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petdrz, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7341
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in caring for dogs and cats.
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My cat (1.5 yrs. old) has always eaten everything put in s

Customer Question

Hi, My cat (1.5 yrs. old) has always eaten everything put in his bowl. He doesn't ration himself. Our vet said it was probably a learned behavior from when he was a stray, because every meal could have been his last. (Makes sense to me). But, except for right after he eats, he is always hungry. We feed him when I get up (about 4:30 AM), lunch time, evening, and before we go to bed. In between those times, he begs and begs. I wonder if we put a days worth in his bowl in the morning, if he won't eventually learn to ration himself. We also have to watch the amount he eats because he has 3 legs, and we can't let him become overweight. What suggestions do you have for how we can get him to eat some, while leaving some in his bowl for later? Thanks for any suggestions you have.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Tre today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you.

Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Can you tell me what you feed Tre and how much per day and per feeding?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We feed Tre 60 g. of Iams for weight control, each day.
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Dry or canned?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
spread out over 4 feedings, he gets about 15 g. each time
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Iams weight control is dry
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Feeding dry food only may be part of the problem. Dry foods are always higher in carbohydrates than canned foods and that can lead to spikes in blood glucose levels which then leads to craving of more high carb food as that wears down. Moist food, which is higher is protein and lower in carbs are metabolized slower so the don't experience that blood glucose surge and they are often satiated for a longer period of time.

Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Over the past 5 or so years, it has become clear to the veterinary community that cats are not meant to eat dry food (or at least very much of it). Years ago, we used to tell people that dry food was better for their teeth, and many cat owners (including myself) had their cats on a dry only diet. It is more convenient and a lot less money in most cases. Well, recently it has become clear that dry food only diets are not the healthiest choice for a variety of reasons, including urinary health, GI health and diabetes/obesity. The problem has to do with moisture content and carbohydrate levels. There are virtually no dry foods available that are considered low carb. The carb content plays a large role in weight gain. While canned foods are usually higher in calories than a similar size offering of dry food, it is significantly higher in carbs, and their body will convert those extra carbs into fat. When it was suggested to me to take a severely overweight cat and put them on a canned food only diet (using a kitten food in that particular case) I would never have believed it would have worked, but over a course of about 6 months, that particular cat lost the extra weight and achieved a body score that was appropriate for him. I was quite amazed, but now I am a believer and have witnessed it time and again on subsequent cases. The key is not only the calories, but the % of carbs in the food offerings, which in most all cases means NO dry food if dealing with an overweight cat. In Tre's case, he may do better on a three or four times a day wet food offering and save the dry food for treats only.

Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure whether or not it makes sense, and we'll consider that option and perhaps give it a try.Thanks for your time.
Expert:  petdrz replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you decide to try changing and need additional information.