Polyphagia and Your Cat

July 1, 2016 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

Cats Always Hungry

Does your cat gobble up meals in one session or eat so fast they throw up afterwards? Does he or she constantly beg for snacks or eat food they once refused to eat? Polyphagia, better known as excessive hunger or an increased appetite, is usually a sign of a larger problem that may require veterinarian attention. Here are some possible sources of polyphagia in cats:


  1. Diabetes – a disease which causes the inability to produce enough insulin to balance blood sugar or glucose levels. Left untreated, it can lead to weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, dehydration, severe depression, problems with motor function, coma, and even death.
  2. Hyperthyroidism – a disorder in which the thyroid glands over-produce metabolism-stimulating hormones. This can cause high blood pressure, an enlarged heart, and an inability to maintain weight.
  3. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) – a condition where there is a decrease or lack of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas.
  4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – the intestines become inflamed which in turn results in dysfunctional digestion.


While these are some of the most common causes of polyphagia in cats, other potential conditions and reasons include tumors, internal parasites such as tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms, and certain medications.


If you notice a change in your pets’ eating habits, bring them in for an exam as soon as possible.



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