Ragdoll cats are quite a unique cat breed that is better known for its size as well as its gentleness. What comes with their great size is the nutrition requirements that follow. Ragdolls are known for always being hungry as they enjoy eating and sometimes over eating.
The problem starts when they tend to always be hungry even after feeding they become vocal, clingy and demand more food. Generally, they do require more energy to sustain their large bodies, however, prolonged hunger could be health-related, habit or other underlying issues. To answer this fully, below are 10 reasons why your ragdoll is always hungry.
1. It’s a Growth Phase.
Ragdolls are big cats and they require a lot more food than other household cats. Owners often complain about how demanding their ragdolls are for food, especially kittens, without even acknowledging the changes their bodies are undergoing. At this stage of development normally below 18 months is when they are at their worst in terms of hunger. Ragdoll kittens will eat anything they get their paws on and will devour it.
At this stage of development, the ragdoll kittens undergo tremendous growth. This growth is so rapid that they constantly feel hungry. For this reason, it is advised that ragdoll kittens be given free food to eat whenever they feel like it. Remember all kittens and young cats have periodic growth spurts until they are fully grown and they need more food at such times, in order to build strong bones and muscles.
This uncontrollable appetite usually fades away after 18-24 months, with some kittens ditching this habit way sooner.
2. Fast Metabolism.
Some ragdolls have really fast metabolisms in which their body breaks down and absorb nutrients at a faster pace. This will result in the cat feeling continuously hungry throughout the day. The cat will demand more food until you feed them, if not the pestilence will continue or may worsen with vocalizations and clingy behaviour.
A quick way to diagnose a fast Metabolism in your ragdoll is to draw a comparison between the daily caloric intake to the cat’s weight. Normally a fast Metabolism will result in a healthy weight cat despite the access calories taken in. If the cat’s Metabolism is slow, then the cat will put on weight and even be prone to obesity.
If you suspect your ragdoll is overweight or underweight, considering the demands of your cat, for more food, consult with your local vet immediately to alter the cat’s diet for the best results.
3. Poor Nutrient Value Of Foods.
Nutrition plays an important role in your ragdoll’s growth and development. When the nutrient values are not being met daily, the cat will tend to get hungry often, depending on the type of cat food you have chosen for your ragdoll. The main nutrients must be met for proper functioning and growth. If not the cat’s growth will be stumped and the cat’s health would be at risk.
Ragdolls require a diverse diet that is high in proteins and vitamins with moderate fats, low carbohydrates. The daily measurements of each food group should be 60% protein, 20-30% healthy fats and below 5% carbohydrates. The food should have a high level of moisture with whole proteins, with no fillers and artificial ingredients.
If your ragdoll’s daily requirements are not met, especially the protein portion, the cat will be hungry more often. Since Proteins are involved in reducing the hunger hormone, therefore the cat will feel fuller for longer.
A nutrient deficit is enough to have your ragdoll keep coming back for more.
4. Diabetes or Hypothyroidism.
Diabetes is a disease that prevents the cat from using dietary glucose from the foods they take in. This is caused by the absence of insulin which helps the body to use glucose, which in fact gives energy. As a result, the cat will show signs of extreme hunger and thirst. Frequent urination and rapid weight loss.
Due to the disease, no matter how much the cat may feel weak, hungry or unsatisfied. The food consumed will not satisfy them no matter the quantity. In this case, it’s best to consult with a qualified veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and further treatment. If not the cat will eat excessively causing glucose levels to increase, which can cause adverse reactions in the cat’s body which can be fatal.
Hyperthyroidism is a disease that results in too much thyroid hormone circulating in the cat’s blood. The thyroid hormone is essentially used to regulate the cats metabolic rate. A high metabolic rate means the cat’s body will absorb and breakdown food much quicker them normal.
That means that all the energy the cat is taking in through its diet is being burned through very quickly. And so, it’s extremely common for the cat to become very hungry more frequently and even start to lose weight because it can’t keep up with those energy needs
5. Your Ragdoll Could Be Pregnant.
It’s normal to expect an increase in appetite for cats who are pregnant. Pregnancy is a strenuous process that does require a lot of energy and nutrients for the mother cat. This phase is tiring and it takes a toll on their tiny bodies, hence more energy/calories are used up.
Therefore an increased supply of food is needed for the development of the kittens. At times when more kittens are expected, the mother cat will require even more nutrients and as a result, she will feel more hungry several times of the day.
6. Parasites in The Gut.
The presence of parasites such as roundworms or tapeworms can be in your ragdolls gut. These parasites live and grow in the cat’s intestines as they compete for the nutrients that your cat ingest. This means that the cat will not be fully satisfied after meals and in fact, they will require more food frequently.
The cat will remain hungry with signs of irregular meal portions and extreme appetite cravings until the parasites are removed. Proper treatment should be administered once diagnosed. Treatment normally consists of a deworming tablet and a preventative.
7. Boredom or Force of Habit.
Ragdolls are very affectionate cats and they love games and interaction with their human counterparts. At times, probably during the week when not many people are around they can tend to feel bored and lonely. As a result, they will turn to food to diminish boredom.
Boredom eating can be innocent at first but after a while, it can lead to obesity and other health issues. In a matter of time, the cat will adapt to this type of eating patterns and it will become problematic when they demand for food several times in the day.
8. Your Ragdoll is Used to Free Feeding.
Normally its advised that Ragdoll kitten be fed freely, since they undergo major growth during the first few months of their life. While this is understandable and okay for the first few months, continued free feeding will result in a spoilt cat. A cat that is too used to eating whenever they want to and how much they want to.
This habit can be passed down from kitten stages into their adult life. Once the cat have adapted to this type of feeding, its difficult to get the cat into routine. Therefore the Ragdoll will become problematic and will demand food whenever they want it. Free feeding can also cause increase the cats appetite since no limit have been set, so the cat is free to indulge even if the amount of food consumed is over their limit.
Lifestyle plays an important role in nutrition and how much of it is needed. Ragdolls are not very active but few of them love interaction and playtime with their human parents. This can use up their energy leaving them feeling hungry with an increased appetite.
Playful Ragdolls are also very active as they use their bodies and muscles regularly. Therefore their bodies require much more nutrients for muscle repairs and overall well being.