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New cat over-eating?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We got a new cat 3 days ago from a no-kill shelter. He's been checked by vet, vaccinated, neutered and taken well care of. Also been fostered. He is 3-4 yrs old, they believe. Strong and healthy, very slim but not skinny. Just perfect weight. He's been on Purina Pro Plan kibbles which they gave us a box of to feed him. He was extremely active / hyper when we first got him home, but he seems a bit calmer now. He seemed anxious.

He eats a lot of food, and I'm wondering if he is obsessing on food, or if he's just anxious still, or if he really needs this much. I first gave him 1/4 c, but he gobbled it down and wanted more after only a few minutes. So I gave him more and it has ended with him getting a whole cup of food per day and he still wants more. It seems like his stomac is fuller than it was when I got him. But of course, he was so active, running / sprinting all over, playing and all.

I'm just wondering if certain cats really need that much food. The shelter had him down for about 8 1/2 Lbs, so he's a normal size cat I would say. But he's quite athletic.

So what do you think? Is it just a "new cat" thing, anxiety perhaps? He is so vocal, so it's hard to not feed him what he wants. Will he get less vocal about it if we cut back to a more normal amount of food and stick to a routine of food twice a day?

I may be painting a bad picture of him here, but he is such a sweet, loving cat. Is it normal that cats can be extra hyper and intense when they are new to a home?
post #2 of 15
When my bengal arrived he did crazy over-eating - think it was a stress thing. We usualy have kibble down on a free feed basis and then feed raw most of the time. But the first week or two anything left down he'd eat until exploding point!!! He is better now although is a pretty big eater in general. I do think it could be stress. Maybe he's unsettled and thinks he'll eat as much as possible in case someone takes his food away or just comfort eating like people do. Hopefully he'll settle down soon! P.s. Joey ws also very intense, hyper-active almost wild!! he's now loving and much calmer (although still hyper!)
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
So did you restrict his food quite a bit? Did he beg for more constantly?
Thank's for the advice!
post #4 of 15
I didn't worry hugely, I just didn't leave loads down all the time. I can free feed kibble now though and he's mostly only interested in the raw which he doesn't over eat on. In terms of all his behaviour I'd say it took 1-2 weeks to settle properly and he was quite vocal. This has settled down now, i'd say just persevere with a routine. Also I assume the shelter wormed him etc, as that can affect eating habits. But, if hes anything like Joey he'll just take a bit of time to adjust. Joey was a rescue kitten from a kitten farmer so he took a lot longer to settle than my other cats ever have. Maybe its because they've had a bit of stress in their lives.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yes, he's been dewormed etc. properly. His stool seems a bit abnormal; very pudding-like, not very formed. Not diarreah either, but he's also had some gas. I am assuming this must be from stress, since he has had a very good check-up at the vet's recently. I wasn't there, but they listed all the things that had been done. He was also tested for leukemia, negative. This is a very proper, good shelter, all of their cats are fostered for some time too. So I think he is very healthy. I'm thinking a lot of this must be stress related. But it sure is helpful and gives me peace of mind to hear input from you as well. So I appreciate that!

We have named him Sunny, by the way. He is such a charm! Buffed red tiger. Long face, long nose. Looking a little Egyptian, almost. He's a sweetie pie!
post #6 of 15
To me it sounds like stress...my cat was like that when we brought her home from the shelter...it took her about 2 weeks to settle in, but boy oh boy she ate like a horse for those 2 weeks.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah3 View Post
To me it sounds like stress...my cat was like that when we brought her home from the shelter...it took her about 2 weeks to settle in, but boy oh boy she ate like a horse for those 2 weeks.
Thank's for that information! But let me ask you; did she gain excess weight in that period of time? Or do cats in this situation just burn it right off? This lovely cat of mine is looking like he is super fit and trim and just right, very strong and healthy. Like an athlete. I would hate for him to get overweight all of a sudden, just because of stress-eating. Or does the stress cause them to burn extra calories, enough to let them eat extra? I just don't want to cause him unhealthy weigh gain, this handsome guy. So I feel very unsure of whether or not to give him extra food as he seems to crave. His tummy seems rounder / fuller now that when I got him; not like he's fat, but more like he's full of food.

