Polyphagia or increased appetite in cats is a condition in which a cat increases its own food intake up to the extent that it already appears voracious most of the time. Further, it is also commonly in association with polyuria and polydipsia. If you want to learn more about this feline condition, please feel free to give this article a read.
Increased Appetite in Cats: What is this feline condition?
Whether the increased in appetite in cats is because of a disease or some psychological reasons, it is important that you determine the precise nature behind the increased appetite of the cat. Additionally, a lasting impediment with overeating may have some dangerous effects on the wellbeing and health of the cat.
Moreover, polyphagia is the term used in describing a considerable increase in the food consumption and appetite. There are some diseases that are known to increase the appetite of a cat, hence the range of potential diagnosis is moderately small. Nonetheless, physical illnesses alone aren’t the only causes, since a psychological condition may have the cat increase the quantity of food it takes as well.
This particular condition may be due to different conditions, and it’s significant to observe whether the increased food intake of the cat is because of a disease, or to a psychological condition.
Causes of Polyphagia in Cats
Hardly any of the complications may serve as the primary cause of the increased appetite in cats. Some of the more common causes of the condition are as follows:
- Behavioral issues
- Certain medications
- Cushing’s Syndrome
- Diabetes mellitus
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Insulin-producing tumors
- Malabsorption of food
Symptoms of Polyphagia in Cats
Counting being well aware of the increased appetite in cats, there are some other signs that you need to watch out for, which might indicate that the cat is really suffering from a different problem:
- Change in the behavior
- Intensified thirst
- Large, bulging stomach
- Muscle degenerate
- Recurrent urination
- Unusual weight gain or loss
Prognosis of Polyphagia in Cats
To start in discovering the primary cause of the increased appetite in cats, the vet may want to do a complete physical examination. Additionally, he or she may also want to collect a thorough medical history, as well as a list of any current medication, since that information may be greatly significant in defining whether the increased appetite is because of a physical illness or some kind of psychological response. Notifying the vet of any changes in the behavior of the cat may greatly help as well, especially in diagnosing the matter at hand.
Additionally, after the preliminary evaluation, the vet may recommend some screening tests. A CBC may help detect any anemia or infections. It may also reveal some clues of issues like diabetes mellitus or Cushing’s Syndrome.
Moreover, a serum biochemistry profile may also be used in evaluating the overall health of the cat, as well as in assessing the function of the vital organs. This particular test is commonly best done together with a urinalysis, since the urinalysis is important in understanding any alterations present on the serum biochemistry profile. Additionally, a urinalysis may also detect the sugar present in the urine that might help indicate a diabetes.
There are further tests, which might be explored as well, such as an ultrasound or an X-ray of the abdomen of the cat. Focusing on the age, middle-aged and older cats are recommendable to undertake a serum thyroid hormone level examination. The test may check whether or not a hyperthyroidism is the cause of the changes in the cat’s appetite.
Treatments for Polyphagia in Cats
When the actual cause of the increased appetite in cats has already been identified, the vet may discuss the best procedure in treating the problem.
Change in Diet
Upon the prognosis of an issue like IBD, easily digestible and low-fat food might help in improving the condition together with some medication. In case the cause is identified as chastely behavioral, then the vet may suggest you start a much better monitoring of the food intake of the cat. To be able to assist in the curbing of overeating, it is beneficial to regulate the quantity of food the cat consumes in just one sitting. Further, this might be done through the breakdown of the meals in numerous isolated feedings during the course of the day.
A condition like Cushing’s syndrome might need the use of certain medication to control the condition. In case of diabetes mellitus, if the diet change isn’t enough, then the vet may recommend the use of the insulin injections, in order to help treat it. In addition, with reference to conditions like IBD, the vet may prescribe some steroids or antibiotics if the dietary change miscarries to improving the problem.
Since particular medications may also cause a certain increase in the appetite, the vet might encourage you in steadily cease the use of medication if it’s possible.