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Does your cat seem like it just can't get enough food? Is it eating its own bowl of food and then going after perhaps your other cat's bowl of food and then jumping on the table for your food? It could be suffering from psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior.  

It's real and it's a problem. "Psychogenic" means the disorder has a root cause that is emotional or psychological rather than physical. Who says cats can't have mental illness?  Thankfully we aren't looking at sending it to rehab just yet.  Researchers at the Università degli Studi di Padova in Italy  published a case study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior that concludes certain cats with ravenous appetites may have something called "psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior."

The researchers in Italy, a team of eight veterinarians, studied the case of Otto, an 8 month-old Siamese cat. Otto's owners reported the cat had an obsession with food. (Don't worry TLC has not turned Otto into a reality show - yet.)

Since possible triggers for his odd behavior included neurogenic and endocrine problems, Otto was given a complete medical workup. His laboratory findings were normal aside from high blood sugar.

Modification therapy

Basically, they got Otto into a modification therapy program. No, it wasn't group therapy they modified his behavioral responses to food. They had the owner implement the plan. 

Eating disorders in animals are rarely mentioned in scientific literature, but Otto's researchers theorize that stress experienced early in a pet's life may be linked to abnormal food-related behaviors. It all goes back to your mother even in cats! 

Much like humans if they are craving something and can't get enough it could be that they are lacking a specific nutrient and their bodies are literally craving it.

It took about 5 months of intense behavioral therapy dolled out by the owners and Otto was over his food obsession. 

If you suspect your cat has a food obsession that is significantly disruptive to daily life (your cat's and your own) a visit to the vet is in order just to make sure there are no underlying issues.

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