eating, and if the food you’re giving them has proper the right amount of nutritional value. And if you’re concerned about the brand you buy, you can bring the packaging with you to show your vet.
A kitten that’s not getting the proper nutrition can get cravings just like humans do, making them seem hungry regardless of how much they’re fed.
Kittens Will Eat More When They’re Bored
Sometimes, a kitten will eat because they’ve got nothing else to do. Luckily, this is an easy solution and is also a lot of fun! Who doesn’t like playing with kittens?
A kitten should get at least 30 minutes of playtime split up throughout the day, regardless of their age. Although, your kitten may need more action than this.
Provide Plenty Of Activities
It’s important that your kitten has things to do when you can’t play with them directly. Items like scratching posts and various types of independent play toys such as catnip toys, chasers, and track toys will keep your kitten occupied while you’re busy.
Playing with their littermates or other household cats is also good, although not necessarily enough on its own. Leaving your kittens alone to entertain one another could turn into them, causing mischief around the house, especially if they have to find their own “toys” to play with.
Puzzle Toys Make Meal Times Last Longer
If your kitten is scoffing down food, puzzle toys can help make mealtimes last longer. They will also occupy your kitten’s brain and help to use up some of their energy.
There’re many types of puzzle toys to choose from. You can get puzzle toys that can be arranged in different ways. They are great as they’re more reusable.
After all, your kitten will get used to it quicker if they do the same puzzle daily. They’ll also become bored and their brains won’t be challenged any longer.
Another great solution is to buy many toys and switch them around frequently so they have many games to play and never knows exactly what to expect.