Cat with eating problem?

R TR T OhioMember Posts: 23
We have four cats, and three of them (Chester, Minnie, and Bandit) are all normal sizes and weights. But our forth, Tiger, is very overweight. He'll eat constantly all day, and roughly 7 out of 10 times he'll eat until he throws up, and at that point he'll just go to a different food bowl and empty it. (we have food available throughout the day and our other 3 cats simply stop eating when they're full.) None of our other cats do this. Also, if he becomes excited the first thing he does is eat. Tiger also wheezes alot and lays down alot, and often grunts or coughs when he runs. We suspect it might be something with his stomach, for we found him as a very tiny kitten and fear he may have been weaned too early. My friend thinks he may have diabetes, but I wouldn't know the signs or symptons to look for. Any advice is welcome.

Best Answers

  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    Accepted Answer
    I have a cat with the same problem, and we are about to go on a diet. First of all, regarding Tiger, he seems to be overeating as a comfort thing (Tiger was weaned early, my Spot was a feral). However, the fact that he eats until he throws up is worrisome. It could indicate digestive problems. Anyway, first you have to stop free feeding your cats. Feed them all twice (or three times) a day, and limit Tiger's food intake. You will have to feed them in separate rooms. But first you MUST consult with your vet about what to feed, how much, the desired target weight, and how long it will take to reach that weight. Losing weight too quickly can lead to a fatal liver disease. If he doesn't have diabetes now, he is likely to get it later on. The most typical symptom of diabetes is excessive thirst. Also, the wheezing and grunting seem to indicate that his weight is straining his heart. In any event, your first order of business is to set up a diet schedule with your vet. Good luck!
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    Accepted Answer
    Like Spot said, free feeding is not for all cats. It is especially bad with cats who have food insecurities, like your cat: if he was abandoned to fend for himself as a tiny kitten it is possible he now gorges on the food because he doesn't understand that there will always be more food coming, and so he is trying to eat as much as he can while he can. Having multiple cats in your household would also add the worry that there isn't enough food to go around, so he overfeeds to make sure he gets enough. I know it might be tough going to switch all your cats to set meals, they will probably grumble a lot (or the three who are normal sized might not care, but Tiger surely will), but once they realize that they do get regular meals (feed them like clockwork, that is - if you can't give them food at set times during the day, invest in an automatic feeder), they'll relax about it. Tiger should go to the vet first though, to rule out a health problem directly tied with the overeating.
  • Lynette AckmanLynette Ackman Member Posts: 61
    Accepted Answer
    As others said, free-feeding may not be a good idea in your case. It also depends a LOT on WHAT you're feeding. I used to be meal-fed a "lite" dry food twice daily and was still morbidly obese at 20 pounds. Now I get two *larger* meals (so I'm not so hungry), but of WET food only - and I'm a nice 12 pounds. More info on treating obesity:
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