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So my cat has been on steroid medication for a few months now and it makes her hungry ALL the time. She wakes me up at 6am every day. And at night I keep her in my bedroom like I have done for years as I live with housemates. She meows and tries to get out so that she can meow for food outside my housemates room which I can’t let her do. She has destroyed my door frames and is working on the door. I have to barricade the door so she can’t get to the wooden part and then she’ll happily get into bed.

I need to find a solution that isn’t barricading us into the room. Maybe adding something to scratch on the door? I live in a rented property though. Does anyone have any experience with any of this?

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    Steroids cause "munchies." What has your vet advised?
    – Allison C
    May 13, 2020 at 16:28
  • Thank you for the suggestions. I only have one cat on Prednisilone which is the one who feels as if he never fed.He eats both wet (twice daily) and dry which is left to eat whenever. I did have a slow feeder which for whatever reason we dispensed with but now that you mention it in the comment above, may go back to. My problem is I believe the cat on the medication is probably eating more then his brother. Any other suggestions for that issue. Jan 30 at 21:32
  • This is one reason my cats gave always been self-feeding. That can't be done with all cats, some (especially food-insecure ex-ferals) will overeat given the opportunity.... But it means the cat knows that pestering me does not cause food to appear That doesn't mean she won't pester me about other things, of course. And sometimes she seems to yowl just because she likes the echoes. "I will sing you a song of my people...."
    – keshlam
    Jan 31 at 0:24
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    @keshlam free feeding and steroids is not going to be a good combination; as I mentioned in my previous comment, steroids cause "munchies"--they create an increased appetite response in the subject (feline and human). A cat being treated with steroids will absolutely overeat.
    – Allison C
    Jan 31 at 15:26
  • Point granted. In that case, timed-release food bowl may be the simplest solution, dissociating pestering you from getting food.
    – keshlam
    Jan 31 at 18:08

1 Answer 1

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Ugh, having to deal with the side effects of steroids is always an adventure! It's going to be a two sided approach to resolve this.

The first side we'll tackle is her hunger. If you feed her kibble, invest in a slow feed bowl for cats (I promise they exist!), and break her food up into 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day. The slow feed bowl will make it more challenging to get the food, so she has to work at it longer and be more satisfied when she's done. Giving her smaller meals throughout the day will also help with that.

If she eats canned food, you will still want to spread the meals out to 4-5 a day. Take some plates and smear each meal across a plate, and freeze it. This way it'll take her much longer to lick the food up and it's like a slow feed bowl for canned food :)

Also invest in some very low calorie treats for right at bed time. In addition to giving her the last meal of the day right at bed time, toss like 10 of the treats around your room for her to hunt for over night. It should give her something to do and fill her belly a little so she's not screaming right away at 6am.

Now, to keep her away from the door. We get it - being hungry all the time sucks. But she also can't be damaging your door! But the more she practices the behavior, the worse it'll be to get her to stop. So we need to discourage this behavior starting ASAP.

There's a few options you can do, depending on how far you want to go. Depending on how big of the gap is under your door, you can wrap the bottom part of the door in tin foil (taped on) to discourage her from scratching. If that doesn't work, there is a motion sensor called Sssscat that when movement is sensed, makes a loud PSSSST noise and blows air. You can put that along your door so whenever she goes up to it, it'll go off and startle her. There's also a scat mat that you can lay across the doorway to she can't get to the door. These mats come in many shapes and sizes so you should be able to find one that works for your space. Both of these have websites you can look up to see the products in action.

I hope these tips can help!

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