Does your cat (or dog) eat more in the cold weather?

oregpsnowDecember 9, 2009

We live in Oregon and it has been unusually cold here - in the teens at night and twenties during the day. My indoor cat, who is usually a casual eater who grazes all day, has started eating more then usual. She eats the better canned foods - EVO, Avoderm, Wellness - and is eating a whole can each day. She is a small cat and normally eats 1/2 to 3/4 of a can. The house is never colder than 63 degrees and she sleeps under the covers next to me at night, warm and toasty so I don't think she is uncomfortable.

Do your kids eat more in the winter?

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Any sudden changes in a pets eating habits should be monitored closely. If it goes on too long, you might want to call the vet. Is she eating the whole can in one sitting?

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 5:56AM
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Oh no, she takes all day and part of the night to eat the whole can. I usually feed her three times a day so the food is fresh. She just seems more hungry than normal, but not obsessed about it. The humans here have also had the urge to eat more in the cold weather, so I think it may be a weather thing. It will warm up a bit this weekend and I will see how much she eats then.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 3:04PM
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Our house cats don't seem to eat any more in the winter, but then we make sure the house is nice and warm for us and they do not go outside at all. But the barn cats sure do seem to eat more when the weather turns cold. (Nights have been down to about 35 degrees and days have been in the upper 40's to mid 50's.) The dogs, who spend most of their time outside also seem to eat more this time of year! And we do give the barn cats and the dogs more food when it is cold. I figure if they have this "want" for it, obviously, their bodies must need it when it is colder.

Don't know if that helps or not. I know I want to eat more when it is colder---even with the house being warm!!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 11:00PM
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It is not unusual for any mammal to be hungrier when the ambient temperature goes down...including humans! The body needs to create more energy to maintain its normal internal temp...and the more energy your body burns, the more it needs to replace it (alas, pets and people prefer to eat food than to go into stored fat for additional fuel). And there is a big difference between 65 and 75 degrees.

But: It is helpful to weigh your cat(s)once a month and keep a diary. Your cat should be maintaining his weight even with the extra food. Weight loss (especially in the presence of increased appetite) could be a sign of hyper-thyroid. Weight gain could mean that puss is overdoing it.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 3:21PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This question sure is a coincidence! We've noted that our cat has turned into a little pig now that it's colder in the house. We're not feeding him any more than we usually do, but I have to divvy out the portions. He is NOT a happy boy when the feed bag is empty.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2009 at 4:05PM
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