Sunday 11 September 2022

Indoor/outdoor cat becomes very hungry in the winter

On social media, a cat owner tells us that she has lived with her cat for about a year.  During the summer months, her cat is very much an indoor/outdoor cat. She spends all day, every day outside and prefers to sleep outside under a certain plant in her back garden. She says that "during summer she was out all day barely eating her food". She's not sure but she says "maybe she was catching mice".

Indoor/outdoor cat
Indoor/outdoor cat. This is not the cat referred to in the article. Image: by Sa Ka from Pixabay.

RELATED: Are indoor or indoor/outdoor cats healthier?

Since the weather has turned and become much less agreeable for an indoor/outdoor cat she's become more "homely". She does not like the rain very much. And "she is suddenly so hungry!"

Whatever she feeds her, she demands more. She says that "some days I break and give her another tiny bit of biscuits or another day one of the kids got excited and fed her another packet".

Well, the woman is providing her cat with only dry cat food and not enough of it, it seems to me. The received wisdom of cat experts is that this is incorrect. Good quality wet cat food is better than dry cat food as it contains more water (70% compared to around 10%). Domestic cats do not drink enough water to compensate for the lack of water in dry cat food. This leads them to being mildly dehydrated. Therefore, cats must be provided with wet cat food.

As to the fact that she is suddenly very hungry this must be because she is a great hunter and during the summer months, she obtains most of her food through hunting, probably mice, near where she lives. And clearly, she does not bring her food back into the home. Not all cats do this. And/or she was being fed by a neighbour but the hunting theory is almost certainly the correct one.

A lot of domestic cat hunting takes place out of sight and out of mind of their owners. This applies to all domestic cats allowed outside. Although, we know too, that many cats like to bring their 'kills' inside the home, extend the hunt inside the home and then finally kill and eat their prey in a quiet corner of their "den".

The question on the social media site ( regarding this cat is that she is a "very hungry cat". That's a question because she is asking "why is my cat suddenly very hungry?". The answer is she's not hunting any more in the winter months and therefore requires feeding. And she is not being fed enough and the wrong food by the sound of it.

REALATED: 16 tips on cat worms and deworming.

A side issue is that she should be dewormed regularly to get rid of endoparasites that she is ingesting with the mice. It is almost certain that she has worms after summer months of mice hunting.

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