Increased Appetite Average Cost

From 319 quotes ranging from $200 - 3,000

Average Cost


First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Increased Appetite?

Whether polyphagia is due to disease or psychological reasons, it is essential that you discover the exact nature behind your cat's increased appetite. A long-term complication with overeating can have dangerous effects on your cat's health and wellbeing.

Polyphagia is a term used to describe a substantial increase in appetite and food consumption. There are few diseases known to increase your cat's appetite, so the range of possible diagnoses is relatively small. However, physical ailments alone are not the sole causes, as a psychological issue can also have your cat increasing the amount of food it consumes.

Symptoms of Increased Appetite in Cats

Including being aware of an increased appetite, there are a number of other signs that you should watch out for that may indicate your cat is suffering from another problem:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Abnormal weight gain/loss
  • Obesity
  • Vomiting (fast eating can lead to throwing the food up immediately after)
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle atrophy (decreased muscle mass)
  • Large, protruding stomach
  • Change in behavior (e.g. obsession with food)

Causes of Increased Appetite in Cats

A handful of complications can serve as the root cause of your cat's new eating habits. Some of the common causes of an increased appetite are listed below:

  • Behavioral issues (e.g. overfeeding)
  • Pregnancy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cushing's Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism)
  • Certain medications
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Insulin-producing tumors
  • Malabsorption/maldigestion of food

Diagnosis of Increased Appetite in Cats

To begin to discover the cause of an increased appetite in your cat, your veterinarian will want to conduct a full physical examination. Furthermore, he or she will want to gather a complete medical history and a list of current medication, as that information can be highly important in determining whether the heightened appetite is due to a physical illness or a psychological response. Informing your vet of any changes in your cat's behavior can also greatly help in diagnosing the issue at hand.

After the initial evaluation, your vet will recommend a variety of screening tests. A complete blood count (CBC) can detect any infections or anemia. It can also reveal certain clues of conditions like Cushing's Syndrome or diabetes mellitus. Those with Cushing's often have an increase in white blood cells, while those with diabetes may suffer from a secondary infection that can also increase specific white blood cells, all of which can be seen once conducting a CBC. Further concerning Cushing's disease, a screening known as a low dose dexamethasone suppression test can help in diagnosing it.

A serum biochemistry profile can be used to evaluate the general health of your cat as well as to assess the function of vital organs. This test is usually best performed alongside a urinalysis as the urinalysis is vital in interpreting any changes found on the serum biochemistry profile. In addition, a urinalysis can detect the sugar found in urine which can help indicate diabetes.

There are a few additional tests that may be explored, such as an X-ray or an ultrasound of your cat's abdomen. Focusing on age, older and middle-aged cats are recommended to undergo a serum thyroid hormone (T4) level test. The test can check whether or not hyperthyroidism is a cause of the increased appetite.

Treatment of Increased Appetite in Cats

Once the actual cause of your cat's increased appetite has been rooted out, your vet will discuss with you the best course of action to treat the problem.

Change in Diet

Upon the diagnosis of a disease like IBD, low-fat and easily digestible food may help to improve the condition alongside medication. If the cause is determined to be purely behavioral, then your vet will propose you begin better monitoring your cat's food intake. To assist in curbing overeating, it is helpful to regulate the amount of food your cat consumes in one sitting. This can be done by breaking down their meals into several separate feedings throughout the day.

In the event that a pregnancy is behind the increased appetite, a diet change can help manage the overeating. You can provide your pet with food high in calories as they need that the most during the end of their pregnancy as well as during nursing.


A condition such as Cushing's Syndrome may require the use of specific medication in order to control the disease. In the case of diabetes mellitus, if diet change is not enough, then your vet will recommend the use of insulin injections to help treat it. Additionally, concerning diseases like IBD, your vet can prescribe antibiotics or steroids if a dietary change fails to improve the problem.

As certain medications can also cause an increased appetite, then your vet may encourage you to steadily discontinue use of the medication if it is possible.

Recovery of Increased Appetite in Cats

Once a cause has been found and you and your vet have come up with the best treatment plan, then it is best to stick to said plan in order to properly assist in your cat's recovery. When it comes to a diet plan, your vet can help you choose good quality cat food that can help your pet take in the appropriate amount of daily metabolic requirements. Try to avoid overfeeding, especially in the case of treats for good behavior as that can lead to your cat developing an obsession with food.

Medication should also be given as prescribed. For instance, if your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, then they must undergo daily insulin injections if they have been prescribed by your vet. Adherence to the plan laid out by your vet is important in improving the welfare of your cat. Be sure to schedule frequent follow-up appointments, as a re-evaluation can help indicate whether or not your cat's condition has improved or worsened.

