This is the cat behavior problem for the day:
“My cat has suddenly become obsessed with food. She does not want to play much anymore. She prefers to get into food containers. She was spayed about a year ago. She is about 18 months old. She started this behavior when the weather changed. Unfortunately, I am not home a lot at the moment.”
I will endeavor to find a solution but as usual I am always open to criticism and to learning myself.
I would ask the cat’s owner some more questions, to be honest, such as:
How do you know that your cat is obsessed with food when you are out a lot? I suppose you see her eating when you come home. The point I am making is whether this cat is genuinely obsessed with food. Is she putting on weight? How much are you feeding her daily and what sort of food is it?
On the basis that this cat is obsessed with food as you say and has less interest in playing what might be the problem?
Firstly, I cannot immediately see a connection between a change in the weather and an obsession with food….so for the time being I will ignore that.
One of the first (and only?) non-health causes that comes to my mind is boredom. If your cat is at home, indoors all day and you are away all day, which seems a possibility, your cat might feel very bored due to a lack of stimulation and might feel some emotional stress. This might lead to comfort eating. This in turn might make her more sluggish and less likely to play. She may be overweight and that takes away motivation to play.
There may be an underlying health problem behind this change in behavior.
Affects 1 in 400 cats. Pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism and some medications can produce similar symptoms one of which is to eat more food during the early stages of the disease. This is a long-shot but needs to checked out.
“Spaying does not make a cat fat and lazy” (Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook page 426 4th ed.)
Spaying can slow a cat’s metabolism. A lack of exercise is the cause of obesity. There is nothing that suggests that spaying make a female cat obsessed with food.
What about a change in diet? High quality wet cat food should be tried. The amount should be as stated on the packet or as stated by your vet. Alternatively a simple Google search will probably do. PoC has a page on the amount of calories a cat needs.
Hope this helps a bit.