Some cats take a slow and steady approach to mealtime, others may eat their meals at a surprisingly quick pace. When they hear the kibble hit the bowl or smell a fresh can of cat food open up, they get excited. Next thing you know they’re giving you that stare you know so well. Let’s face it, some cats just love food! But what happens when your cat is eating too fast? Is this okay?
Faster is Not Better
Eating too fast can definitely be a bad thing. In fact, it can become a serious problem for your kitty. For starters, because they aren’t spending much time chewing, your cat can choke or gag on their food. Also, food isn’t the only thing they’re swallowing. Eating too quickly results in swallowing more air. Food and air then expand the stomach, which can cause pain and discomfort. Too much of both can result in regurgitation of food. If your cat vomits regularly after a meal, this is a good indicator you have a speed-eater on your hands. The good news is, there are some effective ways for you to prevent this, but let’s discuss why your furry friend is eating so fast in the first place.
Why Does My Cat Eat Too Fast?
A good first step is to check with your vet. There are certain medical causes which may result in overeating. They can run some tests to rule out any medical conditions, or even less common causes such as parasites. It’s also important to consider any medication your cat may be on. Sometimes, side effects from medication can result in increased appetite in cats.
Interestingly enough, an often overlooked cause is competition. If there are multiple cats in the house, they often compete for food, whether you realize it or not. Even though you may be providing equal amounts to each of your feline friends, it may not slow things down. Even if your cat is the solo king or queen of the house, it’s not uncommon for them to feel worried their meal will be stolen.
Another cause is meal frequency. If you only feed your cat once a day, he may be more prone to gobble it up quickly because he’s not sure how long it will be until the next one. Another thing to consider is the brand of food your cat’s eating. Lower quality food carries lower nutritional value, leaving him hungry early and often. It is always advised to look at a cat nutrition checklist before choosing and buying your pet’s daily food.
My Cat Eats Too Fast: What Can I Do About This?
Fortunately, there are a few easy changes you can make to help slow down your cat’s eating. Increasing meal frequency and decreasing quantity may ease a feline’s appetite, helping them feel fuller, longer. By providing smaller meals more frequently, they’re more likely to feel satisfied throughout the day. If you do have more than one cat, try feeding them in separate areas. Without the presence of their feline companions, they may approach mealtime with more ease and less urgency.
Didn’t work? Try a slow feeder bowl. Some will automatically release a certain portion of food every so often. Other nonconventional bowls are specially designed to slow down speed-eating felines by adding different nooks and crannies where food can fall. This results in cat’s having to focus more on finding the food rather than just inhaling it. Another tactic is spreading food out over a small area, putting food in small piles with space in between.
You can even turn mealtime into a game or a “puzzle” your kitty has to solve. By placing small portions of food inside different objects or toys, your furry friend has to use their problem-solving skills to figure out how to “unlock” their food. This interactive method of serving your cat a meal may be something they respond to very well. Not only do they get their food, but they have fun doing it, learning new skills and getting some exercise in the process – a true win-win.
If your cat frequently regurgitates dry food, try switching to wet food. Premium wet food brands carry many health benefits and will help your cat feel fuller. If your cat prefers dry food, try switching to a brand with quality ingredients and put a little water in the bowl along with it.
As you can see, eating too fast most definitely can be an issue and should be treated as such. However, it’s one which can be solved. There are several ways you can combat your felines colossal appetite. The next time you feed your four-legged friend, take note of how fast they eat. If the bowl is gone in the blink of an eye, try some of these techniques.
- “How to Slow Down a Cat Who Is Eating Too Fast.” PetMD, 14 Dec. 2018, www.petmd.com/cat/general-health/how-slow-down-cat-who-eating-too-fast.
- “How to Slow Down a Cat Who Eats Too Fast.” Healthy Pets, www.healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/04/09/cat-eating-habit.aspx.
- Brittain, Regi. “How to Keep a Cat From Eating Too Fast.” PetHelpful, 12 July 2018, www.pethelpful.com/cats/How-to-Keep-a-Cat-from-Eating-too-Fast.