Increased Appetite Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Mixed cat
Seven Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hungry all the time

my cat Howard, had just been hospitalized almost two weeks ago for urethral blockage. He was cleared, no signs of diabetes and all the 2500 dollars of lab work showed he was normal except for the urinary infection that caused his issue. He was changed to wet food. And he has always been a demanding fat cat when it comes to food. He had lost about 4 lbs since last August but I am scared he will get back to 20 lbs. The doctors told me that he shouldn't be stressed out, but when he doesn't get food he meows like he is dying. He is on a set schedule. I followed the food recommendations on the cans by the vet for a cat his size (4, 3oz per day for urinary s/o), but he is constantly complaining. I thought may be he was in pain, but no. I checked his litter, and i even witnessed him use it. No issues going to the potty. I dont know if i should just get the dry food and mix it with urinary s/o because he is getting to demanding. He has no thyroid issue, no diabetes, no nothing. The doctors tested him even for prediabetes. Is there a trick to make him less demanding when it comes to his food? Can I give him cat milk from whiskas?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I wouldn't give Howard cat milk from Whiskas as that can alter his urine pH and cause problems again. Urinary S/O does have a dry formula as well, and the point behind feeding canned is just to make sure that his water intake is higher than normal. If dry food seems to satisfy him, you can get a feeding timer and have it dispense small amounts of his daily food intake regularly so that he isn't hungry. You can also get a water fountain, as cats sometimes like to drink from those more than from a bowl and it helps increase water intake and keep his urine dilute. Before you change anything, make sure you discuss it with your veterinarian, as I cannot examine him, but those things might help.

Add a comment to Howard's experience

Was this experience helpful?

19 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Weight Loss
Increased Appetite
Hind leg weakness

Medication Used


My 19-year-old cat has severe anemia and hind leg weakness. He started losing weight and begging for extra food about three months ago. About one month ago he developed chronic diarrhea. We've put him on metronidazole a couple times and that seems to help. He's been tested for diabetes and came up negative. The vet initially suspected chronic kidney failure, but it doesn't explain the increased appetite. She wants to do an ultrasound but we can't afford it. I'd be very grateful to know what all it could be.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I'm not able to determine what might be going on with Buckwheat without seeing him, unfortunately, but common causes for his signs, and at his age, might be kidney disease, thyroid disease, or a neuropathy unrelated to a systemic disease. It is possible that many factors are contributing to his problems, and he may have more than one problem. I hope that you and your veterinarian are able to find a solution for him.

Add a comment to Buckwheat's experience

Was this experience helpful?

short hair
3-4 years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Medication Used

my vet have him a round of antiboti

My cat is extremely hungary all the time. Eats two can of cat food and some dry, but remains extremely thin. He fills like skin and bones, but does seem to have energy. He sometimes catches mice and voles.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
There are a few possible cause for these symptoms which may include infections, parasites, malabsorption disorders, poor quality food, hormonal conditions among other disorders. Without performing an examination, I cannot say what the underlying cause is; a faecal test may be a good starting point for trying to find an underlying cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Winston's experience

Was this experience helpful?

American Shorthair
8 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

ravenous appetite

My cat, Oliver, has recently been hospitalized for pancreatitis and diabetes. The vets hoped the diabetes was a result of the pancreatitis and a rather high dose of prednisolone he had been on for several months due to a previous diagnoses of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. They decreased his pred and monitored his blood sugar and found he did not need glucose every day, so the hope is it is transient, but suggest regular monitoring. His appetite/water drinking has fluctuated. Today, he has not drank much water, but has a ravenous appetite. Is that a symptom the diabetes may be returning? He's also peed quite a bit, but not as much as when first diagnosed. He's due to have blood checked in 2 days.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Oliver has been through quite a bit recently! It is hard to say if his increased appetite might be due to diabetes, as it sounds like it is fluctuating, along with his drinking. You will know more when he has his recheck lab work in 2 days, as it sounds like your veterinarian is doing a good job managing his conditions. I hope that everything goes well for him!

Add a comment to Oliver's experience

Was this experience helpful?

13 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Less active
Weight Loss
Urinating Outside Litterbox

We have a 13 yr old miniature siamese cat who has since mid July been displaying weird symptoms of losing weight and fatigue. At the time she had fleas so we took her to the vet, which concluded, after blood work, it wasn’t hyperthyroidism and probably parasites due to fleas. So we got medication for both the fleas and worms, she was starting to gain weight and then lost it again about a week after giving her the dewormer. In mid August we took her to another vet and gave her more dewormer, even though the fecal float was negative, but she still showed signs of worms. After that we took her in every week to get her weighted for a month, over that time she has gained some energy back but hasn’t gained any weight either. And lately she has been urinating in the bed where she sleeps a lot of the time.

Add a comment to Meezer's experience

Was this experience helpful?