10 Tips on How to stop a cat from overeating AND Food obsessions
It’s exhausting if you have to keep an eye on your cat all the time to prevent them from getting into your meals or eating something dangerous. And even a couple of extra pounds can be bad for your kitty.
So, what can you do if your cat is obsessed with food? Here are 10 tips on how to stop a cat from overeating or getting obsessed with its meal.
#1 Rule a Medical Issue
To stop a cat from overeating, you should first ensure your kitty isn’t an obsessive eater due to health issues.
Ask the vet to run full blood work to check your kitty’s blood sugar and hormones. And do tests for intestinal parasites.
If you catch it in time, you can manage diabetes and hyperthyroidism in cats with a proper diet and medication. Parasites are also easy to cure with regular deworming.
#2 Improve Diet
If you’re feeding your kitty a low-quality brand, switching to the best cat dry food can help with overeating and eating obsession.
As one Reddit user says, “I changed my cat’s food with a high protein and nutritional value than most cat food,” and the problem disappeared.” 
You can also try feeding your cat a mixture of dry and wet food to increase the water intake and make your kitty feel full for longer.
#3 Establish a Feeding Schedule
When you’ve got a cat with abnormal feeding behavior, it’s best to provide several small meals throughout the day.
A regular schedule can do wonders for a cat with food anxiety because your kitty won’t have to wonder when the next meal will be. And you can ensure your cat doesn’t overeat.
#4 Don’t Leave Food Available
Some cats will eat until they’re sick. So, put the food bowl away once your cat has had it’s full, and don’t give in to your feline friend’s begging for an extra portion.
Don’t use automatic feeders because you won’t be able to monitor your cat’s food intake or stop them from overeating.
#5 Make Eating a Challenge
Cats often overeat and get obsessed because they’re bored and their environment doesn’t provide the necessary stimulation.
Try combining activity with feeding. Hide kibble around the house, use cat treat dispensing toys to engage your cat’s brain, and play fetch with the treats.
Also, consider slow feeding bowls to ensure your cat doesn’t gulf their meal and prevent vomiting.
#6 Spend Quality Time with Your Cat
Sometimes cats become obsessive eaters because you’re not spending time with them. Crying and stealing human food is how your cat pleads for your attention or asks for help.
So, ensure you spend plenty of time petting and playing with your kitty to soothe their boredom and anxiety.
#7 Ignore Unwanted Behavior
Cats quickly learn that crying makes you feed them tasty treats. So, don’t give to your cat’s begging because you’re reinforcing the behavior, and your cat will drive you crazy with their yowling.
If your cat is persistent and jumps on counters, tables, or people, you can remove the cat from the room until your kitty calms down.
#8 Consult a Behavior
As I already mentioned, some cats are obsessed with eating because they have a mental disorder – psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior.
In this case, you should work with a professional cat behaviorist to determine what’s wrong with your kitty and how you can fix it.
#9 Reduce Stress
Ít doesn’t take much to stress a cat, especially timid ones. And when cats are stressed, they can have an increased appetite.
So, think about if something is stressing your pet and work on removing the stressor. Once your cat is calm, they should start eating less.
#10 Don’t Punish
I’ve seen many people yell or use water sprays to keep their cats off tables and counters. However, cats don’t connect you punishing them with their crime.
Moreover, punishments increase your cat’s anxiety and can trigger aggression, especially if your kitty thinks you’re going to take their meal away.
Why Is My Cat Food Obsessed: FAQS
How Many Times Should You Feed a Cat in a Day?
You can feed adult cats twice or thrice a day, depending on your schedule and the cat’s overall condition – underweight/overweight/normal. On the other hand, you should have food available all the time if you have kittens under six months because they need a lot of calories to grow up healthy.
Is It Normal for a Cat to Want to Eat All the Time?
No, it’s not normal for a cat to want to eat all the time. Usually, constant hunger is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes.
Can Cats Be Addicted to Food?
Yes, cats can get addicted to food and even to the shape of the kibble. Interestingly, cats can also imprint on certain brands, and according to Mikel Delgado, “kitten will show preferences for foods that their moms ate when the kitten was in the womb!”
Food obsession in cats often results from an underlying health problem – a physical or psychological one. And it can turn feeding times or preparing meals into something you dread
Fortunately, you can curb the behavior with some small adjustments in how you feed your cat and help from professional cat behaviorists.
What do you think about this topic? Is your cat obsessed with food, and how do you deal with it? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
1. Aggression in Cats [Internet]. ASPCA. 2015 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-cats
2. Fries WC. Why Is My Cat Eating That? [Internet]. WebMD. WebMD; 2009 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/unusual-cat-cravings#1
3. Sirois KA. The Ultimate Guide to Cat Anxiety [Internet]. Petmd.com. PetMD; 2020 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/behavioral/c_ct_fear_phobia_anxiety
4. PetMD Editorial. Regurgitation in Cats [Internet]. Petmd.com. PetMD; 2009 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/digestive/c_ct_regurgitation#:~:text=Regurgitation%20in%20Cats%201%20Symptoms%202%20Causes.%20Regurgitation,5%20Living%20and%20Management.%20…%206%20Prevention.%20
5. Dr. Karen Becker. Is Your Cat a Monster at Mealtime? [Internet]. HuffPost. HuffPost; 2013 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/pet-health_b_3708763
6. r/cats – Cat OBSESSED with food, please help. (LONG) [Internet]. reddit. 2016 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.reddit.com/r/cats/comments/5ggo0m/cat_obsessed_with_food_please_help_long/
7. Journal of Veterinary Behavior | ScienceDirect.com by Elsevier [Internet]. Sciencedirect.com. 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 8]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-veterinary-behavior
Is your cat obsessed with food? How did you handle it? Please let us know in the comments below!
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.