My Cat Eats Too Fast. What Do I Do?
Sometimes your cat may be overly eager when it comes to eating, and your cat eats too fast. Unfortunately, your cat then vomits her cat food and has an upset stomach. While you want to ensure that your cat is well-fed, at the same time, you want her to slow down and eat the right amount of food so that she is healthy and comfortable.
Learn about why your cat eats too fast, as well as what to do about it so that she is happy and healthy at all times.
Why Your Cat Eats Too Fast
Your cat could be eating too fast for different reasons. Perhaps she is anxious because you have a multi-cat household, and she wants to make sure she gets enough food. She’ll eat as fast as possible. Then, of course, regurgitation will occur.
Your cat might also just like to eat a lot and have trouble regulating how much her body needs. When your cat’s eating too fast, she could ingest too much food and eat more than she needs to. This could lead to obesity.
One note: If you don’t pay attention to your cat when she is eating and you simply notice that she’s gaining weight, you’ll have to do more investigating before you decide if she’s overeating and eating too fast.
She may be eating a normal amount but have hyperthyroidism, a health condition where there is insufficient production of essential thyroid hormones because she has an under-active thyroid gland.
Aside from weight gain, other signs of hyperthyroidism include:
- hair matting
- low body temperature
If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the veterinarian for treatment right away.
Now that you’ve figured out the root cause of your cat eating too fast, you can address this issue. Here are some ways to slow her down.
Multi-pet household? Keep cat feeder bowls in separate rooms.
If you have more than one cat, then you can keep their bowls in separate rooms. Then, your cat won’t feel the need to eat so fast because she can take her time without fear of the other cats stealing her food. Between mealtimes, keep the rooms to the doors where their bowls are closed. Don’t use the same room your cat litter box is in. If you have a small home, then you could simply feed your cats in the same room but at different times.
Additionally, you could feed them in the same room at the same time but put up dividers, or you could put the food bowls on different levels. Maybe a younger cat will be comfortable jumping up and eating its food, while an older cat stays and eats on the ground level. Try out these solutions to see which one works best to get your furry friend to slow down.
1. Get a cat puzzle toy
Interactive puzzle feeder toys can make feeding time fun for your cat as well as get her to slow down. They also provide some much-needed mental stimulation. Instead of putting food in a cat’s food bowl, take some dry food and place small portions in a puzzle toy instead. Your cat will have to work to get her food and have an enjoyable time in the process.
2. Try a hunting toy
Slow down eating with a cat toy! A hunting toy – such as a mouse that you fill with kibble or cat treats and then place around the house – will keep your cat occupied. It will ensure she’s getting the nutrients and mental enrichment she needs. Mealtime will become like a fun game that combines your cat’s instinct to hunt with her desire to eat. It’ll also burn energy if you have a hyper pet on your hands.
3. Use a different type of cat food
Your cat may be eating her dry food too fast and then end up experiencing regurgitation. But if you switch to wet food, your cat may not be as likely to overeat, since it doesn’t expand in her digestive system as much as dry cat food.
If this doesn’t work and she’s still getting sick, try switching out her treats as well. You could also go to the veterinarian and have her tested for digestive issues and food allergies.
4. Use a baking pan
If you spread out your cat’s food at her next meal, then you may notice that she’s going to eat slower. Instead of a traditional ceramic cat bowl, try a baking pan. Take some dry food and a 9 x 13-inch baking pan; then, your cat will have to go to the different parts of the pan to get the food she wants.
5. Give her smaller portions
If you give your cat smaller portions of kibble or wet food, then she probably won’t vomit it up after mealtime. Just make sure you ask your veterinarian if she is at a healthy weight and isn’t underweight before you change the amount of food she gets.
6. Prevent bloat and use a slow feeder cat bowl
Cat owners can switch up your traditional stainless steel cat food bowl. A slow feeder cat bowl can deter your cat from eating too much too fast. For example, one type of slow feeder looks like tall grass, and your catch has to find “catch” their dry food.
Another slow-feeding bowl is a maze so that your cat has various access points to get to their kibble. This feeder, like our interactive feeder dog bowls, is also great for mental stimulation, has a non-slip base, and is top-rack dishwasher safe. It can hold both dry and wet cat food.
7. Invest in an automatic feeder
If you go to work or otherwise can’t be home to supervise your cat’s mealtimes, then put an automatic feeder next to her water bowl. With this kind of feeder, you can put in the amount of food you want and then choose how many times it will dispense the food in a day. Dispensing small meals like this is much better than leaving a big bowl of food out all day.
8. DIY slow feed cat bowl: Put an obstacle in her bowl
Prevent bloating by making eating interactive! Another way to change your cat’s eating habits is to put an obstacle in her pet bowl along with her dry food. This could include a golf ball, bpa-free silicone piece, or a ping pong ball, and it will stop her from eating too swiftly.
There are so many ways to get your cat to stop gulping her food, eating too fast, and subsequently getting sick. By finding the best slow feeder or other option that works for your cat, you will keep her healthy and content.
You can find slow feeder cat bowls, the best cat toys, and more on Amazon, Chewy, Pet Supplies Plus, and our website!