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If you have a fast-eating cat, you’re probably familiar with the messes they can make. Not only do they scarf down their food way too quickly, but they also tend to vomit it all up soon afterward. This can be a messy and frustrating problem to deal with, but don’t worry - we’ll give you some tips on how to help your cat eat more slowly. But first, why do cats eat too fast?
One reason cats eat too fast is significant changes in their lifestyles. Just like humans, cats have feelings, too. If it suffers from excessive boredom or loneliness, your cat will probably result to eating too fast, as it’s the only stimulation there is. In cases of depression, some cats will find comfort in eating. Also, adopted cat might be bringing eating habits from his/her previous home.
A cat rescued from an abusive or neglectful environment may also have endured long-term trauma. This can lead to various behaviors, including excessive eating. This is especially true when a cat has suffered starvation or malnutrition before.
Some medical conditions can cause an almost uncontrollable appetite in cats. Diabetes and hyperthyroidism are good examples. If your cat eats rapidly, and is a characteristic that the cat didn’t have previously, you need to make an appointment with a veterinarian.
Cats are prone to parasite infestations, including tapeworms, which can attach themselves to the intestinal tract and steal nutrients. As a result, your cat may not get the nutritional requirements it needs; therefore, it will eat more to compensate. If you suspect your cat is suffering from tapeworms, treat it immediately. This is essential to avoid developing more severe problems like anemia.
If you’ve multiple cats, one or more might be eating at a faster pace. The presence of multiple cats means that some will develop territorial habits such as this, and especially obvious for households with a dominant cat. The dominant cat may be a hoarder of food, which causes the others to eat as much as they can while they are allowed to.
Animals can develop cravings for food too. This is common in households that feed on wet food and is probable that your cat is eating very fast because of the enjoyable taste. However it is essential to rule out all other possible reasons before changing the cat’s diet.
If your cat has a habit of eating too fast, then it should worry you. Eating rapidly can cause not only potential health problems but also safety issues. Some consequences of your cat's increased appetite include:
A slow feeder cat bowl reduces your cat's appetite. It helps prevent the cat from eating quickly. A slow feeder bowl spreads your cat's food in various shapes, making it difficult for your cat to claw into the food. They can not only be an obstacle to your cat and make them slow down, but they can lower the amounts of food cats consume.
The Fun Munch Slow Feed Pet Bowl is a great way to engage and train your pet to eating at a slower pace.
One of the simplest and basic ways to prevent your cat from feeding too fast is to spread the food in a baking pan rather than piling it in a tiny space or traditional ceramic bowl. Spreading the food will reduce the speed at which the cat eats the food as it will perform slow movements whenever they’re craving another bite, which means they aren’t able just to eat the whole thing in one bite.
Another easy way to alter how your cat eats is by placing an obstacle in her bowl with dry food. However, the size of the obstacle should be relative to the cat's size and simple to push around so they can get to their food.
For a start, you can use a ping-pong ball if you have a small cat as it will make it more difficult for your cat to consume the food while also making it enjoyable and rewarding.
The MS 3-in-1 Interactive Cat Toy is a great option offering variable difficulties to prevent your pet from getting bored.
If you have noticed that your cat eats so fast but is too busy to use other methods to slow down its eating habits, an automatic feeder will help. A pet feeder that functions automatically to a predetermined schedule will feed your pet at regular intervals to prevent regurgitation of food.
With an automatic feeder, you will be able to decide on the quantity of food that suits your cat's breed, size and age, and how many times it’ll dispense food throughout the day. Distributing small meals is far better than having a large bowl of food on the table all the day long.
Another effective method to prevent your cat from feeding too fast is to offer small meals during the day. Spreading the meals throughout the day and serving them in smaller portions will reduce the chances of your cat eating too fast. However, it is helpful to consult your vet beforehand to understand your cat's current health condition so that you provide the right portion of food that best suits your pet's needs.
Another fantastic way of reducing your cats’ chances of eating too fast is by concealing small amounts of food all over the house. Let you cat go on a hunt, it will be a fun exercise that ensures she gets the required nutrition and mental stimulation. This is performed indoors with food kept at clean and accessible places.
You can also reduce the amount of food your cat eats with water. It works well for both dry and wet food. Adding water will slow down the intake of food by your cat and help them feel fuller for a longer time. Also, the increased intake of water is beneficial to most cats.
If your cat is a fan of dry cat food, use an object to crush it down into tiny pieces. This will force your cat to lick her food and slows down ingestion. Your goal is to prevent them from eating large portions of food in a short amount of time.
These techniques will help reduce your cat’s appetite and slow down their food consumption. And the best part? Your cat probably won’t even notice the change.