How much would you limit it to? On the box, it says to feed 1/3 to 2/3 cup for the weight of 5-9 Lbs, and 3/4 to 1 c for a cat of 10-14 Lbs. Sunny is / was 8.63 Lbs at the end of Feb, when they neutered him. I would think he stayed about that. I tried to give him 2/3 c, since that made sense according to the package suggestion, but that amount was gone that same morning and he cried for more.
post #8 of 15
Mine didn't gain excess weight as he was running round so much. All the guidelines vary a bit anyway. I guess its like with humans, the more exercise they do the more energy they use and need to eat. Plus ctas have different metabolic rates too. I wouldn't worry too much, feed the amount suggested. If he's losing weight up it and if he starts to gain you can always cut back.
post #9 of 15
oooh would love to see some photos of him too!
post #10 of 15
My cat is having almost the exact same problem! I just made a thread about it, I didn't think that someone else would have a cat with an eating disorder

The difference is, my cat was fine for the first few weeks, after I picked him up from the shelter. But after a few weeks, he started to eat SO much. My cat is also very vocal, and he will meow until I feed him. Long Low meows. for hours if I don't feed him. I found out today that he had been fed 6 times, throughout the day, about 3/4 of a cup each time. I had a long work day, and my family couldn't put up with his meowing, so each family member fed him at least once, plus the time I fed him that morning. and when I got home I couldn't even relax for a minute because he sounded like he was starving, so I went to go feed him, and his whole box of food was gone. Brand new full box, completely gone. When I did feed him, he went at it like he hadn't eaten in days.

I'm running out of money for cat food
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinkUP View Post
My cat is having almost the exact same problem! I just made a thread about it, I didn't think that someone else would have a cat with an eating disorder

The difference is, my cat was fine for the first few weeks, after I picked him up from the shelter. But after a few weeks, he started to eat SO much. My cat is also very vocal, and he will meow until I feed him. Long Low meows. for hours if I don't feed him. I found out today that he had been fed 6 times, throughout the day, about 3/4 of a cup each time. I had a long work day, and my family couldn't put up with his meowing, so each family member fed him at least once, plus the time I fed him that morning. and when I got home I couldn't even relax for a minute because he sounded like he was starving, so I went to go feed him, and his whole box of food was gone. Brand new full box, completely gone. When I did feed him, he went at it like he hadn't eaten in days.

I'm running out of money for cat food

Wow! That's amazing! I guess I shouldn't worry so much about the one cup my cat is eating! LOL

Here are a couple of pictures of him:

post #12 of 15
what a pretty cat!
post #13 of 15
Oh! He is beautiful! Congrats on your new baby!

My rescue from the shelter was a huge eater. It was from being abandoned and "starving", she didn't know when her next meal would be coming from.

Eventually, there were no more trust issues and she gained weight nicely...then she started getting too heavy. She is a carb junkie like her mom.

After lots of trial and error, I put her on California Natural dry which is a higher protein than most other drys. Immediately she began to self-regulate. She is content with a normal portion, plus some of her belly got leaner. I think the quality of the food fills her up now so she has no need to eat an deat to get "full". I liken it to me eating potato chips all day: techincially, I'm getting enough calories, but I'm just not satisfied...so I'll eat more and more chips to see if that works!
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDubbie View Post
Oh! He is beautiful! Congrats on your new baby!

My rescue from the shelter was a huge eater. It was from being abandoned and "starving", she didn't know when her next meal would be coming from.

Eventually, there were no more trust issues and she gained weight nicely...then she started getting too heavy. She is a carb junkie like her mom.

After lots of trial and error, I put her on California Natural dry which is a higher protein than most other drys. Immediately she began to self-regulate. She is content with a normal portion, plus some of her belly got leaner. I think the quality of the food fills her up now so she has no need to eat an deat to get "full". I liken it to me eating potato chips all day: techincially, I'm getting enough calories, but I'm just not satisfied...so I'll eat more and more chips to see if that works!

I call that the steak vs popcorn theroy ... with a steak were fulll and stay that way yet popcorn will temp fill ya
post #15 of 15
Very cute kitty!

I found mine couldn't free feed. She came from a breeder and had always been free fed with the rest of the kitties, no issues at all.

I tried for months for keep free feeding, but she just kept getting bigger, mostly after she hit a year, kept going into heat, and it got colder outside. (she is inside, but we keep the house on the cooler side in winter).

It wasn't good for her, as she is an active cat. So I had to feed her twice a day (wet and dry) in portions. She has been fine with this thankfully. I guess some cats just can't free feed.
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